The Nuvrenon News: News from Tavaris

14 March 2022


Bomb Kills More than Two Hundred as Acronis Becomes Independent; Tavaris Declares National Emergency

CRYSTAL COAST, Acronis– Mere minutes after the legal instrument bringing Acronis into existence was signed on Monday, a massive bomb blast at the historic Hotel Heartwood in downtown Crystal Coast killed more than two hundred people and injured hundreds more. In response to the blast, Tavari Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar declared a national emergency and invoked several never-before-used laws to try to bring the chaos gripping the two countries under control.

Under the terms of Acronian independence, the Royal Tavari Armed Forces are still responsible for the defense of Acronis until the Acronian government certifies that it is assuming the responsibility for itself. The Royal Tavari Marshalls are responding to the scene in Crystal Coast, and while they declined to answer specific questions about how their chain of command will work in Acronis, public information officer Maj. Danadra Štonar Avantraž said in a press conference “The Marshalls are, as of this time and for the current foreseeable future, responsible for the defense and protection of Acronis, and we are responding to this event as we would in any such event.” Per the Marshalls, some 207 people are dead, at least 300 are injured, and at least 300 more are missing.

“As the Hotel Heartwood is connected to other buildings along High Street, there was significant damage to neighboring structures, especially the First National Bank of Crystal. We believe the bomb was set off in one of the guest rooms in the east wing of the building near the shared wall with the bank,” said Maj. Štonar Avantraž. “Rescue efforts are underway and we continue to recover living victims from all areas, but time is of the essence.” Maj. Štonar Avantraž noted that, according to Crystal Hoteliers International, the hotel was 100% booked at the time, and that morning checkout time had not yet occurred, meaning it was likely there was a “high percentage” of booked guests in the building at the time of the blast.

Matron Vana Dandreal and the Elders of the Church of Akrona, who form the highest governing body of the new country, are “in a secure location” and not made available for media questions, according to the Church Media Office. The Matron had been scheduled to deliver a speech at the Temple of the Emergence to celebrate the official beginning of Acronis, an event that is now postponed indefinitely. Chief Administrator Atra Metravar, the new Acronian head of government, is in Nuvrenon. According to a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister, she and Mrs. Nevran Alandar are “currently discussing the joint Tavari-Acronian response to these events.”

In response to the recent attack, the Tavari government raised the national Threat Readiness Level to 3. The level was previously at 4, with 5 being the level of lowest threat readiness. The entire country of Tavaris has not been at level 3 since the first days of Tavari involvement in the Volscine Civil War in 2004, although Rodoka has been placed as high as 2 in recent years due to various events in Novaris. The government has also declared a national emergency and, most crucially, declared that the country is “in active threat of internal insurgency,” a status which was written into law during fears of internal collaborators in the Great War. The status allows the government to place the Royal Marshalls under the authority of the Internal Affairs ministry as well as activate military reserves. A statement issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs said that reserves will be officially activated “within the next few hours” and that “residents of Tavaris and Acronis can expect to see armed military law enforcement presence in their communities before today is over, including in some places setting up traffic cordons.”

While, in general, “states of emergency” have been invoked in Tavaris many times in history, most often they are done in response to natural disasters or localized events, such as the state of emergency invoked in Lantaž in the East Parish Temple bombing, which applied only to that city. A national state of emergency outside of active wartime has never been declared, and the particular statues the Prime Minister used in her declaration Monday have never been used before. Broadly speaking, the statutes give the government more leeway in its criminal justice and investigatory processes by doing such things as extending the period of time in which the Marshalls can hold a suspect without charging them, allowing the government to search the trunks of vehicles without warrants, detaining and searching individuals exiting as well as entering the country at border crossings, and conducting “physical searches” (such as pat-downs) of individuals in public without warrants.

The Prime Minister also invoked the Telecommunications Network Security and Surveillance Act of 2006, a law that allows the government to tap phones and monitor online communications without a warrant for periods of up to one year in relation to “concerns regarding imminent national security threats.” The one year period can be extended indefinitely by the National Security Emergency Court, a body of three judges appointed by the Prime Minister that meets in secret and is not required to publicly disclose evidence it uses in its rulings. Rulings can be appealed to the Supreme Court, but in such a case the Supreme Court would also be closed to the public while deliberating. The law saw protests in Nuvrenon when it was debated in the Diet, with the Tavari Association for Protecting Civil Rights issuing a statement at the time calling the law “the single-most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed into law.”

