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Messages - Abertone

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Graziano was happy with how things had gone so far. They would certainly be going home with some kind of deal but the real pay-off would be who it was with. The Consul was hoping it would be the CNN, four nations with strong economies would be a really boost to the Abertone economy but even if that didn't come about for some reason he would still have East Moreland tied up and from there they could begin building with other nations. " I'm happy to take you at your word" The Emperor interrupted Graziano's train of thought as he seemed to raise a glass towards King David.

Graziano expected Marco to continue and talk about the proposal of the ship using their docks but he went back to the wine. "We buy equipment from East Moreland companies from time to time so it would seem strange for us to say no. I think though for the fact that we would be providing ports on both Ardia and Albion means that we should perhaps look at this as a way of you also helping us. While normally ports would charge a fee simply to anchor in the docks we will waive those for East Moreland's supply ships undertaking this role. We will however keep a record of how much they would be and when purchasing our equipment we would expect it to be deducted from the bill. Is  this possible?"

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Rokkenjima and Abertone
« on: August 03, 2022, 11:48:15 AM »
Graziano shook his head. "Even the matters you say we can discuss are underpinned by your existing agreements. You're nation issues Cross Strait Passports so that would need to be considered in any visa issue. The CSFTA is managed and monitored by the CS Secretariat so they would be having input into inspections of paperwork, standards of goods etc that are passing between our two nations. You're tied into this arrangement and while things can be negotiated they are not entirely yours to do so. We therefore have reached a point where we can't even see a position where discussions can begin on many areas. I therefore suggest that we agree to issue a statement that we have meet agreed to be good neighbours and that we will promote active embassies between us. That is unless you have a proposal to put before me that would alleviate these concerns and show a way past them."

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Classical Neighbours
« on: August 03, 2022, 11:32:46 AM »
Graziano liked the idea put forward but did have some reservations. "I'd be happy to have our civil service explore the process you've talked about. I think it'd be a very useful one although time consuming but at the end of the day that is what we employ those people for. My concern though is this. You have an extensive trade agreement with three other nations. They would profit from this arrangement by simply being able to export first to you and then to us. So they could take advantage of fewer checks and reduced tariffs. I would therefore insist that each transport include a certificate of origin as to where the parts of its shipment came from. Historically we have purchased equipment from you for our military and we'd like that to continue so having these easy access routes is going to help that. As it stands then we have on the table lower tariffs, perhaps a reduction to zero?, then we have a seamless border crossing process for people in some circumstances such as those who stayed here for a while during your Junta's period and ambassadors. Could we maybe suggest a final connection. Seeing as we have military equipment that originated in your nation and we share the vast majority of the coast of the Adrdian Gulf could we discuss perhaps some joint operations in regards to ensuring smuggling doesn't take place. With our connections to the Eastern part of the Empire there are at times people who take liberties with this. I'm suggesting we put on some occasional joint customs operations, target vessels we have suspicions of with a joint Cassiopeia and Abertone search and eventually include the Iwi in this. The Iwi is a nation I've little contact with perhaps you could suggest a way forward there"

Graziano had heard of the More and Mundus programme and approved of it. He paused for a moment or two and then looked at Marco. "I wonder Emperor if we can lead by example here. My son Andrew turns 18 very shortly. He has just a few weeks left in school. Use him as a guineia pig so to speak. Have him come over to East Moreland and then we shall host someone from East Moreland in return. If it goes well then naturally we can roll it out to schools across the Empire having said we personally stand behind it." Graziano suspected that Marco would probably struggle to pick his nephew out of a line up and so there wouldn't be much for him to think about regarding that.

Marco had been busy watching the ships out at sea and paid very little attention to what his cousin was saying. Talk of education and schools didn't really interest him. School was simply a place to turn up and you absorbed what you could. Some like his cousin absorbed slowly while he had been rather quicker, he believed that education was not as important as life experience. With his attention snapped back he gave a nod, "Yes, yes Andrew should take part. It'll do the boy good to get to see something other than farms and churches." His comment forced the Consul to bite his lip. His 17 year old son was an active member of the Order of Isidore Youth which was in effect Boy Scouts with farming and it was something Graziano was proud of. Andrew had grown into a well rounded young gentleman and his father was confident he would one day be someone who would achieve great things.

"Sign us up then." Graziano tried his best to sound pleased about the response. " I look forward to hearing of his experiences and while I know this makes us a host family I hope you would not mind the fact that whichever Morelander we got we would not have them stay with us in the Palace, we'd head out to the countryside where we have property to try and give them a more authentic Abertonian experience."

Marco gave the paper his deep undivided attention for a whole thirty seconds before handing it over to Graziano and then pouring himself another glass of wine. It was therefore left to the Consul to offer his input.

Graziano found it odd that King David shunned modern technology preferring to scrawl his note but at least his handwriting was neat. "What you propose I see no issue with but I would like some additions if possible, and of course with my Emperors approval." He removed a pen from his jacket and added onto the bottom of the King's writing.


8. Both Parties agree that samples of products or materials may enter the nation so long as they meet the following criteria.

a) They are to the value of less than $100,000
b) That companies may not ship more than $250,000 worth of samples within a nation in a calendar year..
c) Once $250,000 value has been reached a company is liable to pay import duty.
d) No fees or taxes will be charged on samples being removed from the nation.

9. Both Parties agree that equipment to be used for shows or demonstrations may temporarily enter nations so long as they conform to local health and safety laws. Such equipment may remain for 90 days after which time import duties are payable.

10. Performers are exempt from visa requirements so long as they are not deemed a threat to the national security. To be considered a working performer they must work at least 15 days out of every 30.

11. Both Parties agree that they shall recognise the intellectual property rights registered in the other party.

"I hope these are suitable" He asked his cousin who glanced over them and nodded to Graziano. "It is my hope that these would allow it to become easier for our nations to promote themselves to each other. For example I'm aware that East Moreland has a track record for some interesting agricultural projects, golden rice and the Yellow-Tongue vaccine for a start. We have an Eastern Part of our Empire which is heavily reliant on such a trade and therefore being able to shoscase to each other what we have could be important."

Marco looked across at his cousin. Reviving something that was dormant, it was maybe an easy way to get a foot on the ladder and it potentially had the ability to bring some money in for tourism. Marco and Graziano exchanged a few nods and hand waves which to David maybe looked rather odd but a lifetime of knowing each other meant such gestures were practically a language to the duo. "It is a great start. If you ensure we get into the CETO thing then I will ensure that we host an impressive festival. I naturally would like the author of the treaty to attend as my guest of honour. It would also be good if we could have some arrangement to also celebrate. I would like to therefore suggest that we, well Graziano and you as he is more policy focused than me, draft an arrangement. It would be one that would see the Empire forge a trade arrangement with the CNN. My hope would be that we would put it on paper, you could then sell it to your allies before the festival. As a grand gesture of our arrival on the international stage I would like the CNN leaders and myself to sign it in public. Now if you believe such a wide sweeping agreement is not possible then fine Abertone and East Moreland could proceed?"

International News Networks / Re: The Abertone Chronicle
« on: July 31, 2022, 12:01:39 AM »


Today the Imperial Senate have for the first time in 100 years asked for the Emperor to officially reconsider a Ministerial appointment. The constitution of the Empire allows the Emperor to appoint a Minister and Junior Minister for several position however the Senate can pass a vote asking for the Emperor to dismiss or replace an appointee but the Emperor is under no obligation to accept the outcome of the vote. Yesterday the Emperor appointed 29 year old Aurora Napoli as Junior Minister for Foreign Affairs despite her having seemingly no relevant experience. While the monarch is not required to use Senators as Ministers the vast majority are. Miss Napoli however is fresh into politics. Currently Miss Napoli runs a business which provides "Luxury lifestyle oppurtunities" to selected hotels across Mundus. Last year her business turned over an estimated $26million with a profit declared of around $2.6million in after tax profits. "Napolilux" provides its members with a service that ensures they can get access to such things as top class sporting event tickets globally, luxury car hire, restaurant reservations and various other experiences. Miss Napoli was described by the Imperial Press Secretary during the announcement of her appointment as an "experienced business woman who has a wealth of real life experience navigating the business ecosystems of nations across Mundus. She speaks three languages, is a graduate with a Masters in Business and has a long involvement in Abertone's economy on both sides of the Dauntel Sea."

