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by The Regional Nation of The Northern Light. . 513 reads.

The Roleplay Reel - Issue I, May 8th

We are aware that not everyone is equally appreciative of image-based NS newspapers. As such, we've included the standard format mostly plain-text version of the newspaper in the spoiler below. We hope you enjoy reading this month's issue! If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to telegram the current TNP Minister of Communications El Fiji Grande or Minister of Culture Prydania.

Editor's Note
This is the first Issue of the Roleplay Reel (RPR), a joint publication by The North Pacific's Ministries of Communications and Culture. This magazine is designed to show off TNP's roleplay community to the NS world, and to highlight the interesting characters, nations, and worlds that roleplayers here have put so much effort into creating. What follows are a series of showcases that draw attention to roleplays worth reading. We hope you enjoy a closer look at all the stories being told, and hope it inspires you to become a part of this community if you aren't already.
The Editors of the Roleplay Reel
El Fiji Grande, Syrixia, MadJack, and Prydania

A Look at For The King, To Valhalla: A Forum-Based Roleplay and Character Study
by Prydania, Minister of Culture and RP Moderator

The continent of Craviter on Eras is a place where tradition and modernity clash violently, where romanticism and materialism struggle for supremacy. The wheels of history are moved by the blood of these clashes. Kings, Emperors, and Generals all did what they did for personal glory, honor, and what they thought was right. It’s a land of heroes, villains, revolutionaries, lords and ladies, and of the epic struggle of the human spirit. Prydanians, despite having origins among their Andrennian brothers on Gothis, are right at home in Craviter in this regard.

Prydania had been, since 2002, under the control of the Syndicalist Party. The country suffered under the radical left wing regime, and it was William Aubyn’s Front of National Unity that offered the best hope to topple them. It was among the FNU that Prince Tobias Loðbrók found a father. His real father, Prince Robert, was executed in 2002 along with the rest of the Royal Family. William raised the Prince, and in 2012 the seventeen-year old Tobias received his family’s sword Veiðiblað. And he asked “are the stories real?”

Tobias asked that of Jørn Stöðuvatn when he was handed his family’s heirloom sword. The sword had been in his family for long time. A very long time. Back before the Loðbróks were even a dynasty. So it was natural Prince Tobias would ask that of Jørn when he was handed what was once Æschere Loðbróki’s sword. Did he really pull Veiðiblað out of an oak in ancient Andrenne to lead his people against a wild and ferocious enemy? Jørn never answered that question. Instead he pivoted it to remind Tobias of his place in modern Prydanian history. Of the role he played as their country burnt around them, and how Tobias could potentially save it. That is the story of For the King, to Valhalla. It’s the story of a young man who carries the weight of a nation on his shoulders. Who struggles with faith, love, loss, and the implications of his family’s legacy.

Tobias himself is not particularly remarkable. He is a kind-hearted young man who has had to deal with personal tragedy and loss from a young age, and who has the unfortunate case of having this tied into a civil war - a war for the soul of Prydania itself. Tobias is not a stoic general, a brave warrior, the chessmaster, nor a particularly charismatic figurehead. He’s just the last of his family - a family that happens to stretch back into the murky past of myth and legend. He needs to find a way to carry this responsibility and be the symbol of hope people want him to be, all without losing his mind or cracking under the expectations. This is the real power behind that very old sword known as Veiðiblað.

It’s through Veiðiblað that Tobias is finally able to understand the connection that allegedly stretches back to the semi-mythical Æschere. To Heorot, Hróarr, Vortgyn, and the rest of his family’s legacy. He can now touch it, understand it. Whether or not the stories of Æschere and the sword are true doesn’t matter. What matters is that he understands his place in history. Tobias will never be the grand figurehead or general so many expect him to be, but with this sword? He understands the role he has to play in being a beacon for hope for his people. He understands how he is the universe’s counterbalance to the tyrannical Syndicalist President Thomas Nielsen. The sword’s power isn’t magical, its power lies in being able to convince Tobias Loðbrók, a boy who has suffered tragedy after tragedy, that he can be King Tobias III and help save his country from those who would see it burn.

