The Northern Lights - Issue XV, 2nd September
Regional Assembly Highlights

by Brend0g, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Communications

Over August we have seen the Regional Assembly be really active, three votes going to the floor and two other bills currently under discussion.

The first vote was the Election Reform Bill Reform Bill which was additional edits to the Election Reform Bill passed last month that was not included in the final draft. With support already on the previous bill and being straight forward, it was passed convincingly with 22 voting for, 4 voting nay and 3 abstaining from the vote.

The second vote was a motion to admit Pallaith to the Security Council, after a short discussion about the Security Council, the motion went to a vote. It passed extremely convincingly with 29 voting for, 1 voting nay and 4 abstaining from the vote.

Lastly, another Security Council application was presented to the Regional Assembly with the McMasterdonia being the candidate this time. As with Pallaith, discussion of the Security Council happened and was similar. As with Pallaith’s application, it passed convincingly with 25 voting aye, 3 voting nay and 4 abstaining from the vote.

Furthermore, 3 other bills are currently under discussion; Amendments to the Line of Succession, due to the additional Security Councillors and Plembobria and Bootsie’s Security Council Application.

Overall we have seen additional Security Councillors with multiple bills on the matter as well as finalising the Election Commission.
North Pacific Army Bulletin

by Owenstacey, Speaker

The month started very strongly for the Ministry of Defence, with the minister, Darcania, running operations at most major and minor updates for a week. In this time, they were able to detag 8 different regions with 14 NPAers taking part in the 8 detags.

Then, shortly afterward, the NPA was part of a training operation where they successfully took the region Czarist Russia for four days. This exercise was hugely successful with 14 NPAers taking part. During this training exercise, Darcania resigned as Minister of Defence and was replaced by Gladio, an experienced former Minister of Defense.

In the first full operation under Gladio, we took part in a training operation where we raided and detaged two regions. This was successful with 10 NPAers taking part in the operation.

Then for the final mission for the month, we raided and occupied The International Kingdom along with 5 of our allies. The mission was very successful as they held the region for 5 days and 19 NPAers took part.

Overall, August was a good month for the NPA with 12 regions being taken during the month.
The Spotlight #5: An Interview with Scorch

by Scorch & abc, Minister of Communications & Deputy Speaker

abc: Hello Scorch, I’m happy to get a chance to interview you! What made you start playing NS?

Scorch: I started playing because I was getting bored in one of my classes, so I began to look for a government and politics game and found NS.

abc: Why did you end up moving (or staying) in TNP?

Scorch: I have stayed in TNP because I enjoy the people here and the community that they have built. TNP is very welcoming, and I have never once felt unwanted.

abc: In what direction do you hope to lead the Ministry?

Scorch: I hope to get the last issue of TNL out and try to continue the consistency we have had this term into the next term.

abc: What do you hope to pursue next in TNP and why?

Scorch: I’m not completely sure. There are plenty of opportunities I could pursue, but I haven’t decided what I’ll do next.

abc: What’s the hardest choice you’ve made in TNP and what made it so difficult?

Scorch: Fortunately I feel that I have not had to make many difficult choices during my time in TNP.

abc: How has TNP influenced or affected you in RL?

Scorch: TNP has introduced me to so many new people along with their views and opinions. I think TNP has opened me up and allowed me to see from different points of view.

abc: What are your interests outside of NS?

Scorch: Politics, baseball, science, piano and sleep.

abc: Can you give newcomers to TNP some tips?

Scorch: The best advice I have for a newcomer is to voice their interests. I voiced my interests when I was new, and I was asked to be a deputy minister. Two months after that, I became a minister. There are loads of opportunities in TNP, but you need to voice your interests so people can help get you those opportunities.

abc: Finally, who is your favorite TNP Delegate and why?

Scorch: I have only been in TNP for two delegates, so I don’t feel that I have a large enough selection to pick a favorite. I have enjoyed working under Plembobria and Pallaith, and both have influenced me.

abc: It’s been nice talking to you Scorch!