The Senate however are concerned that there are rumours of Miss Napoli having been seen on a number of occasions dining with the Emperor and as one senator who wishes to remain nameless reported, " We all know the Emperor's reputation but to date his lusts have been kept out of politics. We seemingly now have ministers being appointed by his loins rather than who is best qualified." In the Senate it was left to Prince Graziano, the Consul, to defend the appointment saying, "As we venture into global politics we need a vast amount of different qualifications and experiences. Sometimes a younger and less traditional approach can bring good results. I wish Minister Napoli well in her role and look forward to working with her." The vote in the Senate asking the Emperor to reconsider went through 72-4 in favour of asking to reconsider. Noticably the Consul did not vote explaining afterwards. "I walk an interesting line between being both part of the Imperial family by blood and a colleague of the Senators. When it comes to Ministerial appointments I have to work with whoever takes the role so I have always abstained in voting. Today is not unusual."

Miss Napoli has made no comment yet on the vote by the Senate but did say on her social media that she was "exceptionally honoured to be given a chance to focus my experiences on helping the Empire go from strength to strength. I will be learning the role as quickly as I can and I hope that the team of Ministers can be a valuable support to both Consul Graziano and Emperor Marco." While she has taken up the Ministerial post she has confirmed that her younger sister Natalia will take control of the company.

The Emperor would have been more than content to allow his cousin to handle the matters of diplomacy but Graziano had insisted that when meeting East Moreland it would be best to have the monarch do it but still that gave Marco hope that perhaps he would have a chance to meet this Queen Stasya face to face. It would just be a shame her husband would be there. He'd heard wonderful things about Lodjian women and would need to open up diplomacy there, a nation he'd take a lead in. For today though the Emperor and his cousin Prince Graziano would be making the most of this opportunity.

The scale and manner of the pomp and ceremony at the opening ceremony had impressed Marco especially seeing the Vento di Lupo among ships from a seemingly similar time period although his grasp of nautical history was rather limited. The touch of having a sword bearer was nice, he made a mental note to have Graziano work something similar out for formal occasions. He was hopeful that one day Abertone would be able to host some large scale festival such as this and the plan to do so would be part of his discussions with the King. Following the opening ceremony he made his way through the Festival grounds and to the Lighthouse. It was certainly not as regal as he had expected from a well respected monarch but it was maybe fitting for such an occasion.

Marco settled himself on the roof top terrace with his cousin and enjoyed a glass of wine, despite it being early in the morning, while he waited for the King to arrive.

It was Graziano, clearly better briefed than the Emperor, who first saw the duo of Morelanders arrive. "Sir Harry, Sir Jacob" He stood while his cousin remained seated sipping his wine. The Consul smiled as he extended his hand to each. "I have the pleasure of introducing my cousin, Emperor Marco." The Emperor remained seated and simply raised his glass to each.

"Good morning gnetleman." He smiled as he waited for the duo to take their seat. "Will your King be joining us soon?" he asked only to not sooner see the King ascend to the roof. This time Marco stood, handed Graziano the wine and approached the King with a hand outstretched. "David I think given the chance to meet a fellow monarch you should take it, especially as we have no formal connections. The idea of meeting in such a relaxed manner if rather appealing rather than around some conference table. We are after all in a position to do a deal here and now. I hope that will be the outcome. Now as for a private meeting there are going to be things that monarchs must discuss that are not for the ears of the press. The first thing I would like to discuss is you helping me put our nation on the map. I like the idea of showpieces and I intend to make a spectacle in Abertone. What advice would you give a monarch wishing to do such?" 

Economics and Industry / AMB Offer to Samantra
« on: July 19, 2022, 12:37:39 PM »

To: - Stas Petrov Minister for Trade, Economy and Finance

My name is Evaristo Aiolfi and I represent an organisation called Abertone Micro Banks. We are a collection of small scale lenders that offer unconventional and generally more high risk credit opportunities. Many of our projects involve giving those unable to access traditional forms of credit and banking a chance to gain credit, thus boosting their credit scores and also providing them with an opportunity to finance business projects. We work with several small scale lenders ranging from Church groups seeking to put their funds to charitable endeavours to those with savings wishing to see a return on their savings.

How we work is we receive applications from individuals generally seeking to borrow less than $30,000, our organisation checks the borrower out to ensure that the request for funds it likely to see a return. For example a young person with no credit history unable to get a loan from a traditional bank may have an excellent business plan but be unable to fund its start up as traditional banks look not at their potential but at their past. We would if satisfied the project would succeed give it our approval and then any of the microbanks associated with us may offer the funds either in part or fully. Generally a microbank will require between 7-10% interest be paid on the loan. We are able therefore to support local businesses to grow and also provide a return on our funders savings for them. This is a genuine bottom up development project.

In addition we can offer microbanking opportunities by working with communities to provide banking for those who have so far been unable to engage with traditional large scale banks. One example of a project in the Eastern Part of the Abertone Empire has seen a local AMB affiliated organisation travel around a remote local community on a weekly basis collecting funds that could then be utilised by the whole community to manage very small scale projects such as fence repairs etc. We at AMB ensure that lenders are vetted and approved prior to giving them our support.

We would like an oppurtunity to begin this work in your country. We believe that as a fellow Christian country many of our lenders utilise our service as a means of doing Gods work and supporting the poor, as such many of these lenders actively invest their interest earnings back into the community from which they came. This has seen projects such as irrigation systems built in parts of our Eastern Empire. We contact you at this time having seen large conglomerates investing in your nation. We believe such investments from economic behemoths can have a huge downside on small and start up business as they face competition that they could not dream of overcoming. This however should not stop Samantran's from aiming to be entrepreneurs and maybe launch the next great conglomerate.

With your blessing we would like to begin operations within your nation and are hopeful of a long and successful partnership between AMB, our lenders and your people.

Best Regards
Evaristo Aiolfi
Project Manager AMB
Tiny Banking Giant Results

Character Guides / Re: Abertonians
« on: July 16, 2022, 10:53:55 PM »

Alda Rizzo
Viscountess Rizzo
RL-meika woollard

Alda was born in 1998. Her father is Emperor Marco and her mother Livia Rizzo, the daughter of the Count of Bergcastro.

At the time of her birth her mother had recently ended a relationship with the future Emperor and he denied being Alda's father. This lead to Emperor Luca V stepping in and ensuring his grand-daughter was well looked after. He even went so far as threatening his son Marco with having a blood sample taken by force. When she was just three months old Luca V died however Marco's brother ensured she was kept in touch with the rest of the family. Between her own noble family and the Imperial one she was privileged to have a good upbringing.

She was enrolled at the age of four at the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy in Bergcastro. She enjoyed horse riding and music. By the age of eight she was attending lessons on show jumping at the National Equine Academy. By the time she graduated high school she was a hard working student with a reputation for being involved in "literally everything" ranging from a netball, orchestra, drama club and the school newspaper.

In 2016 she attended Bergcastro University for Performing Arts where she studied Music. There she formed a indie rock band with several of her friends in which she played bass guitar. They even experienced some minor chart success with them reaching No.12 in the national charts. In 2018 however the band had "artistic differences" and disbanded. A year later Alda graduated and found a job in the capital Abertone as a session musician and music tutor. Following her estranged father becoming Emperor however her uncle Graziano insisted she come under protection from the Imperial Security Service and she found herself becoming closer to him.

She currently hosts a music podcast, writes music for a recording label and helps organise concerts for Graziano's various charitable endeavours. 

Convention Centre / Re: Festival of Sail Sign Ups
« on: July 08, 2022, 08:18:13 PM »

Dear King David

It would be a great oppurtunity for our nation to visit Portworth during the Festival. We would like to show off a replica of the Vento di Lupo. This vessel was the first ship to take settlers from our Empire across the Kyne to establish the Eastern Empire. I would also like if possible to meet with Your Majesty if time allows.