I began my stint in TNP’s Forum-based RP community with a novel idea. What if, instead of roleplaying a civil war, I roleplayed the immediate aftermath? Most people like to roleplay civil wars, but the aftermath is rarely fleshed out. I wanted to do something different, so my first roleplay, Over the Hills and Back, started with Tobias’ coronation. The war was over, the FNU had won, the Syndicalist tyrants were vanquished, and Tobias was King at the age of twenty-two, fifteen years removed from the Syndicalist coup.
I had a blast writing Over the Hills and Back with my fellow Eras roleplayers, but the details of the civil war I had chosen to skip nagged at me. That said? Fifteen years is a long time. There is a lot of minutia in that timeframe. And so I thought about the civil war and how it affected Tobias and the rest of the country with no real outlet. I kept putting it off until fellow Eras roleplayer, Sil Dorsett, inspired me to do a collection of stories from the civil war. And thus For the King, to Valhalla was born.

I admit this structure leaves it a bit odd to read, as it rarely has chronological order. It’s a series of individual “episodes” from the war that I write as I feel inspired to. So the order is all over the place. Still, the timestamps should help. Regardless? I hope that despite this quirk it’s something people remain interested in. I’m quite proud of it, mostly because of how much fun it is to write. Of course I had the basics of Tobias’ character set and ready to go, but For the King to Valhalla allowed me to really dig into what makes him tick, what he’s like, and why he’s like that. Not just now, but over the course of fifteen years. It does focus on other aspects of the war besides Tobias of course, but he’s the focus. In many ways, it’s the story of how he became the young man and King he is in Eras’ present.

I find Tobias so much fun to write because of how human he feels. As I alluded to in my description of the roleplay above - he’s not even the leader of his own cause - his adoptive father William Aubyn is. Tobias is just a kid for the early parts of the war - a kid who has to make sense of a world that is trying to tear itself apart, all without his parents. He is unsure, scared, vulnerable, rash, and emotional. Who wouldn’t be? It’s his journey through these stages of his childhood and young adulthood, however, that matter almost as much as the FNU’s struggles against the Syndicalist government.

I admit this structure leaves it a bit odd to read, as it rarely has chronological order. It’s a series of individual “episodes” from the war that I write as I feel inspired to. So the order is all over the place. Still, the timestamps should help. Regardless? I hope that despite this quirk it’s something people remain interested in. I’m quite proud of it, mostly because of how much fun it is to write. Of course I had the basics of Tobias’ character set and ready to go, but For the King to Valhalla allowed me to really dig into what makes him tick, what he’s like, and why he’s like that. Not just now, but over the course of fifteen years. It does focus on other aspects of the war besides Tobias of course, but he’s the focus. In many ways, it’s the story of how he became the young man and King he is in Eras’ present.

I find Tobias so much fun to write because of how human he feels. As I alluded to in my description of the roleplay above - he’s not even the leader of his own cause - his adoptive father William Aubyn is. Tobias is just a kid for the early parts of the war - a kid who has to make sense of a world that is trying to tear itself apart, all without his parents. He is unsure, scared, vulnerable, rash, and emotional. Who wouldn’t be? It’s his journey through these stages of his childhood and young adulthood, however, that matter almost as much as the FNU’s struggles against the Syndicalist government.

I’m a strong proponent of character roleplay being the best vehicle to explore national roleplay. In so far as that goes, Tobias Loðbrók is the “main character” of my roleplay with Prydania as a nation. For the King, to Valhalla began as an experiment to see if I could use the random episodic method to cover fifteen years of potential stories regarding the Prydanian Civil War. It has become perhaps the best character piece I’ve ever written in over thirteen years of NationStates-based roleplay. I hope it’s something people enjoy reading. If you find yourself checking it out, enjoy the journey!

The Political System of the Sutherland Federation
by Wonderess

The Sutherland Federation is one of the newest nations of Eras having broken away from the Kingdom of McMasterdonia on February 8th, 2018, in an area which remains in dispute to this day. Sutherland was formed as a safe haven for the Courantist minorities of McMasterdonia, tired of persecution and second class treatment by both the Royal Family of McMasterdonia and the military movements of the Flemingovian bishop Gunrei amidst a civil war in the nation.