“The Tavari Government will use all authority legally available to respond to and shut down these threats to national security. In so doing, the Tavari Government will continue to follow all applicable civil rights and other rights protections to the letter. The Government takes these actions in service of its utmost, primary responsibility: the defense of the lives of all citizens who are in the Area of Responsibility of the Royal Tavari Armed Forces, which does currently legally include the independent and sovereign People’s Communion of Acronis,” said the Office of Internal Affairs and Improvements.

27 March 2022


Matron Excommunicates Entire Akronist Church of Metradan

CRYSTAL COAST, Acronis– Matron Vana Dandreal of the Church of Akrona took the unprecedented step of excommunicating the entire Akronist Church of Metradan on Sunday, a move that means the province of Aponivia’s Akronists are no longer considered to be members of the global community of Akronists. While the Church of Metradan has been associated with corruption and financial misdeeds for decades, the move on Sunday comes in response to a Metradani private security firm holding the Novaran Council hostage on Friday in an attempt to force the League of Novaris to recognize Acronis over Tavaris.

“This is not a move that we make lightly, and it is not a move done only in response to a single incident, but in response to decades of clear defiance of the values that the Goddess Akrona laid out for us to follow,” said the Matron in her statement, which was ratified unanimously by both the Elders—the Church’s highest authority, of which the Matron is the chair—as well as the Synod, the Church’s advisory legislative body composed of representatives from the priestesses of the Church and lay members. The provisional legislature of the People’s Communion of Acronis is expected to affirm the resolution on Monday.

The Church of Akrona has never before taken the step of excommunicating an entire national-level Akronist church organization. The Church of Metradan was granted formal autonomy from the Church of Akrona in 1909, a few years after Tavaris granted independence to what was then the Republic of Metradan. Most countries that have an Akronist presence are under the Church of Akrona, the organization based in Crystal Coast led by the Elders and the Matron, although Iboma—also in Novaris—has had an independent Akronist church for centuries. The move will have far-reaching ramifications for Metradani Akronists, not least of all cutting them off from receiving a share of the revenues the Church of Akrona takes in.

Cut off from the Church of Akrona, the Church of Metradan’s operations will no longer be subsidized by the global church, removing a major source of revenue. Crystal Hoteliers International, the hotel corporation owned by the Church of Akrona, will no longer share profits in Metradan either, leaving the Church of Metradan only with those hotels that it established and funds separately. From a spiritual perspective, Akronists in Metradan will no longer be able to consider themselves true “Akronists” and will not be welcome to receive blessings from Akronist temples anywhere in the world. This will affect ceremonial occasions such as weddings and funerals and will leave Akronists in Metradan without access to the Church’s public cafeterias and homeless shelters unless they change membership to the Church of Akrona and abandon the Church of Metradan.

“We know that this change will leave many well-meaning true believers in Metradan adrift, and I want to take the time to assure those people that they will be welcome in the embrace of the Church of Akrona the moment they reach out to us and denounce the Church of Metradan. The Church of Akrona, as an organization, will also welcome parishes and temples that choose to change their allegiance as well. It is the corrupt governance of the mundane and temporal organization called the Church of Metradan with which the Church today breaks, not the good people of Metradan who seek to dedicate their lives to Akrona,” the Matron said in her address.

“We are incredibly disappointed and saddened that the Matron and the Elders have elected to take this extreme and unprecedented step,” the Church of Metradan said in a written statement on Sunday. “This severance of spiritual relations between Crystal Coast and the people of Metradan will leave millions of souls without guidance, adrift in the sea of chaos and uncertainty, and severely hinders our ability to fulfill the Akronist mission of feeding the hungry and sheltering the exposed. Nevertheless, we will continue on, no matter the hardships. While no mortal being can truly act without mistake, we maintain that we have done no great wrong that would deserve such a harsh action from the Mother Church, and this will leave many Metradani wondering if the Church of Akrona was ever worth allegiance at all.”