Scorch: Thanks
Roleplay Reel #2

by Iraelia, Citizen

While the summer has dealt a blow to activity in NationStates, The North Pacific Roleplay has managed to maintain an average amount of activity throughout the slump. In fact, this past month saw the return of Syrixia, who has been a longtime role player and whose nation plays a major role in the history and politics of Eras. This month has also seen an uptick in the activity of international alliances, with one being formed and another beginning to retain its prior activity. This has also carried into the National Roleplay section, where five new threads have been posted. With all this being said, let’s get into detail.

In National Roleplay, many pivotal events have been transpiring that have a great chance of altering the political landscape of Eras as we know it. These events would be the creation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Skanda, a Revolution among the Sundeonians in Kanada, and the Prydanian Civil War. The Socialist Republic of Skanda (SRS) was originally a nation that had formed during the 1950s, shortly after Skanda gained independence from Andrenne, it’s colonial parent. The government, which was fervently communist, had plans of expansion into its fellow nations in an attempt to conquer Iteria, the continent it resides on. However, after a war in the 1960s and a coup in the 1980s, the government was deposed in favor of a capitalist one. In spite of this, Misaka Tawanoa, leader of Skanda, had sought to reestablish this communist state. So, after having dissolved her parliament the day before, Misaka Tawanoa declared Skanda to be communist once more on August 17th, creating the Democratic People’s Republic of Skanda. This action has already been condemned by their neighbor, Takashima, which is currently a capitalist dictatorship. Another nation, the Merillian League, has decided to remain neutral in the scenario but is offering Skandan Ambassadors in the League asylum. All those that wish to return were allowed re-entry into Skanda. Meanwhile, in Kanada, the people of Sundeon (a province in Kanada) are revolting. Sundeon once was an independent state, but after a war with nearby Calgary, it was annexed to form what became modern day Kanada. Now, Sundeonian Nationalists have taken up arms against the Kanadian Government and retaken Fort Sean. This has caused the Malorian Emperor to send 3,000 soldiers to Kanada, a controversial move that sparked massive debate in the nation. Kanada is not the only nation in the Northeast that is undergoing turmoil, Prydania has just left a civil war that has damaged the nation. The nation, which was under Syndicalist Dictatorship, has been challenged by the traditional monarchy which ran the nation. This conflict has scarred the nation and hurt the people of Prydania drawing ire from the Pan-Gotic Union (PGU). Prydania, a nation of Gotic heritage, was in dire need of humanitarian aid. As this was the case, the reached out to the PGU for help. The PGU offered Prydania observer status in the organization, and many PGU nations have provided aid to Prydania. This has allowed the nation to begin the slow recovery process.

In the negotiations sub forum, threads have seen a spike in activity as well. The most active organization in this past month has been, without a doubt, the PGU. This past month, the current Chancellor of the PGU (Jorgen Arnad, Goyanes) has appointed Jaever Staufenberg of the Hastfradic League as his Deputy Chancellor. Additionally, as has been stated before, they accepted the nation of Prydania into the PGU. Along with the admittance of Prydania to the PGU, a proposed humanitarian intervention may soon occur as many nations are already independently providing aid to the nation. The next most active organization this month was the Iterian League. An organization founded after a war which tore apart the continent of Iteria, the Iterian League serves as a nonaggression pact and a forum on issues facing the continent. While the organization was founded back in the 1980s, the thread was created just this month and recently held elections for the Chairman of the Directorate (the governing organization of the league). Irad Yasur of Iraelia won the election, and she appointed Yoshihama Tokaji of Takashima as her Deputy Chairman. They are set to have their first legislative session at the beginning of September. The last major organization which has been active this month is the Phoenix Union. With the return of Syrixia (who was the Grand Presiding Officer), an election for the new Grand Presiding Officer was held. The candidates were from Sil Dorsett and the Equestrian Commonwealth. The candidate from Sil Dorsett won the election, making their representative the new GPO.

