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TURN 11: Adomru, Year 372—RPG contest continues and concludes

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Nov 2, 2011.

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  1. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    TURN 11: Adomru, Year 372

    News and Rumor, 11/1:

    The full details of the offer made by the Duke of Rek–what is now becoming widely if unofficially known as “the Deal”–have still not been disclosed, in spite of the Curia session now being “open” (indeed, they didn’t meet at all today: they have personal business that need catching up on). They are, however, widely held to contain territorial modifications that are little short of startling.

    Stories have begun circulating alleging the use of sorcery in the wine-tasting deaths. They are believed to have been started by the imperial physicians, who often recur to this explanation when they can’t settle on another one.

    Some questions are starting to be asked regarding why the letter from Prince Mazosyr that touched off days of closed-door Curia meetings was addressed to Duke Palatine Rudimer, rather than to his own ministerial staff or the Lord Chancellor, as would have been usual for such.

    Rumors have also begun to circulate that the Duke of Harding did not die in battle, but was assassinated. To be fair, no one ever said he had died in battle.

    A late-arriving report from the western border indicates that troops from Tyrvenhagn returning from the war in Vaesthegnar have chosen a somewhat roundabout route, re-entering the empire from the Duchy of Mittelvald… by way of northern Bergeheim. It goes on to state that they are accompanied by other troops wearing a previously unknown livery of black, white and blue.

    A communication has arrived from the Archduke of Eszerthagn, indicating that he expects to arrive in the capital no later than the 5th of the month. Considering Princess-Regnant Ilga has been making noises of calling for an immediate vote, and having his Electoral dignity removed by virtue of willfully absenting himself, this comes none too soon.

    The letter also suggests that the Duke Palatine be subjected to an investigation, to determine whether his actions in relation to the conflict in Vaesthegnar exceeded even the powers Imperium grants, with the result of committing treason against the empire–which is the only charge that can legally be brought against someone exercising Imperium.

    [Note: the round-trip time for post communications between the Winter Capital and Eszerthagn is roughly four days, in good weather… so the archduke cannot have been informed of any developments at the capital after 10/27, and had to have been responding to information he received no later than 10/29 regardless of source, as far as the above communique is concerned.]
     
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  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/2:

    Prince Tergiv arrived in the capital under heavy escort, and was promptly conveyed to face trial before the Curia–which again met behind closed doors for the purpose. A group of esteemed members of the justiciary was on hand to assist him in his defence, details regarding which they had the previous two days to familiarize themselves with. Indeed, they appear to have become so familiar with the details that the trial itself consisted primarily of three phases, in descending order of length: (1) interrogating him concerning his brother’s involvement in the events in question; (2) discussions with his counsel concerning what plea he ought to enter; and (3) discussion with the Curia concerning the method by which he was to be executed. The first item remains under Judicial Seal at this time. Recommendations regarding the second are believed to have come down to a toss-up between insanity, stupidity, and feudal loyalty, and possibly claiming to have consumed inordinate amounts of heavily honeyed biscuits. Recommendations regarding the third are believed to have come down to being drawn and quartered or being returned to Duchess Angrebuda’s custody to be dealt with at her pleasure, with an offer of some degree of clemency if he could think of anything else to say about his brother in the interim.

    Prince Tergiv is said to have conducted himself nobly and well, and to have chosen drawing and quartering. He said he’d give some thought to the other matter.

    The Curia had lunch in its own quarters once again.

    -

    In other news: it now seems that the duchies of Kalaszlar and Zanarvec have joined forces with the Maritsa coalition; at any rate, they have added their names to or modified their position on anything the latter have spoken out on.

    Prince Mazosyr reports that his business in Vaes–that is, Althegner–has been concluded and that he shall take the road for the capital immediately behind this letter, albeit at a gentler pace; he expects to be personally available to answer questions, of which he expects there will be many, in a very few days.

    Rumors of soldiers being shifted about in the southeast are once more troubling the court.

    The Duke of Venden supports the Countess of Vargin taking over Bergeheim? What’s up with that?
     
  3. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/3:

    It is said there has been a split between Archduke Evrefritz and Prince Sebeschar, for political reasons… which would surprise no one, as they’re both still contending for the throne.

    It is also said that there has been an agreement by a majority of the Electors present not to hold a vote until the archduke shows up… if he meets his proposed arrival date.

    A new story concerning the “Maritsa maneuver” purports that their disputed vote is intended to be cast by Prince Mazosyr, who is expected to reach court in the next couple days–around the same time Eszerthagn anticipates arrival.

    The post from the Duchy of Bergeheim now confirms that it is being invaded–from several sides: troops from the Duchy of Venden and the March of Hesjedal are said to be involved, in addition to those of Tyrvenhagn, the last of which are being supported by units from the freshly-minted “Kingdom of Althegnar”–apparently, the Duke of Rek’s personal forces, fighting under Tyrvenhagn’s banner. While it appears that all of these are cooperating in an attempt to overwhelm and suppress any who still hold loyalty to the old duke, there are (as usual) contradictory accounts. In particular, while the forces from Venden and Hesjedal appear to be working in conjunction with those of the Countess of Vargin, against those of the loyalist Count of Gorlingvegn, it’s less clear what the others are doing, and in particular it is unknown whether the forces of the Countess of Ravensthal, in the north of the duchy, are working to aid or oppose the old regime.

    Some perspicacious individuals have also raised questions regarding the present whereabouts of Wisidra of Bergeheim, the old duke’s unmarried daughter, and whether she is being prevented from claiming the inheritance… or from seeking a husband, in order that she may.

    An official communique from Kereszney’s Minister of State, presently representing that kingdom’s interests to Althegnar, indicates the recognition of the latter by Queen Trezelyi.

    Terinnya, Magistrate of Altgau, has echoed Legate Berichart’s accusation that Prince Sebeschar was complicit in the death of the late Lord Marshal and Count of Aldenthau. She, at least, has no reason to worry about duels: as a member of the justiciary, she is immune to challenge.
     
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  4. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/4:

    The Maritsa line has submitted a formal request that the age of adulthood be waived so that Prince Sazomir might marry.

    The archduchess of Eszerthagn has let it be known that her younger daughter, Kyrimisa, is betrothed to Izsac Kovacs.

    Prince Mazosyr arrived at the Winter Palace during the evening meal, in the company of his mother Anitresa, Princess of Darvingdel; Princess Suzilda, Metropolitan of Turingischel (who apparently managed to absent herself from court without anyone noticing, as she was there a couple days ago); plus Princess Ilyena, who appears to have taken a roundabout way, since she should have been approaching from the east; and—to the shock and astonishment of all, once she was introduced to those who didn’t recognize her immediately—Princess Deliya of Techarig, the recently-widowed and less-recently estranged wife of the last Duke of Harding, who is supposed to be marrying Duke (or King) Teover a mere ten days hence, in a city that takes three days just to reach by the post.

    Following in the same company, in addition to assorted persons of lesser note, were Vordelyr, Duke of Kolving, a brother-in-law of Teover, and Asrichar, Duke of Thanding, who is both a brother-in-law of Teover and father-in-law of his oldest child.

    Shortly after midnight, the watch caused the palace doors to be opened for Evrefritz, Archduke of Eszerthagn, and his party, who had elected to ride through the dark to outpace poor weather approaching from the north. They arrived on the wings of the storm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  5. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/5:

    Prince Sebeschar did not arrive with Archduke Evrefritz.

    Neither did Sir Gavard, Grand Master of the Order of the Ward, nor any of the three Commanders of that Order.