“The Church of Metradan as an organization, and all those who consider themselves members of it, are being sanctioned because of their allowance and harboring of violent elements in their ranks, as well as financial misdeeds and active resistance of our efforts to bring them into compliance,” the Matron said. “It has become quite clear that we, as a global Church, have failed in our mission, our sacred calling, to promote the causes of peace and love. We will tolerate these aberrations no longer. The very moment that the Church of Metradan agrees to a nationwide forensic audit of financial records, as well as a review of all priestess and other parish-level leadership, to ensure that no funds are being misspent and no temples are supporting violent, un-Akronist activity is the moment that we welcome Metradan back into the fold with open arms.”

29 May 2022


EDITORIAL: We’re For Žarís.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE 228-YEAR HISTORY OF OUR PAPER, The Editorial Board of the Nuvrenon News is making an endorsement in a general election—these are, of course, extraordinary times. On Tuesday, May 31st, your first preference choice should be Irínavi Voi, the brand new political party headed by incumbent Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar. The decision to set aside more than two centuries of editorial neutrality is not one that the Board makes lightly, but to anyone who has lived through the past six months, it should be plain why we have chosen to do so. Žarís Nevran Alandar has done nothing short of pulling us all back from the precipice of war through her sheer force of will. It is imperative that she continue her work in our drastically changed world that desperately, desperately needs continuity and peace.

Let no one ever again say of Žarís Nevran Alandar that she is “too young” or “too inexperienced,” an example of the lingering bias against the young that Tavari society would do well to discard. Our Prime Minister has already proven herself capable. She hit the ground running on her very first day in office when she inherited the Kanor Accords negotiations with Meagharia, which led to one of the most successful de-escalations in the modern history of the continent of Novaris. And despite that continent quite firmly shutting the door on Tavari aspirations to be a “transcontinental nation,” under Žarís’ watch, Tavaris has become an indispensable partner—and, indeed, undeniably an important part—of the League of Novaris, bringing peace to the fraught country known presently as Cavellan alongside our Durakan allies. It was https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/the_east_pacific/viewtopic.php?p=243700#p243700 that Tavaris should “step up and be a global leader now and forever,” but it was Žarís Nevran Alandar who did it.

It is easy to forget that there was a time before the current chaos, but our Prime Minister has been in office for more than a year now. If one strains particularly hard, they might even remember the cannabis legalization referendum—an action her predecessor and mentor refused to take—which, while polarizing, ultimately empowered people, communities, and provinces to make their own choices on cannabis. With the industry now legalized, not only do citizens have another avenue for a much-needed break from the chaos of the world, but the Tavari agriculture industry stands a chance of expanding in a way not seen since the invention of sweet Vistari-style chocolate. And it should be said too, despite it all, that Žarís Nevran Alandar’s decision to allow the Acronian independence referendum to occur at all was a victory for self-determination.

Our Prime Minister’s primary achievement—now and almost certainly forever—is the Ranat Agreement, which with the stroke of a pen turned what seemed to be an inevitable civil war into one of the greatest political compromises of our era. Her decision not to place the Agreement up to a referendum but instead to stake her own government on it was bold, smart, and exactly what this country needs. Critics—mostly those who would have never countenanced even one square avnai of Tavari territory being handed over to Akronists—decried this as “undemocratic,” but Žarís knew that everyone in what is or was once Tavaris needed a final, authoritative answer now, lest we lose it all. Where once we stood on a shaky precipice, now we stand on a broad, strong foundation on which to build a new world with our newly independent neighbors: not just Acronis, but Elatana and Rodoka and the Isles too, all with open borders, a single market, and a revolutionary way of governing the resources all of us share in common: our waters, our air, and for most of us, our language. Shano Tuvria delivered the Alliance of Northwest Gondwana, but it was Žarís Nevran Alandar who gave us the Tavari Union, which will surely last the test of time as one of the most innovative and powerful transitions away from colonialism this world has ever seen.