With this in mind, the government of Sutherland was formed to allow for religious freedom and the federal unity of small communities and local customs. The nation attempts to avoid nationalism without causing fracturing and becoming a nation too decentralized to accomplish national goals. To achieve this, Sutherland has dominions or states that act as the central level of government. Below are Sutherland’s dominions along with the unorganized Territory of Thane:

Each dominion’s government is made up of the leaders of each governmental district within them which each contain about 10,000 people. The Council of the Dominion in each one handles “state level” affairs such as healthcare matters, welfare, and defense organization. The populous and their character drastically affect the priorities of each dominion when it comes to legislation and spending. The Dominion of Alderon by far spends the most on defense due to its more antagonistic character and proximity to the McMasterdonian border to its south. The Dominion of Lake Prime trends towards labor training and pro union legislation due to the great number of manufacturing jobs in the City of Lake Prime. Below the dominions are broken down into their governmental districts and the colored areas are the governmental districts grouped into their Core General (legislative) districts:

The federal government of the Sutherland Federation mainly focuses on foreign affairs, international economics, university education, disputes between dominions, nationally coordinated defense, as well as the civil organization of the nation. With this in mind, it is actually possible for the federal government to dissolve a dominion or create a new one even though their jurisdiction over the governance of dominions is limited. The foundation of the federal government is the head of state: the Arc-Wonderess of Sutherland. The inaugural Arc-Wonderess is Nathan Jarreau, the founder of the Sutherland nation and the main visionary for its development as a united Courantist (Eras version of Roman Catholic) people. Official portrait to the right.

The Arc-Wonderess must be a Courantist who is unmarried and has a doctorate in philosophy or sacred theology. The Arc-Wonderess’s actual governmental power is limited, however his advice and centrality to Sutherlan culture makes his influence significant on the rest of the government. He or she has the right to enter the legislative chamber of the nation, the Core General, and be a speaker of preference at anytime that the Core General is deliberating legislation. The Arc-Wonderess is removed through resignation, death, or by the confidence vote of the Core General. The confidence vote requires two separate votes of the nation that are three months apart. The removal must be confirmed twice in order for the removal to succeed. The Arc-Wonderess is the embodiment of the “philosopher king” and therefore acts as challenger and critic of the Core General’s actions if those actions appear politically charged or opposed to the spirit of Sutherland.

The Arc-Wonderess has major influence when it comes to the election of the Core General. At any time, he may ask the people of Sutherland to push for a vote on a new Core General election. This requires a simple majority in the affirmative by the populous with governmental districts being counted. If the motion succeeds, he may then pose a dilemma to the people of Sutherland. Their two responses will act as the future coalitions of the Core General members. The first question in the history of the Federation referred to the Sutherlan relationship to McMasterdonia in which an Anti-McMasterdonian Coalition and a McMasterdonian Tolerance Coalition were formed. The second and current question was based on the theo-cultural posture of the nation as a faith based outlook (Fidei Coalition) or a reason based outlook (Ratio Coalition). Sutherland does not have political parties and only uses general coalitions in response to the Arc-Wonderess’s question until the next election cycle. Here is the current makeup of the Core General:
The Ratio Coalition controls 285 seats to the Fidei Coalition's 267 seats.

The Core General serves as the national legislature and has the duty to deliberate on obstacles and conflicts that face the Sutherland Federation. It is made up of representatives from districts that include around five governmental districts. The Core General is divided up into the Committees of Heart, Doctrine, Passion, and Wisdom as modeled after the national rule of life of Sutherland. Heart deals with matters of welfare and charity, Doctrine deals with law and order, Passion deals with defense and foreign policy, and Wisdom deals with finances. The Committee of Passion is subdivided into the Diadem of Sutherland which is its united defense force and the Wings of Sutherland as its department of state. Below is the Palace of the Core General:

The final part of the Sutherland government is the Court of Inspirators. This court is the advisory body of the Arc-Wonderess and its members act as advisors and mouthpieces for the work of Sutherland at home and in the international community. Important nations may receive an Inspirator as an ambassador. Their main purpose is to serve as the group from which the next Arc-Wonderess is to be chosen. They are each chosen from a collection of governmental districts that are their “kingdom” or Inspiraria. Map of Sutherland Inspirarias:

The Chamber of the Inspirators, their central meeting place and offices:
The government of the Sutherland Federation serves to make Nathan Jarreau’s vision of a free, independent, and thriving Sutherland financially as well as culturally a reality. It requires the dedication and steadfast hope of the people to keep Sutherland together and united for a better tomorrow. The dominions accomplish this by caring for their people, the Core General does this through its dialogues and acts of unity for the one nation, the Court of Inspirators do this through their dedication, and hard work for the vision and ideals of the Arc-Wonderess. The Arc-Wonderess does so through his lifelong dedication to Sutherland, his land, home, and people.

The Queen and the Empress
by Salgado

From the land of vast taigas, open seas and the largest cities on the face of Northern Osea, a dark-skinned Queen and her adopted child boarded the earliest flight out of Esperanza City to meet the Empress of the Rynese, another grand country separated from Azenyanistan by thousands of miles of earth and water as well as the fact that both countries resided upon different continents and were a part of strange alliances. Just as the two members of an ancient royal family settled down in their comfortable first-class seats, the adorable young woman noticed a troubled expression coming unto the face of her adoptive mother. She reached out to her hand and grasped it firmly while she smiled at her mother. The older woman, despite the pain crawling up and down her arm, a price she paid for using wild and evil magic made evident by the horrifying scars that traced over her arms hidden by the sleeves of her top, smiled back and reassured her only daughter, without a word spoken, that she would be okay. The plane, in minutes, soon left the airport and gave its last witness to the land of the Azens and their kingdom.

This is a taste of the start of one of the most intense and passionately written roleplays that surfaced on Strangereal just recently.
This roleplay has no title made by both players involved in this romantic and incredibly character focused collaboration. Yet, it seems that the most basic working title could always make up for the lack of a proper name. So, dear readers, please allow me to introduce this month’s featured roleplay, The Queen and The Empress.

A month ago, this roleplay began quite innocently and absentmindedly in what was supposed to be a routine diplomatic chat between two heads of state controlled by the players Rynese Empire (Ryn) and Azenyanistan (Azen). On the backgrounds of both players, Ryn is an old player of The North Pacific's Strangereal RMB RP. He is the humble owner and creator of The Rynese Empire, a vast and powerful member of an alliance of nations called the Ironblood Zwei. Meanwhile, Azen is a new addition to the region, hailing from the modern tech region of New Ausozera. He is a young roleplayer focused on modern tech and character-focused roleplays. And just like Rynese, he is the owner and creator of Azenyanistan, a kingdom dominated by both magic and technology as a member of the strict but outstandingly strong Warsaw Pact.

Returning to focus on the roleplay itself, both players expected that it would end quickly and wouldn't matter much. For the article, it was fortunate that both players agreed to an interview.

What did you first expect from this RP?
At first, I thought it would be a short lived meeting between two queens.
Okay. And what can you say about how it turned out?
It turned out to be a long and planned out romance story. It’s something I’m totally okay with. I’m actually glad it happened.
That’s nice. So, are you willing to continue the RP with Azen?
Absolutely! This is one of the roleplays that I can’t really say no to continuing, even if it turns into a lot of filler.
Do you truly enjoy it?
It’s hard not to enjoy it.
If you and he were to work together again on a similar or different project, would you?
Absolutely! Azenyanistan has proven to be pretty much the most reliable guy around. I’ll always be up for working with him again.
That’s really nice of you. As for the roleplay, what comments would you like to make? How romantic is it really? Is it over the top or genuine?
I’d say that I like the way it is, with slightly over the top love. To me, I feel like it’s the correct amount of everything, considering everything from both sides, though to a third party it might seem a little, as I said, over the top. It’s enjoyable to write, which is all I really care for. The story itself is good because both writers involved had fun writing it.
Alright. So, we are almost done with the interview, what would you like to say to our readers about one on one roleplays like this one?
They’re probably the backbone and femur of roleplaying in general. Not to mention, easy to pull off and probably the type of roleplay to have the most potential structuring and planning for.
Thanks. That was a wonderful interview.
You’re welcome!