Best Wishes

Emperor Marco IX

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Rokkenjima and Abertone
« on: July 07, 2022, 09:25:13 PM »
Graziano had resumed a laid back posture as the Princess spoke, his eyes alternating between her and his pad as he slowly and methodically shaded in the first of his four boxes first slowly building up an edge and then slowly filling it in so that by the time she had finished her repose he had just about finished. He replaced the lid on his pen and slid it into the spine spirals of his notebook. "I understand you represent Rokkenjima, but it is true to say Rokkenjima is a member of the CSTO. When bilateral ties are made then that fact must be considered. The same will be true when we speak to East Moreland. It is the nature of global geopolitics that we all carry baggage. For our own part that is likely to be the fact that we're an Empire of two very different halves. The West, a kind of stable homeland and the East a more volatile region. As such any nation we deal with would need to be aware of this, also the fact our nation has a very devout Catholic population as the recent referendum showed. While our baggage is our own to carry parts of your own you carry one handle while nations like Tytor carry the other. This means you will always be a representative of the First Empire of Rokkenjima, CSTO member. As you speak of Cassiopeia I have not been briefed that any direct hand of friendship has been extended to them from yourself. Maybe that is a failing of my foreign office minion. As for our relationship I can see things such as education but again when it comes to economic and trade we have to consider your Cross-Straits commitments. Exactly what are they?"

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Rokkenjima and Abertone
« on: July 06, 2022, 11:26:37 PM »
Graziano was a firm believer that what was not said spoke often louder than what was. He took a moment to consider his answer, flipped open his notebook and rested it on his crossed legs as he slid back from the table slightly. To Kyoko it appeared he quickly noted something down but to Graziano there were simply four squares drawn for later use. "An involved relationship?" He said when he finally broke the silence. He closed the pad and placed it back on the table as he leaned forward. "This is not a term I'd tend to use. It evokes the impression of undue influence on each other. What I'm interested in is the impact a relationship would bring. We sit at a kind of geopolitical cross-roads. You see we have you and Daito to our South, nations both in the CSTO. To our east Cassiopeia, founders of SUN, and then a short hop North over the water we have the Commonwealth of the Iwi, members of the CNN. Three major geo-political units with a great deal of influence. We have pre-existing connections with Cassiopeia as we took in many of their refugees. Our concern is that your people have called on your government not to "Play nice" with Cassiopeia and several other nations. We've also seen antagonism between members of SUN and members of CSTO. We therefore have an issue of jepadising our relations with one bloc at the expense of another. Therefore we are cautious of where things will head. Our intention here was to establish an understanding by which our two nations can begin a more nieghbourly existance rather than just being people who happen to live side by side. Maybe reaching the point where we occasionally accept the odd Amazon parcel for each other but don't send Christmas cards. We are in a process of assessing where to take things with several nations. At present we do not wish to create a scenario where we get tied to one member of these blocs and that limits our opportunities with others. So perhaps this being said a better place to start would be what exactly did you have in mind by the term "Involved relationship"?"   

International News Networks / Re: The Abertone Chronicle
« on: July 01, 2022, 11:11:03 PM »


Today voters across the Empire visited polling booths to have their say in the future of the Empire's recognition of human rights. The Empire has no real codified equivalent of a Bill of Rights and the Emperor and his government have suggested that the Abrahamic Declaration take that role. The document was originally drafted by the Emir of Rayyu and several other nations who can trace the majority of their nations faith to the Abrahamic religions. Consul Graziano Lupo was one of the first to cast his vote however he refused to reveal how he voted instead preferring to say, "It is each individual to their own conscience in terms of how to vote. No one should be judged for their opinion and so I believe it is best to keep such thoughts to yourself, especially in my position. I believe having your say in how your future will be is important and pray that the people of the Empire get out and vote." The Consul got his wish as in the Western part of the Empire the turn out was around 80% while in the East it was significantly lower at around 65%. The polling stations in the East saw higher levels of security following several incidents connected to Republican terrorists over the previous week or so. Many experts have put the low turn out down to this concern about being targetted.

Lines at the polling stations were reasonably long but moved swiftly with no reports of problems or irregularaties. The voting stations closed at around 7pm after which local areas began to count their votes and report their numbers to the central government. Just after midnight the results for the Western Empire was known with 67% of the vote going in favour of signing the document. There were several hours to wait for the results from the East which would determine the future of human rights within the Empire as for the Declaration to be signed it required not just a majority but also to be accepted in both the East and West. When the results came in from the East it saw a much narrower approval with 54% voting in favour of the document. As a result it was announced in the small hours that the Emperor would be signing the Declaration in the coming days.

Consul Graziano Lupo commented on the result saying, "I am a little surprised that the charter was not as readily accepted in the East, I know they have some concerns about their relationship with the Emperors administration but I honestly believe that now we have a document such as this in place it will help rebuild a positive relationship between us all." The Emperor has yet to speak on the result however is expected to sign the document personally in the next 48 hours.

Character Guides / Re: Abertonians
« on: June 26, 2022, 10:19:28 PM »

Agatha Lupo (Di Augastino)
Princess of Abertone
Duchess of Manzi

Agatha Di Augastino was born in 1983. He father was Lionel Di Augastino who was a leading politican who served as Consul between 1990-1997 as well as various other government roles. Her mother, Maria, ran a small artisan pottery company that today has many items that are considered collectors items.

She was educated in the small town of Lampeira which is a small coastal town in the south of the Empire. She attended a regular High School as her father was concerned that if they sent her to a private school it would reflect poorly on the Empire's educational policies. She enjoyed art and crafts and won several school prizes for her works. At the age of 16 she began to pursue a career in the art industry. She even took on a part time job working for a local gallery helping them set up for exhibitions and sales. With Lampeira also being a rather rural area she was involved in the Order of  Isidore, a group that worked on farms and allotments to help grow food to provide for the poor, as a chef in a soup kitchen.

At 18 she meet Graziano Lupo at a meeting of the Order of Isidore and the two began a relationship while Agatha studied Classical Art at the University of Abertone. A year later they were married and having their first child. Agatha switched to studying part time and upon graduation refused to be a stay at home mother. She got several jobs in the capital of Abertone examining art works to confirm their authenticity, valuing them for auction and helping curate exhibitions. As further children followed she began working less in the private sector and began to focus on the Lupo families own collection ensuring that as much as possible was made accessible by the general public.

Like her husband Graziano she largely refuses to use her official titles.

The couple have three children Andrew being born in 2004, Benedict in 2010 and a daughter Notburga in 2013.

In 2022 she began work with Channel 2 as both a producer and on screen presenter for art based programme content.

International News Networks / Re: The Abertone Chronicle
« on: June 26, 2022, 09:41:45 PM »


Following a chance discovery by cleaning staff at Gamberale Cathedral what appears to be an improvised explosive device has been discovered. The Cathedral is the oldest in the eastern part of the Empire and dates back to the 1500's as a result it is viewed by many as the spiritual capital of the Eastern Empire. Police were first alerted to the device at 6am as custodian, Philippe De Nero, began ensuring the Cathedral was set up for Sunday services. Within minutes a cordon was erected around the Cathedral and a handful of nearby homes were evacuated. By 7am a convoy of black military tracks from the Imperial Carabinieri had taken over the scene and then moments later the Bomb Disposal unit had arrived. It was only after 9am that the situation was declared to have been restored to normal after experts from the Bomb Disposal unit had carried out a controlled explosion on the device. Major Baldina of the Imperial Military Engineers was responsible for overseeing the bomb disposal operation and spoke with the media following it and said, "The device was a relatively simple one but had it gone off mid service then we could have seen a significant number of casualties. We have sadly caused some slight damage to the Cathedral but while that is disappointing I'd much rather damage some stones and tiles than see people harmed." The Archbishop of Gamberale had moved morning mass to the beach and has since inspected the damage to his building. The Sunday evening mass took place within the Cathedral however.

Archbishop Salvatore Crusi said he was disappointed with the incident, "The Cathedral is a house of God and a place where the community comes together. Even the non-Christian community see's a benefit from the work of our Cathedral as we host youth events, cafe's, do charitable work and everyone is welcome to our celebrations. Violence achieves nothing and bringing death to the heart of the community is twisted." The Cathedral saw an increased presence from the Carabinieri throughout the day and teams swept other Churches in the city. While so far no one has been arrested for the incident there had been several raids across the city in the aftermath.

The foiled attack comes as the nation is just a week away from the referendum on signing the Abrahamic Declaration of Rights and some fear that the sizeable minority of non-Christians in the nation may be concerned about the result. Some fear that the religious leanings of the nation over such a document could lead to tension between the Catholic majority in the nation and those who follow more traditional folk faiths, particularly in the East.


