Confrontation in Northern Sea sparks world instability

NORTHERN SEA – For the past month, civil war has been raging through the mainland of the Commonwealth of Hamland. A confusing war with several groups changing sides, losing and winning allies and receiving military, financial and diplomatic support from several groups, threatens to expand in an even larger conflict.

While the Hammish possession of Neo Patrovia in Northern Apollonia stayed relatively untouched by the devastations and immense cruelty during the civil war, as the Ravaillac Loyalists had succesfully seized power. This changed when the National Provisional Authority, backed by a Shirerithian proxy organisation, launched an invasion and attack on the coastal fortresses.

The sudden emergence of conflict in the region, together with the mining of the Cameleo River and increase in pirate activities, worried both the Jingdaoese and Gerenian authorities. The thought of having another nation (Natopia already shares a border with Jingdao) at its borders with friendly ties to arch-nemesis Shireroth could also have played a role to trigger alarm bells in the Heavenly Palace of Daocheng.

A joint proclamation between Jingdao and Gerenia was made to keep the peace in the region. Peacekeeping forces were raised and a naval blockade was announced, to limit the import of enemy soldiers and supplies from overseas. Food and other non-military goods have to pass through custom services in East Gerenia, after which they are send through Jingdao and land routes to the Hammish cities. Those actions would all be executed under supervision of the Batavian-Stormarkian organisation Noblesse Oblige.

This peacekeeping action, however, met with a sharp reaction from the Ministry of Military Affairs, which started mobilising its navy. The Jingdaoese countermeasure – mobilisation of both land and naval forces – reflected those increasing tensions.

At this moment, to avoid a further bloodshed, both parties have come to an informal agreement to limit skirmishes to the Northern Sea.



Shireroth responds to growing Jingdaoese threat

Submitted by: Thorgils Tarjeisson

SHIREKEEP (Shireroth) – News of the Blackrock Pact, signed on the 28th of March this year but only announced to the world on the 7th of April, came to the attention of the Shirerithian government only latterly and provoked a low level discussion between the Kaiser, his ministers and interested parties amongst his advisers.

The Blackrock Pact, an eleven point programme regarding mutual defence and collective security between the Brettish Commonwealth, Calbion, Gerenia, and Jingdao, is seen by observers in Shirekeep as a thin screen covering a projected expansion of Jingdao interests into regions of Northern Apollonia. This being the same area covered by the failed Sper Conference that Jingdao militarists sabotaged in objection to Shirerithian participation. The engagement of Jingdao with the Brettish Commonwealth and Calbion creates the potential for Jingdao to establish base facilities for naval and air assets in Maraguo (Calbion) & on Madison Isle (Brettish Commonwealth). These bases would increase the number of potential attack vectors for a Jingdaoese strike on the Benacian mainland that comprises the Imperial Republic of Shireroth’s territorial core.

The announcement of the Pact coincides with the announcement of a dramatic expansion of the firepower of the Jingdaoese Navy, which is seeking to lose its Brownwater status and become a proper Blue Water Fleet.

The Imperial Government of Shireroth has however proven itself remarkably sanguine about the new security pact that has allegedly been formed in opposition to itself. In a statement prepared and issued by Shirerithian Minister of the Exterior, Hallbjörn Haraldsson, the Imperial Government declared that it was “not in the habit of commenting on any and all treat[ies] that may be concluded” and moreover that it had every confidence that “the Heavenly Light [Emperor of Jingdao] will slaughter his own populace long before we ever have to worry about the intentions of Jingdao’s very own YAMO [Yet Another Micronational Organisation], which also happens to be known as the Blackrock Pact.”

Jingdao is noted for periodically conducting what may be best described as a ‘hard reboot’ – destroying itself and abandoning territory only to reappear on a completely different portion of the map of Micras, the simulated map wherein most of its shenanigans are conducted.

Some analysts suggest that the Blackrock Pact is a rehash of the old diplomatic strategy of a failing state reaching out to potential partners to buttress itself and give the illusion of potential strength, such as was followed by Babkha with the Raspur Pact in its final years of existence.

In contrast for the scorn reserved for Jingdao, the Shirerithians had more favourable comments reserved for the other members of the Pact, noting that “the Imperial Shirithian Government has nothing but warm regards and hopes for fraternal friendship with the Brettish Commonwealth, Calibon and Gerenia”, emphasising the fact that Shireroth does not perceive a military or diplomatic threat from the three aforementioned.

Separately from the announcement of the Pact, the Imperial Shirerithian Navy has stepped up its patrols in the Central and Northern Seas as part of a force reorganisation that was first announced on the 2nd of April.

