|The Grand Duchy of Varkonia|
Flag of Varkonia
Varkonia's Coat of Arms
|Capital city||City of Varkonia|
• King of Nox
• The Red Duke
|Foundation document||Claims Announcement|
|Motto||"By the Power of Nox"|
The Grand Duchy of Varkonia, commonly known as Varkonia, was a constitutional monarchy on CivClassic located in the -,-. Varkonia's mainland borders stretch from neighboring Gabon in the east to Tierra de Conciencia in the west. The Grand Duchy of Varkonia is made up of eight provinces. The province of Varkonia is the center of government and the most populous. Other provinces of note include Nevrast, Kaiserreich, and Westmore.
The Grand Duchy of Varkonia is a constitutional monarchy with an elected senate of at least five sitting members. It is led by The Red Duke, who serves as the head of state, and the Senate, which is the highest decision-making body in the Grand Duchy. The current sitting monarch, Varkanos, is the figurehead of the nation and generally acts as the arbitrator of senatorial affairs.
Varkonia was a prominent and founding member state of the United Northern Congress (UNC) with a range of contracts, treaties, and economic arrangements with many of its regional neighbors, and now currently is a member of the Entente, with Gensokyo, Nyasaland, and Hjaltland. Varkonia has been directly involved in the resolution of several regional affairs and conflicts, as well as a major participant in the War of The Coalition and Infinity War on the side of the Coalition.
Varkonia remains a prominent member of the loose organization of nations in the post-war server, referred to as the World Police, including the members of the Entente, SATO, and UDF, and is keeping many war criminals and unrepentant combatants pearled for the foreseeable future.
Founding of the City State of Varkonia
The City of Varkonia was founded In early July 2018, after extensive work and deliberation by Mickale, who had returned after the resolution of the Somber War. While he was initially offered citizenship in Coventhia, there were calls for a new nation to be formed by stateless former Volterrans and SPQR citizens from previous iterations. Varkanos, S4NTA, RedSkillz, Cicero, and various others came together to help Mickale in the founding of Varkonia.
Several candidate sites were considered, including the area north of the Airbud Republic and former Republic of Vallera. These sites were rejected in favor of proximity to more friendly nations and the center of the map. Varkonia’s geography contained considerable natural beauty, which ultimately favored the current site for selection.
The formation of the City State of Varkonia was warmly received by all neighboring nations and their citizenry. Gabon in particular developed a very close relationship with Varkonia due to their common histories and views.
Construction of the Capital
The first Varkonian construction on the island was a small birchwood hut built by Redskillz and Mickale at the base of Mt. Velino, looking out over forest gently sloping toward the Tiber River. Within this hut, the initial factories were placed and rails were dug to neighboring Gabon and Impasse.
The area was hilly and heavily forested. The process of developing a city was slow and difficult. Jett213 was responsible for clearing the largest trees, which had 3x3 block trunks and were at least 24 blocks tall. Vast excavations of the local surroundings took place during this time, with deforestation being a high priority as areas suitable for construction were required to house the growing population. It was common practice to ask passers-by to assist in the deforestation effort, with limited tools and wealth available to the fledgling city-state. Ez2Clutch was one such passer-by who single-handedly deforested the entire Eastern side of the island.
After clearing enough suitable locations, work began on constructing the Tower of Varkanos, located in the center of the city, which was completed in just three days. It is situated atop a naturally elevated plateau, which inspired the Varkonians to preserve as much natural elevation variability as possible. At 125 blocks tall, it is still the tallest and most recognizable structure in Varkonia. The tower is a national icon and can be viewed from any point in the capital.
The tower’s reputation attracted the attention of Gobblin, who invited Varkonia to join the Order of St Marcus, whos builds and aesthetics are still highly regarded. After this, the rate of construction in the city exploded as Gobblin designed new buildings at a prolific rate. After joining the Order, a town hall was designed by Mickale to replace the initial birch construction and the rails were redirected into a new station directly under the tower. The town hall remains the seat of Varkonia’s government to this day and is at the heart of Varkonian politics.
From the founding of the City-state, Mickale ruled as de facto dictator, making decisions about location, construction, immigration, and development unilaterally. The Varkonians valued central leadership in the developing phase of civilization. As a result, the city of Varkonia was planned out extensively first with a strict building code.
With a growing population and growing number of responsibilities to respond to, Mickale set the groundwork for the Varkonian government. He titled himself the Red Duke of Varkonia, and created a Senate. The early Senate was made up of appointed prominent active citizens who served to assist the Duke in governing Varkonia, to represent the provinces, and to hear and rule on internal disputes, crimes, and punishments.
The early Senate primarily focused on creating organization and forging bonds with neighboring nations in order to firmly establish Varkonia within the region. During this time, Varkonia began establishing XP production and solidifying its borders. Vendemmia, a settlement due East of Varkonia, was established by Jonnyflatz to supply pumpkins and potatoes to the growing needs of Varkonia.
The Alpko-Gabon Crisis
The first Senate was tested by the Alpoko-Gabon Crisis, a serious dispute between Varkonia's neighbors: the Kingdom of Alpoko and the Principality of Gabon. Gabon had established itself within the claims of Alpoko, which had been considered a dead nation for months prior to Gabon's founding, however Alpoko decided to return and restore its old land claims on the 12th of July 2018. The two states began discussions, searching for possible resolutions to the competing land claims. The capitals of Gabon and Alpoko were only separated by 500 blocks, and the entirety of Gabon existed within the old claims of Alpoko. As tensions began to mount, Bloom became involved in the crisis as a third-party arbitrator. However Bloom failed to set an agreeable path for peaceful resolution. Alpoko would not compromise on its beliefs that most of Gabon should be returned to Alpoko and that a third of the leftover Gabon territory should become a trading territory mutually administered by Alpoko, Bloom, and Gabon. Initially, Varkonia remained neutral in this dispute.
However, on the 14th of July, Varkonia was approached by both Alpoko and Gabon, each seeking support for their claims. Varkonia expressed no interest in getting involved, however the Red Duke commented that the mutually administered region sounded like a bad idea. The early Senate concluded that, while Alpoko had a right to come back and exist, Alpoko did not have a right to remove Gabon's settlement, which had been established for months in previously undeveloped land, and that negotiations were needed to draw a new border without shared administration.
On the 15th of July, the Queen of Gabon, GetSkinny, asked Alpoko to contribute materials alongside Gabon towards the mutually administered trading territory. Inexplicably, Alpoko refused to contribute anything towards this effort, even though it was their idea to create this zone. This decision was seen as a breach of trust in good-faith negotiations, at which point Bloom ceased arbitrating and would not support Alpoko's claims. Furthermore, the Varkonian Senate decided to support Gabon in the dispute. While no actions were decided or planned, word of Varkonia's support reached Havana, the leader of Alpoko. Despite the Red Duke assuring Alpoko that a diplomatic solution was still possible, Havana severed diplomatic relations with Varkonia and shortly after disbanded Alpoko on July 16, 2018.
After Alpoko disbanded, Gabon came into full possession of Alpoko's former claims, and the new claims were recognized by Bloom and Varkonia as Gabon's sovereign territory.
The Transition of Government between Varkonia and Gabon
In late July, The Red Duke was contacted by the Lord Chancellor of Gabon, who under the pretenses of seeking protection and reuniting their common peoples requested to negotiate a treaty with Varkonia which would see The Principality of Gabon incorporated as province. Gabon had previously considered joining Coventhia however retracted their request after a decision could not be reached internally.
Negotiations over the terms of the supposed document were time consuming and took hours until both parties were in agreement. Following the verbal agreement, The Queen of Gabon, alongside her Chancellor, BritishWanderer, drafted the transitional document to be sent to The Red Duke. The treaty stipulated that Gabon should receive two permanent senatorial seats as representation and the ability to, with notice, withdraw from the document at any time, known as Article 10.
The incorporation of the territory and peoples of Gabon were of a great benefit to Varkonia, vastly expanding the land claims and the valuable resources of which lay beneath them. Gabon’s code of laws and judicial code was rewritten and adopted to be enforced throughout the Grand Duchy. Both Gabon and Varkonia were elated at the union and each began working in earnest to expand and develop the newly united Grand Duchy.
With Varkonia’s incorporation of the province of Gabon, the treaties between the latter and neighboring nations were upheld in full by the Varkonian government, with most notably the defensive alliance between Gabon and Bloom. Using their historical ties and good relations, Varkonia opened discussions with the nations of Nevrast and SPQR about a prospective alliance organization, using the Gabon-Bloom treaty as it’s foundation. The establishment of the UNC was a turning point in Varkonia history, which significantly increased Varkonia's diplomatic ties and participation in regional affairs.
Formation of The United Northern Congress
Main Article: UNC
The Red Duke hoped that a new alternative alliance bloc in the northwest quadrant would allow nations the ability to stand aside peacefully, not involving themselves in the cold war between FRIENDS and SATO, while also furthering good relations and economic ties between signing parties. With the idea given backing by the Varkonian Senate, and the nations of Nevrast and SPQR, The Red Duke worked with Senator Britishwanderer to draft up a reasonable set of terms worthy of an alliance organization.
The UNC Charter, as it came to be known, was signed into effect on the 6th of August 2018, by Varkonia, SPQR and Nevrast. Later to be joined by Bloom and Kaiserreich, with Tvtopia, Kaltsburg and Westmore joining throughout September 2018. Gensokyo, Nyasaland, Corvus, and Iria would also join in the early months of 2019.
The United Northern Congress was an integral part of Varkonian diplomacy, keeping close ties with neighbors and friends, encouraging trade and discussions between peoples. As one of the leading member states of the UNC, Varkonia took an active and nurturing role to the organization’s continued benefits and activities. Varkonian Senator, BritishWanderer was the Spokesperson of the UNC. As of 2020 the UNC is dissolved.
The MTA Court Case from Hell Debacle
Mount Augusta (MTA) in early October 2018 was a tumultuous state. Members of Rhodesia, a member state of FRIENDS, had been discovered breaking bastions of the MTA Vault. This followed weeks of violence and raiding by players using Rhodesian bunkers under the city. Hearing the reports of violence, Varkonia began to mobilize a taskforce led by S4NTA in the defense of MTA. Before the Varkonian military could arrive, Hallow, a FRIENDS-ally of Rhodesia, had pearled offending members of Rhodesia and retreated from the area. However, while in MTA, S4NTA, Mirians, and members of the Varkonian taskforce, including Mtndew98, disabled the bunker Rhodesia was using with reinforced obsidian, in an attempt to reduce the recurrence of violence in the city emanating from it. The operation was a success and the Rhodesian bunker was disabled.