According to Azen, he started that, "It was wonderful to play with Ryn. I didn't even expect this RP to lead not only to a thriving In-Character friendship but also an Out-of-Character partnership."

Ever since the two resumed the roleplay just a few days ago, so much warmth has been exchanged between the two players. In both private and in public, in their own company so shared or in the company of many others, both friend and stranger, the two writers have closely tied themselves to the other without a hint of coldness or hesitation.

In the end, the roleplay continues between the two. The current arc is situated around Empress Tiara attempting to bring back Queen Natalia to the Rynese Empire after a serious misunderstanding.

Federalist Party Swept into Mensedag in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment
by Syrixia

April 7, 2019, NIDAROS - Vallanders registered their dismay and frustration with Nidaros' political establishment on Friday, April 6, 2019, handing a party both relatively new in the national scene and widely considered irrelevant the largest share of seats in both the Vårtinget and the Lånsevar. The surprise outcome defied polls that showed the Messianist Democratic and Confederation Development Parties coming in 1st and 2nd respectively.

For the party's leader, Mark Hellstrand, an actor and entrepreneur-turned politician with no government experience, the results were triumphant in particular. The voters delivered a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him and his party, from the public sector to the private sector; from one wing of the political spectrum to the other.

Before Hellstrand, the Federalist Party was a nearly unheard-of fringe party essentially run by the Kelten family, who had run it for decades, and for 3 generations. Its third leader, Gert Kelten, in particular, stressed the party's radical single-issue agenda: the abolition of the cantonal system and the Confederation as a whole in favor of a federal republic, during a point in time when Vallanders became more and more angry at a dual-hung legislature and a stagnating economy.

However, in November of 2014, Kelten became caught up in a sexual harassment scandal that endangered his and his family's leadership- and rocketed his party to national news. It was at this point that, during the chaos engulfing the party, that Hellstrand first registered as a member. His star power and his brief career as a lobbyist propelled him to the upper echelons of the party relatively quickly, and just months before the midterms, Hellstrand was elected Leader of the Federalist Party with 88% of the vote.

What followed was a massive effort by Hellstrand to transform the party from a fringe federalist movement into a force appealing to Vallanders everywhere, galvanizing a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar and middle-class voters who managed to swing cantons that had been reliably in the camp of much more established parties for decades.

In the 2015 midterms, the Federalists managed to break into the Vårtinget with 29 seats, but were still considered fringe by political pundits and the three major parties alike, as well as much of the public. However, that wasn't enough for Hellstrand, and for 4 years, from 2015 to 2019, the Federalists ceaselessly criticized government division and called for strong action, while slowly but surely mobilizing grassroots campaign efforts.

Erna Hareide and her husband Rasmus, two 32-year-old newlyweds, walked out of a polling station in Vikstad on Friday and said they had cast their votes for Hellstrand and his party, despite usually voting for the CDP. Their comments suggested that Hellstrand's longstanding grassroots efforts had paid off, and they weren't alone.

Voters, as the results show us, were willing to take a gamble for change, and gave the Federalists 340 seats in the Vårtinget, compared to 184 for the Messianist Democrats and 163 for the CDP. Meanwhile, the Centrist Union, previously the largest political party in the country, was eviscerated, and is now the smallest with 46 seats. In the Lånsevar, 60 seats went to the Federalists, whereas 28 went to the Messianist Democrats, 24 to the CDP, and 12 to the Centrists.

While the Federalists were not able to gain an absolute majority, they were able to gain a simple majority- a tool Hellstrand can use to appoint a Federal Council with a Federalist majority. The Federalists also performed a number of feats that, to many political pundits and pollsters, seemed impossible. By taking Halsen, they performed the rare Skjednak- a political term meaning "cutting the neck", referring to the Litefjord; where the traditionally Centrist strongholds in the Litefjordstad region and the Outer Plains region are not connected by a fully Centrist-controlled Litefjord region.

More importantly, though, the Federalists stole the South from the Messianist Democrats, who have traditionally held the region, just as the CDP have traditionally held the North and the Centrists the West. The Messianist Democrats were, however, able to compensate for this by winning over many suburban voters, as well as through the personal charisma of Lotte Jensen, their leader.