Agatha Lupo, the wife of Consul Graziano Lupo, has today confirmed that she has accepted a role working for Channel 2 TV. The 39 year old mother of three is a graduate in Classical Art and is set to be part of a series of documentaries looking at the great works of art of Abertone. Channel 2 TV is a publically owned channel with the mission statement of "providing the people of the Empire with cultural, educational and sporting programming." The Channel is currently producing twenty new shows after being taken over by a new Director General in Mary Orino in May. The new programming being made includes a "Game of Thrones style telling of the creation of the Empire" and a "Beginners Guide to Opera". Agatha Lupo has previously worked as a consultant on several Channel 2 art based programmes however this is her first on screen appearence.

In a post on Instagram Agatha Lupo said, "I've an oppurtunity to talk about my greatest passions beyond my family. I'm excited to share with the people who tune in the stories behind some of the works of art that are landmarks in our history. I've spent most of my adult life acting as a consultant on art whether it be for a private auction house, the National Gallery of even the Lupo families own collections. I've seen many great art works the general public have not had a chance to enjoy but now I can change that." The programme is set to air in early August. In addition to this Agatha Lupo is expected to also make appearances on Channel 2's discussion panel show "In the Culture" which looks at the latest developments in film, art and music.

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Rokkenjima and Abertone
« on: June 26, 2022, 08:34:55 PM »
No doubt Emperor Marco would be quaffing the mead at some later date with little care or reverence for its symbolism however that didn't stop Graziano seeming grateful. "Thank you" he said examining the bottle before standing beside the Princess while a court approved photographer snapped a few images. He escorted the Princess into the Mayor's white washed Trullo building. Inside the walls were bare stone shorn up with vertical planks of old seasoned oak. A small door through which the not overly statuesque Graziano had to duck slightly.  They were now inside the village hall. It had white plaster walls hung with various local folk craft. In the centre of the room a long table was set up with the towns coat of arms carved and painted on the top. It was here the local Parish Council usually meet but today the stakes were a little more important than what colour the hanging basket flowers should be. Graziano moved to one side with a handful of aides while the mayor pulled the chair out for Kyoko before wishing everyone well for the talks and disappearing off back into his adjoining home. Graziano was about to begin the conversation when the mayors wife entered again with two large wooden boards held impressively level and filled with a vast array of pastries, she babbled at Graziano while her arms flailed causing the Consul to laugh. He was still chuckling as the door shut behind her. "She says that I'm to ensure you eat plenty as you need more meat on your bones, but I suspect you didn't come here for health advice, especially from one of our nonna's. How are you finding life as part of the Imperial Family?"

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Classical Neighbours
« on: June 26, 2022, 04:13:49 PM »
Marco seemed uninterested at the discussions of the Consuls daughter. It was left to his own Consul to take the lead once more. "In order to create unity between our nations could we consider a twinning between our schools. There must be many such examples of where youngsters from your nation are back home having spent some time here, Abertone can't have been a refuge just for Danai. It would be a nice way to ensure that those bonds of friendship last. As for the embassy issue if you let us know what the requirements are then naturally we'll comply. The last thing we want to do is sully this friendship that is just blossoming. Now once we have ambassadors in place we'd like to consider some kind of economic co-operation. Is this perhaps a step too far for a first meeting?"

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Rokkenjima and Abertone
« on: June 22, 2022, 08:37:33 PM »
Marco tossed the letter casually back onto his desk having read it. "If this is who they wish to send then thats who they send" he shrugged. "First contact and they are sending Spock, so I shall send Ryker."

Graziano looked puzzled as he placed the Rokkenjiman letter back in his envelope. "Who is Ryker?" He asked as he slid the envelope into a ziplock bag ear-marked for the national archive.

Marco spun casually on his chair. "Its a Star Trek reference" He educated his cousin as his chair spun to a standstill almost facing the Consul head on, he scooted it back a bit and then leaned forward his elbows on his desk. "I thought you liked that kind of thing, we used to watch as children." The Emperor seemed almost upset, he wasn't the biggest fan of the show but he had enjoyed the odd episode, especially the ones with that "8 of 10" character or whatever she had been called.

"That was my sister Natalina" Graziano had stood. "So I assume you want someone else to handle this matter?"

"It is as though you are a Betazoid" Marco spun himself another lap of his chairs revolutions and then noted that Graziano looked puzzled. "It means yes" he shook his head disapprovingly as he watched Graziano give his usual to the point bow before leaving into the Annex that sat next to the Emperors private suite and office.

The door lead into Serena's office. "He been drinking?" Graziano asked the Emperor's Advocatus. The tall military officer simply leaned down to her desks bottom draw and withdrew a bottle of red wine. Graziano pulled up his suit sleeve and looked at his watch. "Its only 10am"

"Wine o'clock" Serena replied, "I switched him to one of my own vintage." It had become a regular ploy over the past few months, if the Emperor began drinking early in the day Serena simply swapped the red wine for non-alcoholic after a few glasses and the Emperor often never noticed or simply complained the wine had turned bad and gave up, either way the result was often the same that for at least a while the Emperor did something worthwhile.

"Good" Graziano handed her the letter to be filed ready for collection by the Archivist at the end of the year. "Make arrangements for Princess Kyoko to meet me please."

"Yes sir" Serena picked up the phone and began her relentless series of phone calls.

If the Princess was not meeting the Emperor the least Graziano could do was ensure she didn't have a long trip and so the town of Trofino it sat just an half hour drive from the border of the two nations and was rather famed for its unique houses, a series of old Trullo buildings, small dry stone conical shaped houses which had white plastered walls on the outside. Many had symbols whitewashed onto their roofs, some the symbol of a cross, a heart, a longbow or in the case of the building where they would meet a flower. It was the abode of the Mayor of Trullo, a tiny man in his 70's who behind a pair of milkbottle bottom glasses resembled a tiny mole. The house adjoined the town hall.

Interested town folk gathered outside and some of the smaller children had even perched themselves on the sloping roof tops to get better views. Graziano was keen to get things underway and was relieved when he saw the Carbinieri outrider come round the corner quickly followed by three more and then a fleet of vehicles containing the Rokkenjiman Princess and her entourage. Both Graziano and the molesque mayor reached for the door handle of the car at the same time and Graziano stepped back allowing the mayor to be the first to greet the Princess, this was after all his town. "Your Imperial Highness" the man bowed with a rather deceptive depth and elegance. "The people of Trullo are proud to be able to welcome you to our town. Please come meet our Consul, His Imperial Majesty Prince Graziano."

"Just Graziano" he was technically a Prince but didn't think as Consul his job was to be a royal, his job was to run the country for the people and so he generally shunned his title, even that of Duke of Manzi. "On behalf of his Imperial Majesty Emperor Marco I'd like to welcome you to the Empire of Abertone." There was a slight commotion behind them as a robust looking woman dressed in black with a white apron on pushed her way towards Graziano, it was clear she was no threat by the way the Carbinieri literally jumped out of her way. It was the mayors wife and she thrust a tray of Sfogliatelle at Graziano who took a few steps back as she harranged him about not giving her time for things to cool. "I'm sorry" Graziano chuckled as he picked one of the plate being thrust at him. "Princess please share this with me in friendship" he broke the orange cream filled pastry in half and passed it to the Princess. The old woman hadn't waited around and was merrily handing out the still cooling pastry to the rest of the Rokkenjiman entourage whether they wanted one or not.

International News Networks / Re: Free Mundus
« on: June 19, 2022, 10:59:25 PM »


In the 16th Century the world saw improvements in maritime technology that allowed longer and faster voyages thus opening Mundus up for trade and in many cases conquest. One such conquest was that of the territories of Northern Albion by the military of Abertone. Having grown on the continent of Ardia the Empire had reached as far as it could without coming into conflict with its neighbours and so looked across the oceans for new oppurtunities. This saw Emperor Bruno III authorise an expedition by a group lead by Duke Silvio Martinelli in 1544 that laid claim to an area bordering modern day Kermah. With this region full of semi nomadic tribes the expedition was able to establish a coastal settlement at what today is the city of Lafiagi, the capital of the Eastern Empire. Since then the fortunes of this Albionic outpost have been vastly different to those of the West.