    On the other hand, Stavaslau, Count of Neraldsfel (and possibly Aldenthau), did accompany the archduke.

    The Council of Cardinals has announced that Lady Temira of Grissau, Prelate of Herlinghaus, will be elevated to Metropolitan of Saxachar.

    Duchess Angrebuda of Hedan-Saxar has announced that Lady Temira’s see of Herlinghaus will be filled by Lazarus, Baron of Maderbrim.

    Sir Osgedrir of Fulbinghausen, Vicarch of the Army, has taken upon himself to publicly denounce Prince Sebeschar, and calls for the empire’s military to refuse any orders he might attempt to give as its “Lord Marshal.”

    After remaining silent on the issue for nearly two weeks, the realm’s nobles appear to have finally begun making up their minds on whether or not it’s a good idea to dissolve the baronies they do–or don’t–hold. So far, the stances taken have broken precisely along those lines.…

    The Curia met once again behind closed doors. The Dukes of Thanding and Kolving were invited to attend “as a courtesy, and for purposes of consultation concerning the changes in the Kingdoms of Vaesthegnar and Lorthegnar”–they apparently did not insist on immediate recognition that, by their lights, those kingdoms no longer exist. The Great Officers were likewise invited (a rare move, as the usual purpose of Curia is to circumvent them), again, “for consultation,” and with the exception of the Lord Marshal, who is not in the city, no matter who one considers him to be. They did not adjourn before lunch this time: they remained closeted until early in the afternoon.

    The Viscountess of Ercheviksvegn was present briefly at the start of the meeting, but soon returned to her quarters, declining to comment on what business had taken her there, though she was smiling when she did. It appears she might have encountered some sort of misadventure shortly afterwards, however, for, some three-quarters of an hour later, an imperial physician was summoned to her chambers, on a matter said to have involved stitches in her side. We can only express our hopes that the problem wasn’t serious.

    The only outcome of the meeting that has been made known so far is that the proposal for a polycameral Diet has been rejected as impractical. Whether or not a unicameral one might be considered acceptable is still up in the air.

    Legate Marsanetta has arrived in the capital. Her first stop, after changing from riding clothes soaked by unseasonably heavy rain and sleet, was the suite of the Archduke of Eszerthagn, where she placed herself at the head of a queue of others whose presence the archduke had requested. Fortunately for them, her interruption took less than a quarter of an hour. Whatever passed between them was quiet enough those waiting in the adjoining chamber could not overhear it.

    Her saddlebags did not receive similar consideration. They were taken, still dripping, under heavy guard to the offices of the Lord High Justicar.

    Two palace servants were found knifed overnight. Officers of the palace guard are searching for possible culprits, on the assumption that they couldn’t have both stabbed the other in the back.
     
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  6. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/6:

    The office of the Lord High Justicar has conveyed a request to the Curia to approve arraignments for treason against Prince Sebeschar of Erchevold-Rstimalvo; Kuredor, Count of Torgen; and Melgart, Baron of Bechetsi and Abbot of Ianca. The last two named, both present in the palace, have been placed under the supervision of the Palace Guard, to ensure their ongoing presence should such charges be approved. A writ of summons has also been issued for Tiregu, Viscount of Narodlich, who, however, has said he has no intention of going anywhere anyway. A similar summons has been issued for Stavaslau, Count of Neraldsfel, who likewise disavowed any intention of being elsewhere–which, he pointed out, he might easily have been simply by not arriving in the first place.

    The Curia did not convene today, but indicated it would do so the following day to hear evidence and pass on the arraignments… and, should it prove convenient, hold trials concerning same.

    The Baron of Sauligau, in the march of Hesjedal, is reported to have died in battle in Bergeheim. He is not believed to have any direct heirs.

    Rumors have begun to circulate that Minister of State Mazosyr may have had a hand in the assassination of the Duke of Harding.

    An unverifiable source has intimated that the Duke of Vahir-Dascu is near to reaching an agreement with his peers on the treaty proposal he worked out with the Duchess of Voydulescu.
     
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  7. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/7:

    The Baron of Bechetsi has demanded that any hearing concerning him take place before an ecclesiastical court, as is his right as an abbot. Some less charitable persons have suggested this desire may be related to ecclesiastical courts lacking the authority to return a death verdict. Be that as it may, the baron-abbot’s demand was ruled consonant with imperial law, and he was delivered into their keeping.

    The Curia has returned arraignments for treason against Prince Sebeschar and Count Kuredor, following which they heard testimony from Count Stavaslau and Viscount Tiregu. Count Kuredor was present, though he is being permitted time to speak with advocates to organize whatever defense he wishes to advance. Prince Sebeschar’s whereabouts are still unknown.

    Following the Curia adjourning for the evening, Legate Marsanetta was seen exiting the palace once more, in spite of continued poor weather.

    Also following the meeting, the Archduke of Eszerthagn has stated that, upon being given the opportunity to review the actions taken by Duke Palatine Rudimer as Imperial Legate in the Vaesthegnar/Althegnar matter, as well as the document he brought with him and the accounts of the visiting Dukes of Thanding and Kolving and that of Minister of State Mazosyr, he concludes that the duke palatine did indeed act within the limits of his authority in the matter, and that he is entirely convinced there is no need to pursue an investigation for treason against him–this having taken up the first part of the meeting, before the other matters were attended to.

    It appears this is what the rest of the Curia was waiting for. Later that evening, sheets detailing “the Deal” begin to appear. “Begin” to appear–it takes until nearly midnight for palace scribes to finish copying it out: they circulate each page as it is completed.

    And each generates ever more excitement. Duke-soon-to-be-King Teover’s unsolicited offer is nothing short of flabbergasting. And it leaves you wanting to be a Legate: accepting it was within Rudimer’s powers?

    Archduke Evrefritz’s apparent endorsement aside, at least a few new voices are heard whispering that it was not.…

    [“The Deal” will be added to the “October 2011 Role-Playing Contest” thread, following the other posts on legislation.]
     
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  8. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/8, part 1:

    The Duke of Vahir-Dascu has agreed to the conditions demanded by the Duchess of Muretsu and the Count of Trebovilje in regard to the treaty he negotiated with the Duchess of Voydulescu; the "Maritsa bloc" has now endorsed ratification. The conditions demanded by the Duke of Kerecsantu have been ignored.

    The Duke of Vahir-Dascu has also confirmed speculation that his daughter, Hengra, shall be married to Idruvhir, the son of the Duchess of Voydulescu, early next year following the bride coming of age.

    As part of their agreement, the Duke of Vahir-Dascu, the Duchess of Muretsu, and the Duchess of Dravuchim have all withdrawn their names as candidates for the throne.

    Along with the elimination of Prince Sebeschar from consideration, owing to the charge of treason pending against him, the number of persons remaining as candidates for the throne is now down to four.…

    Sources near the Archduke of Eszerthagn have indicated the archduke wished to clarify his position on the document presented by the Duke of Rek to the Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn. While the archduke has agreed that the Duke Palatine's actions in accepting the document did not constitute treason, the document itself contains provisions that are beyond the authority of anyone other than an emperor to accept, even someone invested with Imperium. Specifically, Imperium does not include the power to create new realms or titles, nor to elevate people to them.

    The archduke has also objected, from a personal point of view, to the transfer of part of his lands to another realm without his consultation or approval.
     