New Micras security bloc formed

Micras’ diplomatic community became arguably more polarized yesterday, as four micronations entered into an extensive collective security treaty, forming an alliance to be called the “Blackrock Pact”.

The Blackrock Pact will unite four Bastion Union micronations in particular – the Brettish Commonwealth, Calbion, Gerenia, and Jingdao – under an eleven-clause agreement that aims to protect the alliance members against military and other national security threats while promoting friendship and cooperation.

Under the terms of the treaty, each member will receive aid from the other alliance members to maintain the peace in its “sphere of influence,” which will be determined collectively such that all of Micras falls under the sphere of influence of at least one alliance member. The treaty will also provide for the creation of joint military bases and command structures to support interoperability.

As the largest and most politically influential member, the alliance is centered around Jingdao, which may indicate that the Blackrock Pact will seek to isolate Shireroth and buffer its influence in the Bastion Union and Micras as a whole. Most recently, at the failed Sper Conference, Jingdao withdrew in protest to Shireroth’s presence, accusing it of participating in the multilateral diplomatic conference for the purposes of “meddling” in Jingdao’s affairs.

Shireroth’s government had not issued any response to the formation of the alliance as of press time.

Sper Conference implodes from start

The Sper Conference organized by Gerenia has been derailed, not only by a lack of participation from a key micronation, Senya, but by a Jingdaoese repulsion to Shireroth’s involvement.

Convened on February 12 by Gerenian President Gerald Ruze, the conference aimed to create a regional pact on the Micras continent of Apollonia that allowed for freedom of navigation, the delineation of areas of territorial interest, and the integration of transportation infrastructure. The conference invited Apollonian micronations that bordered the Northern Sea and Lake Lamantia to attend, specifically, Gerenia, Jingdao, Senya, and Shireroth.

As reported by the Coprieta Standard on February 21, the conference struggled from the start, as Senya had failed to send a delegation. Despite Ruze’s efforts to move the conference forward in Senya’s absence, simmering animosity on the part of Jingdao toward Shireroth ultimately made the Sper Conference a non-starter.

The unravelling of the conference began on February 24 when Jingdao’s emperor, Jezza Rasmus, decreed that he wished to “property the Jingdaoese people against [the] meddling of [Shireroth],” and subsequently ordered his micronation’s delegation to withdraw from the conference until such a time as Shireroth ceased its participation.

Rasmus’ decree was initially met with opposition from Theodosius Myksos, a high ranking Jingdaoese. “I protest against this degree,” said Myksos as he called for the implementation of a law to prevent the emperor from issuing decrees that fail to have the support of a majority of top-level officials. Yet, despite Myksos’ opposition to abandoning the conference, the Jingdaoese delegation formally withdrew on February 29.

With only Gerenia and Shireroth remaining at the table, Ruze cancelled the conference on March 1, with no indication of any future effort to be made to reconcile the parties.

Sper Conference in danger of derailment

The Sper Conference, named for the southern Gerenian town in which it is being hosted, appears to be struggling to find its footing as one of the key parties – Senya – has so far failed to accept its invitation to the key diplomatic initiative.

Organized by President Gerald Ruze of Gerenia, the conference was called on February 12 to kickstart regional cooperation between the micronations that border the Northern Sea and Lake Lamantia on the Micras continent of Apollonia. Those micronations specifically are Gerenia, Jingdao, Senya and Shireroth.

The conference aims to build on a previous land transfer between Jingdao and Gerenia last month, expanding the goodwill from that agreement into a regional pact that allows for freedom of navigation, for both civilian and military ships, through the River Camoleo that connects Lake Lamantia with the Northern Sea.

Lake Lamantia, the River Camoleo and the Northern Sea into which it drains, form the geographic basis to the Sper Conference.
Lake Lamantia, the River Camoleo and the Northern Sea into which it drains, form the geographic basis to the Sper Conference.

Among the other topics for discussion at the conference will be a non-aggression pact, the delineation of “areas of territorial interest” to avoid tensions over future land claim expansions in the region, and the integration of transportation infrastructure as a basis for a future Trans-Apollonian Railway.

In announcing the conference, Ruze stated his hope was that it would allow the micronations “ to coordinate policies and reach a higher level of understanding.” With Senya having so far failed to accept its invitation to the conference, Ruze’s hope may be dashed.

As the controller of Fort Kolgrad, a major trading centre and settlement on Lake Lamantia, Senya has a vested interest in any agreement, especially one that provides for freedom of navigation for its merchant ships. As such, any agreement reached at the conference in the absence of Senya may serve to cause economic disruption and flare regional tensions.

