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Duchy of Verina

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Duchy of Verina

Long has the Duchy of Verina basked in isolated peace and solitude, protected from foreign invaders by the high peaks of the Toktril mountains, where the capital city of Sarad is nesteled next to the great waterfall of Uhrl. In the modern age such isolation is no longer beneficial to the needs of the people and with a resounding majority in Parliament the Socialists have pushed forth a doctrine of transperancy and cooperation in the hopes of greater international cooperation. Leading Parliament's new push is Chancellor Ulrich Kretschmer, who in the past few days, has been riding a wave of succes over the recent passage of the Decleration of Human Rights and upcomming legislative plans to phase into law a universal healthcare system, so that everyone in Verina may seek medical treatment without fear of staggering medical costs. When asked about upcomming legislation beyond healthcare, Chancellor Kretschmer hinted at constitutional changes which will be sure to make his Conservative opponents and their coalition partners sure to sweat. In a welcome sign to the Socialists, the populace has warmly embraced the party's gamble as unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in decades and the Verinanen Ducat has risen against foreign currencies, leading to higher imports of luxury goods.

The Socialists success comes at a time of uncertanty as the Duke of Verina, Werner Augustus von Verina II has been ill the last six months with what some anonymous sources are calling a relapse of the Duke's lung cancer. A life time smoker, the Duke's largely publicized illness was first documented some six years ago though it was thought that the Duke had the illness beat after medical treatments seemed to neutralize the cancer in the last few years. Though the Duke is largely ceremonial, he nevertheless is quite popular with the citizens of Verina, who look to him as a wise grandfather of sorts, despite the Duke's relatively young age of sixty-two. When last seen, opening Parliament's session, the Duke appeared pale and unusually thin leading to fears that the nation may soon be faced with the death of its grandfather. Palace spokesmen have refused to comment on the Duke's health beyond conforming that he is seeking medical treatment for an unspecified illness. In his absence, his heir and youngest son, Werner Augustus von Verina III has taken up Ducal responsibilities.

Edited by Yawoo

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The ruling Socialists Party has taken two strong setbacks just days away from a new election, where the Socialists were expected to once again dominate Parliament. Two strongly touted laws backed by Chancellor Ulrich Kretschmer have been tabeled as his own party failed to find enough support internally to pass the universal healthcare and enhanced freedom of speech bills. This is a major blow to Kretschmer as his office has been promising reforms designed to enhance quality of life in Verina. While political expert Johannes Bitta says, "While this is a blow across the bow of Kretschmer's plans, the recent passage of the Educational Standards Act will ensure the Socialists gain seats in tomorrow's election. It's been known for awhile now that certain elements in the Party were not loyal to Kretschmer, but those elements will no longer be a factor if the Socialists can pick up an extra fifty seats". In speaking of the recent passage of the Educational Standards Acts, the Chancellor's Press Secretary showed how schools already using the federal government's new standards prior to the pasage of the Act have significantly increased test scores on everything from math, science to the German language. "With the Educational Standards Act in place more citizens of our great nation will have the necessary tools to prepare themselves for a university education not only here in Verina, but beyond our borders as well. Truly, this act will ensure the youth of Verina enjoy a better quality of life when they exit school than previous generations."

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The Socialists under Chancellor Ulrich Kretschmer's leadership gained massively in recent elections decimating the Conservatives and Liberals base. The Socialists were especially successful in areas of the Duchy where conservative opponents long held sway. In a surprising turn, the Greens, a sometime allied party of the Socialists added over thirty seats, mostly from areas historically Conservative Party territory. With a new strength in Parliament, Kretschmer pushed through legislation recognizing an International War Crimes Court. In speaking of the legislation Chancellor Kretschmer said, “While our great nation has yet to experience, and hopefully will never experience the horrors of war crimes, it is nevertheless our duty as a sovereign independent developed nation to prepare for the possibility. This legislation will ensure the Duchy of Verina’s compliance in an independent competent judicial body whose sole purpose is to ensure that human rights are upheld even under the most brutal of circumstances, that of war.” The International War Crimes Court legislation experienced broad appeal even from the minor Liberal Party, though support among the Conservatives was less than enthusiastic. The Socialists further passed the Equal Pay Act, a law ensuring that no citizen will be discriminated against based on gender in the workforce, and further ensures that compensation between male and female citizens is equal when doing the same job. The Chancellor’s spokesman said, “It is a crime that this legislation has taken so long to be enacted and it is our hope as members of the Socialists Party that further legislation aimed at equality will be passed during this parliamentary session.”