Finally, this month, there was activity in regards to international sports. Grand Prix International, a car racing tournament in Eras, is set to begin soon. Sixteen groups from around the world will compete in the racing tournament. While the tournament has seen a lot of inactivity and setbacks, the tournament groupings have been finalized, and the races are set to begin shortly.

This has been Roleplay Reel #2.
Discord Analysis #2

[right]by Scorch, Minister of Communications[/right]This column does not represent the views of the Government of The North Pacific.
Last issue, we discussed the use of Discord within the feeder regions. This issue, we are going to look at how regions communicated before Discord and how Discord came to be the dominant form of communication in NationStates.

After regional governments and communities began to form, they needed to find an easy way to communicate with other NationStates players. These communities began to use IRC, and it quickly became the most popular way to communicate offsite in NationStates. I asked a long time NationStates player SillyString about what made IRC appealing to regions. She responded with “Low barrier to entry? Anyone can join, it’s not “owned” by any one person. If you get banned from a channel, you can just make your own. Easy to use and can be used on basically all platforms.”

While IRC remained the dominant offsite form of communication for years, it did face some rivals. Early on, AIM and MSN Messenger would be the main rivals to IRC. Later, Skype started to become popular in some regions. Most of these other platforms failed to compare with IRC regarding accessibility and functionality. However, different regions would embrace these new platforms. TNP would continue to use IRC while Skype became popular with raiders.

Even with these rivals, IRC would continue to be the most popular way to communicate up through 2015. The switch to Discord would start in late 2015, and one of the regions to first use Discord was The Kingdom of Alexandria. In a previous interview with Lord Ravenclaw (the founder of The Kingdom of Alexandria and former Delegate of The North Pacific), he stated that “… I started promoting Discord in November of 2015, starting with Alexandria. Gradually other regions tried it out for themselves, regions which shared some relationship with Alexandria, so Albion and Europeia were early adopters, The South Pacific at the end of the year, and TNP followed when I had the mean to promote it here (when I was Delegate).” He became Delegate of TNP in January of 2016. By this time, Discord was rapidly gaining popularity, but it had not quite passed IRC in use. It didn’t take long though. By late 2016, Discord had become the most popular way to communicate in NationStates. When people started to become more familiar with Discord, regions began to experiment with new functions like voice chat. Now, some regions, including TNP, even have a radio show on Discord. We currently have the Northern Broadcast Service (NBS) that hosts a radio show on the TNP server.

More regions started creating Discord servers, and it has now grown to become a staple of NationStates. The multitude of features makes it appealing to just about everyone. You can join a channel, create your channel, voice chat, create bots, and maybe even video chat soon. Next issue, we will continue to look at Discord by focusing on how Discord has changed NationStates, and how it has impacted major events.
An Interview with IndieGirl [right]by Kasch, Vice Delegate[/right]
The following interview took place on the 25th of June 2016 and ended on the 27th of June 2016.

I don’t know if many people reading this will know IndieGirl (a.k.a Poe/Poester), but I am very lucky to have, even if it were only for a few months.

The interview was going to be included in Issue IX of the Northern Lights, but never got posted. I’ve included this article so that it gets the chance to be seen as it would have been, and I hope that one day IG herself can see this.[hr]Kasch: Welcome, IndieGirl!

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for taking part in the interview, and I hope we can get a lot of interesting things from this.

IndieGirl: My pleasure! Glad to be here.

Kasch: Let’s get this started.

First question, how do you think TNP as a region has changed and developed since your founding as a nation in this community?

IndieGirl: Oh, I think it has changed in a multitude of ways. Of course, off the bat, there are tons of brand new players (to me) that I have yet to be acquainted with. One thing you have to know is that, for a high percentage of my infamous post-count, I was never much of a mover-and-shaker. I think initially, I brought a lot of drama to TNP when I first showed up. I was starting college, 19, with the mindset of a 19-year-old. I had actually heard about NationStates on a poetry forum that I had been writing at for a while. A fellow writer had recommended it and I decided to check it out. Luckily, my nation - Creepugnasia? I think that was the first one - was born in TNP, and I never really left.