Demographically the two Empires are very different. Emperor Bruno II did not flood the newly acquired territory with settlers instead encouraging locals to come and gain the relative security of an established trading port. The Eastern Empire went from strength to strength as it took advantage of disorder among the tribes in the region however following Bruno II's death his soon saw the new territory as something more akin to a store of resources and a people to be converted. Emperor Roland II sent missionaries to spread the Catholic faith and while giving with one hand took with the other as the boats that brought the missionaries took home gold, silver, slaves and various other resources ensuring the wealth of the Western Empire. This divide today is still visible. Any individual who visits Lafiagi will, as they enter the old port, see the Citadel of St.Nicholas, the last spot in the East slaves would have spent time before being taken to the West. The Citadel today is used as a museum that embraces the wrong doings of all those years however there are some in the East who wish to see it wiped from existence. One of those is Massimo Umbecki a 23 year old student of Eastern origin and is part of the Rediscovery Project. This project aims to help teach young people in the city and surrouning area about the heritage that Black Abertonians have had hidden from them. "Today there is the idea that we are one Empire, that we all are treated the same. Even this attempt at bringing in the Arbahamic Declaration is an attempt to hide the past. We are not treated the same all over the Empire. Our past is closer aligned to the people of Kermah that the people of Abertone and the Citadel is a daily reminder to the people of this city that our Emperors ancestors saw us once as nothing more than a trading commodity."

It is this sense of growing understanding of the past and the inequality it has caused that has lead to some of the tense situations that are found in the East. Just last week a sniper attack in the city left eight people dead. Polls suggest that there is a growing number of young people who are in favour of some form of independence. The most recent poll suggests almost 1 in 5 citizens of the Eastern Empire would support some form of independence however this increases to 1 in 3 for those aged between 18 and 30. The Republican Front are among several groups described as terrorists by the Empire who are active within the East. So far this year the Republican Front have carried out ten different attacks and currently 12 members of the organisation are awaiting trial for such crimes as bank robbery, kidnapping and murder. In the first six months of 2021 that figure was around half the amount for 2022 showing there is perhaps growing support for the groups aims. The task of dealing with groups such as this often falls to the Carabinieri, a form of military Police, who are regularly seen patrolling in military fatigues. Their current commander in the East is Lt-Col Gianni Donado who has served the last five years in the East and is of mixed East-West heritage. "We've seen the level of sophistican within these groups increase this year and we are yet to work out why. We've seen a better standard of weapon and they are becoming better funded and trained. We are currently investigating several avenues to reverse this and turn the Front into a ineffective body but that takes time and in the meantime people will be dying. Polls suggest that the people of the East don't want to become seperate from the Empire and it is our job to ensure they are not forced out by terrorists." So far 7 members of the Carbinieri have died this year in attacks.

The East of the Empire though is slowly changing. Since becoming Emperor in 2019 Emperor Marco IX has seemingly supported work to improve things in the East as explained by his Consol and cousin Graziano. "The East is a beautiful part of the world. Crystal blue seas, some amazing landscapes and with some investment it could well become a major producer of agricultural products and other materials. Its our job to make sure that these things happen and that the people there benefit. There was in 2019 a differential of around $11,000 in terms of GDP per capita between the East and West. We have still got lots to do with a gap that large being unacceptable. We have though in three years reduced that differential to $8,700, its still got a long way to go but its a start." When asked whether this process was purely an economic one the Consul said, "The East retains elements of its own culture and we should celebrate that. We are an Empire and Empires that are strongest have accepted and embraced diversity. We're trying to ensure that the curriculum of schools in the East gives them the freedom to ensure that their culture and past is presented in a way that is accurate and relevant. I think it is safe to say that as my cousins reign continues so will the improvements there."

The Consuls confidence though is not shared by people like the young Massimo Umbecki. "In Graziano we have a man who I think does have peoples best interest at heart. He has visited us several times and I know he's tried to appoint to his staff people from the East. Meanwhile we have an Emperor who has been here just once. I don't think he could even spell Lafiagi yet alone find it on a map. I think many young people would embrace the idea of Republicanism just because of Marco." Umbecki though is aware of the advantages of being part of the Empire. "One positive is that we have a way of escaping poverty here. We can travel freely to the West and there access good quality education. The problem is though once educated we need people to come back and help improve the East and fight for better treatment here but people seem content to remain in the west and enjoy the better quality of life there."

This brain drain from East to West has however raised concerns by some in the Imperial Senate. The right wing Capital Party have several times called for a form of immigration control for those moving from East to West. The Party won 5% in the last elections but are very vocal on the streets of the city Abertone. At one of there latest rallies the parties leader Silvano Manaderi explained. "The people in the East flood here knowing we have created a society that is safer, that is wealthier and one that is only going to get stronger. We have always propped up the East and as more and more immigrants come here our services and resources are being taken up by the Easterners rather than them working as hard as us to improve their community. We need to put in place strict vetting procedures so that we ensure these Republican terrorists don't come here as we have an open door. We also need to stop these unskilled workers coming here and taking opportunities for locals. We need to send more troops to the East, vet every person coming here before they get on a plane or boat and then limit how long they can stay here." It is unlikely that the party will do better in future elections however there have been reports of members of the party getting involved in scuffles with campaigners for reform in the East who have held rallies in the city of Abertone.

While the Empire has been around some 500 years there still remains questions about it stability. While the present situation suggests the Empire must weather another round of terrorist attacks these have in the past come in waves. As each peak of terrorist activity comes so do reforms, investment and various other strategies these usually has the consequence of bringing a reduction in the attacks that last several years. With Consol Graziano Lupin currently pushing a raft of measures to help the East it is likely the activities of the Republican Front will find fewer supporters in the years ahead. The problem though is the fortunes of the East rely squarely on who sits on the throne in the East and with many seeming to lack any confidence in the current Emperor it remains to be seen if the Consols work will actually have an impact on an Empire that has always been divided.


To - Ms.Elizabeth Macix

I have been asked to respond on behalf of the Empire.

Our nation permits stem cell research on the conditions that the institute can prove the stem cells come from "morally acceptable" sources. Currently that means those taken from any of the following types.

* Embryonic Germ Cells (from miscarriages or spontaneous abortions and not elective abortions)
* Umbilical Cord Stem Cells
* Placenta-derived Stem Cells
* Post-Natally Derived (Adult) Stem cells.

Should you confine your research to such types of cells then you would be permitted to operate within the Empire so long as your work force comply to local laws regarding taxation and employment. This would mean that any staff incoming would be required to hold a visa for the Empire but I am confident that these will easily be issued. In addition we have a great number of academic institutes in the city of Abertone who will have a plethora of graduates who would do great work for Gattaca.

We hope this is a positive start and should you require any support or advice in the establishment of your research please do not hesitate to contact me.

Roberto Manfredi
Junior Minister for Trade

International News Networks / Re: The Abertone Chronicle
« on: June 19, 2022, 01:39:38 PM »


Following the recent signature of a Abrahmic Faith based document confirming human rights undertaken in Rayyu the Emperor has been consulting with the various Archbishops across the Empire. Yesterday Emperor Marco instructed his spokesperson to announce that the people of the Empire will given an oppurtunity to have their say. Speaking to the Chronicle we were told. "The Catholic faith dominates the Empire, at the last census just shy of 31million of the 48million or so Abertonians were Catholic, in addition a further 7.5million Protestants live here, the remaining numbers feature several different faiths ranging from Judaism, Islam and various religions such as that of the Cassiopeian Pantheon. With this in mind the Abrahmic faith and the rule associated with it are important in the Empire. As a nation with no formal version of a bill of rights or human rights legislation in existence this is seen as a potential safeguard. The referendum will take place on the 1st of July 2022 and will feature a simple question. "Should the Empire adopt the Abrahamic Declaration of Rights" with a simple yes or no response. For the Declaration to be adopted it must gain a majority of yes votes and in addition both the Eastern and Western parts must vote for a yes."

The news brought applause from the Archbishop of Abertone who said, "We encourage everyone to live as God intended and with love in their hearts. The Declaration enshrines in law for all people these rights. What I truly like though is that it also makes it clear that we as Gods creations have responsibilities about how we live and enjoy our world. I will be urging the people to vote for the Declaration and hope that it passes."

The Declaration though has some opposition. One of hose is the leader of the Green Liberal Alliance, Jonah Sandro, who said "We need to vote no for this. The Empire does need a Bill of Rights but this shouldn't be it. It should be something that is specific to our nation and our needs. This Declaration will see some elements of society gaining favour over others and will put incredible burdens on others."

The Imperial Consul Graziano Lupo however has refused to take a side in public. When asked for comment by this outlet he said simply. "The people of the Empire are in the best position to determine what will work best for them. My cousin is trying to ensure that the laws governing his subjects are fit for purpose and I support the idea of a referendum. Time will tell what the outcome will be but once it is known I will help ensure that it is applied."