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  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/8, part 2:

    Princess Deliya has departed the Winter Capital, along with the Dukes of Thanding and Kolving, to return to Osidring where her husband-and-king-to-be awaits. They are expected to take advantage of post-horses; otherwise, they’ll never make it by the scheduled date–though their entourage indicated that this will not hinder Teover’s assumption of the throne in the least, even if so.

    It has been revealed that the archduke of Eszerthagn attempted to arrest Prince Sebeschar and convey him to the capital, but that the prince managed to evade him, possibly having been forewarned. The archduke confesses a certain embarrassment in failing to make good the arrest.

    The Curia has returned a conviction of treason against the Count of Torgen. What other information they might have learned has yet to be revealed.

    Midwinter Court begins in five days. The Decorating Committee is having conniptions, as they have been obliged to obtain a full stock of adornments in various colors. They warn that if the next emperor begins his reign with a budget deficit, he should take it out of the tardy Electorate’s purses.
     
  10. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/9:

    It is rumored that Wininga, the daughter of the late Duke of Bergeheim, has died in connection with the fighting in that duchy. A conflicting rumor has it that she has managed to elude such a fate, possibly crossing its borders westward toward Vaesthegnar. It is not known if she is aware of the extent to which these boundaries might change in the immediate future.

    All the Maritsa princes have now acceeded to the letter endorsing Regent Nestreza as their line’s representative. And they still haven’t revealed who their alternative is, if the regent is not accepted by the other Electors.

    As expected by most, the coalition of dukes and duchesses formed around the Maritsa line has begun to fragment, now that Vahir-Dascu has met their demands. Many issues that formerly seemed to enjoy considerable support are now seeing this rapidly diminish.

    Some indications of capitulations accepted by the various remaining candidates for emperor are beginning to surface. Also, some of the empire’s interest groups have begun lining up behind specific candidates, rather than only issues. As expected, the Electors themselves have made no statements to this effect. And as usual, some of these endorsements may yet undergo abrupt changes.

    A representative of the Council of Cardinals has informed the Justiciary that Baron-Abbot Melgart has expressed a desire to go back on his original demand, and instead a trial by an imperial court… he having apparently been so ignorant of the precepts of his own religion that he had forgotten its rules still permitted trial by ordeal: either being subject to the weight of large rocks on the chest, or plucking a stone from a cauldron of boiling water. He added that when it was pointed out to the baron that, the empire having already transferred jurisdiction, it was unlikely to find itself in violation of its own laws in so doing, and that he could hardly find his circumstances improved even if it did, he opted for the latter method. When it is asked whether he succeeded, the representative admitted that his arms had proved too short in the event. When asked how that was possible, the representative pointed out that in making the attempt it sometimes depends on the exact relationship of the accused to the stone vis-a-vis the cauldron.

    The City of Thyminghausen has informed the court that it will withdraw its request to be made an Imperial Free City if the Duchy of Malodbord is recreated.

    A man presumed to be an assassin was slain on the palace grounds last night—or, rather, put out of his misery, as he had clearly suffered a broken neck and was already in extremis as regards breathing, and had passed beyond the ability to talk. The guard became aware of his presence after hearing a window break, which the man had apparently been trying to open; his failure is attributed to giving insufficient consideration to the fact that even the excessive ornamentation of the palace walls tends to become slick in bad weather. Upon his person were found, in addition to various implements used in climbing and in opening locks, a pair of daggers, as well as two vials of what under the circumstances can only be imagined to be poison, one of which was however smashed in the fall. The other is being tested by imperial physicians. The broken window admits onto the apartments presently occupied by the Countess of Vargin. The man has yet to be identified, indicating that he at least gave sufficient consideration to attempting an assassination while wearing livery; the palace guard is asking questions among some of the more obvious possible parties.

    Various persons from all quarters have begun to ask why, with all the Electors now present and other official business being cleared from their slates, they have not yet proceeded to sequestration and a vote.
     
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  11. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/10:

    One palace physician, speaking anonymously, has said she believes the poison found on the would-be assassin of the previous night was the same as that which claimed three barons or baronesses and a duke last month, and which was initially but apparently incorrectly blamed for the death of a viscountess around that same time, as well as endangering the lives of several other nobles. Another physician, when asked to comment, said he considers the claim extraordinary, as the physicians were generally agreed that they could not positively identify the ailment as a poisoning in the first place, let alone determine what poison it might have been.

    The assassin himself remains unidentified, and almost certainly gained access to palace grounds illicitly. Some have said that he reminds them of someone who may or may not bear a vague resemblence of sorts to someone or other they might have seen at some point in the past in the retinue or at least the party of the late Duke of Bergeheim, or that at any rate he might be related to such a person based on said resemblence. The palace guard has been reluctant to assign responsibility for the attack in spite of such positive identification, though it is admitted that such persons would by far have the most plausible motives for wanting the Countess of Vargin dead. The guard intends expand its enquiries to include persons other than those known to have come from or be associated with Bergeheim, on the off chance that such persons might have clearer recollections of past passing acquaintances.

    The guard had been hoping to put a close to its investigation of the knifing deaths of two palace servants some nights ago, by linking this would-be assassin to them. This has been complicated by the knifing death of yet another palace servant last night, taking place most unfortunately after the latest suspect was known to be deceased. The guard has asked that residents and guests of the palace be reminded, for their own safety, that if they insist on wandering unlighted corridors alone at night, they had probably ought not to dress like servants when so doing.

    The Count of Gorlingvegn is now confirmed to be among the casualties of the fighting in Bergeheim; with his death, it is believed that they last loyalists to the old duke have been eliminated, barring the duke’s own progeny, who remain unaccounted for. It is expected that Gorlingvegn will be divided between the counties of Vargin and Ravensthal, by right of conquest, rather than having a new lord appointed to it.

    Hudilrik, Viscount of Krodenthal, and Mesanna, Viscountess of Gunzebring, are reported to have fallen ill after returning from some hours spent together solemnly observing the anniversary of the death of the latter’s husband.

    -

    The Electors have reached the conclusion that Nestreza, Regent for Prince-Regnant Apparent Sazomir, will not be permitted to cast her line’s vote, and that a substitute Elector will have to be put forward, though they have agreed that this will in no way prejudice his later right to the Electorate when he comes of age.

    With that, the final obstacle appears to have been removed: the Electors will convene on the morrow, at two hours in the forenoon, to sequester themselves for the purposes of choosing the Eleventh Emperor. May the Goddess guide their choice.
     
  12. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News, Rumor, and an Account Which May or May Not Be of some Interest to Our Loyal Readers, 11/11:

    No progress has been made on the identification of the failed assassin of two nights ago, though at least one person given the opportunity to examine the body said that it definitely smelled to him like someone from Bergeheim. It is considered that this may not have been an entirely serious opinion, nor perhaps as unbiased as is usually hoped for in such investigations.

    The Electors convened at two hours in the forenoon before the Privy Council chamber (which has been little in demand in the absence of an emperor), and entered as a body, after which the doors were sealed behind them; there they will remain, undisturbed, until they have determined a new emperor… or call a recess to bathe, should their deliberations continue to such an extent. All as tradition and law dictates.

    Also as tradition—though not law—dictates, certain facts pertaining to their pre-Election maneuverings were permitted to become known after the doors had been sealed. The first, most important, and probably most surprising was that the Duke of Rek’s offer to the empire contained an addendum on a separate sheet of paper, which was not copied out along with the rest: that if his offer were to be accepted, he would withdraw his name from candidacy. As few can imagine that its more-than-generous terms will be rejected, in all likelihood this reduces the number of names remaining in contention to three.