The owner of the Rhodesian Bunker, pds, allowed Baes20 to represent him in the MTA court system and filed charges against the taskforce for damage to his property. This case directly impacted sitting Varkonian Senators, and the Senate as a whole acknowledged that it was a facetious and ungrounded case; the taskforce defended MTA against a party aggressing against MTA, and was now being sued in MTA by the aggressing party. However, HanTzu, a leader of FRIENDS and Judge in MTA, picked up the case and began processing it. Due to the sluggishness of the case, HanTzu's term expired as Judge and there was a delay before the next judge would pick up the case. Even at this early stage, HanTzu described the case as a "Mess" due to the multiple defendants and lack of clarity over who had authority in the case. At this point, MTA, Mir, Nevrast, Rhodesia, and Varkonia were all directly involved with the court case.
Eventually Citylion, a pro-FRIENDS newly-elected judge in MTA, picked up the case and began processing it. Varkonia enlisted the support of Queen GetSkinny of Gabon to act as legal representation for the Varkonians in the case. What ensued can objectively be described as a legal nightmare. Arguments were held in multiple discords, including Varkonia's and MTA's official discords, as well as the CivClassic official discord and the MTA Justice Subreddit. The case had exploded to include input from multiple judges, the public, as well as increasing participation from members of the UNC.
Capri, a member of Rhodesia acting on behalf of pds, reached out to the Red Duke of Varkonia in order to discuss terms of settlement for the Rhodesia bunker case. Rhodesia wanted to know the identity of the Venus_Fly account and would drop charges on Varkonians upon being informed. The Red Duke considered this proposal and consulted with the owned of Venus_Fly, who agreed with the terms. Having reached a settlement, Varkonian citizens were happy to exit the legal dispute.
However, just as pds was settling the case with Varkonia, additional plaintiffs from Rhodesia were added to the case in early November, including Gthomas4, the leader of Rhodesia. The court case would continue. Queen GetSkinny argued that continuation of the court case, allowed by Citylion, was unjust as the case had already been settled. However, Citylion claimed that since Gthomas was a co-owner of the bunker, he could also press charges for the same crime. GetSkinny argued that such an interpretation violated MTA laws protecting people from double-jeopardy, by which someone would be charged for the same crime multiple times. Additionally, the defense claimed that there was no way to know for sure that Gthomas4 was actually an owner of the bunker at the time, as opposed to being added after the fact to reap the rewards of the settlement without actually settling.
Furthermore, GetSkinny alleged that Citylion was biased in the court case and could no longer serve as an impartial judge due to the fact that Citylion had been granted Gabonese citizenship, which automatically granted Citylion Varkonian Citizenship under the rules of the Transfer of Government between Varkonia and Gabon. While this is true under Varkonian law, the allegation was rejected in MTA, leading to a recall vote on Citylion from the MTA court system posted by Tvman, citizen of MTA and leader of Tvtopia, a UNC ally of Varkonia. The recall vote failed, however the mounting political pressure and weeks-long case had exhausted Citylion. Pds, who was disgusted with the whole process, dropped charges, and citylion ruled that the case was closed with charges dropped.
Just as it was thought the case had ended, a mistrial was requested and approved by MTA judges, with crimeo leading a continuation of investigation into the charges. Individual cases were then levied against the defendants, however Varkonian citizens were not prosecuted in the following cases, with their involvement ending on November 10 2018. As a result of the case, Citylion sued GetSkinny for defamation from the Rhodesian court case, alleging that GetSkinny's claim of Citlyion's bias due to holding Varkonian Citizenship was false and defamatory. Crimeo picked up this case and ruled that GetSkinny was guilty of defamation on November 19 2018, and sentenced to two days exiled in the MTA vault. To this day Getskinny has not fulfilled this sentence, making GetSkinny one of the oldest criminals to avoid MTA justice on the server.
The Transition of Government between Varkonia and Westmore
The Duchy of Westmore was an independent nation and UNC Member state run and built by Gobblin, Duke of Westmore, in the Northwest of the map, north of Varkonia and east of Coventhia. It was created on a peninsula granted to Westmore by Coventhia. Westmore was very close in alignment with Varkonia and the populations of both nations had strong ties to each other. After working closely together within the framework of the UNC, and after solidifying connections with a direct rail and iceroad connection to Varkonia, the bonds strengthened and it was decided by both Westmore and Varkonia that a union would be mutually beneficial.
The Transition of Government between Varkonia and Westmore was proposed by Senator BritishWanderer on October 21 2018, and was approved by the Varkonian Senate and signed by the Duke of Westmore and Red Duke of Varkonia. Passage of the treaty brought Westmore into Varkonia and guaranteed Westmore protection as well as a seat on the Varkonian Senate. It united another beautiful town under the Varkonian banner, as well as expanded Varkonian security capability with extended snitch coverage north of Varkonia. Westmore maintained its voting status within the UNC after its unification with Varkonia, and its union was well-received by citizens and foreigners alike.
The Gabonese Revolution
During the final days of the MTA Court Case from Hell, the immense pressure of providing legal services in MTA's court system got to GetSkinny and induced an episode of insanity. She, acting as Queen of Gabon, called for independence from Varkonia. This motion was rejected and, with worries about her ability to govern, popular belief in Gabon and Varkonia that she should step down and let BritishWanderer lead Gabon began to mount. Getskinny would not surrender her rule of Gabon, however, and declared war upon Varkonia and Hjaltland. Given there was no local support for the Queen, the war ended within an hour on November 9 2018 in a decisive Varkonian victory with no casualties and no collateral damage to Gabon. GetSkinny was exile-pearled by Varkonia and BritishWanderer was hailed as the Lord High Chancellor of Gabon, restoring Gabon's union with Varkonia and ending the revolution.
The First Transition of Government between Varkonia and Nevrast
Nevrast was an independent nation and UNC Member State run and built by Seldomshock in the northwest of the map, directly north of Varkonia and south of Coventhia. Nevrast was created on former Impasse/Corvus territory ceded to Seldomshock to develop and was several months older than Varkonia. Seldomshock had a long history of friendship with many in Varkonia from previous iterations of CivCraft, which deepened as Nevrast and Varkonia worked closely together in the UNC. There had been off-and-on discussions about a union between Varkonia and Nevrast for weeks, however there was hesitation due to Seldomshock's relations with the remaining members of Corvus and the potential for deterioration over Nevrast joining Varkonia.
Despite the hesitation, the first Transition of Government between Varkonia and Nevrast started off written in the now-standard format used in previous governmental transitions. However, while the treaty was under review by Nevrast, edits were made on behalf of Nevrast to lighten the nature of the document and intentionally give it some ambiguity as far as how serious it was meant to be taken. Ultimately the treaty was approved by the Varkonian Senate and signed by the Leader of Nevrast and the Red Duke of Varkonia on December 1 2018.
Nevrast was considered part of Varkonia until the January 2019, when Nevrast received negative feedback from Corvus and upheld that the treaty was just a meme. Varkonia was fully cooperative with Nevrast's wishes and acknowledged that the treaty was invalid without issue. Nevrast remained a Member State of the UNC.
Influencing the MTA Mayoral Election
MTA was the center of a geopolitical battle of control between SATO-leaning and FRIENDS-leaning personalities, exerting influence by having their members register to vote in MTA. Candidates perceived as favorable to either side would acquire that side's support in the elections. Of particular note is the December 2018 Mayoral Election, which saw Godomasta (SATO-leaning) vs Citylion (FRIENDS-leaning). Varkonia, which was not initially SATO-leaning, was disturbed by the actions of FRIENDS affiliates in MTA, and was particularly opposed to Citylion, who participated in the MTA Court Case From Hell Debacle.
Varkonia threw its full support behind Godomasta and the Red Duke personally led trains of Varkonian citizens down to MTA to register to vote, finding accommodations anywhere they could in the city- mostly in the MTA University Dorms. The result was a clear victory for Godomasta, which embittered Citlylion and FRIENDS, having felt that the election was stolen from him. Estimates from the Varkonian Bureau of Political Affairs indicate that Varkonian citizens made up the largest voting bloc in December 2018 MTA mayoral election, ahead of MTA native citizens, decidedly carrying the election for Godomasta.
Varkonia's influence on MTA's elections prompted Citylion to rework voting in MTA after Godomasta's term expired in early 2019, leading to a decline in voting and MTA population.
Mutual Defense Pact between Varkonia and Columbia
Relations between Columbia and Varkonia had been positive since the origins of Varkonia. The Red Duke was on friendly terms with the Chancellor of the newly independent Empire of Columbia since early August 2018. Over time the Varkonian monarchy also forged a stronger relationship with the Columbian leadership, leading to direct rails being established and several guest visits. In late August 2018 the Red Duke visited Columbia to help clean up grief in the city alongside hamboy_jr and Shadedoom. Varkonia's support for Columbia during the Fish Troubles, along with increased trade, building advice, and reception of Columbia's embassy within Vakronia City, all led to the signing of a mutual defense pact called the Treaty of Vendemmia when hamboy_jr became Chancellor.
The Varkonian Senate rapidly approved the treaty on December 1 2019 and the two nations pledged to protect each other should they be attacked without just cause. The qualification of "Just cause" in Article 3 of the treaty was an important addition on behalf of Varkonia, knowing that Columbia was increasingly drifting to the controversial FRIENDS alliance bloc. Varkonia had attempted to sway Columbia towards joining the UNC instead, and had warned Columbia about the potential risks of being involved with FRIENDS, however this was not successful and the defense pact remained bilateral between Varkonia and Columbia, with Varkonia having no desire to be obligated to fight on behalf of FRIENDS.