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Classical Neighbours
« on: June 16, 2022, 09:56:37 PM »
Emperor Marco had to admit that the Queen was pretty enough but at least ten years to old to peak his interest.  In her youth he suspected she would have been a beauty but at 42 years of age her best years were behind her. He had hoped when her heard Nomiki was coming she may be some young glamorous politician but again some past her best former beauty had appeared. Marco though had his ego stroked when the token of victory arrived. As Queen Atalanta handed over the victory wreath Marco considered placing it upon his head as he'd seen great Emperors of the past drawn on books and prominent artworks, a glance at his cousin Graziano  was rather disapproving and so the Emperor stopped and instead thanked his guest. "Queen Atalanta we were, and still are, proud to think of ourselves as having been involved in helping you and your people at their time of need. Ours though was merely the role of being a good neighbour. I would say that I am sure one day you will return the gesture but please forgive me when I say I hope such a day never comes." Graziano was surprised at the way though the Emperor responded to Nomiki. As she spoke of the children he gave her a hug, "Consul....Nomiki" the Emperor stepped back and smiled, "I would not want a child of any nation to be unsafe. I am proud that our people where able to give your daughter, son and other children a place they feel safe. They will always be welcome within the Empire but we need to find a way to make that happen. That's possible isn't it?" Marco turned to his cousin.

Graziano suspected that he would be the one actually conducting the business of the meeting and not the Emperor. He nodded as his cousin asked his question. "Your Majesty, Consul." He nodded respectively to each in turn. "WHile I think this is a good place to start an airports tarmac is perhaps not the place to do it. If you'd care to follow me." Serena was stood a few steps behind Graziano and now strode ahead to open the door of the waiting vehicles. Marco waited for Atlanta to take a seat and slid in next to her. Graziano waited for everyone to be sat, thanked Serena and then joined the others. The ride back to the Palace was equally as quick as the ride to the airport as once more every light was on green. At the Palace the King's private suite had been returned to a regal looking environment rather than the scene of last nights debauchery.  The Emperor sat in his favourite arm-chair around the coffee table which Serena had arranged a few bottles of wine, a pitcher of ice water and some teas in beautiful blue ceramic pots. The Emperor played host ensuring everyone had drinks and then as Graziano began the business of diplomacy sat back with a nice glass of red wine.

"Queen Atalanta its clear we share some personal connections as your Consul here as demonstrated. I'm keen to allow those who have a connection to our country to come back time and again as seemlessly as possible. If people like Danai consider us one of their homelands than I think it beholds us to ensure that she and those like her are never excluded from coming here." Graziano paused as he topped up his tea. " Perhaps you could tell us a little about your daughter and her experiences here?" He asked Nomiki before savouring his tea while he listened, once she was done he moved back to the discussions about border crossing. "What I propose isn't exactly visa free but is the next best thing. It would though require us sharing data on criminal records. What I propose is that an individual still needs a passport to enter each nation. Upon arrival at a port of entry they present their passport and so long as they have no criminal record or are not on a wanted list they are free to cross and for 90 days can travel, study or conduct business here. A person may do that once every six months. Anyone wishing to stay for longer or visit more frequently would be expected to obtain a visa. I suspect this will help people like Danai maintain contact with her friends here, it will help both our nations boost tourism and allow small businesses to engage with each other. It falls short of a fully fluid border but I think you could say this is a fair compromise. If this is acceptable I'd like to bring up....."he paused and looked at the Emperor who seemed more interested in tracing a finger around the top of his wine glass then engaging, "I'd like to bring up" Graziano changed his tone to indicate his cousin should pay attention, "that we should perhaps examine the idea of embassies as I believe your nation has some particularities in that regard we have yet to fulfil?"

"Yes...yes that is something important" Marco nodded as though it was his own suggestion.

Factbooks and Maps / Re: The Empire of Abertone
« on: June 11, 2022, 12:36:01 AM »
Policies & Stances

• Abortion: Legal only if progressing full term would endanger the mother's life

• Adultery: Not a criminal offence but socially seen as immoral.

• Affirmative action: No.

• Age of consent: 16.

• Age of majority: 18.

• Artificial insemination: Not permitted within the Empire

• Assisted suicide: Illegal. Anyone helping with euthanasia is charged with murder and may be sentenced to death.

• Bestiality: Illegal.

• Birth control: Legal however may not be kept on shelves in stores and must be "Kept behind the counter".

• Childcare: Government fund 30 hours childcare a week between the ages of 1 and 4.

• Concealed carry: Permitted only after gaining police permission, passing a medical and competency test as well as a 10 hour training course.

• Death penalty: Hanging for murder and treason. Death warrants must be signed by the Emperor and while 124 prisoners (as of June 2022) were on death row Emperor Marco has stated he does not intend to sign any Death Warrants while Emperor.

• Divorce: Not permitted unless you can prove adultery or desertion.

• Double jeopardy: Allowed only in cases when there is new and compelling evidence against the accused.

• Drinking age: 18

• Driving age: 16

• Education: Compulsary between the ages of 4-18. At age 16 students sit exams and then results determine what pathways can be followed.

• Eminent domain: Legal for public purposes with fair compensation for property owners.

• Equal pay for equal work: Yes.

• Felony disenfranchisement: Yes

• Flag desecration: No official stance

• Gambling age: 18

• Gun purchase age: 21

• Homosexuality in the military: A policy of don't ask don't tell applies however discovery of a serving member of the military being homosexual can be grounds for dishonourable discharge.

• Human cloning: Illegal.

• In vitro fertilization: Illegal

• Marriageable age: 16 in arranged marriages, 18 otherwise.

• Military conscription: All men must serve 18 months in the military, women can opt in.

• Minimum wage: Yes

• Parental leave: Women granted 12 months (3 months on full pay, 3 months on 75% pay, 3 months on 50% pay and the final 3 months on 25% pay)

• Polygamy: Illegal

• Pornography: Not permitted to be sold in stores unless in fully covered plain packaging and only in licenced stores.

• Prostitution: Illegal. Those selling sexual favours can face 12 months in prison, those buying services can be fined $1000.

• Public transport: Government subsidies but privately operated.

• Race: Racism is a crime and racially motivated crimes generally carry an extended sentence.

• Same-sex marriage: Not permitted nor recognised.

• School leaving age: 18

• Sex reassignment surgery: Not permitted

• Sex toys: Not permitted for sale unless from licenced retailers.

• Sexually transmitted diseases: Knowingly risking infecting someone else can carry a charge of attempted murder.

• Smoking age: 18.

• Sodomy laws: Illegal

• State ideology: Officially None.

• Stem cell research: Legal so long as the institute can prove the stem cells come frommorally acceptable sources currently that means those taken from: Embryonic Germ Cells (from miscarriages or spontaneous abortions and not elective abortions), Umbilical Cord Stem Cells, Placenta-derived Stem Cells, Post-Natally Derived (Adult) Stem cells.

• Taxation: Progressive tax system.

• Torture: Illegal.

• Trial by jury: Used for all crimes punishable by a prison sentence or capital punishment.

• Universal healthcare: Emergency health care is free at the point of use and paid for by taxation. "Life Saving" health care is also free, elective or "non-essential" health care is paid for either by private health insurance or on a means tested fee paying scheme. So for example someone needing a heart bypass will get it free, someone wanting plastic surgery on a scar will have to pay.

• Voting age: Must be 18.

• Women's rights: Full Equality

• Working age: 16.

• Working week: 45 hrs (max).

• Narcotics: A system of controls exist with each narcotic being assigned a category. (A=Total ban and punishable by severe prison time. B=Total ban and small amount of time in prison. C= Banned in certain quantaties D= Can be purchased in licenced venues but not removed from them E= Can be purchased from licenced venues but possessed in limited amounts F=No controls)

Diplomacy and Events / Re: Classical Neighbours
« on: June 11, 2022, 12:02:06 AM »
"The Annex" was a series of offices and boardrooms that sat next to the wing in the Imperial Palace that the Emperor called home. There were several members of office staff already tapping away and busying themselves with piles of paper and cups of coffee despite it being just 7:30am. "The Annex" was a long thin building with a single office dominating the connecting end between the building and the Palace. It was home to Lt. Di Augastino one of several Advocatus who worked for the Imperial Family. To many she was known as the "Gatekeeper" as beyond one of the doors to her office lay the Emperors private lounge and beyond that his suites. If you wanted a meeting with him you first had to pass through the tall, slender officers domain.

