by Max Barry

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Region: The Coalition of Democratic Nations

Trebizond Kingfisher

Thursday - 9 December 1954

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Girl born to Princess Aenerya

Excited citizens from all corners of Pontus gathered outside in their hundreds outside the Princess Daenora Memorial Hospital in Trebizond yesterday evening to offer their heartfelt congratulations to Princess Aenerya, daughter of King Vatharion IX, and her husband Magarys on the birth of their first child at around 10:45 PM. The newborn, whose name has yet to be officially announced by her parents, and her mother were confirmed to be in perfect health by their personal physician who also expressed his elation at the smooth delivery of the newest addition to the extensive Pontic Royal Family. The King and his wife took to the airwaves shortly the following day to publicly comment on the birth, with His Majesty personally professing his "profound joy" over receiving the news.

"Malaehra and I must have had this day nagging away at us for the better part of two years, yet finally it is here and the both of us are at quite a loss for words. It brings me great pleasure, as I'm sure it does to all of us here in Trebizond, to welcome my first grandchild to the world we have worked tirelessly to bring into being ever since we returned from exile nearly ten years ago. The first of many, I might add at the risk of provoking my daughter's world-renowned ire for putting the thought of more children in her head."

With the birth now behind us, bookies set up outside the infirmary since yesterday morning are now utterly focused on the eventual announcement of the young princess' name. As it stands, the current favorites are "Elaena", "Aenessa" and "Raenyra", though ultimately there is scarce little insight on the kind of inspiration the newborn's parents will look to for prospective names.

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Naval presence stepped up in Black Sea due to Karthspiri tensions

The Pontic Maritime Force announced yesterday that it was increasing the number of vessels on active patrol in the Black Sea in response to growing political and military uncertainties surrounding the recent usurping of the German-backed Terai government in Karthspire by elements of the Karthspiri Armed Forces. In addition, due to government claims of illicit Karthspiri smuggling operations across the Black Sea, all vessels of Karthspiri origin not properly vetted by the internationally-recognised German authorities are to be screened and, if necessary, impounded upon entry into Pontic waters. With Prime Minister Lysaron Argaris and his cabinet all but guaranteed to refuse any gestures of diplomatic recognition concerning the self-proclaimed "Karthspiri Hegemony", such measures by the Pontic authorities are expected to become the norm for the foreseeable future.

Maritime Chief of Staff Vaserys Caentheos, still hard at work with the ongoing efforts to modernise the Pontic Maritime Force, wasted nary a second to echo similar sentiments on the matter.

"The situation in Karthspire is solid proof our peacekeeping work in the Black Sea is never done, whether the dreadnoughts materialising on the horizon are flying Russian flags or Karthspiri ones. Any vessel approaching our waters from the north that isn't flying the Kaiser's own colours and hauling a huge pile of signed papers guaranteeing passage to our shores under close escort by one of our active duty patrols can expect to be negotiating their release from behind a cell door before the day is out."

Nordamy, The Land of the Ephyral, and Karthspirije

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