King of Řots at parliamentary session on 15 March; traffic in Kotōlets and Nekkar to be suspended

(Nekkar, 23 February 2017)King Verteř V Storm will attend a session of the parliament of Řots on 1 Třeesip (15 March), prime minister Vervets Bekřa Nureet himself announced today. Those who watched members of the government and parliament up close in the last week, may have suspected that something important and/or unusual was going on, as everybody seemed far more stressed and busy than normal. The last time a head of state of Řots attended a session of parliament was by King Dot XIII Tora in 3405 (= 1929), so almost ninety years ago; his successor Dot XIV Vāsterets and his successors kept themselves out of state politics altogether, with modernity arriving too rapidly for them as of the ’30s (= the ‘50s of the 20th century).

The King’s decision to attend a parliamentary session is all the more surprising because of his age: the current monarch is probably in his late 80s and succeeded his brother King Bēserets Sot (3438 – 3492 = 1961 – 2016) only two years ago. As the prime minister announced, the King’s health is in a fragile state, so any unexpected surprise should be avoided at all cost and the Codex should be followed to the letter: the 1200 year old set of rules that determine the lives of the Royal Family and most of the nobility, and which prevents any change, causing them to form a society within the society of Řots that has been living in isolation and according to medieval tradition until present day.

The visit will also require a change of schedule for inhabitants of both the royal capital of Kotōlets, the civil capital of Nekkar, and some roads between the two: as the royal family and most of the nobility are still living by the Codex, the King and his entourage are most likely not used to the existence of e.g. cars, which means that car driving will be temporarily suspended along the route the Royal Carriage will take. The Carriage will not take the highways, but rather follow the ‘scenic’ road via Tarřebo, Ōřlemup, and Vulipo. The King will spend a week in Nekkar and stay in the Merbu-Kevigu Palas in the suburb of Merp and receive guests there; he will get out only to attend the parliamentary session on the 15th. The prime minister announced that security in Nekkar will be heavily increased during that week, but citizens should not be hindered in their daily activities. In any case, citizens of Nekkar will have a day off on the 15th.

The King’s attendance of parliament also requires that its members as well as the members of the government who attend the session, need to dress up in formal attire as prescribed by the Codex. All persons in Řots who end up in a position of importance have one set made for these eventualities, but in practice, nobody ever needs to wear it and clothes are often acquired second hand from previous politicians if their sizes are more or less the same. Politicians who discover that their formal dress doesn’t fit, now have less than three weeks to make the necessary changes to their clothing.

The conduction of the parliamentary session itself will also be different than usual: speaking or asking questions in the Řosu Git (‘House of Řots’, Řots’s house of parliament) has to be done according to strict formulas so it may take longer to discuss certain topics: a general old-fashioned literary way of speaking is required, mentioning the King all the time, referring to oneself in the third person, and avoiding the suggestion that anyone but the King may have taken any decision, e.g. the minister of Housing could say: ‘By His Majesty’s Leave, His Minister of Housing and Regional Planning humbly informs the Honorable Speaker of this House that …’ instead of the more usual ‘Mr Speaker, I have decided that …’ Many politicians who are expected to speak in the Řosu Git that day will need to practice using this formal way of speaking even in spontaneous replies.

Although many are looking forward to having their first ever glimpse of a Řots monarch, there has been criticism about all the fuss that this royal surprise visit will entail. According to some, Nekkar will be struck by a week of chaos, and if the King plans to schedule more of these surprise visits, some things need to be changed – but this would essentially mean a modification of the Codex, which although not impossible, seems very unlikely.


King Mearh dies: ten days of national mourning declared

HREAWIRC, 5 DECEMBER 2017 | King Mearh I of Wyster has died this morning. The 96-year old monarch passed away sitting down in his favorite reading chair after breakfast, according to Prime Minister Cillyh Ocurmen, who addressed the nation shortly after noon. The Prime Minister praised the Mearh’s many years of service to the country, more than 47 of which as king. Funeral arrangements will now be discussed with the new Queen, Mearh’s oldest daughter Atheanne, and the rest of the royal family. The Prime Minister declared ten days of national mourning, during which public life in Wyster will have a sober character.

Mearh I sie Soormeth was born at Fryhaec Castle, near the village of Bocyme in county Orsearre on 27 February 1921. His father was Hrevyn sie Soormeth (later king Hrevyn III), his mother Rynne Countess Caen. Wyster was just experiencing its Fourth Republic under Chairman Peus Ghaarn, a brilliant political strategist who turned out to be increasingly ruthless and paranoid as he got older; he was elected in 1915 under the Third Republic, but he managed to gain such political dominance that he changed the constitution in 1920 and establised the Fourth Republic, in which it was almost impossible to depose him without force. Force came in the form of a six year civil war. At the end of this war, the Wystrian monarchy was restored under King Hrevyn III, a grandson of the previous king Hrevyn II (1859-1860 and 1895-1902). As his father became king, Mearh became Crown Prince.