Establishment of the Kaiserreich Protectorate
Prior to joining the UNC, Kaiserreich was an independent nation with close ties to Lusitania. In early 2018, Kaiserreich partitioned the former nation of Columbia with Lusitania. Metriximor, King of Lusitania, laid claim to Columbia’s capital city on May 29, 2018 after Columbia went into decline and remaining Columbians, including KnotNSA and F1sh98, joined Lustania. Kaiserreich claimed Columbian land to the north at the same time in a combined effort. This lasted until July 2018, when shadedoom rallied Columbians to return and reclaim their historic territories, largely succeeding. This process created animosity between Columbia and Lustitania and Kaiserreich, however, as both were reluctant to return lands to Columbia. Kaiserreich was interested in keeping territory close to its capital. Lusitania had former columbian citizens who did not initially want Columbia to be independent of Lusitania, favoring a treaty other Columbians considered to be unfair, increasing hostility and placing Metriximor in a difficult position. Ultimately, KnotNSA favored Columbian independence, leaving Lusitania, and neither Lusitania nor Kaiserreich were powerful nor influential enough to maintain resistance, ceding territory back to Columbia.
Kaiserreich opted to join the UNC in September 2018 to counter the rising pressure from Columbia, thereby putting to rest potential disputes over their territory. As a member of the UNC, Kaiserreich enjoyed closer ties with the other UNC member states, particularly Varkonia. Varkonia opened up Kaisserreich’s first and only XP shop within its embassy in Kaiserreich, aiding the development of the local economy, and providing a considerable profit to Varkonians, who were able to sell at higher rates due to their monopoly in the far-flung region.
The migration of newfriends, including Doommad and Kiwi, into the region in December 2018 started a curious series of events. These newfriends, who would later found Valyria, originally traversed the border regions of the map into Hallow’s territory. They were soon pearled by Hallow and told to leave their territory. Shortly after, they migrated into neighboring Kaiserreich, and began pillaging it. Every house had been gutted, every factory broken, and the Varkonian Embassy had also been vandalized. The Red Duke, seeing the persistent presence of unfamiliar names on snitches at the Varkonian Embassy, personally made the journey up to Kaiserreich to investigate. The destruction he found was considerable, and since Varkonian property had been damaged, he immediately took charge of the situation and organized a meeting with Flushy and HanTzu of Hallow, Kiwi and Doommad of Valyria, and LazavPhenax of Kaiserreich. The result was a negotiated settlement whereby the Valyrians would return their stolen items and pay some reps to Kaiserreich while abandoning their plans to settle in Kaiserreich.
The Kaiserreich-Valyrian Incident exposed massive shortcomings in the Kaiserreich government’s ability to protect its own citizens and coordinate with its allies. Without the Red Duke’s intervention, it’s unknown when Kaiserreich would have realized the extent of the damage, and it would probably have been much harder to do anything about it. In acknowledgement of Varkonia’s support, LazavPhenax and Wub of Kaiserreich agreed to have Kaiserreich become a protectorate of Varkonia on December 10, 2018, allowing Varkonia to take the lead on international matters and increase security within the territory. The Senate quickly and unanimously ratified this agreement. As a protectorate of Varkonia, Kaiserreich remained a voting member within the UNC.
The Initial Varkonian Response to the NATO-Mir War
Main Article: NATO-Mir War
FRIENDS- and later NATO- affiliated players, such as Baes20, continued to cause trouble in MTA, inducing larger and larger responses from Mir throughout January 2019. While Varkonia had receded from involving itself in MTA, after influencing the mayoral election of December 2018, there was a high degree of overlap between the Varkonian and Mirian populations. S4NTA, Magier, Gregy165, and Ez2Clutch, for example, were all at one point or another appointed Senators in Varkonia, as well as prominent members of Mir. In January 2019, S4NTA and Magier were both sitting Senators in Varkonia, and as conflict escalated in MTA between NATO and Mir, so too did S4NTA's and Magier's involvement. S4NTA attempted to de-escalate and reprimand offending Mirians (theJKH and Gregy165), however nothing came of it. Eventually tensions boiled over later in January, and Mir effectively declared war on NATO.
This put Varkonia in a very difficult position. While Mir and members of NATO, such as HJE, were old, established nations with large world border vaults of 20+ rings, Varkonia was still relatively new and its vault was still in the very early phases of construction, having only 4 rings and minimal defenses. Varkonia's military, while suited for expeditions and offensive deployments, was simply not prepared for a prolonged war necessitating around-the-clock defense. Furthermore, Varkonia's relatively strong military compared to the other members of the UNC granted it influence within the UNC, however this also meant Varkonia did not have many reliable military allies to call upon, and that Varkonia would have to be responsible for the defense of the rest of the UNC, which would have spread Varkonia's resources dangerously thin.
Emergency discussions were held in the Senate along two lines of thought:
- PvP-oriented players such as S4NTA and Magier advocated for Varkonia joining the war on Mir's side and combining forces to rapidly defeat NATO. NATO had a large number of fighters, but their quality was poor. Mir had an elite military, but lacked the numbers to successfully siege and dismantle the primary NATO vaults. It was argued that Varkonia's support would solve that problem and bring a quicker end to the war, minimizing the need for defensive infrastructure.
- Civ-oriented players such as BritishWanderer, and other high-profile figures in Varkonia, such as Baron Van Batavanos (Flushmore), argued for neutrality. This argument was supported by the hassle of prior involvement in MTA and the relative unpreparedness of Varkonia at the time, as well as the daunting prospect of having to protect its far-flung allies against a sizeable opposing alliance bloc.
In one of the most difficult decisions faced by Varkonia, the Red Duke removed Senators with ties to Mir from the Varkonian Senate. The remaining Senators voted in favor of neutrality and passed measures forbidding involvement in the war, under penalty of losing Varkonian citizenship and having belongings seized by the state. This law, the Foreign Affairs Permission Act, was furthermore retroactively enforced on the Vakronian-Mirian dual-citizens involved in the war. The Red Duke, after receiving multiple questions from nations around the region, made a public announcement of these measures and Varkonia's commitment to neutrality on the first of February. The announcement was received positively by the UNC and NATO-aligned parties, and was received negatively by Mir.
In parting, S4NTA warned Varkonia that it was just pushing the problem down the road, and that it would be more difficult to deal with later. The Red Duke agreed that this was likely, but insisted that Varkonia was not prepared to go war on that scale at that moment.
Columbia Inquires about the Applicability of the Defense PactA day after the public declaration of Varkonian neutrality, Shadedoom, Chancellor of Columbia, reached out to the Mickale, the Red Duke of Varkonia, inquiring about the applicability of the Mutual Defense Pact signed in August of 2018 between Columbia and Varkonia. Columbia, a member of NATO, was obligated to mobilize in support of their allies in the war, and was questioning whether Varkonia would be obligated via its defensive pact to support Columbia.
"Since this is a defensive war, where do you stand on the Columbia-Varkonia alliance being in effect" (Shadedoom, 2019)The Red Duke considered this, and had earlier been discussing the possibility of the Defense Pact being invoked by Columbia with the Varkonian Senate. The Red Duke responded:
"We are allied to each other, that does not mean we are allied with your allies. If this started by Mir attacking Columbia, then we would be on your side. Since Columbia joined a war between other parties, that doesn't obligate Varkonia to do anything" (Mickale, 2019)Columbia being called into a larger scale war through their affiliation with NATO was no surprise to Varkonia, with the possibility of something like this happening being a major factor to the Defense Pact being bilateral in the first place. Still, there was a feeling of lament in Varkonia for their Columbian friends who seemed to be stuck on the losing side of a complicated war not of their own making. The Red Duke asked the Chancellor of Columbia what Columbia's goals were in the war. The Chancellor could not comment. The Red Duke remarked that if the objective was to break the Mir vault, that it would be almost impossible to achieve. It was the Red Duke's belief that the only possible outcomes for NATO were a negotiated surrender, stalemate, or total loss, with no path to victory seeming likely. Pinkerton would fall to Mirian forces this same day. Varkonia wished Columbia luck for its civilians to stay safe, but would offer no support.
Based on the relations between the involved parties, it would never have been possible for Varkonia to join Columbia against Mir in war. If something had happened that resulted in Mir specifically going to war with Columbia, the incident would likely have resulted in the nullification of the Columbia-Varkonia Defense Pact before the outbreak of war.
Vault Expansion and Militarization
The Varkonian military was put on high alert as the war began intensifying. All civilian building projects in the capital were put on hold indefinitely to divert labor towards the vault. The meager 4-ring vault was not nearly sufficient to protect Varkonia nor deter an attack. It was poorly stocked and disorganized. It thus was essential for Varkonia to maintain neutrality during this time due to how vulnerable it was at home. Urgent work was needed on the vault to fortify it into a reliable bastion of defense. Many players were brought back in a flurry of activity which saw the likes of ghalen, unknown122, Ceramic_Haze, Icer, and others all contributing towards expanding the vault. Gobblin set to work an army of bots to help drain the vault, which was the main obstacle to construction due to the vault's position in the ocean. In a couple weeks the vault would grow from 4 to 8 rings, with Callum taking charge of construction efforts and using his wealth to supply bastions. Varkonia built its first armor factories and Callum also headed the effort to build up prot reserves. Bulk orders of prot, pearls, and pot ingredients were ordered by the Red Duke from Shapha and Meat. Snitching efforts were also undertaken, with large portions of the coastline of the ocean around Varkonia and Nevrast being snitched. Varkonia was steadily readying itself in case it needed to defend itself or its allies in an escalation of the conflict.
The February 2019 MTA Mayoral Election
With the adoption of neutrality in NATO-Mir war, Varkonia needed to reassess its defense arrangements and its position in world. The Senate was of the mindset that Varkonia should utilize its position as a major power and build support among other nations remaining neutral in the war. As part of this effort, the Senate mobilized several citizens to register to vote in MTA once more, this time to vote in favor of Citylion for Mayor. It was hoped that supporting Citylion would show that Varkonia had committed to change, and that diplomatic bridges could be repaired with Citylion and some factions in MTA after they were burned during the Court Case from Hell Debacle and the prior major effort to prevent Citylion from being elected in December 2018. "He seems like a nice guy now" was a popular phrase being circulated at the time, and his election was not heavily contested, with Godomasta voting in his favor as well. The Red Duke had hesitations about trusting Citylion, but viewed the possibility of repairing relations as worth the effort considering Varkonia would lose nothing by supporting him in the election.
The votes were counted and Citylion won handedly. Only a few Varkonians took the time to travel to MTA for this, some still having reservations about Citylion, while others wanted nothing more to do with MTA. The result was that the Varkonian effort was minimal and had no significant impact on the outcome of the election. The effort went largely unnoticed and did not achieve any of the desired outcomes as far as Varkonia's larger goals. Citylion would retain his anti-Varkonian sentiments later on.