    A second item to be made known, though it isn’t entirely clear why it had remained secret, was the explanation of Duchess Angrebuda’s comment that “his evidence”—that is, Legate Berichart’s—was against Prince Tergiv. The evidence against Prince Sebeschar was collected, and recently delivered, by Legate Marsanetta.

    What is more likely to be of consequence was the announcement by archduchess Kyrithanza that her older daughter, Kyrileta, is betrothed to Andrezic, heir to the Duchess of Dravuchim. Nearly all observers believe this indicates a deal has been struck to the effect that either the duchess will be voting for the bride’s father, Evrefritz, or else he will be voting for Ilunibel, who is from duchess Milchiyeva’s line. And that in either case, it will probably seal the election, as the other Maritsa vote would suffice to block anyone else. Though this doesn’t mean it might not take some time to bring sufficient remaining Electors around to their thinking, through whatever last-minute deals remain to be made. As witness the fact that, as of this time, the doors have not been unsealed, except for the scheduled delivery of meals.

    And speaking of the other Maritsa vote.…



    Dénouement:

    By tradition, on the day the Electors are to begin their sequestration, they all meet at an appointed hour outside the appointed chamber and enter as one. While no one other than an Elector is permitted to enter the chamber—to the extent that, when meals arrive, they must needs receive them at the door and serve themselves—there are always guards outside it, to see that they remain undisturbed, as well as the usual assortment of hangers-on awaiting any indication they’ve reached a decision. Thus, there were no few people who observed their convergence, and tried to read into it their own hopes and speculations.

    Duke Palatine Rudimer and Duchess Manera arrived together, at roughly the same time Archduke Evrefritz and Duke Teshevan, in low but animated conversation, approached from the opposite direction; close behind the latter pair was Princess-Regnant Ilga. They had all met at the door, and Duchess Milchiyeva was nearing in Ilga’s wake, when a larger group approached from the direction of the first pair: at its head was Lord Chancellor Rineyard, whose duty it was to certify that all the Electors, and only they, entered the chamber, and Pursuivant General Rigobert, whose duty it was to certify that the Electors were true descendants of their lines and entitled to cast their votes. Behind them came Prince Manchovar, smiling broadly if aimlessly and looking younger than he had in many years; at his side was Regent Nestreza; behind them could be seen Minister of State Mazosyr and Cardinal-Metropolitan Suzilda.

    Ilga put forward a very ladylike “Now just a damn minute…” in her usual penetrating voice, but was cut off by the arriving Milchiyeva’s “What is she doing here?” Which caused some confusion among the onlookers, as there were several possible referents to this utterance, but apparently Nestreza understood her perfectly: “Last-minute substitution. Your mother insisted.” Then, while Milchiyeva engaged in composing an appropriate response, Nestreza took a scroll from Rigobert, and presented it to Ilga, with the compliment “Go ahead. Object.”—along with a smile suggesting she hoped the Princess would do just that, followed by a much warmer one for a till-then unremarked young lady at the tail of the Maritsa procession, who now stepped to the fore, thereby clarifying for the others present who the regent and the duchess were referring to.

    Ilga opened the scroll, inspected it briefly, and in more subdued if still clearly audible voice, put forward a ladylike “Oh, shit.” She gave the scroll a second perusal, then said “No, I don’t think I’ll object.” After which she rounded on Milchiyeva, and shouted “How the hell did you keep her hidden?”

    The duchess seemed confused, but was not known for accepting such tones meekly. “What do you mean, hidden? She’s been in and out of court as much as most princess-cadets! She’s hardly a secr—” but chose to cut short whatever else she might have added as she was nearly impaled upon the scroll Ilga thrust at her. She took it, read… and nearly let it drop from her hand. “You know, I think I actually agree with you for a change.” It was recovered from her failing grip by Rudimer, who turned it proper direction up and held it so that he and Evrefritz could read at the same time.

    Milchiyeva looked at Nestreza. “And did my mother give her any instructions on how to vote?”—sparing a glare for her younger brother Mazosyr, to emphasize the emphasis. He, as is is wont, nodded diplomatically.

    “Yes. Your mother told her to vote her conscience. If that didn’t work, try to pick someone unobjectionable to her line.”

    “My mother,” the duchess replied, albeit with some difficulty in enunciation, “can be a real bitch some times.” To which her brother once more indicated assent.

    Rudimer lifted his eyebrows to Evrefritz. “Well, I think we can safely agree she’s qualified to cast the vote, if she’s the one the Maritsas have settled upon. Would you like some assistance in rising, Your Grace?” The second part, be it understood, was not directed at the archduke, but at Milchiyeva, who gestured aimlessly with her hands from where she sat, amidst a puddle of flounced skirt, in lieu of other utterance.

    “We might wish to wait until she stops laughing,” Evrefritz countered.

    “I’m not sure we can spare that much time. Get her other hand: this may require both of us.”

    “Oh, come: even soaking wet, she’d hardly be a burden for two.”

    “I was thinking more along the lines of the stability inherent in a tripod.”

    “Ah. As usual, you are correct. And if you grin, I’ll kill you where you stand.” As the archduke (who was unarmed, as were they all, by law) aided in righting the duchess—and the far more difficult task of keeping her thus—he added: “So someone tell me why she isn’t the one we’re electing.”

    “She” finally spoke: “Thank you, no, Your Serene Grace. Perhaps some other time. Though to be honest, I don’t find it likely I’ll be considered for candidacy.”

    It was Evrefritz’s turn to cock an eyebrow. “You don’t? Are you certain of that?”

    “Oh, yes,” she chirped. “Quite certain.” She glanced to Nestreza, who favored her with another warm smile.

    “Ah,” the archduke repeated. “Yes. I see.” He bowed to Nestreza.

    The scroll had been returned to the Pursuivant General’s hand by Rudimer, upon his need to liberate his own to aid Milchiyeva, and had remained there in the brief interim thereafter. Teshevan, finally out of patience—a trait he was not widely noted for in any event—asked: “Well? Have we established her qualifications? She is from the Maritsa line, yes?”

    “No,” Ilga snapped, sourly. “She’s from every line.”

    “All three?”

    “All six.” Which, when startled glances turned his way, Rigobert acknowledged the veracity of with a grave nod. Ilga turned to the Keeper of the Palace Keys. “Now will someone open this damn door so we can get on with it?”

    As this was done, Nestreza turned to Teshevan and the still-puzzled Manera, and said “Your Graces, may I have the pleasure of presenting Princess Siri, my future daughter-in-law?” Her Highness curtsied elegantly to the other Electors, then followed them into the room, which was sealed behind her.

    Prince Manchovar, the last living grandchild of the Last Emperor, collected his daughter Suzilda’s elbow with one of his own, his grandnephew Mazosyr with the other—putting a bit more weight on the latter, as that was the arm his cane customarily extended, now dangled, from—and, turning the party back the way they came, bestowed upon the audience in general a sprightly “Most fun I’ve had in decades,” then led the procession away, giggling the whole time. Which, as usual, some took to be a sign of senility.

    Those who caught the flash of grins exchanged between the Lord Chancellor and the Pursiuvant General, as they followed, flanking Nestreza, or heard the perennially neutral pursuivant add “He’s right, you know,” came away with somewhat different opinions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  13. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/12:

    They're still in there. Everything else is pretty much on hold until they come out. Well, apart from the thousands of daily tasks required to keep the palace running, but those are all done by servants anyway.
     