Mearh studied political history and diplomatic studies, both in Wyster and abroad. In 1947 he married Soor Countess Meerwyth (1924 – 2008), with whom he had two daughters, Princess Atheanne (*1949, who is now the Queen of Wyster) and Princess Learre (*1955). When Mearh succeeded his father as King of Wyster in 1970, Princess Atheanne became his heir apparent. Mearh’s life as Crown Prince was not without problems. As a student he got into trouble already for driving under influence and getting involved in a mass fight that damaged several houses and shops in Hreawirc. His marriage was tumultuous and Crown Princess Soor is said to have been ready to leave the country on more than one occasion. In 1961 he was essential in closing a lucrative arms deal between Wyster and Karolia, which gained him a lot of praise initially until it emerged six years later that he mediated for two other parties as well at the time of the Wyster-Karolia deal and facilitated illegal arms trade in the process. Several politicians of Wyster then demanded that Mearh be excluded from succession and that the throne should pass directly to Mearh’s daughter Atheanne after Hrevyn III’s death. According to sources, Hrevyn III threatened to abdicate on the spot if this proposal was put into practice and Atheanne (who was barely 18 years old at the time) refused to step in.

Hrevyn III died in 1970 and Mearh succeeded him as King of Wyster. Although he was initially unpopular in political circles, a large part of the population considered him a ‘man of the people’, for taking risks and putting protocol aside. His marriage calmed down a bit and under influence of his wife Queen Soor, the new King slowly discovered his role as monarch. He showed that he was there as King not only to party but also to support the people, for instance when a landslide all but destroyed two villages in county Troc in 1984 and after the shooting attack in the Promynad Stadium in Hreawirc that left nine visitors dead and several dozens injured in 1991.

The new millennium saw a calmer agenda for the King, with his daughters taking over several official tasks. Queen Soor died in 2008. Although the King’s health remained good until the very end, he became frail, with a faltering voice. His last public appearance was in June 2014; after that, he only made a couple of appearances on television.

Queen Atheanne (68) is the new head of state of Wyster, although her coronation will be scheduled after the ten days of mourning only. The Queen doesn’t have any children, so her younger sister Princess Learra is the heir presumptive; Learra’s eldest son Prince Thyllyn (35) is second in line.

Řots Government approves construction of new international airport near Nekkar

(Nekkar, 7 July 2017) – The government of Řots has approved the contruction of a new international airport near the capital, Nekkar. This was announced by traffic minister Gerben Arva Larin this morning. The new airport will replace the existing one, which has been considered too small and out of date. “The facilities at the current airport are not of this time anymore”, the minister said. “Expanding and modernising it at its present location is not possible according to experts, so the government decided to select another site and build a new airport from scratch.”

This new site will be in the province of Māp, east of the towns of Īssikem and Sorteka approximately 35 kilometers from the city centre of Nekkar, where an area will be ‘cut out’ and added as an exclave to the province of Nekkar. The new airport should attract commercial, business, and cargo flights and will include a large business area; the government intends to promote Nekkar as an alternative international hub.

Fortress Party (DW) back in government of Wyster after general elections

HREAWIRC, 2 JULY 2017 | After only a relatively brief interruption of four years, the Fortress Party (Dyrt Warh, DW) will lead Wyster once again. That is the outcome of this morning’s general election, which saw the DW’s seats increase from 49 to 88 of the Uth Binder (‘General Court’)’s 169 seats. The People’s Party (Dyrt Bleugh, DB) lost 32 of its 93 seats and will once again be the largest opposition party. The smaller parties lose seats as well: the Green party (Dyrt Blys) descends from 16 to 9, the Citizen’s Party (Dyrt Ceethceus) from 11 to 8. The new party Unity for the Future (Farstastat ab Muh) enters parliament with three seats.

The policies of prime minister Dharc Ghaestre’s DB government weren’t all that bad, but according to analysts the victory of the DB was mainly caused by the fact that people were tired of the DW after the fourteen years that Taelwyn Healda lead the government from 1999 to 2013. “The people simply wanted a change. Ghaestre and his ministers didn’t receive bad marks, but obviously something didn’t feel right to the voters who considered this a failed ‘experiment’”, one analyst said.

Immediately after the first results were published, Ghaestre announced his resignation as party leader. The leader of the DW, Cillyh Ocurmen, will visit king Mearh first thing tomorrow morning in order to be appointed Ceagrys sie Irhith (‘Chairman of the Government’, or prime minister). “The people of Wyster have made their choice”, Ocurmen said during his victory speech. “After four years of flirting with DB rule they decided that the DW offers them the attention and respect that they knew they need. I promise that we won’t fail them.”