Varkonian-led UNC Action in SPQR to Maintain Neutrality
As the NATO-Mir war escalated, Mir was increasingly on the offensive, and by the end of February had seized and disabled the Columbian vault. Mir then turned its attention to attacking Hallow, northwest of Columbia and directly north of SPQR, a member of the UNC. The UNC proclaimed alliance-wide neutrality in the ongoing NATO-Mir war in an effort to protect everyone in the UNC from collateral damage, deterring an attack by leveraging the weight of the entirety of the UNC becoming involved. The attacks on Hallow began causing significant diplomatic tension between the UNC and NATO as Mirian forces were using a river along the border between SPQR and Hallow to gain access to Hallow proper. Furthermore, some tunnels and excavations had been constructed within SPQR lands by Mir without SPQR's permission. Hallow, in response, had begun snitching the SPQR borderlands, as well as making their own incursions into SPQR.
The situation became a crisis and had to be navigated carefully to avoid deteriorating relations further with either Mir or NATO. Hallow claimed Mir had a bunker within SPQR territory and was operating out of it to attack Hallow. Varkonia led the UNC response by fully snitching the entirety of the SPQR-Hallow border on a joint-UNC group. The snitches were placed such that they could not be tripped unless someone was on land inside SPQR's territory. An expedition was led by the Red Duke of Varkonia and Britishwanderer, Spokesperson of the UNC, to SPQR to search for the alleged illegal bunker. No bunker was found, and while a small excavation was discovered, the only illegal snitches found belonged to Hallow. Varkonia made the case to the UNC that both sides, Mir and NATO, should have their combatants prohibited from entering UNC territory in order to remain truly neutral. Varkonia reached out to both Mir and NATO to discuss this policy change, both of which were cooperative. The UNC member states agreed and unanimously signed off on a resolution to enact this change, receiving locations of foreign snitches in SPQR and removing foreign combat accounts. The UNC posted an announcement of this to the subreddit on March 7th.
This effort was widely seen as a success for states remaining neutral in the conflict and for the pacifist civilians of SPQR. The resulting positive outlook on the UNC's capability resulted in several new member states seeking to apply, eventually including Corvus, Iria, and Imperial Truidence, all of which had Varkonia's approval. However, while initially a success, there were instances of violations, most commonly by Hallow, and relations with NATO steadily deteriorated as they were reminded to keep out. Mir, too, was not happy with the arrangement, as it made accessing Hallow more difficult, but had fewer violations than Hallow.
The Return of Papa_Pound
Papa_Pound, aka Papa or ibGod, returned to CivClassic in March of 2019. He originally spawned early on in the iteration, very close to Hjaltland, and was immediately pearled, after which he quit for over a year and missed the entirety of the Somber War. Papa was famous from his leadership role in the HCF invasions and raider crews in CivCraft 2.0, being in leadership of Eagle Crew, America, and to an extent, Nox. These groups of players were infamous for raiding, pearling players indiscriminately, cracking World Police vaults, and griefing. Varkanos, in addition to being a member of SPQR, had also been a key player in Nox in CivCraft 2.0, for which he was sentenced to being pearled by MTA when Nox was eventually defeated. This is where Varkanos's title in Varkonia as King of Nox comes from, being the only high-ranking member of Nox leadership to not be pearled or retired. During CivCraft 2.0, Varkanos and Papa became friends and, fast-forwarding to CivClassic 2.0, Varkanos was happy to see his old friend return. To be clear, Papa returned as an exiled player, still being imprisoned by Hjaltland, who firmly believed Papa would do as he's always done: gather a group of raiders and wreak havoc. While many agreed, there was a popular movement in Papa's favor to try to get him released, an effort Varkonia initially supported due Papa's friendly nature and the length of time he had already been pearled. The main driving force behind getting Papa freed, however, was Evocator, and the upper leadership of Corvus. For the time being, his freedom was not on the table, but efforts would continue.
Papa resided in Varkonia for several weeks, claiming a house in the central plaza. His main activities were logging dark oak for Varkonia and running around eating food. He created a 1-layer DRO 'vault' in his house, and inexplicably one day Baes20 ran over to Varkonia with the pearl of Squareblob, the mayor of MTA at the time. Papa received Baes in his abode and took the pearl, placing it in his 1-layer vault. Technically speaking, Papa had just vaulted the sitting mayor of MTA in Varkonia during rising global tensions due to the NATO-Mir war. Baes was a notable NATO-supporting fighter. The Red Duke was notified of weird happenings and came to the scene to investigate. A few moments later, MrLlamma, leader of Coventhia and also a fighter, one typically opposed to Baes, arrived and was requesting the pearl to be released. Both parties were preparing for a brawl. The Red Duke, equal part confused and amused, had access to Papa's vault, acquired the pearl, and gave it to MrLlamma. The mayor was soon released and all parties returned to their civs without further conflict.
The Kaiserreich Coup
Up to April of 2019, Wubzy had been the leader of the Kaiserreich Protectorate, under Varkonia, and had been representing the Kaiserreich as voting member of the UNC. In mid-April, Wubzy decided to vote against the UNC Iceroad Proposal, which was planned to create a unified iceroad network between all UNC member states. His reasoning for voting against it was "We always approve stuff, I want some conflict here". He was the sole voting member to vote against the project. In the UNC, votes have to be passed unanimously; if even one voting member votes against it, the measure will fail. Wubzy's position as a voting member had been inherited and tolerated after Kaiserreich became a protectorate under Varkonia, however this stunt caused massive outrage among the entire UNC, especially within Varkonia, which had been embarrassed by it.Wubzy had not actually been playing the game for months and his sole activity was participating in voting in the UNC. Other members of Kaiserreich, such as LazavPhenax, were increasingly becoming disgruntled with Wubzy's leadership in abstentia. The Red Duke of Varkonia reached out to LazavPhenax, and discussed how to improve the situation. Upon opening discussions, Lazav vented a great deal about Wubzy's incompetence and inactivity, and let the Red Duke know that in fact Lazav had ownership of all the groups, bastions, and snitches. Hearing this, the Red Duke suggested that Lazav should become the leader of Kaiserreich, since he was actually active, competent, and ready to lead. Lazav agreed, and the Senate voted in favor of this action on April 22. On April 24 LazavPhenax declared himself leader of Kaiserreich, deposing Wubzy.
"Wub/wubzy hasnt logged into the server/contributed since September. Yet the reason I bring this all up is for the sole fact Wub still leads the country despite having no backing to his power, representing and voting on behalf of Kaiserreich on the global and alliance stage. When Valyria basically annexed our country under the assumption of complete inactivity, I was the one who brokered the transfer of our land back with the assistance of Mickale and the UNC beside us. The citizen had to step up on behalf of his nation because the leader kept flaking and saying he was going to get on to help, despite never doing so. As a result of that event, all reinforcements and bastion efforts were done under my name as he wasn't present. Can you believe that? A leader who can't place or destroy a single block in his own city, yet I am the one with all the actual power of said country. He isn't even a member of the Kaiserreich Discord server. Yet I am supposed to see him as my leader? I tolerated this for months because i was hardly in a place to complain. Now, as it is too destructive to our civilization to allow these ghosts to keep their grip on power, I formally remove lil-wubzy and ZestySquidward from their positions and make them provisional citizens for the time being." (LazaPhenax, 2019)
Varkonia immediately recognized this change in leadership, and deployed security forces to the region to ensure stability. As part of this arrangement, Kaiserreich became a full province of Varkonia, with the unifying treaty being re-written to remove all references of Wubzy and formalize Kaiserreich's status within Varkonia. Several buildings were added to Kaiserkin's town square and Varkonian banners were erected throughout the town. Wubzy did not contest the change and the UNC supported Varkonia's actions. The UNC Icreoad Project would now go ahead without Wubzy's objections.
The Transition of Government between Varkonia and Ruggetania
Ruggetania was a relatively new nation in an island chain in the southeast quadrant of the map, thousands of blocks from Varkonia which was in the northwest. Ruggetania joined Varkonia on the 1st of May, 2019, as a result of discussions between the Ruggetanian leader, Batman_Caleb and Gobblin. Batman_caleb was already a citizen of Varkonia through Gabon, and was hoping to see increased protection and participation within the UNC, which Ruggetania would join by default by joining Varkonia. To that end, Ruggetania joined Varkonia as Protectorate, similar to how Kaiserreich initially joined.
While the population of Ruggetania was very low, primarily just Batman_Caleb himself, and there were no sizeable settlements of note, this event was significant because it gave Varkonia a territorial foothold in the center of the map, towards the southwest, and was strategically important. Additionally, Varkonia would claim the previously unclaimed island chain between Varkonia and Ruggetania so that the territories would not be discontinuous. This new chain of islands between Varkonia and Ruggetania was briefly contested with Icenia, which also wanted to claim them. After some discussions with ChrisChrispie, the leader of Icenia, the Red Duke reached a settlement and the islands would go to Varkonia as planned. These would fall under the jurisdiction of a new province called Vesuvius, which Jacques_Cartier would oversee, with the creation of a new settlement called Barning. These islands contained the ruins of Saren_Solaris's initial settlement and farms, as well as some other old infrastructure from before the Somber War and Saren's pearling. A construction effort was undertaken to establish a rail connection to Ruggetania, splitting off the existing Varkonia-MTA rail. The rail never reached Ruggetania as it was too far and there was not enough of a need to travel there, however the rail reach Barning, which was very close to Saren's floating castle.
The Seizure of Machinemaker's Bunker
On May 2, 2019, a Varkonian expedition into the newly acquired territory of Vesuvius discovered an unmarked bunker. Not seeing any signs of who it belonged to and seeing that some of the reinforcements were decayed, the expeditionary forces entered the bunker to take inventory. Shortly after they entered, Machinemaker, who at this point was pearled by Mir in the NATO-Mir war, logged in and protested that Varkonia was raiding his bunker. Initially, Varkonia tried to argue that it was in the right. The Senate passed a measure ordering the seizure of his bunker. However, after the vote passed, the Red Duke realized that this wasn't easily justifiable or necessarily reasonable. Machinemaker was not held in high regard by Varkonia, the result of what Varkonians felt were abrasive and acidic tones in his commentary on ongoing events, but outright raiding his bunker was seen as too aggressive in the eyes of the Red Duke, who was trying to maintain Varkonia's position of neutrality.