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"The Dominate of Drakia is at this time interested in opening official diplomatic relations with the Duchy of Verina. We would like to request an embassy within your nation, and can also have one set up within ours if you so desire."

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"The Dominate of Drakia is at this time interested in opening official diplomatic relations with the Duchy of Verina. We would like to request an embassy within your nation, and can also have one set up within ours if you so desire."

"The Duchy will set up quarters in Embassy Row adjacent to the Royal Mile. Your diplomat will need to present his credentials to the Duke, at his Highness's convenience."

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"Of course.We will be sending a representative and essential support staff shortly. May this be the start of a long and fruitful relationship between our two great nations."

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The great mountains of Toktril extended across the western slope of the continent and then dipped down into the Aiza Forests where the Valae Tribes called home. Following the directions of the Chief, the Shaman, and the Tribal Council, detachments of scouts and learned ambassadors were sent out from the tribal lands towards the north where the great nations of Verina and Orzhova existed.

Ayre na Malyl was an apprentice shaman to the Chief's wife and her proving ground would be her travel to the west to make contact with the Duchy. Slowly her party of twenty Valae warriors crossed the narrow paths up from the forest floor into the mountains where they gazed out towards the open sea and the sprawling city of Sarad. Whether the Verinese knew that the tribes had formed into a national body prior to the diplomatic outreach was unknown, but in approaching the city borders, the Panther-like tribesmen holstered their weapons and moved forward to the border patrols.

The Apprentice Shaman approached first, knowing the languages of the northern peoples taught to her by the elders. "My name is Ayre na Malyl, I am a representative of the Valaes Tribes in the eastern forests. We come in peace to set up primary negotiations between our United Tribes and the Duchy of Verina. If we may have access to the capital and an audience with the Duke or a Senior Government Official, you will have done our people much honor." She said and bowed, her green eyes reflecting from the sun's light and her black fur gently combed and pressed to her body.

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Verinan border guards watched the strange arrival of people through the mountain passage of Theodore’s Arch with a mix of curiosity and uneasiness – these people were not what the Duchy had observed beyond her borders before, definitely not from the hinterland tribal elements. A message was immediately sent to the capital triggering the formation of reserve border guards and the activation of ducal and ministerial protection units. The Duchy hadn’t survived in peace and solitude through lack of military presence, what the mountains couldn’t turn away the Verinan’s could. Leopold Gӧcer, Lieutenant, Duke’s Own Sentinels was in command of watch post Teddy, overlooking the mountainous passage of Theodore’s Arch, his soldiers looked to him to meet the strange precession of peoples crossing through the Toktrils. Leading a small contingent of border guards, no more than fifteen, Leopold led his troops down the quickest passage to the Arch’s main walkway; he left strict orders to his second in command, Sergeant Müller to watch from the relative safety of Teddy and to alert the capital if something went awry.

"My name is Ayre na Malyl, I am a representative of the Valaes Tribes in the eastern forests. We come in peace to set up primary negotiations between our United Tribes and the Duchy of Verina. If we may have access to the capital and an audience with the Duke or a Senior Government Official, you will have done our people much honor."

Leopold stared at Ayre for a few seconds after she finished speaking, the stranger spoke in his own language and yet he still had a hell of a time understanding her due to an accent he had never heard before. Leaning towards one of his men, he told him in low tones to signal Teddy. Müller would inform H.Q. of the new developments and within a few minutes transportation and escort reinforcements would be organized and deployed to the Arch. Squawking could be heard over as Leopold listened intently, understanding perfectly in ways only those accustomed to the harsh machine’s noise could. Passing the radio back to a private he straightened and gave a stiff bow in his gray field uniform, “I am Lieutenant Gӧcer, your soldiers will need to surrender their armaments until proper diplomatic credentials are issued by the Chancellor’s office. This is a non-negotiable point both for your safety and ours, Chancellor Kretschmer has arranged a special meeting with you. Unfortunately, the Duke is not available, but I’m sure you’ll find the Chancellor quite inviting.” As he finished speaking the deep rumble of the Duchy’s mountain pass armored vehicles could be heard in the distance, the escort was not far away.

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The Socialists under Chancellor Ulrich Kretschmer's leadership have had an amazing showing in recent elections after his party pushed through massive legislation changes aimed at helping the average Verinanen citizen. Under Kretschmer's leadership the following have been passed through parliament: Judiciary Act where all men and women arrested will be considered innocent until proven guilty. This has always been practiced, but wasn't set in stone until the legsilation passed. Balanced Budget and Department Control Act where all departments will be auditied on a quarterly basis in order to pinpoint and eliminate wasteful spending. Unnatural Foods Tax where taxes are placed on all food items that contain non-natural igredients. The revenue from this tax will support the Public Transportation Act whereby the government invests greater amounts of money to improve and expand public transportation.