One person who seldom had any difficultly though passing through this checkpoint was Graziano Lupin. Firstly this was because he was the Emperors cousin and maybe more importantly because he was the Imperial Consul and with Emperor Marco being rather less engaged in government than an Emperor should be it meant his cousin was the real leader of the Empire. He himself had planted Serena Di Augastino in the office she now called home knowing she'd likely be unswayed by the Emperors womanising charms and the fact that she actually frightened him a little bit. The icing on the cake though was that she was his sister-in-law and so he believed he could trust her to be a kind of informer on his cousins stupidity. "Is the Emperor up?" Graziano asked as he swung Serena's office door closed behind him and began helping himself to some of the fresh percolated coffee.

"His Imperial Majesty has company" Serena said disapprovingly.

"When is she leaving?" Graziano sat in the chair utilised by guests to the office and tossed his file folder onto the desk. Instinctively Serena straightened it and stood up, she checked the various motion sensors in the Imperial Suite on the wall next to her.

"Well one has already left" Serena frowned, "Naturally we ensured a Praetorian vehicle took her out the back and got her home in one piece. However it appears young Ginevra from the kitchen is still keeping him company." Graziano sighed, this was a far too common occurence. The young 20 year old girl was an apprentice chef in the kitchen and rather a beautiful young girl. She was though rather naive and anytime Marco felt a bit lonely, or in this case adventurous, he promised her the world and now they were in a situation where the pair where still in the suite with the Queen of Cassiopeia due to arrive.

"Extract the Emperor Liutenant." Graziano chuckled as he savoured the coffee.

"Yes sir" Serena gave a playful half salute, "I pray I don't need to bleach my eyeballs this time." the pair laughed as Serena gave a warning knock, waited a mirco-second and then entered the Emperors suites. She ensured she was loud, "Your Imperial Majesty we have guests in an hour." she yelled as she carefully examined the scene, several drinks glasses and empty wine bottles at various places, a half eaten cheese board and a womans black dress across the floor. She stepped over, wrapped on the bed-room door and braced herself. No sound came and so she cautiously opened the door. The Emperor and the kitchen girl. This was not the first time Serena had seen such a sight and as Ginevra tried to cover herself Marco just swung himself out of bed. "Your Majesty its time to be leaving, you have twenty minutes."

Marco simply chuckled, "My brother dispatched you didn't he?" The Emperor didn't wait for a response but instead simply picked up a towel from off the chair next to the bed before addressing Ginevra, "Serena here sill see you out" he informed her rather callously. Serena waited for the sound of the shower before motioning to Ginevra to be going. The girl nervously got her things together, dressed and headed towards the suites front door that lead to the Palace.

"You should know by now" Ginerva paused as Serena's hand slammed the minutely open door shut. "My office." she jerked her head and Ginerva made her way back to where Graziano was just draining the last of the thick dark coffee he had been sipping. She blushed as he saw her.

"Ginerva?" Graziano wasn't 100% sure of her name but the girl nodded. "Look I don't wish to be horrible. You should not be leaving my cousins bedroom. Do you have family in Abertone?" He asked warmly.

"No Sir" Ginerva looked nervous.

"Good" Graziano stood and turned to address Serena, "Please ensure that Ginerva here is assigned to my private staff, naturally that will require a resettlement grant and I think we can ensure a payraise." Serena wrote in a notebook and threw it in a draw. "Thank you" Graziano knew if it was in "the book" it was as good as done. He then gently took hold of Ginerva's arm, "The Praetorians will take you home and tomorrow help you pack." he watched the girl leave with a smile on her face pleased with her promotion. "Is he ready?" he asked Serena now they were alone.

"Soon" she responded. Fifteen Minutes later Marco appeared dressed in a smart white suit with pink shirt, no tie. It was rather less formal than Graziano approved of but at least he was dressed. The trio headed outside where a black uniformed Praetorian escort awaited. The airport was about a 30 minute drive from the Palace for a regular driver but with outriders and staff watching traffic lights to ensure they were always green the journey took closer to 20. They arrived without much time to spare, just enough for a brief run through of the occasion, a band for national anthems, an honour guard of some 200 Praetorians, a hand picked crowd of journalists and government officials.

As the aircraft was announced as inbound by the airports control tower Marco turned to Serena, "Cassiopeia, thats the one with the young new Queen isn't it?" He asked.

Serena looked down and took a deep breath, "No Your Majesty" she fought the urge to shake her head, "That's Lodja, they recently crowned Queen Natalya. This is Queen Atalanta, she's been Queen for some time now, 2018 I believe. She's...." Serena checked a folder quickly, "42 years of age. Ex-Naval officer" she hoped the Emperor's lack of preparation wouldn't be a problem but a reassuring wink from Graziano left her at least a bit more calm.

"And her husbands name, King....." Marco waited for a response while waving a hand as though it would help conjure up a name.

"Unmarried" Serena replied.

"Really" the Emperor raised an eyebrow. "I could perhaps enjoy this diplomacy" He turned to face the aircraft that was now touching down giving Serena and Graziano time to exchange concerned looks. By now though it was going to be too late as the aircraft was preparing to let the Queen leave. Graziano only tried to reassure himself that the Queen was a similar age to his cousin and he went for younger women usually. As the Queen arrived the Emperor bowed warmly and gave the most delicate of handshakes. "Queen Atalanta, we are grateful for you taking time from your busy schedule to come and pay us a visit. I am delighted to meet you and look forward to getting to know you better. In the short years we've been rulers we have done very little to bring our nations closer together and I've been praying that this opportunity is the first of many for us to meet. "

Character Guides / Re: Abertonians
« on: June 10, 2022, 11:03:02 PM »

Serena Di Augastino
Lieutenant in the Imperial Carabinieri

Born in 1990 Serena is the younger sister of Agatha Di Augastino, the wife of Graziano Lupin. She is a member of the Imperial Carabinieri which is a military police unit responsible for policing activities of the armed forces, providing security to VIP's and ensuring the safety of military instillations. It is tradition that a member of the unit serves in the role as one of many Advocatus which is a role combining personal secretary, steward and "fixer" for members of the Imperial Family. The title is considered one of nobility and upon leaving employment in such role an individual uses the title Advocatus Imperium.

Serena was educated at the St. Teresa of Αvila Academy, a prestigious all girls school in Abertone. Being rather tall for her age she excelled at sports including netball and swimming. She represented the Western part of the Empire in the annual East V's West School Games in swimming. In 2008 she joined the armed forces, initially as a member of the Army Physical Training School (APTS) instructing in swimming related classes such as sea survival and SCUBA diving as well as conducting training for newer recruits. She herself however never fulfilled her predicted sporting potential thanks largely due to an ACL injury playing netball at the age of 15. She was however content to enjoy a career in the military.

In 2011 she was required to take a secondment to an active combat unit and joined the Carabinieri and spent six months in the Eastern Part of the Empire helping to deal with various separatist and Republican groups. During this time she was awarded the Imperial Meritorious Conduct Medal for helping evacuate an injured colleague when their response vehicle was hit by an RPG. She then returned to the Army Physical Training School where she was given responsibility for running the fitness tests for future members of the Carabinieri. She spent between 2012 and 2018 bouncing between the Army Physical Training School and the required secondments with the Carabinieri. As is tradition for the APTS promotions are not forthcoming above Liutenant unless you become desk bound however pay increases are possible while remaining at lower ranks by assuming command of various details dedicated to things such as specialist skills, as such Serena has amassed an impressive CV of skills ranging from skiing, horse riding, parachuting and most recently rock climbing.

With no more details being avaliable for Serena in 2018 and with another secondment due she was approached by her brother-in-law to become a member of Emperor Gainfranco's staff. While the various bits of paperwork and background checks were being carried out the Emperor died and she had expected her application to be ejected. However as Emperor Marco seemed inclined to leave Serena's brother in law Graziano to be in charge he insisted the application be approved and in early 2019 she was appointed onto his staff. Within a few weeks she had been described as running the Consul's personnel office with a "rod of iron" and when Emperor Marco's Advocatus retired Graziano sent her to head his brothers household. Despite the Emperors initial flirtations she ignored his advances and once more became a strong organiser of the staff she was heading up. She was put into position in effect to ensure Graziano had someone he could trust to try and manage Marco and while Serena has been unable to stop some of his stronger vices she has at least ensured he has the veneer of an Emperor.