The Red Duke came up with a plan to achieve both the Senate's will and keep Varkonia neutral, at least at face value in this case. Britishwanderer had been using a macro that would broadcast his position to the group he was currently chatting in. The Red Duke suggested that Britishwanderer should talk about being at Machinemaker's bunker in (!) chat, the global chat which most players were part of, then have Jacques_Cartier, governor of newly formed Vesuvius, hit Britishwanderer once. This would trigger the macro and Machinemaker's bunker would be made obvious to anyone looking for it. The idea was that Mirians, who were online at the time, would see this and come to loot the bunker of their enemy. Varkonia, which had only recently acquired the territory and did not yet have snitch coverage, would turn a blind eye, which would be reasonable as it would have had no way to detect if Mir entered their territory to loot the bunker. The Red Duke would maintain that Varkonia did not loot the bunker, and meanwhile gregy165 would take the loot back to Mir.
The Golden Age of the UNC
April - May 2019 was in many ways the peak of the Golden Age in the UNC. Internal trade was booming, the various member states were active, neutrality in the NATO-Mir war seemed secure, and projects were being undertaken to increase mutual cooperation and infrastructure. Votes were being regularly held and Varkonia was leading the way in seeking out new member states to join the UNC while producing content like the UNC Infographic, produced by BritishWanderer with some help from the Red Duke. The Olympics were held in Gensokyo, which was a popular server-wide event, at which Varkonia provided security. Additionally, Varkonia was driving a lot of economies at the time by purchasing a tremendous amount of XP to fund its militarization and its construction efforts on the vault and on its towns, after unfreezing civilian construction efforts.
The Varkonian settlements and vault would grow in size during this time. With the increased security and capacity to hold pearls, Varkonia expanded its role within the region by offering to securely hold pearls on the behalf of the UNC and other foreign parties. AngrePepsi was transferred to Varkonia after an attempt at disrupting the May 2019 Olympics, and a pearl storage agreement was signed with Bloom in late May. A separate agreement with the Brotherhood of Steel would be passed but then vetoed by the King of Nox after it became apparent that the BoS was not necessarily credible and any pearls they might provide may not necessarily be justly held, something Varkonia did not want to entangle itself with.
The June 2019 Troubles
The stability, peace, and prosperity of May 2019 was replaced with rapidly increasing instability and intrigue throughout the month of June. By this time, the UNC had reached its maximum size, inducting Imperial Truidence, and declining to admit Icenia per SPQR's rejection. A reshuffling of how voting worked in the alliance would occur, with states such as Kaltsburg and Tvtopia losing their votes due to their very low member count. There was some internal drama here, as technically speaking all alliance members needed to approve a change in the UNC charter for such a change to occur, and they would not agree to removing their own votes. Despite this, all the major members of the alliance agreed that change was needed, settling on the ultimatum that if they did not accept this change that they would be removed from the UNC. This succeeded, and those members reluctantly released their ability to vote on UNC matters.
A major test of alliance-wide neutrality came when Icenia and New Sovia came into conflict. Despite Varkonia offering support to Icenia when it started, and providing the materials for its first compactor, there was some unease between Icenia and Varkonia. This was because of prior history between Volterra and Icenia in Civcraft 2.0, where Volterra raided Icenia, fomenting unrest, resulting in Britishwanderer, who was in-league with Volterra, taking Icenia over as a dictator and then joining Volterra. ChrisChrispie, who was deposed by this process, remained unhappy about it for years afterwards, including into the early parts of Icenia's existence in Civclassic 2.0. This inherited unease came to a boil when Swiftfizz exposed that ChrisChrispie had foreknowledge of griefing and raiding in Nyasaland, a major UNC-ally of Varkonia. This was simultaneously against the backdrop of the Clown Wars, which is what the conflict between New Sovia and Icenia came to be known by.
The Red Duke of Varkonia was particularly offended by this revelation, because he had vouched for ChrisChrispie's innocence at a UNC meeting. The Red Duke, seeing this as a betrayal of trust by Chris, discussed possible retaliatory measures against Icenia for Chris's role in inflicting harm on a UNC-ally. One of these potential options was disabling the vault Icenia was building, which was referred to as a "Big dick maneuver" by the Red Duke. While the UNC never brought this idea to a formal vote, the idea leaked out and reflected unfavorably upon Varkonia and the UNC as a whole. Tensions began building inside the UNC but ultimately nothing came about. A measure was proposed in the Varkonian Senate to intervene in the drama that was unfolding in the Clown Wars, but the measure did not pass. As a result, the matter was let go, and Icenia and Varkonia would continue to have frosty relations for some time. Varkonia began having improved relations with Swiftfizz after this incident, as he had provided insight into the matter with Icenia, was a good pvper, and was a familiar friendly player from prior iterations.
The biggest source of trouble during this time was from Corvus, specifically Evocator. Evocator had been seeking to get Papa_Pound free from Hjaltland for some time, and had come up with a plan to get Thoths, a mutual friend of Hjaltland and Corvus, pearled and then trade Thoth's freedom for Papa's freedom. To pull this off, Evocator got in touch with Varkonia and used the drama in Icenia as cover for this plan for Thoths to be justifiably pearled. Thoths pearled BritishWanderer in Icenia, and was later himself pearled and held in Varkonia, with BritishWanderer being freed. Varkonia would hold him until agreements were made with Hjaltland to free Papa. However, towards the end of the month, it became clear that Evocator had hostile intentions behind wanting to free Papa. On top of that, Swiftfizz also revealed that Evocator, Thoths, and others in Corvus had been alt raiding, and had asked if Swift wanted to join them. Targets of the alt-raiding included the eastern provinces of SPQR and the chan-states in the east of the map. They denied this publicly, until swift later revealed screenshots of his conversation in which Thoths was unhappy with Swift for posting the prior screenshots showing they were alt raiders, and that Thoths had offered accounts to Swift to participate in the alt raiding.
Hjaltland had already drafted up a resolution to free Papa, which had just been voted on and approved by the Varkonian Senate. However, the revelations about the alt raiding soured things and caused the Red Duke to reach out to Frensin of Hjaltland. During the meeting, Frensin already knew much of what the Red Duke had discovered and confirmed much of it. He also expected that the intention to free Papa would be troublesome, but had no hard evidence to support it. Varkonia supplied that evidence, and the plans for Evocator to free Papa with intent for him to lead an HCF-invasion based in Corvus were enough for both Varkonia and Hjaltland to agree that this was not a good idea. Instead, the King of Nox vetoed the pearl trade. Varkonia would keep Thoths pearled, Hjaltland would keep Papa pearled, and Varkonia would pearl Evocator before he was able to pull off a lesser version of his scheme. This series of events would have major server-wide implications and represents a fundamental turning point in the history of CivClassic 2.0.
The Collapse of the UNC
On July 2, 2019, Varkonia issued the order to pearl Evocator. The plan was developed between the King of Nox and Britishwanderer. Britishwanderer would ask Evocator to bring an account over to Varkonia to help bolster security while Varkonia was dealing with fictional raiders. Evo would then log out in the rail station and in that time Britishwanderer and the King of Nox blocked up all the rail entrances such that he would be trapped in the bastioned and reinforced station and unable to flee. The Red Duke was away during this time, but had left the decision-making in the King's hands, and was confident things would be resolved. BennyZ had been called over to support this effort. Once the rail station had been fully blocked in, Benny was the one who would be responsible for actually pearling Evocator. Sure enough, Evo logged in, and Benny began attacking him. Shortly after engaging, Benny successfully pearled Evo, and his pearl was held in the Varkonia vault.
Major drama unfolded as a result of this event. Varkonia had just pearled the head of state of a fellow voting ally in the UNC, without informing anyone in the UNC about it ahead of time, out of concern it could be leaked and render the operation ineffective. Immediately following this action, Varkonia held an emergency UNC meeting to brief everyone on what happened and why. Evocator was removed from the leadership of the UNC and Gjum took his place. In the meeting, the Red Duke explained the reasoning and talked about his discussions with Frensin. It boiled down to Evocator and Thoths alt raiding SPQR, as well as Evo's plans for an HCF invasion and an attack on Hjaltland. At first things went well and people generally agreed. A post was made on the subreddit explaining the situation. However, later on the mood changed. SPQR said it was actually not concerned about Evocator raiding them, and that they would not charge him or Thoths. SPQR was furthermore upset that it had not been consulted prior to Varkonia's actions taking place. This caused significant damage to Varkonia's justification. It meant that technically speaking the UNC was no longer obligated to care about the drama because it now concerned a plan regarding Hjaltland, as opposed to a past action concerning a UNC ally. With this turn of events, popular opinion swayed towards neutrality in this case, with Bloom, Tvtopia, Kaltsburg, Corvus, and others not wanting to get involved and questioning whether Evo and Thoths should be freed. This was totally unacceptable to the Red Duke, who believed Varkonia and the UNC had a responsibility to protect others from known threats, particularly considering there was foreknowledge and a capability to do so. Frustrated, the Red Duke took the matter up with the King of Nox and the Speaker of the Senate in Varkonia.The Varkonian senate discussed leaving the UNC, realizing that the UNC had rendered itself ineffective with a bad-actor member in the form of Corvus, and members who were unwilling to commit to difficult choices in order to prevent large-scale war from breaking out. The King of Nox proposed the vote to leave the UNC.
Senators, should Varkonia withdraw from the United Northern Congress? Reason for leaving the UNC: We believe the way the UNC reacted to and handled the Evocator/Papa plot was unacceptable. Varkonia stands firmly behind pearling Evocator in order to stop his nefarious plans from coming to fruition. While some in the UNC claim "An attack on Hjaltland is #NotOurProblem", Varkonia believes an unjust attack that we can prevent is our responsibility to prevent, and failure to do so is not only morally corrupt, but cowardly. (Varkanos, 2019)The Senate unanimously agreed, and the law passed. On July 3, 2019, Varkonia left the UNC. The resulting drama, chaos, and confusion left the UNC in a crippled state, and it would dissolve fully shortly thereafter.
For about a week after the leaving the UNC, Varkonia was without an alliance organization. The first action Varkonia took during this time was to declare Crackerjack, Heisenberg, Rogue, and justliunet personae non grata for their involvement in alt raiding with Evocator and Thoths. The senate passed the measure unanimously. This would mean that Varkonia would not go beyond its borders to seek their pearls, but they would not be welcome in Varkonia and could legally be pearled on sight within Varkonian territory. The Varkonian Senate felt that it was necessary to begin looking for new allies as Varkonia currently held Evocator and Thoths in their vault, making conflict with Corvus a serious possibility.