Just like all the rest of us, Žarís Nevran Alandar is not perfect. Even with operations in Cavellan drawing down, the Tavari military is woefully overstretched. Defense Minister Nama Oren Kantoreš, the noted warhawk and architect of the disastrous Tavari intervention in the Volscine Civil War needs to be replaced. The quick and glorious military victories clearly expected in Ni-Rao and Lower Suvania are not even close to being achieved, and only in the latter of those two conflicts is there involved an entity that actually threatened Tavari security. Conflict in Rodenia is on the horizon yet again, and in the opinion of this Editorial Board, Tavaris cannot afford to involve itself in yet another war. It could not be more obvious that it is domestic matters, not distant foreign military conflicts, that need our government’s attention.

And it goes almost without saying that the Tavari intelligence apparatus is a joke—and no one is laughing. Time after time, even in just the past few years, the failure of our government to see the coming coup in Ni-Rao; the radical terrorism of the Army of Progress and the Fist of the Moon; the deep, disgusting rot of borderline-Arachnist nationalism in our Royal Tavari Marshalls; and the blatant intervention by the Federation of Bana in Tavari politics are not just embarrassments—they were and are dangerous threats to all of us. The entire Tavari intelligence apparatus needs to be reformed, no matter the cost. This is not just Žarís Nevran Alandar’s problem—Shano Tuvria too was taken aback, by the eruption of unrest in Lunaria that has yet to see its conclusion, thus putting armed conflict and chaos on both sides of our country.

The road ahead will not be easy. The Ranat Agreement is not an end to conflicts between Akronists and traditionalists, or conflicts over environmental legislation or access to resources. It is only the end of one chapter, and there is still much to be written in the book of Tavaris. While our Prime Minister has made missteps, she has also placed everything on the line in the name of peace and siblinghood across our great Tavari family and each and every one of us has come out all the better for it. This newspaper and all of its 228 years of history could not be more steadfast, more certain, and more proud to endorse Žarís Nevran Alandar to be the author of the next chapter.

As we would any Prime Minister, this newspaper will hold her to account. We expect to see drastic changes in the intelligence and security apparatus immediately. Metrati Anar and the Tavari East Pacific Isles should be given the chance, through a referendum, to decide if they wish to remain as “Union Territories” or if decolonization should be completed and these territories should become fully sovereign member-states of the Union. The Tavari economy must be revitalized, and pursuing further ties with global economic titan Vistaraland is likely the best way to do it. Fellow ANG member Vaklori, too, must see outreach from Tavaris—the Great War has been over for more than a century. The wars in Suvania and Ni-Rao must either make progress or be ended, but either way, our Tavari soldiers must come home. Tavaris must abandon its desire to project power on the world stage and replace it with a desire to project safety, security, comfort, and prosperity here at home. The one lesson every Tavari person—whether they live in Tavaris, Acronis, Rodoka, or Elatana—must take from this past year is that nothing can be taken for granted and that each of us must do the work to ensure we leave our world better than how we found it. In the opinion of this Editorial Board, there is simply only one person capable of leading Tavaris in such a fashion.

On May 31st, we will be voting for Žarís Nevran Alandar. You should too.

1 June 2022


ANALYSIS: Irínavi Voi Wins Minority in Reshaped Tavari Diet


IMAGE: A diagram of the new Tavari National Diet as of the 31 May 2022 elections.

NUVRENON-- Žarís Nevran Alandar will continue as Prime Minister of Tavaris after an absolutely seismic election that had the most dramatic, and most deadly, build-up of any in Tavari history. Not even considering the changes to the international map, even just within the Diet things are hard to recognize. For one, this Diet is slightly slimmer, at 1,152 members—the 20 Native Rodokan seats are now gone, leaving only one delegate per traditional Tavari Line. And with Acronian independence, the Communist Party has essentially vanished from the scene—a strange sight, given that it was only the last election that they had nearly completed their decades-long political ascendance from minor party to major. The DNP, too, has vanished; the long political marriage between centrist neoliberals and more right-leaning neoconservatives in Tavaris has finally ended in divorce. What remains may sound familiar, but the way that new political alliances will fall in this new, post-Acronian independence world is anyone’s guess.