I did what most players always do. You address all your issues, make your flag, change your currency, animal, and motto a few times, and then start poking around the RMB. The in-game forums were too overwhelming for me, I felt like I’d get lost in the shuffle, so I saw the link to the off-site forum, Ol’ Blue (it wasn’t called that at the time) and went to poke around. I was fascinated by the RP opportunities and hadn’t done much previously, but as a creative, quiet type, and a writer, I was drawn to the world-building potential of the game, and the characters.

Magicality, Nastic, Tresville, Blackshear, OPArsenal, Twoslit, Wilkshire, Flemingovia, Nem, Sydia… they were a few of the players I met and interacted with right away, and I enjoyed the interactions immensely. Got a bit carried away with it, actually, and a friend and I created a whole houseful of teenage girl characters to play around as on the forum. Poe was the opportunity to be myself in a way that I think most teenagers avoid being IRL at that age, to try and fit in or whatever. She was my chance to be exuberant, outgoing, ridiculous, flirtatious, etc. And I took it and ran with it.

I was always more involved with the RP and OOC sections of the forum than any of the politics. At the time, really, gameplay-wise, it seemed all you could do was invade or defend, or write resolutions. We had some structure, but things weren’t as…delineated…as they are now. As far as TNP government went, there was far less depth and breadth to it than there is now. No extensive history of amendments and court proceedings. It was far less organized, but it was fantastic in spite of the…chaos. I fell in love with the opportunity to meet people from all over, to make friends and get to know them. We had imaginary houses, pool parties, kissing booths, bar fights, discussions about music and philosophy and nothingness.

AIM chats and countless nights up super late just spamming the OOC so fast that by the time you posted in the “Describe the Person Above You” thread, three other people had already posted. There was a whole gang of us who really just “hung out” on the forum and avoided the politics. We had what we really wanted - friends. We were fine with Pope Hope and the ADN and the NPA (I don’t even remember if it was called the NPA at the time) running around defending other regions and ousting invader spies… There were the politicians and the militia and the community… and I was buried completely in the community. And it was wonderful.

And then, in real life, I went on vacation with my family, and when I returned, I found my online “home” had been attacked. My nation was in the Rejected Realms. UPS Rail had stolen the delegacy, I felt personally affronted, and outraged on behalf of my friends and the destruction of the sanctuary that our TNP home was. My patriotism kicked in fiercely, out of nowhere. I joined the NPA. Spent nights in the group AIM chats with Thel D’Ran and everyone else trying to figure out how to take our home back.

It was during those chats that Thel and I coined the term “endotarting” for the first time, trying to figure out what to call spamming TGs the long, slow way to all the nations endorsing UPS Rail, shamelessly begging them to un-endorse him and endorse our Delegate-In-Exile. That was really my first run-in with the politics and mechanics of invading and defending. And I was surprised at how passionately I felt about the politics. About the people involved, when we found out that UPS Rail was Sir Paul, the Pacifican. The Pacific had done something unforgivable when they invaded us. I despised them. I’m fiercely competitive by nature, and the values that matter most to me are loyalty, kindness, and justice - and I felt like all three of them had been attacked at the same time.

I wanted revenge, I wanted to restore order, but I didn’t feel like I could do much of anything to fix what had happened. I didn’t have any “1337 H4XX0RZ” skills like the ADN spies had… so I offered my spamming services, and that was it. Spammed and tried to keep up the morale, keep the OOC alive. At least we had the forum. After the UPS Rail invasion was when things really began to change, and those changes snowballed through Great Bight, and the civil unrest and division that happened in the wake of that. A lot of people - my friends - left. The ones who stayed wanted to order and safety, a way to find restitution against those who did us wrong, to stop those things from ever happening again. Naturally, the credit for the organization and expansion of the government goes to the politicians and leaders on the forum, and I don’t really count myself among them. I don’t think I ever really have.