  14. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    News and Rumor, 11/13:

    Your loyal and dedicated palace scriptorium here presents the news of the day… though if you haven’t heard it by now, you must not only be deaf but well enough hidden that no one could find you and let you know even by gestures.

    About an hour before the evening meal was to be served, a commotion was to be heard arising from the vicinity of the Privy Council Chamber, and spreading as rapidly as feet and voice could carry it:

    “Long live Emperor Evrefritz the First! Long live Empress Kyrithanza!”

    With Midwinter Court scheduled to commence on the morrow, it’s about bloody time, too.



    While by law Electoral votes are never revealed, it isn’t too difficult to guess what they must have been: Princess Ilga has hardly been reticent about her lack of support for the archduke, so at most one other vote could have been cast against him; and since it’s widely assumed that not even an unknown, surprise Maritsa voter was likely to split with her distant cousin of Dravuchim, that leaves either Tyrvenhagn or Gorendam as the only possible dissents… and it’s also widely believed that neither of them would have done so (or if they had, they would have voted together).

    The new emperor said he wishes not to pospone imperial business on account of any additional preparations, decorating, and so forth as remain to be done prior to holding his coronation; therefore, following special morning services to give thanks to the Goddess, and the formal investiture of office, he shall commence addressing such business forthwith, deferring the coronation ceremony itself until the Midwinter Night Ball. After the noon meal, he shall receive the various Estates of the empire in the throne room to accept their fealty (a process that has been known to require several hours); then, following the evening feast, he shall hold his first court, to invest such new Great Officers, Ministers and similar high officials as are needful due to resignations, or as he sees fit to replace… along with proclaiming at least a couple of new laws, which are expected to affect the numbers of these somewhat.

    His Imperial Majesty was understandably somewhat desirous of rest after the days of negotiation with his colleagues, so he declined to provide specific details as to what laws he intends to promulgate, let alone what other agreements or concessions he has made with the other Electors. He did acknowledge that he intended not to overturn any of those items upon which the collective will of the empire has been settled; as for the balance, he is reported to have said that since this was probably the last time in his life he’d have the unhindered opportunity to surprise anyone, he preferred to relish it while he could.

    This, of course, implies that there are some surprises coming.



    The other Electors have similarly declined to offer comment at this time, both because they regard it as being inappropriate for them to do so and because of being themselves wearied (it has been established that early reports of the fifteen-year-old Princess Siri declaiming “Ooh, that was fun! Can we do it again?” are purely spurious). We shall merely have to resign ourselves to waiting. An activity we can hardly claim to lack practice in at this juncture.

    Prince Heverik arrived tonight wearing a heavily-reinforced hat, from the back of which projected an immense, curved antler, in tribute, he said, to “the fabled unimoose of lore.” So at least some things have already returned to normal. One wonders how married life is going to suit him.

    Not one member of the Palace Scholarium has admitted to encountering so much as a single fable mentioning a unimoose.
     
  15. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    First Court; 11/14, part 1:

    Yes, there were some surprises.

    The earliest came right after the evening court was called to order, with the first official Act of the new emperor to be read into law:

    (1) Electors shall be prohibited from occupying the throne.

    This part was mildly surprising, particularly in light of the fact that the emperor was on record as having opposed it, but since no Elector had been elected prior to him, and since an Electoral dignity is in any case useless for a sitting emperor (since it won’t be exercised until after his death), the notion that the emperor was giving his up did not in itself surprise anyone. No, the surprise came from the next words out of the herald’s mouth… as he summoned Princess Vengrith of Erchevold-Hezerik to the throne.

    Nearly everybody had assumed that the dignity his father had maneuvered so hard to obtain would be passed on to his son Timeshir, along with the archduchy (which, indeed was). Instead, it appears the emperor has opted for retaining his son’s ability to succeed him… as well as putting at least one Elector in his debt. The Clothildan line has had its dignity returned to its head. Her Regal Highness was visibly moved; whether enough so that she will forgive the son for the father’s deed remains to be seen. Her heir, Vendelar, Viscount of Miriches, was not only obviously surprised (as his mother had been), but also openly pleased, so he at least might be inclined in this direction.

    As anticipated, the next few Acts necessarily preceded other events of the evening:

    (2) The number of regions, and Governorships, shall be reduced to ten.
    (3) The Ministry of Procurement is hereby eliminated, its functions combined with those of the Ministry of Construction.
    (4) The Ministry of Agriculture is hereby eliminated.
    (5) The Ministries of Crown Lands, of the Imperial Census, and of Police are hereby eliminated, their functions transferred to the Lord Steward of the Realm. The Lord Steward of the Realm shall be added to the Council of Ministers.

    This one occasioned several murmurs of surprise, largely because it smacked of giving the Lord Steward actual powers to exercise, but also because it put a fourth Privy Council member on the Council of Ministers… and finally because no mention had been made of replacing the current Lord Steward.

    (6) The Curia Ministry, the Ministry to the Chivalry and the Ministry to the Principalities are hereby combined into a new Ministry, to be known as the Ministry to the Estates.

    After the reading, His Imperial Majesty added in his own voice: “This Ministry shall bear additional duties to be addressed in their proper turn.” Both the melding of these three ministries into one and the coda given it elicited no few murmured comments.

    With this, the number of Ministers of the Crown had been slashed by a third, and while this is widely held to be a good thing, it will no doubt cause a certain measure of stran (and resentment) as duties and staffs are shuffled about. (Also, the Department of Public Safety has been transferred from Construction to the Ministry of Public Welfare, but that’s a lateral move, and an insignificant reduction in the powers of the former when compared to acquiring Procurement.) It had been known that His Majesty previously favored eliminating the Ministry to the Trades as well, but apparently strong representations from that sector have persuaded him differently.

    The appointment of the ministers themselves would have to wait its place in the order of precedence, however. It was now the turn of the Great Officers. The first to be called was Rineyard, Lord Chancellor these past eleven years, who begged the imperial permission to lay down the burden of her office. While this was not unexpected, it was met with a certain amount of consternation, as she is generally held to have performed her office with unstinting energy and dedication to the realm, and her retention would have been a strong move in the direction of a smooth and stable transition. The high regard she was held in by public opinion did not go unnoticed by His Majesty, however, as, upon accepting her Warrant of Office from her hand, and her resignation therewith, he forbade her to rise… then, turning to a page behind the throne, opened a box he bore and withdrew from it a coronet, elevating her to the title of Viscountess of the Court. Considerable applause greeted this acknowledgement, even from those who’d more often found themselves at odds rather than in agreement with the reputable Lord Chancellor.

    A more reserved response greeted the call for Andeling of Venden to present himself. A cousin of Duke Arsirich, he has never served in the Chancellery, and was far from the leading candidate in speculations regarding who would replace Rineyard… indeed, apart from the duke’s family, the only members of the audience obviously pleased by this announcement were those persons known to accept wagers on such matters: it appears that not one of them will be separated from any portion of his treasury over this appointment.

    Next to be called was Hunyelad, the Lord Treasurer; as he returned his warrant, he was handed a new one. As it had not been known what the fate of this office was to be, the continuation of its present holder has been taken as a positive sign. Some continuity of high officers is desirable.

    Considerable anticipation filled the room as the Lord Treasurer assumed the second Chair of Office to the right of the throne—particularly since the emperor had not resumed his seat. Again in his own voice, he announced: “As there is no Lord Marshal who has received a warrant at this time, one cannot be called upon to return his.” He took a waiting document from another page and held it before the assembled court. “And as the person we have settled upon to receive the new one is not present, we cannot hand this one to him. However, his absence is forgiven, as it is a sign of the dedication to his task that has so recommended him for this office. We see no reason, however, in delaying the announcement of our will: that General Malenty of Vojvonislu has found our favor through his long and faithful service, and we hereby confirm in him the title the late Emperor Nikovar intended to elevate him to.” This was met with considerable approbation.