Serena however lives a kind of secret life being a lesbian in a country where such things are seen as "sinful".

Serena stands at 6ft 3inches in bare feet.

Character Guides / Re: Abertonians
« on: June 08, 2022, 10:57:16 PM »

Graziano Lupin
Prince of Abertone
Duke of Manzi
Imperial Consul

Graziano is the cousin of the Emperor and was born in 1980 to Emperor Luca's younger brother Prince Salvio and his wife Princess Olimpia who was also the Duchess of Manzi. In 1986 he began attending Faidello St.Nicholas School where his cousin, the now Emperor Marco, had left a low expectation of the family. Graziano however enjoyed learning despite not always being good at most subjects. He was though always top of the class in Home Economics, woodwork and gardening. It wasn't until 1991 when he began attending the facilities Upper School that he was diagnosed with dyslexia and once he began recieving help began to flourish in other subjects. His love of more practical subjects remained however. While at school he was also a member of the school football team and by 1993 had several Abertone Premier League teams scouting him, in truth though this was more a marketing project by the teams keen to emphasis that they had signed a member of royalty however Graziano was simply a very average player and by 1997 had come to that realisation himself and began to withdraw from football. Despite this he does boast a cap for the nations Under 19's team and also also a National Development League Winners medal. He is still a big fan of the game but is very discreet about who he actually supports. WHile at school he also joined the youth group called the Order of Isidore, a group that worked on farms and allotments to help grow food to provide for the poor.

In 1998 he was accepted onto a course at Manzi University to study Project Management. He intended to work for the Lupin Estate overseeing various plans across the royal properties focusing on restoration and diversification of land use. While at University though he also joined the Imperial Officer Training Cadre (IOTC), more out of a sense of duty than a career path. He actually was surprised to find that he enjoyed it and switched his degree to International Relations as he was told this would open more opportunities in the military. With his degree completed he did his 18 months military service during which he applied for aptitude tests for various roles within the military. He tested high enough to become a fast jet pilot and in 2004 became an airmen flying F-3 Fabulinus.

In 2016 he was persuaded by his cousin the then Emperor Gianfranco to leave the military and become the spokesman for the armed forces in the Senate. This actually saw him clash heavily with his cousin at times as Graziano worked hard to represent his former colleagues in the seat of government helping secure better pay and conditions for many in the military. This earned him a great deal of respect and in 2017 he was named as one of two candidates for Deputy Consul however he withdraw as a protest about injured military members having educational opportunities withdrawn.

Despite all the work he is involved in he has maintained his membership of the Order of Isidore and while not active on farms he is a big promoter of the organisation, its work and its members. It was through this organisation that in 2002 he meet his future wife Agatha Di Augastino who was the daughter of a former Consul. They meet at a fundraising event and a year later married. The couple now have three children with Andrew being born in 2004, Benedict in 2010 and his daughter Notburga. All the couples children are named after Patron saints of farming as a mark of respect towards how the couple meet.

Graziano is seen by many as the actual leader of Abertone and in 2021 he had to distance himself from a small group of Army Officers who began a petition to have him replace the Emperor.

Character Guides / Abertonians
« on: June 08, 2022, 10:22:26 PM »

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Marco Lupin IX
King of Abertone
Grand Duke of Faidello

Marco was born in 1976 and is the 2nd son of Emperor Luca V and Empress Maria.

Marco was not a good student at all and had it not been for him being at the privately run Faidello St.Nicholas School he would likely have been excluded for his lack of work ethic and rudeness to teachers. With the school having enjoyed the prestige of educating all Emperors and Princes of the nation since 1817 he was permitted to get away with a great deal of things. In school the only subject that had anything positive to say about him was music and he by merit was lead violin in the schools orchestra. When he left school in 1994 he completed his military service in the Imperial Logistics Regiment as a bandsman and rather surprisingly to his father he stayed in the service until 2001 raising to the rank of Captain. He played several instruments and arranged performances.

In 2001 he left the military and set up his own performing arts centre known as the Lupin Seminary which placed an emphasis on composing, recording, performing and promoting spiritual music. While not devoutly Christian Marco was aware of the need to support the Catholic Church and combined this with his love of music, while often not fully believing in the messages and meaning of works of religious music he appreciates the beauty of the work and therefore can put his more secular leanings to one side. Up until 2019 Marco split time between royal duties, partying and his musical work.

His elder brother Gianfranco became Emperor in 1997 following the assassination of his father by Republican terrorists. His brother ruled as Emperor from 1997-2019 before dying of an illness. As the rules of inheritance for Abertone state that a male should inherit the throne and with Gainfranco having three daughters it was Marco who inherited the throne. At the time of Gianfranco's death it transpired his wife, Sarah, was pregnant and gave birth to a healthy boy eight months after Marco inherited the throne, this has lead to some believing Marco should have abdicated the throne in favour of his nephew Peter. The Emperor though has refused to do so.

Marco has a reputation for living the high life and while having never been married has fathered three children.  Most of the day to day running of the Empire he has left to his cousin Graziano. In 1997 he was in a relationship with Livia Rizzo, the daughter of the Count of Bergcastro, in 1998 she gave birth to a daughter called Alda. Originally Marco denied being the father and his father insisted a DNA test be done, to the point of threatening to have the Praetorians lack a blood sample by force. The results confirmed Marco was the father and Emperor Luca conferred upon her the title Viscountess Rizzo. Three months later Emperor Luca died however he had left a villa on the coast to his illegitimate grand-daughter.

In 2000 Marco was in a relationship with Abertonian model Alana Bellincioni. Marco however was far from faithful. In December of that year Alana gave birth to a son called Silvano. While Marco has acknowledged the son his brother did not give any title to the boy. Even today Silvano enjoys very little contact with his father however the extended Lupin family has taken care of him and he currently is studying Mechanical Engineering at University with Graziano picking up the tab for his fees.

In 2016 Marco got a female army officer assigned to the Palace pregnant. Lieutenant Maria Ardizzone gave birth on 17th May 2016 to a daughter called Eugenia. Once again  Marco has not really stepped up as father but on this occasion his sister in law, the then Empress Sarah, has ensured that the girl is well looked after.

Factbooks and Maps / Re: The Empire of Abertone
« on: June 02, 2022, 11:41:05 AM »

Official Unit Patch

Imperial Standard

The Praetorians are a cross between a Special Forces unit and the Italian Carabinieri.

Factbooks and Maps / Re: The Empire of Abertone
« on: June 02, 2022, 11:26:09 AM »

Official Unit Patch

Imperial Standard

46,500 Sailors

11,800 Reservists

2 x Marius Glabio Class Aircraft Carrier - Purchased from Eskdale

1. Pomaria

2. Ovilava

Equipped with 8 x f-12 Shellduck VSTOL Fighters
3 x Kata Helicopter - Purchased from Ui Cenneslaig

2 x H-1 Hostilina Helicopter

5 x Titus Elva Class Submarines

1. Iuvavum

2. Vindabona

3. Lentia

4. Atuatuca

5. Tungrorum

6 x Lucius Barbula Class Attack Submarines

1. Novae

2. Storgosia

3. Deva

4. Sostra

5. Nicopolis

6. Kovacharsko

1 x Tiberius Agricola Class Amphibious Warfare Ship

1. Siscia

6 x Marcus Lepidus Class Destroyer

1. Marsonia

2. Mursa

3. Aequum

4. Pietas

5. Iulia

6. Pola

6 x Lucius Macedunius Class Air Defence Frigate

1. Pollentia

2. Herculanea

3. Andautonia

4. Salona

5. Cubalae

6. Ragusium

6 x Marcus Scaurus Class Anti-Submarine Frigate

1. Narbo

2. Martius

3. Vesontio

4. Parisiorum

5. Lugdunum

6. Nemausus

10 x Marcus Antonius Class Patrol Ship - Purchase from Nya Aland

1. Argentoratum

2. Divodurum

3. Caesarmagnus

4. Ambiarium

5. Gesoniacum

6. Aurelianorum

7. Trevororum

8. Novaesium

9. Vetera

10. Vindelicorum

6 x Lucius Antonius Mine Warfare Vessel

1. Borbetomgus

2. Sorviodurum

3. Mogontiacum

4. Bonna

5. Noviomagnus

6. Rigomagnus

34x Manius Aquillius Class Fast Attack Ship

1. Mattiacorum

2. Lopodunum

3. Flaviae

4. Bonames

Ship classes take name from
Ship Names come from

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