The last few times I have come back over the years, the biggest change that I noticed, is that post-Great Bight and the forum move, we threw up walls and halls and rules and defenses so fast, and out of so much… paranoia, almost? As complacency settled back over the region and the forum community, we withdrew into our shells a bit. If that makes sense? The tide was back out. And looking through the forum, it feels like we have many marble halls that sit empty, unused now that the zealous, overabundance of caution has ebbed.

We don’t need to use them, and so we don’t. There are voices you can feel behind closed doors, but mostly the edifices we built are full of echoes and ghosts. Safety and order bring complacency, but they also bring stagnation, boredom. When people get bored, they leave. They abandon things halfway through. Sometimes I am nostalgic for the chaos that we had in those early days. The blissful ignorance that let us create and play because we didn’t have to worry about failure. Didn’t have to worry about “legal” repercussions. I think sometimes that our lust for invincibility did serious damage to our sense of humour. And I have definitely been guilty of growing bored and wandering away more than a few times.
I hope I don’t offend anyone, and I might be completely wrong in that. Honestly, I haven’t been active enough in the last few years to really know if the things I sense are the truth, or merely my false perceptions. I’m sad that I’ve missed the opportunity to observe and interact with this great community continuously as both it, and I, have grown.

But I feel the winds of change have shifted. As I read (slowly but surely!) through the threads and events that I have missed in recent times, I do see community, friendship, imagination, creativity, growth, goodness, humour, and light. The OOC and the RP sections feel active and rich to me in a way that they haven’t since those early days. The North Pacific feels like a land of opportunity again. I find myself drawn to participate and give back to a place that gave so much to me in times that I truly needed it. There are ways to progress and feel true kinship. The active community that TNP is, currently, feels more welcoming and hopeful than I have seen in a long, long time. I’m overjoyed to have come back at this time. Moreover, I am optimistic at the prospect of finding many new, dear friends among you.

Kasch: Thank you for the response. I’m sure that will give for good reading!

Now, onto the next question. To settle things down after such a brilliantly detailed answer, can you describe The North Pacific in just one sentence?

IndieGirl: Hrmm… that’s a tough one! I think… The North Pacific is, no matter the iterations it has been or may become, a bastion as bright and hopeful as the people who belong to it.

Kasch: Another fantastic answer!

Now, since the appointments to cabinet have recently been made by our WA Delegate, Lord Ravenclaw, it would only be right that I ask a question on that topic.

What plans do you have for the Ministry of Cultural Affairs over the next four months?

IndieGirl: I have so many ideas! But a select few that I want to get started on right away. I don’t want to give away any big surprises, but I will say that I am planning on assembling a Culture Council, that I envision will be a round table of representatives from each area of TNP’s rich culture, areas that currently exist, and areas that I would like to see created and embraced during the length of my term. Once I have organized and outlined the council positions I’d like to start with, then I will be posting those seats as open executive staff positions for people to apply to.

I am thrilled about The Northern Cup and the new Stadium that we have built - I can’t wait to see what we choose to name it. And I am excited to see how my national team fares during The Cup. I think we have a strong roster of players, but the competition seems pretty fierce. I look forward to seeing many sporting events occur now that the Stadium has given us a prominent location for them. I think sporting events, especially, give newer players less familiar with RP a great opportunity to test the waters.

And I think it’s high time we had a good party or two around here. I imagine there will be a quite formal celebration once the Stadium’s christened with its official name.

I really want to give members the opportunity to serve in and shape a variety of community events, both regional and worldwide. If anyone has ideas for ways to do that, I welcome them with open arms. Your ideas - no matter how small or elaborate - will always have my ear, and I will do everything I can to make the best of them happen, and happen well.

Kasch: It is great to see such a passionate and dedicated Minister! Once again, a fantastic answer.