    Next up was the Lord Steward of the Realm—the office so recently and broadly enhanced—Gerasig, Count of Ulrichsvegn. He returned his warrant, and seemed moderately unprepared when he was not dismissed, but rather presented with a fresh one; so he, too, has been retained.

    The Lord Admiral, Zerich, came after. No one can be unfamiliar with the recent friction between him and the former archduke, now emperor; and it was with some disappointment but little surprise that his warrant was accepted back, but no new one was given. In his place was called Trischof of Iasuni, a candidate who is at least well known and moderately respected among naval circles; no one seemed able to put forward a reason this shall not prove a satisfactory appointment.

    Then came Lord High Justicar Hunyevert, Prince of Diekelsmal. Inasmuch as his replacement has long been expected—in many circles, hoped for, as the elderly prince was clearly increasingly unfit for the duties to which he had been called—it was almost with relief that he was not returned. Nor was his replacement especially startling: Terinnya, Magistrate of Altgau was often mentioned among possible successors… the only way in which this was even a mild surprise was that she has never displayed much sympathy for the emperor when he was archduke.

    The last of the Great Officers was also the first of the Ministers: Prince Mazosyr, Minister of State. He approached the throne with dignity but without anticipation, and surrendered his warrant. Then nearly lost his legendary composure—the audience didn’t even bother trying to keep theirs—when His Majesty turned to his page and brought forth a new one. If any wonder that a monarch be human or no, the slight waggle over the prince’s head, as though entertaining second thoughts, ought to answer. While some have suggested that His Majesty renewed the appointment simply as a bit of revenge—a surprise in payback of the one the prince’s line had so recently delivered—this is hardly likely, and would be entirely out of keeping with His Majesty’s known character. More probable is that his retention was one of the Capitulations His Majesty made to the latter’s line, though the truth of this may never be known. In any event, none have ever questioned the prince’s competency in fulfilling his office.
     
  16. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    First Court; 11/14, part 2:

    Having filled the Great Offices of State, the next to follow were the remaining members of the Privy Council. The Lord Steward of the Imperial Household and Lord Privy Seal are invariably filled by persons close to the emperor, so in spite of their brief tenures, Countess Tulegrid and Prince Arachar mainained no expectations here. The man appointed to the first of these offices was no surprise in terms of lineage, only in that he had not been regarded as a likely candidate: Osideng, son of the emperor’s late aunt Anelda. The new Lord Privy Seal is Fastar, Viscount of Tulgyeja, a vassal of the archduke’s well known for his longtime loyalty. The retention of Ergon, Viscount of Sakvikvegn as Secretary of the Privy Council was neither particularly expected nor unexpected; with so many other changes, it probably seemed wise to the new emperor not to replace officers needlessly. Though some had previously predicted that at least one high office would go to Stavaslau, Count of Neraldsfel: this omission has been taken as a sign that the count is not presently in as high favor as in times past.

    His Majesty chose to insert in the normal order of court precedence another appointment touching close upon his person, perhaps feeling this an appropriate moment for so doing: the Vicarch of the Imperial Court (who, having no warrant of office, had none to turn in). This was bestowed not upon his uncle Osirbrecht, Metropolitan of Tordemischa, as many had anticipated (would, indeed, have constituted a demotion, though there is no rule stating one man can’t fill both), but rather his aging uncle’s daughter, Miliet, who had been serving as vicarch to the archduke’s court… though this choice hardly constitutes a surprise in itself.

    To summarize the Ministerial appointments: those of Court and Protocol, of Roads and Transport, and of Comerce have been retained. The Minister of Construction has resigned; the former Minister of Procurement shall take over their now-combined offices.

    The Minister of Imperial Cities has likewise resigned; his office will be assumed by the young and popular Halvar of Dinesham, Lord Mayor of Daarmuth–a bit unexpected considering his ardent advocacy for the cities, a cause for which His Majesty has displayed little affection. The new Minister of Navigation and Harbors was more than a bit unexpected, in part because the previous one had not tendered his resignation and it had not been known the emperor was planning a change: Vistena, Viscountess of Caldrescu, a vassal of the Duchess of Dravuchim, received this. The Ministry of Culture likewise was not retained, but was presented to a candidate few had predicted, though all consider her well-suited to the task: it has been awarded to Lunida, the wife of the Count of Ulfenbuthal and a vassal of the Archduchess of Gorendam. In both cases, one must suspect deals had been brokered at some point.

    The Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, a man of notable piety and little tact in its demonstration, was not kept on, despite the desires of many of the realm’s highest prelates. When the name of Merdash of Erchevold-Hezerik was called, many barely restrained expressions of startlement; first, because it had been expected this would go to one of the emperor’s closer relatives–the reason Miliet’s appointment to vicarch had been something of a surprise, as no few thought she would go here; and if not, perhaps her father–though Merdash is a great-uncle, albeit from his mother’s and not his father’s line; second, because it suggested that Merdash would not be remaining Governor of Daarwold; and third, because he is far from being in sympathy with the aforementioned prelates… is as often as not openly hostile toward them.

    The Minister to the Trades was also replaced, a move predicted by those aware that the emperor had desired to eliminate the entire ministry. This, too, went to someone who can be expected to be a stronger advocate for the emperor’s position to his constituency than the reverse: Liugard, Count of Zvetling. None can question the count’s ability to make the best use of his resources; some might question whether a man whose primary goals are the support of the middle nobility–which traditionally has had little use for guildsmen–will be able to apply this talent here.

    The Minister of Public Welfare, having reached his sixtieth year of age, expressed the desire to resign, and was granted his leave. His Majesty positively stunned the court with the next name called: Belyegh, Viscount of Medricheni–though here, at least, the surprise was a pleasant one. The viscount is well noted for his work in this field, as well as having handled with aplomb the rather difficult task of looking after the welfare of his daughther… the ten-year-old Elislet, Duchess-Apparent of Upper Fulgau. This appointment was granted considerable expressions of approval, and probably did much to cause those assembled to look past the two prior ones.

    The final position was the newly-created Ministry to the Estates. One after another, the holders of the three ministries that had been merged into this one came forth, and though none resigned, none were asked to fill the new position either. Once more, a few people thought they might hear the emperor’s uncle Osirbrecht called forth, though considering the prelate is nearing his seventies, such an appointment would have been widely regarded as unwise. Instead, the Countess of Kalygashlar, Roniela, was called up; another loyal vassal of the archduke’s, a woman in her early forties, noted for steadiness and insight. After handing her the warrant, His Majesty bid her rise… but remain, as for the final time that evening he turned to the assembled court.

    “As earlier stated, this new ministry shall bear an additional duty none of its former components did, and I would charge you with it now, that you may put it in train while the moment is most auspicious for so doing… as well as when the most part of those to be affected are assembled to hear it.

    “I charge you to call upon the Estates of the Second Imperium to provide appropriate representatives to, and further charge you with the solemn duty of presiding over, an Imperial Diet, for the purposes of advising their Emperor concerning the needs and conditions existing within His Realm.”

    And then he dismissed the court for the evening.