The largest party in the Diet will be Irínavi Voi (IV), Žarís Nevran Alandar’s big-tent centrist project that has declared itself “focused on solutions” and “dedicated to bringing people together.” IV inherited the tiger’s share of former DNP Delegates and former DNP voters, attaining 559 seats—eighteen shy of a majority. However, her easiest path to a coalition government was denied her when Coalition Right (COR) ruled it out during the campaign, stating instead it would aim for the spot of Official Opposition. However, with only 60 seats—a net gain of 0—COR will be relegated again to minor party status in the Diet. Neither will the Liberals’ (LIB) 72 seats earn them Official Opposition status, as they lose 29 seats and continue their recent decline.

No, it is the recently merged Socialist Green Party for Democracy (SGP), born of the former Green Tavaris and Socialist Party for Democracy, now quite literally the only national political party on the left. With 438 seats, SGP has exploded onto the scene as perhaps the only movement in the country capable of taking on Žarís Nevran Alandar. It is, technically speaking, a gain of 357 seats from the two parties’ combined total as of the dissolution of the last Diet. No Tavari Prime Minister has seen opposition this united in twenty years. This is sure to change the direction Tavari politics hold, as it has created a more united left than Tavaris has perhaps ever seen. The Communist ascendancy was focused almost wholly on the cause of political Akronism and was never truly offering a left-oriented vision for Tavaris itself. SGP, however, is calling for a massive cut in military spending, an end to foreign wars, and re-nationalization of both the postal service and all power utilities, and it has gained the attention of just about everyone on the left end of the Tavari political spectrum.

The newly strengthened left means that, despite breaking away to form her own party, Žarís Nevran Alandar will still have to court support from the political right in order to keep her greater agenda afloat. Eschewing formal coalition agreements, the Prime Minister has negotiated confidence-and-supply agreements with two of the smallest parties in the Diet: the right-wing Tavari National Party (TNP) and Republican Alternative (REP). The TNP has almost doubled its seat share, from 10 to 17, a development that some would call “concerning” given the party’s radical past and links to violence committed during the Acronis independence crisis. However, new party leader Vadra Movri Kendranil has firmly denounced violence, and her calls to “create a culture where being Tavari is celebrated” resonated with voters not just in traditional TNP territory like Motai Province but also in urban areas. The Prime Minister ostensibly shares this goal, and in order to get TNP support, has agreed to move forward with a plan to reintroduce the native Tavari script and cease using Staynish letters within “10 to 15 years,” an absolute coup for nationalists who have been decrying the change ever since it was instituted more than a century ago.

To ensure the support of REP, a party which has somehow maintained consistent representation in the Diet despite almost never actually impacting policy, Žarís Nevran Alandar has agreed to remove the face of the Tavari monarch from banknotes—but not coins—of the Tavari našdat. This, apparently, was the largest concession the minor party was able to wring out of the Prime Minister, who very clearly would not have countenanced a referendum on the monarchy after having just promoted the Tavari monarch to Emperor. However, even this move is being questioned; Presiding Chief Ivi Puna Laar of Rodoka and the Isles has publicly questioned whether a change to banknotes of the shared currency would require approval from the entire Council of the Tavari Union.

These are unprecedented political times indeed.

RESULTS:

IV: 559 (New Party)
TNP: 17 (+17)
REP: 6 (-4)
COR: 60 (+0)
LIB: 72 (-29)
SGP: 438 (+357)


BREAKING: SHANO TUVRIA FOUND ALIVE, APPREHENDED BY BANIAN BORDER AUTHORITIES FLEEING THE DANVREAS

MIKUBANA, Fed. of Bana-- Former Tavari Prime Minister and I.F. Secretary-General Shano Tuvria, https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/the_east_pacific/viewtopic.php?p=251782#p251782 has been found alive by Banian federal border authorities, the News has learned from a high-level government source. How Tuvria reached the Danvreas, an extremely isolated country that allows only 99 foreigners inside its borders at any time, is uncertain.

More to come on this story as it develops.


Shano Tuvria Alive, Wife Arrested for Alleged Kidnapping

MIKU, Fed. of Bana-- Shano Tuvria, the former Tavari Prime Minister and I.F. Secretary-General, was found alive in far northern Mikubana state in the Federation of Bana early Thursday morning, according to statements released from three governments: Tavaris, Bana, and even that of the Danvreas, where Tuvria reports he was held against his will for several months. In addition, the News has learned that Tuvria’s wife, Linda Šonai Tuvria, has been arrested by Royal Tavari Marshalls on charges of kidnapping, sapient trafficking, fraud, filing a false death certificate, and several other charges relating to what representatives of Mr. Tuvria say was a plot by his wife to force him to retire from public life against his will.