Additionally, relations had soured extensively with their former ally of Bloom. This was the result of Truckman making inaccurate claims about Varkonia during and after the UNC dissolution, to which Varkonia responded with an official Communique to Bloom, which later became known as the Denunciation of Bloom. It was increasingly believed in Varkonia that Bloom in general had deteriorated in terms of competence and had become a liability that could not be trusted. It was decided that, rather than engage with Bloom diplomatically and then be disappointed by their unreliability, Varkonia should instead avoid engaging with Bloom completely.
As the UNC was dissolving, Varkonia reached out to the most prominent members of the UNC to lay the groundwork for a new alliance, as it was currently vulnerable. This would mark a major change in foreign policy, as for a long time Varkonia sought to bring in many small nations into the UNC, which would then to varying degrees be brought into Varkonia's orbit of influence. The problem with this was that after a certain point, there were too many nations added and the alliance as a whole became ineffective and untrustworthy. Going forward, Varkonia would reduce the number of nations it was allied with, limiting some of its influence and its obligations to protect nations which would realistically do very little should Varkonia need their support. Most of all, Varkonia was looking for competent allies it could trust. It was hoped that this new alliance could remain neutral in the NATO-Mir war and deter other parties from causing trouble with its considerable military and economic strength.
The Formation of the Entente
Main Article: Entente
The Entente was formed on July 12, 2019, by Gensokyo, Hjaltland, Nyasaland, and Varkonia. These nations would remain the only members of the Entente, as it was designed to be exclusive to maximize unity and trust between allies. Varkonia and Hjaltland becoming allies was a pivotal shift in geopolitics as historically the people in these nations had more often than not been on opposing sides. The combined strength of the Entente was formidable, and succeeded in deterring interference for some time with the bloc.
The Fake Screenshot Incident
Almost immediately after the formation of the Entente, screenshots were sent via an anonymous account to the Red Duke of Varkonia and the rest of the Entente leadership. These appeared to show leaked conversations and plans within the newly formed UDF to attack the Entente and pearl some of its members due to the Evocator drama. A meeting was held in the Entente Presidium, in which Varkonia and the other members of the Entente analyzed the screenshots and determined that they were certainly fake. They decided to do nothing regarding this matter and adopt a 'wait and see' approach.
It turned out that the anonymous account also sent screenshots to the UDF leadership. These appeared to show leaked conversations and plans within the newly formed Entente to alt raid and attack the UDF over the prior drama between Icenia, Nyasaland, and Varkonia. These were also faked, but one of the few people online at the time was ChrisChrispie, who did not verify their accuracy and made a post on the subreddit under the title of Hostile Intentions 70, accusing the newly formed Entente of planning to attack Icenia and the UDF. The Entente revealed it had also received screenshots, but that they were fake and implicated the UDF, and that the Entente had come to such a determination before publicly accusing the UDF of anything.
The UDF made an apology post over the matter and both sides agreed to move on as if nothing had happened. Clearly a third party was trying to put the Entente and UDF against each other. Varkonia speculated it was someone with an interest in seeing both being weakened, likely to be Corvus- or NATO-aligned.
Handling the Evocator CrisisThe most pressing matter facing Varkonia at this time, and by extension the Entente, was handling the unfolding drama between with Corvus over the pearling of Evocator and Thoths. The King of Nox had posted a meme video on the topic, simplifying the justification for pearling Evocator and placing it in an entertaining format. While popular, the Entente sought to more formally address the situation, and made an official extensive post on the matter outlining a large amount of evidence and context to the situation, with a commitment to standing behind the pearling as a just act. Notably, Corvus attempted to refute the implications, and attempted to create distance between Evocator and Corvus such that Corvus would not be dragged down along with Evocator for his obvious role in all of this.
The attempt at implicating Dill or myself is laughable and straight up stupid. I don’t know a single person that would expect me to allow my city to be used in an invasion, and since when are we taking Papa_Pound, of all people’s, word over others? Dill had put together his own army to attack Nox in 2.0 and has not supported nor even entertained any ideas of working with Papa. The same goes for myself. The sheer amount of history we have against Papa should be valued far more than the word of a man with no redeeming actions in the entire history of this genre. Get your shit together and reevaluate who you are trusting. (Jaydrive, 2019)The reasoning outlined by Jaydrive is exactly why Varkonia did not initially act on Papa's comments, which were made as early as March and April 2019, until July of 2019. Varkonia did not take Papa seriously at first. It was only after confirmation that Evocator, Thoths, and others in Corvus had been involved in alt-raiding that Papa's words were taken seriously, because at least some members of Corvus were independently confirmed to be involved in shady activity and dishonesty, and no longer lived up to their former world-police reputations from previous iterations.
An hour-long video monologue by Evocator was made in response, although most people didn't listen to it due to the poor formatting, and those who did were not satisfied with the attempted defense. Evocator and Thoths would remain pearled, and Covus would begin building up a vault within its city in preparation for war later on.
The Treaty of Salisbury
In the middle of July, 2019, Varkonia signed the Treaty of Salisbury with Imperial Truidence, establishing friendly relations and mutual defense. Imperial Truidence had been the newest member of the UNC prior to its dissolution and it was hoped that this would allow Varkonia to maintain good relations with them. They were part of the UDF as well, so this alliance served to in a small way bring the UDF and Entente on more trusting terms with each other.
General Mobilization of the Varkonian Workforce
With bigbrainiac10 leading the way, in unison with help from Gobblin and the Red Duke, native Varkonian XP production was massively expanded. Under the Guild System proposed by the Red Duke, xp materials would be gathered in various guilds locations and then sold to the overarching XP Guild. The Guild Master position was created by the Senate on July 16, 2019. The Guild Master would be responsible for taking inventory of XP ingredients, keeping track of who was selling to the guild, adjusting prices, and paying guild members for their work.
This was a hugely successful system and it almost immediately made Varkonia XP independent, which was important as it no longer had the same economic status it enjoyed when it was part of the UNC. Propaganda was created to encourage citizens to participate in the XP production process. Even the King of Nox did his part to help produce XP and build up Varkonian reserves in the event of war. It was effective in mobilizing even newfriends to do their part, and gave them a reliable way to earn income that didn't involve mining. Indeed, the wealth of the average Varkonian soared during this time period as the XP Cauldron saw record use.
Callum was a major contributor to the XP Guilds, as well as taking the time to mine massive amounts of diamonds. His contributions and donations to the Varkonian Treasury were critical for the survival of Varkonia and for the continued arms build-up in preparation for potential future conflicts involving either Corvus or NATO.
Pride notably proclaimed himself overload of the Swamp Guild.
In addition to expanding XP production, a new treaty was written with SPQR called the Sunfish Compact, which the Senate would pass unanimously. This was done due to SPQR being left without an alliance and in a precarious position on the border with NATO, which was unfriendly with it. SPQR would regularly supply Varkonia with a named salmon every month, such as the August 2019 Mola Mola, and the two nations would cooperate more closely. Sharing of supplies was one of the most important outcomes of this arrangement, as SPQR was actually extremely wealthy relative to its perceived presence on the server. It had many 'silent workhorses' who would not say much or take a stand on either side of political issues, but would generate large amounts of wealth.
The SPQR Rail IncidentOn the evening of August 16, 2019, the Holy Jaded Empire (HJE) blocked off the SPQR-Commonwealth rail that was built and maintained by Langly, prominent citizen of SPQR. This was civilian infrastructure being used mainly by the people of SPQR and Commonwealth for trading purposes between the two distant and neutral nations. SPQR maintained its neutrality after the UNC dissolved, and the Commonwealth was also neutral to this point in the NATO-Mir war. Since it was a public rail, there was no strategic value in it either being operational or closed. Any military power would assume the rail to be snitched in part or in full, making it easily trapped and thus too dangerous to use in warfare. It was therefore surprising that HJE would shut down the rail without any dialogue, and furthermore that they would begin griefing it, especially considering that the rail predated HJE's claims to the land.
This was my project, built by me before anyone else even had claimed the land it is under. Now they've moved in over it, gotten themselves into a war, and are telling us to go around for refusing to take a side. (Langly, 2019)The actions of the HJE were unfavorably viewed by neutral nations, and in particular was viewed negatively by Varkonia, as it showed HJE to be aggressive towards nations which had no active pvpers. NATO fully supported this action, with NATO-supporting players taking HJE's side in the matter.
How dare you stop us from entering your borders after we stopped you from entering ours (OrangeWizard, 2019)There was an important difference in this matter, which is that the UNC had barred combatants who were taking sides in the NATO-Mir war from entering their territory. The UNC never blocked passage of regular civilians, even those from NATO or Mir, from using public rails. HJE was effectively seizing neutral infrastructure and blocking neutral civilians from using it, most likely out of spite due to low opinions and mistrust of SPQR within NATO. The King of Nox began gathering support for SPQR to see how the impasse over the rail could be resolved. Varkonia went to the Entente to seek support for SPQR, which had deep cultural ties to Varkonia. The Entente agreed to provide support to SPQR because it believed SPQR to be in the right on this matter. A joint Entente-SPQR operation was conducted to clear grief from the rail and re-open it for public use. The operation successfully cleared the tunnel with no resistance. Mark_Antony recounted the events in detail in his post on the CivClassics subreddit to inform the public, explaining how SPQR tried and failed to reach any compromise with HJE diplomatically on August 26, 2019. Flush, the spokesperson for the Entente, explained the Entente's involvement
This comment will serve to give context to the Entente's mission on the CW-SPQR line. For those unaware: the Entente provided assistance to the Romans working on repairing the aforementioned (public) line. This assistance was in the form of protection and removing checkpoints installed by the HJE.This issue was highly contentious, resulting in some support for both sides. As issues like these occurred, it made remaining neutral in the NATO-Mir war more difficult. On the same day, August 26, 2019, NATO combatants, including HanTzu (on the account Destrudo) entered SPQR on the surface, presumably to make a point about enforcing travel restrictions. NovaCeasar, leader of SPQR, requested Varkonia's help to remove them from SPQR lands. 16d bounties were placed on those illegally crossing over, including HanTzu, by Mark_Antony.