    Some have compared certain characteristics of His Imperial Majesty, when he was still archduke, with the Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn; in most such comparisons, the edge is given to the latter. In this one respect, at least, it would be the rare person to say he is excelled: he certainly has a fine sense of timing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  17. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    First Court: 11/15; second day, afternoon session:

    The new emperor is handling business at a breakneck pace.

    The proposal to impose a moratorium on the creation of new Free Cities, originally proposed by the emperor, has been withdrawn. So has the proposal that marches be dissolved… though this now applies to far fewer entities than it would have some days ago.

    The following have now been read into law:

    (1) The alienation of lands has been accepted.

    (2) The will of the Duchess of Alstein has been accepted, with a caveat: it has been decided that the two baronies of the County of Dorlingen are not within the duchess’ authority to will to the Order of the Holly; only the lands over which she ruled directly can be so transferred. The other baronies are added to the Viscounty of Ijsselgrim, which is transferred to the Duchy of Gyrfalconsrest per the will.

    (3) It seeming inappropriate that a chivalric order be tasked with the administration of a city, the city of Dorlinghausen is chartered as an Imperial Free City, to be administered by a Lord Mayor of their own choosing agreeable to the emperor.

    (4) The application by the city of Veuderburg to become a Free City is rejected.

    (5) The proposed settlement to the Aldenthau conflict is accepted; this includes the following changes:
    - The Barony of Deuring is dissolved; its lands are merged with the Barony of Rezetvar in the Viscounty of Preglysvar.
    - The Barony of Madlerau is transferred from the Viscounty of Giesending to the Viscounty of Meredag.
    - The Barony of Elzingrau is transferred from the Viscounty of Giesending to the Viscounty of Borhoved. The title Viscount of Giesending is eliminated.
    - The Barony of Kreidmar is dissolved; its lands are transferred from the Viscounty of Hudlerik to the Viscounty of Meredag, where they are merged with with the Barony of Kuling.
    - The balance of the Viscounty of Hudlerik is transferred to the County of Murgethalsing, where it will rejoin the Grand Duchy of Meinerthagn.
    - The balance of the County of Aldenthau is merged with the County of Neraldsfel; the title “Count of Aldenthau” is eliminated.

    (6) Duke Teshevan’s treaty is ratified; this includes the following changes:
    - The Viscounties of Trabadelu and Merchudivetsi are acknowledged as belonging to the Duchy of Vahir-Dascu by right of conquest.
    - The County of Merchureadu is transferred from the March of Cantrescu to the Duchy of Vahir-Dascu.
    - The foregoing lands are merged into a new County of Merchudascu; Duke Teshevan of Vahir-Dascu is recognized as its count.
    - The Viscounty of Chimlubuzh is transferred from the Duchy of Vahir-Dascu to the Duchy of Muretsu.
    - The County of Trebovilje is transferred from the March of Cantrescu to the Duchy of Muretsu.

    (7) The terms offered by the Duke of Rek, now King of Althegnar, are accepted, with the following modifications, which are purely internal to the empire:
    - The County of Riedjiksvegn is made a part of the Archduchy of Eszerthagn; the March of Niksmund is dissolved.
    - The Viscounty of Umlech is joined to the March of Tyrsreach, rather than the Duchy Palatine of Tyrvenhagn.
    - The entirety of the Viscounty of Upper Selig is joined with the March of Juliberg, rather than part going to the Duchy Palatine of Tyrvenhagn.

    (8) Pursuant to the above agreement, the following lands are changed in status from March to Duchy:
    - Hesjedal
    - Juliberg
    - Sjaermund
    - Torgevegn
    - Tyrsreach

    (9) Also pursuant to the above agreement, the Duchy of Malodbord is recreated, with title to all those lands it held of old; Meglaf, Viscount of Swerkerland, the nearest relation by blood to the last holder of the title, is created Duke of Malodbord.

    (10) Alisa, Countess of Vargin, is confirmed as the new Duchess of Bergeheim. Some territorial adjustments have been agreed upon by the Duchess and her neighboring Duchies of Venden and Hesjedal, for the transfer of certain baronies to them. The County of Gorlingvegn, being without a lord, will be partitioned between the Counties of Vargin and Ravensthal in such manner as they see fit.

    (11) The March of Kurfsjin, of its own will, has requested union with the Duchy of Kalaszlar; this request finds royal favor. The title Marquis of Kurfsjin is eliminated; the marquis is confirmed as the sole and proper holder of the title Count of Vezelthair.

    (12) The County Peculiar of Kasselberg, of its own will, and cognizant of the elevated position of its neighbor, has requested union with the Duchy of Sjaermund; this request finds royal favor.

    (13) The request made by the Line of Maritsa on behalf of Prince-Regnant Apparent Sazomir to be declared of age, that he may wed and inherit those powers that are his by right of lineage and the practices of his Line, is found unacceptable to the crown in the form presented. In specific, there is no precedent in imperial law for one of his age to be vested in these powers. The Crown, however, grants permission for the following: that he be permitted to enter into betrothal, specifically with the Princess Siri, and that he will be allowed to wed and to inherit on the occasion of his thirteenth birthday, for which imperial law does find precedent.

    (14) The request made by the Regency Council for Elislet, Duchess-Apparent of Upper Fulgau, to be declared of age is declined.

    The virtual torrent of legislation combined the simple acknowledgement of several items already decided upon, the acceptance of some requests surprising to the general court due to a lack of foreknowledge that they had been made, and a few acts that were highly unexpected. In particular, the retraction of the emperor’s own motion to impose a moratorium on the creation of new Free Cities was clearly necessary to detach the city of Dorlinghausen from the lands deeded to the Order of the Holly; yet this was followed by the highly irregular rejection of Veuderburg’s application in order to keep it with the lands the Count of Neraldsfel was receiving.

    The partial acceptance of the Maritsa’s request concerning Prince Sazomir, placed against the refusal to extend the same to Upper Fulgau, in spite of their only being separated in age by a year, suggests this was yet another Capitulation the archduke made to secure the election. (As, indeed, did his reaction when Princess Siri was introduced before the doors of the Privy Council Chamber, and implied she would not be eligible for election in the future. In retrospect, it seems clear that the archduke realized at that moment somewhat concerning things he had already agreed to: the betrothal of Sazomir, plus the prohibition against Electors as candidates, would render her ineligible as soon as she married him. It should be remembered that he recognized this before Regent Nestreza introduced the princess as her future daughter-in-law.)

    In additon to the above, the new borders of the empire’s regions were announced; the Governors who will administer them are expected to be named at this evening’s court. As the court was dismissed for the evening feast, His Imperial Majesty made it clear that the reading of new legislation was not yet concluded, and that “one or two items remained” to be announced this evening. One of these was already known: it has not yet been set forth what the precise form of the Imperial Diet is to be; it is rumored that the emperor has required certain modifications to the proposals previously set forth. His implication, however, seemed to be that this isn’t the only thing left on his agenda.…
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  18. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    First Court: 11/15; second day, evening session:

    The proposed change to the Imperium providing for the dissolution of baronial titles held by higher nobles has been ruled “insufficiently thought through” by the emperor, who instead favors a period of study to clarify the full ramifications of such a move. This doesn’t seem to have disappointed very many people; it seems that most nobles are themselves still trying to determine what these ramifications might be.

    The merger of the Kingdoms of Vaesthegnar and Lorthegnar into a single Kingdom of Althegnar is recognized, with Teover, Duke of Rek as its legitimate lord. Furthermore, the Ministry of State has been authorized to conduct diplomacy with Althegnar–a more startling move than recognizing it, as the kingdoms were always “recognized,” but were still held to be part of the empire. Whether this indicates that the separation of the kingdoms will become a permanent legal fact is unknown; the emperor did not mention surrendering any claims the empire had to their reintegration.