“I understand that this comes as a terrible shock to everyone and I’m deeply sorry that this is the position we find ourselves in, but the truth is that I am alive and as a point of fact, my cancer is in remission and I am considered cancer-free,” said Mr, Tuvria in a written statement. His statement was light on details of what occurred, but he did note that “it would seem that my own family, my wife in particular, arranged for this to occur out of some concern that my job in public life was damaging my health.” He asked that the general public “respect my family’s privacy as we figure out how to process this” and to let the justice system take its proper course. Mr. Tuvria did appear physically alongside current Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar at her press conference held in Nuvrenon, though he spoke very little due to having lost his voice. With his characteristically clean-shaven head covered in wild, unkempt patches of gray and a beard to match, Mr. Tuvria said aloud only “I am very much alive and I am very happy to be home.”

In Nuvrenon, it was quite clear that the current Prime Minister was very relieved to see her mentor and friend in the flesh. Mrs. Nevran Alandar became emotional at several times in her press conference, at one point stopping in the middle of a sentence to say “I just can’t believe this is real. I really can’t. But it is.” The two embraced for several moments, both crying, before she continued. "We are still in the process of gathering the details to figure out what, exactly, happened here. What we know at this time is that Shano’s wife and primary caretaker during his illness, Linda, conspired with a currently unknown number of accomplices to both deceive the hospital at which he was staying and the government to illegally have Mr. Tuvria declared dead and illegally smuggled into the Danvreas, perhaps the most isolated country on Urth.

The insane spectacle did not end with Mrs. Nevran Alandar’s press conference. For the first time in sixteen years on Thursday, Empress Zingten IX of the Danvreas held a press conference with members of the Banian and Tavari press corps in Ngawang, the only city in the famously reclusive state where trade can be conducted between Danvreans and foreigners. Speaking in Staynish, the Empress said “Greetings, peoples of the outer world, we would speak to you today on the issue of the most noble and honorable Shayno Tuvri [sic], the former Tavari administrator chief [sic], who it has been our terrible shock to discover has been illegally, against both his will and ours, held held within our state. We are deeply, deeply sorry both to [Mr. Tuvria] and to the Tavari people, all of whom have suffered greatly in this evil act of deception and malice.”

The Empress, who is the absolute ruler of the country, noted that it was believed to be the case that Mr. Tuvria had been on the run from his captors for some time and most certainly had been deliberately avoiding coming into contact with Danvrean authorities. “We regret that our state’s law has generated a reputation of fear,” said the Empress regarding the Danvreas’ famous law that limits the number of people born outside the Danvreas who are allowed to exist within its borders to no more than 99 people, on penalty of death. “Had [Mr. Tuvria] presented himself to our soldiers, they would have of course immediately recognized him as the leader of one of the two foreign princes with whom we conduct official relations, as of course they must always be prepared for a military invasion, and would have delivered him alive into our care the very moment they discovered him.”

Instead of being delivered to the Empress, Mr. Tuvria had to attempt to flee the country in the dead of night by attempting to swim across the Miku River into the neighboring Federation of Bana. Banian border officials sighted Mr., Tuvria in the water and apprehended him “on the fear that he was drowning,” according to a statement released by Bana’s Federal Border Protection Authority. “In a given year, an average of perhaps ten to twenty people from the Danvreas attempt to flee that country, but the moment we apprehended Shano Tuvria, we knew we did not have an ordinary case on our hands and immediately contacted the Tavari embassy.”

Other details of Mr. Tuvria’s time in the Danvreas are still unknown. Both Danvrean and Banian officials both say they cannot verify how long Mr. Tuvria spent in the country, where it was that he had been held captive, or who exactly the people who held him against his will were. Details of his treatment by his captors are also scant, though Mr. Tuvria did appear to have some injuries of unknown nature to his face. For the former Prime Minister, according to the current one, the next step is to return to the hospital for an evaluation, and after that, Mrs. Nevran Alandar said “for the time being, it’s likely Shano will be staying with Linai and I in the official residence, where his security is much more certain.” With a broad smile on both their faces, Mrs. Nevran Alandar stated “we have some catching up to do.”