The Entente's involvement in this was voluntary. Only Varkonia was dutybound to assist their Roman allies, but we as a whole decided to assist our member in this matter. This is not in the least because we believe the SPQR to be in the right - especially in light of the NATO border incursion which took place yesterday (including NATO forces removing snitches well within Roman territory). Trying to bully the SPQR whilst they were literally in the middle of a meeting with ComradeNick to resolve this issue diplomatically is not something many of us were willing to stomach in face of a call for help. For those who tend to justify their every action in the form of whataboutisms: this is in stark contrast to the patient and highly compromising attitude the SPQR has had during negotiations and during the preceding border drama.Going forward it is our hope that the unprovoked and unnecessary use of physical force, specifically against the SPQR, can be ended. Today's mission was harmless and extremely limited in scope. We have clearly signalled our intention to support the resolution of this issue through purely peaceful, diplomatic means and for the threat of coercion to be removed from talks. We have no desire for conflict arising out of this - to the contrary, we intend for today's mission to be preventative. (Flush, 2019)
Varkonia discussed the best way to proceed on the matter with the Entente, and it was resolved that NATO was likely acting out due to frustration with the negative PR over the rail incident, but was not a serious threat. Varkonia would move accounts to SPQR but would not engage with NATO. Nobody in SPQR had come under attack and the action was perceived as bait to escalate the conflict further. It is unclear if anything was raided in this time. At the end of the day, NATO withdrew back to Hallow, and a very uneasy peace would continue. It was becoming increasingly difficult for Varkonia, and by extension, the Entente, to remain neutral in the NATO-Mir war, largely because of provocations such as this incident, as well as the perceived toxicity of the commentary by NATO-aligned parties on the subreddit. However, Varkonia would still remain neutral and would not seek war with NATO.
Between July and September 2019, Thoths had been in contact with his friends in Mir, such as Magier and Walkers, and wanted to contribute to Mir. With Corvus being a mess due to the Evocator drama, Thoths was hoping to have fun in Mir and spend time with them. During this time period, there was growing pressure on Varkonia to free Thoths, as Thoths was in contact with his other friends as well, including Flush and Frensin of Hjaltland. The Red Duke was adamantly opposed to freeing Thoths because he had not seen any evidence that Thoths had changed his ways for the better, and knew that Thoths and Evo were still close friends, and believed they were likely closer friends than the others who were vouching for Thoths' freedom. Additionally, the only history that existed between the Red Duke and Thoths prior to this was of Thoths betraying Volterra and being pearled. The only message history between Thoths and the Red Duke at this point was of Thoths asking to be freed during that time period on Devoted 3.0, however that history was deleted and only the Red Duke's side of the conversation remained when Thoths petitioned to be freed on CivClassic 2.0. The communications the Red Duke received from Thoths were not apologetic for alt raiding, but rather accusatory, under the line of thought that Thoths had been wrongfully imprisoned to begin with. The Red Duke viewed all this as signs of dishonesty, and would regularly explain his position on the matter to those petitioning him, but they were not satisfied. The bottom line was that Thoths was friends with powerful people and because of that friendship there was preference to give him leniency despite the evidence of wrongdoing.
Eventually, Lysika of Mir would approach the Red Duke on September 9, 2019, asking about the status of both Thoths and Evo. The Red Duke explained the plan was for neither to be freed until the end of the NATO-Mir war, as both were perceived to pose a significant threat to Varkonia should they enlist the support of NATO. That position then changed to potentially freeing Thoths sooner, although with much hesitation. Lysika informed the Red Duke that Frensin was hoping to trade the pearls of Thoths and Ahri. Ahri had been pearled by Mir as Ahri had originally been supporting NATO at the onset of the war, but had since left NATO and was playing in Gensokyo while exiled. This meant the Entente was very interested in his freedom, and from the perspective of Flush and Frensin, freeing Thoths and Ahri together would solve two problems at once. However, since it was Varkonia which held Thoths' pearl, Varkonia needed to be convinced to free Thoths, and Varkonia at the time viewed Ahri's pearling as legitimate and unrelated to Thoths.
The Red Duke asked the Speaker of the Senate and the King of Nox what it would take for it to be worth it to free Thoths, believing him to be untrustworthy and almost certainly a threat considering their history. The King of Nox decreed that Thoths could be freed for the sum of 5,000 diamonds. The Red Duke and the Speaker believed this amount to be excessive, but ultimately the Red Duke forwarded this total to Lysika. This was explained as essentially being insurance: should Thoths break his word and target Varkonia, at least Varkonia would have the sum of diamonds to compensate them. Mir was outraged by the amount set for Thoths' release. Lysika created a meme video over the matter, comparing the Red Duke to Sintralin.
Eventually the Red Duke took the matter into his own hands. He was uncomfortable with the schism that had formed and was growing between himself and his friends in Mir. He disregarded the King of Nox's demand for 5,000 diamonds, and would not be negotiating on behalf of Ahri- that would fall to Flush to work out a separate arrangement with Mir. The Red Duke asked for two stacks of diamond blocks (1,152 diamonds) for Thoths freedom. Mir agreed, the amount was paid, and Thoths was freed.
Nobody was happy with this outcome. Mir felt betrayed by Varkonia, which had up to then been on relatively good terms due to their long histories together, despite earlier disagreements about the NATO-Mir war. The Entente felt undermined by Varkonia because Thoths' pearl was the only leverage the Entente had over Mir to get Ahri freed. The Entente would pay a separate fee to Mir for the release of Ahri. The King of Nox was not happy as Thoths was freed for less than 5,000 diamonds. The Senate was not even consulted on the matter.
Thoths was pearled by Mir less than a week later for betraying Mir and passing information to NATO. Lysika and the Red Duke would apologize to each other over the way the situation was handled, with the Red Duke being particularly apologetic about not articulating his rationale better and not having made more reasonable stipulations. With Thoths being pearled again so soon, everyone felt a little foolish, but moved on.
Thoth's exiled account was spotted heading towards Corvus on Nevrast snitches.
The Second Transition of Government between Varkonia and Nevrast
On August 30, 2019, Nevrast officially joined the Grand Duchy of Varkonia as a province and Seldomshock became a Senator. This was largely due to deteriorating relations between Seldom an Corvus, as well as a desire on Varkonia's part to help Nevrast should Corvus lash out. It was also strategically important because Nevrast was just south of Corvus and it would be very difficult for Corvus to reach Varkonia without setting off snitches within the swamps of Nevrast. Unlike the first transition of government between Varkonia and Nevrast, this would not be considered a meme later on. As a result of joining Varkonia, Nevrast also fell under the protection of the Entente by default.
Varkonia Goes to War with LSD and Laconia
Main Article: Entente-Laconia War
In early September, 2019, the group known as the Latvian Soccer Dogs (LSD), led by ashnwill, was building a vault in the southwest quadrant of the map. This group, and in particular, their leader, had an extremely bad reputation with Varkonia. A debate was had within the Entente over how to react to this news. The Red Duke argued for immediate intervention to disable the vault that was being built, known as Hotel California, on grounds that the group operating it had a very poor reputation and that they would use it as a base to raid Icenia and other nations. Others in the Entente, such as Frensin, agreed, and a military operation was planned to swiftly capture the nascent vault, pearl any defenders, and snitch it. A large motivating factor was the concern that, with the NATO-Mir war dragging on into its 7th month, allowing LSD to build a vault in the region would inevitably lead to a future conflict with the Entente. It was the opinion of the Red Duke then that, if conflict was to be inevitable, then the Entente, which was militarily prepared, should strike immediately before the LSD could fortify, which would have made it much more difficult to deal with later on. This was a major reversal of the neutrality Varkonia vouched for at the onset of the NATO-Mir war, primarily because the Varkonia Vault was now nearly complete and much more easily defended. On September 7, 2019, the attack would commence, with combined forces from the Entente and SATO disabling the LSD vault. The Red Duke and the King of Nox would both join the efforts in person. The next day, Ashnwill would surrender himself, and he would end up in the Varkonia Vault. An official post would be made by Britishwanderer explaining the situation.
On 28 September, Laconia attempted to tear down the LSD vault pyramid, with intent to transport thousands of diamonds back to Laconia. A force of 13 players was brought to ensure the safe transport of the materials. The Entente noticed the movements and prepared for an attack, suspecting that they would be tearing down the vault pyramid for diamonds. The Entente decided to delay the attack until the LSD and Laconian force had left the remains of the vault. A joint contingent of Mir and Entente forces chased the LSD-Laconian force. 6 Laconians were pearled, leading to a loss of ~700 diamonds. All of the soccer dogs in the Laconian force survived, except for Topher3001 who was exile-pearled (but later freed by mistake). One Laconian leader, Tofee_Dodger, was also pearled. This was the most decisive naval battle in CivClassic 2.0 history, being a total loss for LSD-Laconian forces, and each pearled player dropping stacks of diamonds upon their demise. Varkonia upgraded ashnwill to be prison-pearled after this event, where he would remain until the end of the server, with widespread support, particularly among Icenia, encouraging his continued imprisonment.
The direct involvement of Laconia in this matter expanded the conflict from just Entente-LSD to Entente-Laconia. In Early October, 2019, the Entente attacked Mt. Doom, Laconia's capital. The timing was not ideal for Varkonia, with only Seldomshock able to participate on behalf of Varkonia, significantly less than was expected. The Entente forces were repelled. Entente analysts believe the defeat was due to several factors:
- The attack was initially staged at bedrock, then later in a sub-surface skybridge. This meant the tunnel and low-lying skybridge were vulnerable to Laconian counter-attacks.
- Varkonia did not provide any commanders for this assault, resulting in fewer players able to organize the effort.
- Exiled players were able to thwart the advances of the attackers by reinforcing obsidian in the path of the attack. Since they were already exiled, the only way to deal with this was to prison pearl them or to dedicate a handful of attackers specifically to killing them.
- City Bastion mechanics were broken, allowing players to place them and immediately reinforce them to full-strength, making it almost impossible to advance the attack bridge due to not being able to reinforce it.
The Entente's attack tunnel was captured and disabled by Laconia, who began mustering additional forces, including NATO-aligned and Corvus-aligned fighters on alts. On October 17, Laconia counter-attacked, with the support of Baes20, and griefed portions of Hjaltland's 2nd Vault, Eternity. This happened due to the odd hours of the attack, the incomplete vault snitch grid, and the Entente not expecting Laconia to go on the offensive. The attack was a reminder that wars are complicated, and that the Entente was not infallible, reducing the deterrence it had previously enjoyed.