Due to these factors, Jensen had become the primary opposing force to the rise of the Federalists, and the Messianist Democrats, though they had lost the South, made significant gains in the North, flipping districts and cantons previously held by both the CDP and the Centrists. However, as a consequence for Never-Hellstranders, the results have yielded no united opposition to the Federalists in the Mensedag. The Messianist Democrats and CDP, though united in their disdain for Hellstrand, are fundamentally center-right and center-left parties respectively.

This gives Hellstrand and the Federalist Party a larger advantage, and makes their success story all the more fascinating, whether you support or dislike the Federalists' agenda. However, only time will tell what this new party and its firebrand leader will be able to do, and whether they will be able to deliver on their campaign promises to cut the power of the big banks, get Valland more involved in the international community, bring in new jobs, and bolster the economy.

In short, though the campaign- one of the most brutal in Valland's history- is finally over, a new political era has dawned. After years of waiting and tireless campaigning, the voters have put the Federalists in power; and time will tell if they are able to, as their mantra states, Set Valland Forward Again.

Rump, Tony Scheduled for Duel at Dawn
by Deerfenland

(Freetown, SL) - The President of the African Caribbean Republic of Deerfenland prepares for the duel after he was challenged by the Minister of Defense concerning the state, Markaz Tony. This individual engagement is cataloged for Sunday at 6:30 at the Revolutionary War battleground.

The Minister of Defense of the African Caribbean Republic of Deerfenland approached President Rump yesterday at around 19:45. "Careful how you proceed, good man. Intemperance indeed, good man. Answer forth the accusations I lay at your feet, or prepare to bleed, good man," were the words the Minister of Defense yelled to the President. The President was seen smiling. "Your grievance is legitimate. I stand by what I said every bit of it."

This goes back to the President saying that the Minister of Defense was: amoral, a disgrace, and unprofessional along with other strings of insults. Then, we heard the MoD yelling towards Rump. "Then stand, Donald. Freetown, dawn. Guns, drawn." We can see the president standing up and shaking the minister's hand. "You're on."

There has been a feud between the two. Politically and emotionally, the feud has been between the men for years. The vendetta must be resolved. One man will die, one will survive. The battlegrounds in the middle of Freetown was the place where the Deerfenese Revolution ended after the Deerfenese Colonial Forces surrounded the British.

These grounds were later deemed the only duel grounds. These are the only places where duels are legal. So far, a total of 222 duels have been fought here. One winner and one loser. A companion and a doctor will be with each man. There is a moat that surrounds the battleground. They will row across it at dawn.
 President Rump endured a journalist colloquium. Here is something he had to state: "I know you have learned that Defense Minister Markaz Tony and I have challenged each other to a duel. Here are the details. The Minister of Defense's second will be Jévon Booker, the former Vice President. My friend who will accompany me will be Henderson Moore."

Markaz Tony served as the Minister of Defense under the Dapaah and Addo Administrations. He made himself known when he called for the operation to invade the Nikolas in World War IV. He also called for the invasion of the numerous labor camps in the Special Administrative Region of Zhumu (瞩目) in the times of Alerian and Tiristanian occupation.

Markaz Tony also has a marksman’s ability and a tremendous shot. He served in the Deerfenese Armed Forces during the times of Nikolas occupation. He also served on guard ready to attack orders of a Toshavoan Invasion. This man has killed hundreds of opponents in war. He cut down several Niks alone in the fourth World War.

Donald Rump also has a marksman’s ability. He is known for not throwing away his shot. He had been in one duel before Sunday’s, which he won by a long shot. The opponent was never able to shoot.

It will be really difficult to decide on a winner. However, this duel will end long political tensions between the two men. However, it will remain to see who wins. However, who do you think will win? Who has the best shot? Who will not throw away their shot?

The Roleplay Reel: Showing the Beauty of Storytelling
Publisher: Pallaith (Ghost) :: Executive Editors: El Fiji Grande, Syrixia, MadJack, and Prydania

The Roleplay Reel is produced by the Ministries of Communications and Culture on behalf of the RP Community of The North Pacific.