Now, I know we’ve already spoken about your history and career in The North Pacific, but I’d like to get a bit more information on it. If you could bring back one nation from your time in this game, who would that be and why? It could be anyone who you have met on NationStates or in TNP.

IndieGirl: Oh, now that’s not fair. I don’t think I could ever pick just one! Can I choose three? If I could pick three to come back and be full-time active again, I would have to say Blackshear, Sydia, and DD (Democratic Donkeys). Mostly because I think those fellas were fantastic at being involved in multiple areas of the game, both on and off the forum. And their wit, humour, tastes in music, and willingness to indulge my ridiculousness are greatly missed. I interact with them on occasion in other online places (since they all live so far away from me)… but those interactions are merely smoke and bywords, a far cry from the conversations and interactions we would have here in The North Pacific.

Kasch: I hope that one day they do make a full return to the community, it would be great to hear from them!
Now, staying on the topic of history, let’s ask: What is your earliest/furthest back memory of TNP?

IndieGirl: When I met Blackshear for the first time in Ozworld’s Cafe. Magicality was sitting at a table flirting with OPArsenal while Tresville was passed out under the table. BS made me an off-menu Dr. Pepper float and offered me a job.

Kasch: Sounds like quite the entrance! We’ve been focusing heavily on the past here, so let me throw you a curve ball. From the current Nations in TNP, who do you believe could or will succeed Lord Ravenclaw in the next election? You can pick multiple nations if needed.

IndieGirl: Me! Hahaha…soooooo kidding. I am not sure I feel entirely informed enough to make an educated guess, but I think Bootsie, r3n, or Plemby would serve well, and seem popular and active enough. Personally, I’ve always hoped to be around for another Flemingovia delegacy…

Kasch: Good choices! Now that we have spoken a bit about the Delegacy let’s focus on some of the lesser known people of our past.

Who has had the biggest influence on you/taught you the most in NationStates/TNP?

IndieGirl: I don’t really think any of the players who taught me the most about the game have been lesser-known. DD, Sydia, Flemingovia, Blackshear, Thel D’Ran, Ananke, were all great mentors/friends/influences. Anytime I have a real question about something game-related that I can’t just Google, though, I go ask Eluvatar. In my mind, Elu is the proverbial sage at the top of the mountain who sees and knows everything going on in the valley below.

Kasch: What are you most proud of doing concerning NationStates and TNP?

IndieGirl: Hrmmm…

I mean, achieving 28k forum posts is no mean feat. I was inactive for the last, what, 3 years? And I still average 7 posts per day or something like that? Crazy. The post count isn’t the thing I’m the most proud of, no, but it’s a big part of what I AM most proud of, which, looking back through the years, is really just all of the little things, you know? The daily posts and interactions that helped to build and contribute to a community that was worth defending, worth fighting for, worth trying to improve and be proud of. People don’t work or stay for a bunch of fancy rules and elaborate buildings… the things worth belonging to and keeping are the community and the bonds of friendship that tie us together and help us stand united when troubles do come. I like to think that my personality and my enthusiasm helped to significantly contribute to making The North Pacific a place that people wanted to visit, and ultimately stay and get involved.

Kasch: Nice answer!

I think that’s about all I have to ask you, it’s been great to have you on here! I hope we can arrange another interview like this at some point in the future. Everyone, I’ve been Kasch, and this has been our new Minister of Cultural Affairs, IndieGirl!

Thank you all for coming along!

IndieGirl: Thank you so much for having me, it’s been lovely!

Kasch: You’re welcome, I wish you luck for your next term as Minister, and I hope everything goes to plan.

The Northern Lights:Beauty in Truth
Publisher: Pallaith :: Executive Editor: Scorch :: Managing Editor: Brend0g :: Graphic Artist: Imki + SillyString

The Northern Lights is produced by the Ministry of Communications on behalf of the Government of The North Pacific and distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Except where otherwise indicated, all content represents the views of the Government of The North Pacific.