Imprisonment of Evocator
Simultaneously to the escalation in conflict with the LSD and Laconia, Corvus was hard at work building a vault and snitching the trench that fully surrounded their city. By chance, Seldomshock had logged in to an alt account that was inside Corvus while he was looking for accounts to send to the Entente war effort in the south. He happened to be directly adjacent to the Corvus vault, which didn't exist when he last logged out on that account. Seldom was able to gather intelligence on Corvus and its and level of construction. Significant efforts had been undertaken since the pearling of Evocator, who was online at the time, likely aiding and commanding the construction efforts. Seldomshock was pearled in Corvus, and then later released after he explained he was just trying to get his account out of there. Following some consideration, Varkonia came to the realization that Corvus was preparing for War with Varkonia over Evocator, and their militarization efforts were an alarming wakeup call that Varkonia would soon be on the frontlines of war. To slow their efforts and disorganize their players, the Varkonian senate voted to upgrade Evocator to prison pearl. Evocator was imprisoned on September 23, 2019, and would remain there until the end of the server.
Outbreak of War with Corvus
Several days after being imprisoned, Evocator made a post on the subreddit, placing a 500d bounty on all Varkonian citizens, and a 250 bounty on all citizens of the Entente (later revised to 500d on all Varkonians and 250d on all fighters in the Entente). This was considered as a declaration of war on Varkonia, and by extension, the Entente. The Senate debated whether to directly attack Corvus before it could further complete its vault. Intelligence reports indicated that the Corvus trench had not yet been fully snitched, and that a sneak attack may be possible via a skybridge. Varkonia went to the Entente and plans were drafted for an assault on Corvus. Before this could happen, the situation escalated with Laconia and Laconia would take precedence over Corvus.
Ulexos, a wanted criminal from the UNC days for illegal snitching, was spotted near the border of Nevrast on October 1st, 2019, and was subsequently pearled and vaulted in Varkonia. It was unknown at the time that Ulexos was a member of Corvus, however it soon became clear that he was not only just a member of Corvus, but also a high-ranking member, because he was the owner of the group D, which Impasse and then later Corvus had their main snitches on. While Ulexos and Corvus demanded answers, Varkonia was trying to put together the pieces and consider who it was that they had just pearled.
The next day, October 2nd, 2019, coltguy97, a relatively inactive member of Corvus, seemingly inexplicably walked into the city of Varkonia. Seldomshock informed him to not travel to Varkonia, although Coltguy would dispute this and claim he was never informed. He was promptly pearled and vaulted in Varkonia, bringing the total of Corvus-affiliated pearled held by Varkonia up to 3. Coltguy made a post about this on the subreddit, whereby Corvus attempted to give Varkonia bad PR for its actions.
Corvus Attacks the Varkonia Vault
After the pearling of Coltguy, that same night Corvus launched a major military operation into Varkonian territory. 8 Corvus accounts were involved in digging a tunnel from Corvus to Varkonia, with a bunker being built just outside of Varkonia’s city. It was discovered and Entente troops rapidly moved up to the Varkonia Vault to mount a defense. The Corvus forces retreated, and Varkonian-led forces closed in and removed the set-up site, found to contain attack supplies including many compacted obsidian. Varkonian-led forces then travelled down the tunnel to Corvus, where the involved accounts began logging back in. Varkonia went about digging its own tunnel to Corvus, however, there was a push towards de-escalation before any further operations were conducted. No fighting occurred, Corvus was simply out-maneuvered from having been spotted, and they abandoned their effort to attack Varkonia's vault. It's clear that Coltguy was simply bait, whereby Corvus was hoping to break the Varkonia vault overnight and more easily break the pyramid, the reinforcement of which would not be fully matured from Coltguy being vaulted earlier that same day.
On October 5, 2019, The General Secretary of the Entente established communications with Roguex7, who represented Corvus. A preliminary ceasefire was agreed while talks were arranged. On the 8th of October, Varkonia reached out to Corvus to inform them of a tunnel that had been constructed towards Corvus, dating back to the initial onset of war. It was hoped that Varkonia could explain that this tunnel was not a violation of the ceasefire. Corvus tried to characterize it as Varkonia having violated the Ceasefire, but this was dispelled. Varkonia believed it was actually Corvus which was violating the ceasefire, and proved this through documentations by Seldomshock. On October 12, Corvus-aligned pvpers were responsible for several violations of the ceasefire, making incursions into Nevrast and attempting to pearl Seldomshock, who then placed a bounty on Mikhail_Smirnov. Corvus responded indicating that those actions were not sanctioned, with Rogue saying he was getting upset that people in Corvus were undermining the peace process. Negotiations were tense, and Varkonia was increasingly getting frustrated, because from their perspective Corvus was attempting to take the moral high ground on the Subreddit, meanwhile negotiations were stalled and they were violating the cease-fire regularly in Nevrast. Corvus then attempted to accuse Varkonia of planning an attack, then withdrew that accusation.
On October 20, 2019, Corvus pearled ObtainableSpatula, leader of ImperialTruidance, member of the UDF, which was neutral in all of the ongoing conflicts. This was seen as an escalation of Corvus aggressiveness in general.
The Next day, on October 21, 2019, NovaCeasar, leader of SPQR, was pearled in Roma, the capital of SPQR, while offering to give a tour to what turned out to be a member of Corvus. She was vaulted in Corvus, with the promise of being freed in a reasonable amount of time. She would soon be transferred to the HJE and remain pearled there until the end of the Infinity War. This was highly regrettable to the Entente, which was engaged in warfare on two fronts and due to the server mechanics at the time, breaking a defended vault would be nearly impossible. Should the wars continue, SPQR would have to be undefended due to its distance from friendly nations and proximity to hostile nations.
On October 23, 2019, since private negotiations were not getting anywhere, Varkonia made a public offer for peace to Corvus and explained it actions up to that point. This was seen widely as a positive step. The main points of the peace offer were:
- Varkonia releases Coltguy97 immediately.
- Varkonia holds a trial for Ulexos, who's maximum sentence would be 1 month exiled.
- Varkonia releases Evocator after a maximum sentence of 6 months. He could be released after 3 months if determined to be on good behavior by the Varkonian Senate.
- Varkonia and Corvus cease hostilities towards each other.
- Varkonia and Corvus agree to non-agression towards each other going forwards.
These conditions were widely seen as extremely lenient- Varkonia would commit to releasing everyone currently held by them, and Corvus would not have to offer anything in material, simply allow the people currently pearled to serve finite sentences and promise not to attack Varkonia. Evocator rejected the proposal, and Varkonia withdrew the offer. To Varkonia, this showed that Corvus was not interested in peace, but rather wanted an escalation of conflict. Varkonia would continue to hold the Corvus pearls until the end of the server, unable to reach agreements with any of the players.
The result of the failed negotiations was astonishment at Corvus's refusal and off-and-on skirmishes between Varkonia and Corvus. Several new accounts periodically would get pearled in Varkonia on their way to Corvus, as the Varkonia Vault was located in the middle of an ocean that new players would often use to travel through. Seldom would continue to evade all attempts at pearling him in Nevrast.
The Transition of Government between Varkonia and Aurum
On October 16, 2019, Aurum, led by Deserve (SirFriendzone), requested to join the Grand Duchy of Varkonia soon after its formation. The territory was the easternmost so far to request to join Varkonia, and was rapidly approved by unanimous vote of the Senate. Aurum would be a valuable and strategically important part of Varkonia near the center of the map. Aurum contained grasslands, mesa, desert, and some inherited builds and structures from earlier in the map. SirFriendzone invested significant wealth into developing factories for Aurum, including a compactor, xp cauldron, and ore smelter. Snitches were also put down in Aurum to help with its defense, and Aurum would contribute diamonds to the Varkonian war effort.
The Senate is the heart of Varkonian government. Over the course of CivClassic, there have been 24 distinct senate sessions. The Senate writes, debates, and votes on legislation to pass into law. No law can be passed or treaty implemented without the approval of the Senate. Laws passed in the senate may be subject to the King of Nox's veto. While senators were appointed by the Red Duke early on, they were later elected by citizens after the end of the Infinity War.
Additional political positions existed within the Senate, including the Speaker of the Senate, Guild Master, Judges, and Crown Prosecutor. The Speaker was elected within the senate by majority vote of the sitting senators at the beginning of a senate session and would serve as Speaker until the end of that Senate session. Judges, the Guild Master, and Crown Prosecutor would be appointed by the Red Duke at the beginning of each Senate session and serve until the end of that session.
In total, 191 items of legislation were voted on within the Senate, of which 146 passed, 38 failed, and 7 were vetoed by the King of Nox. The following is a full list of the proposed legislation which was voted on within the Senate:
The Speaker of the Senate
The Speaker of the Senate was established during the 2nd Senate and is the 3rd highest political office in Varkonia, behind the King of Nox and the Red Duke. The Speaker enjoys a privilged position as the Senator with the most support within the Senate, making the speaker very influential when supporting or opposing items of legislation. It is the duty of the speaker to:
- Liaise and maintain communications, between the King, the Red Duke and the senators
- Maintain and foster strong relationships with the external territories of Varkonia
- Represent Varkonia internationally to sovereign states, alliance blocs and other international organisations
- Ensure that relevant information about Varkonia is communicated publicly and internationally in accurate wording
- Be responsible for accepting or postponing for further discussion the initiation of voting on legislation within the chamber
- In good faith, represent the true and faithful position and agreed policy of the Senate
- Not, without Senate approval, negotiate on contentious issues
The Speaker has the following powers:
- Present prosecutions against criminals to the Judiciary Committee
- Act as the diplomatic representative of Varkonia internationally
- Enter into diplomatic negotiations on behalf of Varkonia
- With the approval of the Senate, form or enter into alliances and ratify treaties
Of the 24 Senate sessions, 23 were presided over by a Speaker. The following players were elected the office of Speaker of the Senate at least once: BritishWanderer, Callum, Dr_Nein, DroidJoe, Pride, Seldomshock. BritishWanderer served the longest amount of time as Speaker, while BritishWanderer and DroidJoe tied for serving under the greatest number of senate sessions, each presiding over eight sessions. Callum, Dr_Nein, and Pride each only presided over only one session.
KaiserreichKaiserreich was ruled by Wublit and later LazavPhenax. During 2018 Kaiserreich signed a mutual defense pact with SPQR. Kaiserreich became a protectorate of Varkonia in December 2018, then a full province in April 2019.. The province is located at -2650, -11200.