It is yet hoped by Ruze that Senya will accept its invitation, allowing one of the most important diplomatic initiatives on Micras in 2016 to reach a successful conclusion.

2015 FNORD Awards bestowed

A much-muted version of the FNORD Awards culminated yesterday with only eight of fourteen categories being awarded to deserving candidates, the result of a comparatively tepid two-week nomination period versus previous years.

That nomination period had a rough opening when two citizens of Jingdao – Jezza Rasmus and Jonas Windsor – suggesting that the awards were no longer relevant. The former described the awards as “embarrassing” while the latter suggested that the process should receive the lighthearted “’Tis but a Flesh Wound,” inspired by the Monty Python Black Knight.

The sentiments of Rasmus and Windsor failed to garner popularity, though much of the nomination period was spent by the community discussing how to make the awards, which have celebrated individual achievement within the Micras community annually since 2002, more relevant. Most proposals involved paring down the number of categories for future iterations of the awards, and making those that remained more relevant to the current make-up of the community.

The overshadowing discussion on reform aside, several micronationalists nonetheless participated in the nominating process, though not all categories received nominations this year, nor did the judging panel commit to naming a recipient for each regardless.

In the end, eight of the categories were awarded, with the most prestigious award, the Odlum Award for Overall Achievement, being given to Emperor Edgard II of Alexandria. “Emperor Edgard II has steered Alexandria through almost a decade and a half, and made Alexandria a country of repute and with a unique cultural identity and history,” said Ric Lyon, the chair of the judging panel, in bestowing the honour.

The Award for Cultural Development went to Gerald Ruze, who has invested considerable time and effort into expanding Gerenia’s presence on the MicrasWiki in recent months with a wealth of information on its political and cultural identity.

Nathan Waffel-Paine received the Award for Leadership for his role in two of Micras’ oldest micronations – Shireroth and Natopia. In Shireroth, his reign was recognized for pulling the micronation back from the brink of failure due to inactivity. He was also recognized for his various initiatives to lead Natopia, a micronation he founded in 2002, into a period of renaissance.

Entering into his fifteen year of reporting on micronational news, Liam Sinclair was recognized with the Award for Journalism, “for never ceasing to give us articles from all over the microworld, insight on matters we had no idea about, and interviews with people from all parts of Micras and beyond,” said Lyon. “We are forever grateful for his contributions to journalism.”

Rounding out the awards were Hallbjörn Haraldson and Waffel-Paine, receiving the Award for History and the Award for Literature, respectively, while the Award for Sport went to James-Robert Knight. The afore-mentioned “‘Tis but a Flesh Wound” Award went to Krasniy Yastreb, in recognition of his return to micronationalism this year after a bitter personal disagreement with several local micronationalists.

Gotzborg football clubs dominate AEFA

LONENBERG – The AEFA Champions League Cup final was a Gotzer affair as two of the micronation’s football clubs faced each other for domination of Micras’ Apollonian and Euran continents.

Entering the annual league as the third-seeded nation, Gotzborg’s three teams – Lonenberg FC, Schaffhausen FC and Eldeburgh FC – faced an uphill challenge against the dominant and more experienced group of football clubs fielded by Gerenia and Senya.

In the qualifying round, Schaffhausen FC squeezed out a 2-1 victory over Fort Kolgrad’s King’s Lynn Town FC in the first leg before dominating it 4-0 in the second leg to secure a berth in the group stage. Schaffhausen FC continued its dominant play as it subsequently advanced to the quarter-finals alongside Eldeburgh FC and Lonenberg FC.

With Lonenberg FC, the micronation’s senior association football club, having dropped both of its quarterfinal matches, Gotzborg’s hopes for victory lay with Schaffhausen FC and Eldeburgh FC. Neither club disappointed as Schaffhausen FC defeated its Gerenian rival, Isherwood CSSC, while Eldeburgh FC defeated Senya’s Svorgas Scitenhima FK in the semi-final round.

The Eldeburgh FC semi-final victory was unwelcomed by some Senyans, who were shut out of the final after winning it last year, with reports that Svorgas Scitenhima fans rioted and attacked Gotzer fans following the defeat to the dismay of team officials.

That controversy was quickly overshadowed by the all-Gotzer final. Schaffhausen FC, the underdog of all of the Gotzborg clubs fielded, completed a storied victory that saw it advance from the qualifying round to beating out Eldeburgh FC 2-1 in the final.