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The plane was an old military transport, in light of recent events this diplomatic mission did not warrant much in the way of resources. It was approaching the border of the land known as Verina. It's most important passenger was Ambassador Stevenson, owner of one of the largest wine plantations within the Dominate and had indeed brought a case of said wine to help smooth things over with the locals. Other passengers included assistants, Security Directorate guards and "essential staff". The transport was escorted by two E-8 "Vulture" fighters, in response to the recent mobilization order.

The pilot keyed the radio, requesting permission to enter Verina airspace.

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Military air-command would inform the Dominate that armed aircraft were not allowed within the Duchy's borders and would send up several of Verina's interceptors to meet the foreign staff before the planes reached the nation's airspace. The ambassador's plane, however, would be allowed to land in the capital city, though it would be escorted by the Duchy's aircraft once they safely saw the foreign fighters turned back home. On the ground, meanwhile, preparations were made to meet the diplomatic plane.

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The fighters turned back, the transport plane continued onto the capital city. The Ambassador noted that they were now being escorted by Verina's fighters. As the plane taxied onto the runway, he could see a congregation waiting to meet them. He turned to his security officer "I want your men and women on their best behavior, we need this." The woman nodded, stone cold face hidden behind a helmet.

Security stepped out first, then lined up on either side at attention. The Ambassador walked down the ramp, and headed towards the waiting delegation.

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Ministerial Protection Services, or MPS, as it was referred to among agents, awaited on the tarmac for the new diplomats. This section of the airport, separated from the rest, had been closed off per the usual procedures by the agents in charge of protection services for the various ministers that represented the Duchy of Verina. Vice-Chancellor Erik Bourani waited in a nearby building, away from the elements. Here, he would meet the newly assigned ambassador before escorting the delegation to their new accommodations.

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The Ambassador stepped into the building, quite sparse, Stevenson knew this was only for a quick meeting. He quickly identified the man in charge and walked up to him, offering a hand. "I am Ambassador Stevenson, diplomatic envoy from the Dominate of Drakia."

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Vice-Chancellor Erik Bourani was a rather short man compared to the Duchy's chancellor, but a energetic approach to politics he had quickly found favor with the Socialists and thus worked his way up to the second in command position. Seeing the new representative from the Dominate arrive, Erik quickly smoothed out his suit before glancing behind him to ensure that the limousines he ordered were waiting. Walking toward the Dominate's ambassador he extended his hand and said, "Welcome to the Duchy of Verina, I am Vice-Chancellor Erik Bourani and will be escorting you through the capital city of Sarad to your new home in the diplomatic quarters. Please, follow me to the cars we can talk more in there."

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As he climbed into the waiting car, the Ambassador's phone rang. He excused himself and spoke quietly into the phone. His usually stone face fell for the briefest of moments, then turned to Bourani.

"My apologies Mr. Bourani, but there's been an incident at the Germanian Summit. There was an assassination attempt on a senior government member of ours, he's currently fighting for his life in intensive care."

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Erik's face betrayed only a flash of concern at the diplomat's words, but within his mind he began playing through scenarios each worse than the last. The Marquess was representing the nation at the Summit, should anything happen to him the Duchy would erupt into anger fueled chaos.

"I see - If you will pardon me for a few moments, I need to speak with my government.”

Signaling to the driver, the limousine would pull to the curb and the Vice-Chancellor would speak with several M.P.S. agents before returning.

“Is there anything we in the Duchy can provide to help you communicate with your government? We are at your disposal during this crisis; after all, our own Marquess is there.”

Again, Erik would signal to the driver and the limousine would start up once more and continue along its prescheduled route.

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"No need, the attacks are mostly over now anyway. I hope your Marquess is alright. Still, my government won't sit quietly on this, I've been told it was actually Oseans that evacuated our man. Germania dropped the ball on this one, big time."

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"Aye, as the host nation it is their responsibility to protect all foreign dignitaries. Anything less than total security is unacceptable.”

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Press Release to the World:

Yesterday, the government of the Duchy of Verina successfully tested four nuclear weapons in four remote locations of the world’s oceans. Missile command has verified these locations will pose no risk to humanity based on the remoteness of their test sites. Furthermore, wildlife and vegetation damage is considered minimal and radiation levels are decreasing on schedule. The Duchy of Verina now officially enters into service nuclear weapons.

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