Wyster has a bicameral parliament, the Higurstat Baan (‘Assembly of the Realm’). The first (permanent) chamber is the Uth Binder (‘General Court’), which consists of 169 members who are elected every four years through a first-past-the-post system. The second chamber is the Uth Peg (‘High Court’), which consists of 21 members and convenes only when summoned by either the King, 6/7 of the members of the Uth Binder, or 42,000 citizens (or a combination of these three) to discuss special subjects (e.g. constitution changes).

Nude drunk elite party surprises visitors of commercial centre of Bakiřvē Ots (Řots)

(Kavatořre (Řots), 1 July 2017) – A number of late night shoppers in the commercial centre of Bakiřvē Ots, in the Ēzentep district of Kavatořre near the village of Nī Tek Prusu Loko and the SAF border were awkwardly surprised last night when several dozens of partying people entered the premises – without any clothes on. Shocked passers-by called the police, who arrived shortly afterwards. It turned out to be a mixture of lower nobility and several upper class persons whose party had started at the nearby Kīvi estate earlier in the evening.

“For the sake of their privacy the police won’t mention the names of those involved, although we suspect that several pictures may pop up at social media in the next couple of hours”, a spokeswoman of the police told the press. “I can mention however that among the guests of Lord Kīvi were noted local politicians, a few captains of industry and several members of the nobility whose identities we are in the process of varifying – which, as you know, is complicated.

“The cause of this problem has been identified as an alcoholic substance that causes almost instant drunkenness and makes you feel hot so that one’s first instinct is to undress. The effect may take several hours to wear off. We questioned the assistants of a noble woman who is suspected of having brought several bottles to the party and is the only one whom we encountered still dressed.”

The noble woman was reveiled (by herself) to be Maro Tōr, the Duchess of Kartori. She is one of the few members of the higher nobility that hasn’t retreated in their castles and estates since the middle ages to live by the Codex of Řots, a set of laws and protocols that over time has made governing the country so impossible that common citizens started to form their own modern society, now almost twohundred years ago. The Duchess is often seen in high society situations and generally tends to behave oddly.

The Duchess denies having anything to do with it this time however. “Of course I didn’t bring these bottles of … what was it called? Shputs? Shlurp? … to the party? How could I? I wasn’t even aware that these nice people would react like this if they drank it! The person who sold them to me only told me that those who consumed it would have a great time!”

Řots Government investigating membership of the Archanta Nations Organisation

(Nekkar, 16 June 2017) – The government is currently investigating the possibility for Řots to join the Archanta Nations Organisation. This was confirmed by foreign affairs minister Bāpēr Irve Ulař. “The ANO offers many attractive features such as their purpose to maintain peace on the continent of Archanta, and the facilitation of regulations concerning aspects of trade, industry, transportation, and security”, she said. “Most current member states of ANO are however located on the northern part of Archanta, Neo Delta being an important exception. It therefore remains to be seen how Řots and the ANO will be able to overcome the distance in order to implement e.g. the peace instruments and I have to confess that our membership of the South-West Astrasian Economic Alliance may already cover a lot of the economic aspects of ANO. We will enter talks however with an open mind.”

Founded in 1985, the ANO is a mainly political organisation that attemps to facilitate transnational decision-making and multilateral dialogue in Archanta. Currently it has ten member states, including Abunadi, the Ardisphere, and Neo Delta.

Several arrests in Ārakkar after police find large amounts of drugs hidden in fake turtlefruit shells

(Ārakkar, 27 February 2016) – In what has been the largests drugs related operation in Řots to date the police found a ‘huge amount of drugs’ worth several hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Řots Varks hidden in 97 boxes containing mostly fake turtlefruit shells yesterday morning. A few real turtle fruits had been added in case of a superficial controle, but the police were tipped and went through the cargo more thoroughly than expected.

The five persons that were supposed to collect the boxes were held and are currently in police custody. In the course of the day, the police raided several buildings in downtown Ārakkar and the neighbouring village of Valkar, during which 26 more suspects were arrested. It is said that Bidevi Koras Avēt, the Ārakkar alderman responsible for local economy and trade is among them, but the police said that they couldn’t deny nor confirm that as the investigation is still ongoing.

The police told the press that the drugs were intended for the South-East Astrasian market. “Drugs from Tarephia have been finding their way through our country for years, but in the last three to five years we noted a sudden traffic increase. With today’s catch we administered a severe blow to the drug scenes both in Řots, in our neighbouring countries and hopefully in the countries of origin as well”, a spokesman of the police said.

The “Turtlefruit Scandal”, as it is already called, may have consequences for more people. “In order to maintain such an enormous clandestine operation, people in high places have had to be involved”, Vase Belōr Galati, the chief commissioner of the national police, said today in a televised interview. In the next couple of days, the police will be expanding their investigation to other cities as well, especially the capitals of Nekkar and Kotōlets and the southern harbour of Kiřtemon. “It is important that we put a stop to this as quickly as possible”, the chief commissioner said.

Turtlefruits, especially the so called “Freedemian” variant, are a quite popular exotic fruit in Řots and the most important fruit that is imported from the Tarephian continent.