    Rudimer, Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn, has of his own volition returned the Freedom of the Royal Mint granted to him by Emperor Nikovar.

    The Governors of the new regions of the empire have been named:
    - Northmark: Rudimer, Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn
    - Northern Riding: Osirmund of Eszerthagn
    - Eastern Riding: Mistimir, Prince-Viscount of Mezesnash
    - Eastmark: Teshevan, Duke of Vahir-Dascu
    - Lower Dascu: Waldestan, Count Palatine of Markovar
    - Upper Dascu: Teszlar, Prince-Baron of Hintersturming
    - Funfberg-Turingdor: Anitresa, Princess-Viscountess of Darvingdel
    - Neugau: Feldra, Countess of Cunedor
    - Daarwold: Arsirich, Duke of Venden
    - Westmark: Berichart, Viscount of Sarchsignen

    Some of these were indeed surprises. Of the former fifteen governors, only Rudimer and Feldra retain their positions. Appointments such as those of Dukes Teshevan and Arsirich were likely rewards for support; and Osirmund, the emperor’s younger brother, was hardly unexpected. Others, such as those of Anitresa and Berichart, more probably resulted from open promises to allow someone to name one of the governors in return for support (most likely an Electoral vote), as it seems unlikely the emperor would have chosen either himself.

    Several Lords Mayor and Constables of Royal Castles were also replaced, for reasons ranging from vacancies, to a particular post always going to a favorite of the emperor (the Free Cities of Barash, Vedrichvar and Saxenfurt, adjoining crown lands, fall into this category); a couple were replacements of appointees loyal to the late Duke of Bergeheim. By and large, unless you live in or next to one of these, who holds the office will probably matter very little to you.

    The form the Imperial Diet is to take has been announced. It is broadly similar to earlier proposals, apart from specific numbers: there will be six more ducal representatives since there are now six more duchies, ten fewer representatives chosen by region since there are five fewer regions, each royal line will receive an additional representative, and there will be an increase in the number of ecclesiastical representatives. All Great Officers and Ministers have the right to attend the Diet, participate in its deliberations, make the needs of their purviews known and respond to questions about same; they will not be voting members unless they are representatives for some other reason.

    The Count of Torgen and his heirs have been dispossessed of their lands by reason of the Count’s conviction for treason. The title will be bestowed jointly upon Andrezic, son of the duchess of Dravuchim, and Kyrileta, daughter of the emperor, whose union entered law earlier this day (along with a great many similarly hurried unions, for similar reasons); the formal celebration of their marriage will take place on the fourth day of Midwinter Court (and others will be squeezed in wherever scheduling permits).

    The emperor’s second daughter, Kyrimisa, has likewise been united with Izsac Kovacs, who is elevated to the rank of Baron of Ravnitz. Kristof Kovacs, his twin brother, has been raised to baronet; it is believed a betrothal with Princess Tirelista will be announced presently. In consequence of the settlement of the Aldenthau conflict, the Barony of Turmitz has found itself in need of a new overlord; the present baron of Ravnitz, Alecsander Hollo, has been appointed to that fief. He has also been given charge of the Viscounty of Hudlerik, in which that barony is to be found, where he will be the new overlord of the other two barons, who retain their former lands.

    This last caused some stir among the nobles of the Grand Duchy of Meinerthagn, inasmuch as this viscounty had just been returned to it from Eszerthagn: now the emperor was placing one of his own vassals in it, rather than someone whose loyalty to the grand duke was long established? The murmurings died down rapidly, however, as it was the name of Grand Duke Drebham which was called next.

    What His Illustrious Grace (or, as he prefers, simply “His Grace”) was expecting, if anything at all, no one can know. What he was not expecting, nor anyone else, was for the emperor to rise, and receive a scroll from the Pursuivant General. This was presented to the grand duke together with the words “We have discovered an error regarding your heraldry, my good duke. On behalf of our College of Pursuivants, I pray you set it right at the most immediate opportunity.”

    The grand duke, puzzled, broke the seal at the emperor’s gesture… and read… and gasped.

    His Imperial Majesty then took a box from another attendant, and added “And, of course, this unfortunate error also extends to your regalia. For that, it so happens we have a remedy handy, if you would be so kind as to remove your coronet?”

    The grand duke did this, holding it before him in trembling hands; the emperor opened the box, and took forth a very similar one, gold, adorned with oak leaves–indeed, it seemed almost an exact copy, save that the one His Imperial Majesty now placed on the duke’s head had narrow points rising between the leaves.

    At which everybody gasped. The adornment of points is restricted by the sumptuary laws of the realm to just two groups of people: those who sit the throne.…

    …and those who choose them.

    We are reliably informed that the guard on the city walls became so alarmed at the consequent tumult that runners were sent about the city to determine whether some rebellion had broken out, or some enemy come upon a gate on the far side from the hearer.

    It required several minutes for the hubbub of cheers and congratulations to subside, as the Grand Duke was encouraged to return to where he had been sitting with his party for the purposes of disburdening himself of his old coronet (now resting in the very lovely box whence his new one had been taken), in which interim his majesty commanded an eighth chair be brought forth and set alongside those of the other Electors to the left of the throne. (The Maritsa chair was, of course, empty, but it would not have been appropriate to seat the grand duke there, no matter how convenient it might have been.) It gradually dawned on people that his majesty had remained standing all this time, showing not the least impatience at the proceedings, indeed perhaps willing them prolonged: it’s rare for a ruler to have the opportunity of witnessing so many of his subjects, especially among the highest, pleased at once. Nevertheless, once the front rows began attending once more, the others fell into their quiet.

    Which the emperor obligingly filled. “There will be no ninth chair,” he began–an announcement which raised many an eyebrow, though of course there is no reason to require an odd number of voters simply to ensure a majority.

    “However, there will be a ninth Elector.” This, of course, only increased the general puzzlement… as his majesty well knew it would. “This Elector shall have no need for a chair, as his term of service shall be limited to the time of election itself. Upon the occasion of the throne becoming vacant, the Imperial Diet shall convene, and choose from its number one person they deem fit to best represent those views current within the empire which are not already represented by one of the other Electors. This, it seems to us, is the most important of all the duties the new Diet will bear… just as it is the most important duty of any of the eight nobles who presently bear it: to say for themselves who it is they wish to be ruled by.”

    With which words, he took his consort’s hand, leading the court out of the throne room: to revelries or to bed, as best suited each, whether ruled by excitement or weariness.

    -

    There were, in fact, eight people in the throne room who could not possibly have been surprised by the restoration of the Electoral dignity to the Grand Duchy: he who prepared the scroll (apparently the Pursuivant General himself), he who made the presentation, and the other six men and women who had shared with him those days in the Privy Council Chamber. If there was a ninth, we have been unable to locate him or her–even her majesty was plainly surprised, and it appeared that Princess-Regnant Vengrith, his majesty’s own replacement, had not been let in on it either. From which it is learned that Princess Siri, whose character is otherwise largely unknown to the public, possesses at least this most important quality of one who has been an Elector:

    She can keep a secret, too.

    Seated next to her husband-to-be, who, apparently, she had just dug in the ribs, she was overheard saying: “See? I told you it was going to be worth sticking around to the nd.” To which he responded with a very regal and dignified version of the face one would expect an eleven-year-old boy to present on such an occasion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
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