Additional reporting for this article was done in Nuvrenon, Tavaris and Ngawang, the Danvreas.


Once, We Were Exiles

ANARÍS, Metrati Anar-- In front of the building chosen to be the seat of the new Tavari Union, with a broad smile on her face and tears in her eyes, Dr. Landra Kenkaša, PhD., Chair of the Council of the Tavari Language announced on Sunday what she called an “absolutely tremendous, Urth-shattering discovery of incredible linguistic, historic, and cultural significance: for the first time, the body that controls the grammar and vocabulary of the Tavari language can “say with certainty” what the meaning of the word Tavari is.

It means exiles.

The exact meaning of the word Tavari has been a mystery that has fascinated and escaped generations of researchers. The word is an oddity in the language that has it for a name; it violates several fundamental grammatical rules that centuries of Council of Tavari Language revision have desperately tried to remove almost everywhere else. “Tavari,” read literally, would be a plural form of “Tavar,” a word that has never once been found recorded anywhere, not even in the very earliest records. It has long been linked to the word “tavat,” which means “path, way, or street,” though actual evidence of such a link has never been found.

So how did the Council come to know with such certainty, so suddenly? Assistance from the absolutely most unexpected place: the Danvreas. Former Prime Minister Shano Tuvria himself reached out to Dr. Kenkaša, mere days after returning from months of being held hostage in the Danvreas and told her that one of the guards assigned to monitor him casually told him, in “perfect First Revision Tavari,” some thousands of years of lost history in which, among many other things, he claimed that the Tavari people had in fact been exiled by order of the Emperor of the Danvreas in the year 504 BCE.

“[Mr. Tuvria] told me that when [current Empress] Zingten IX spoke to him after his rescue, he asked her about it—and she responded by sending, within days, a copy of the actual documented order of banishment that still exists in the archives of the Violet Court,” Dr. Kenkaša explained. Here, she spoke with wide eyes in tones of awe and fascination, with the kind of energy and vibrance one would never expect from a grammarian. She explained that the Danvreans had actually sent over several additional documents, all of them including translations into First Revision Tavari—the dialect established by the first Council of the Tavari Language at the turn of the 20th century—showing that the people who would become the Tavari were known to the court of the Emperor as “tapar people,” with tapar being an Old Danvrean adjective that is directly translated as “cast out for ritual impurity.” The documents even included a scholar’s report on the several various languages spoken by tapar people—or rather, languages—noting that that the tapar people themselves used transliterations such as “Dabar” and “Tavar” to describe themselves. If these documents are to be believed, we now know which one stuck.

The historical documents sent by the Danvreas tell a story that is not a happy one. According to the 504 BCE Order of Banishment, tapar people were a caste of undesirables who had arisen out of the carnage of the brutal 8th century BCE war of conquest that made Ngawang I the first ever Emperor of the Danvreas, known primarily for handling the bodies of the dead. The order is not kind in describing tapar people, saying that they “arose from the blood and ashes of the war like insects” and “to this day circle Our city like vultures waiting for the aggrieved to deliver them corpses of their loved ones so they can beg for coin.” In Danvrean culture at the time, those who came in contact with the flesh of a dead orc were considered ritually unclean and were cast out of the community until they performed a purification ritual. Ngawang I’s War of Conquest produced hundreds of thousands of corpses all across the vast country, all of them needing to be disposed of. Those people—almost certainly peasants or people of already low social class—who earned money to survive by agreeing to handle the bodies of the dead of the war were considered so tainted that they could never be purified, and they and their descendants would be unclean forever.

For a hundred and fifty years, the tapar class of untouchables lived in the fringes of Danvrean society, traveling from city to city to camp outside the walls and seek work primarily as gravediggers and undertakers. This was technically illegal, but overlooked by Danvreans who otherwise would have to ritually purify themselves to handle deceased loved ones—a ritual that requires spending 144 days away from one’s home and family. However, by the time of Emperor Ngawang VI, patience with the traveling bands of tapar people who were believed to be the cause of several plague outbreaks ended, and all of them were ordered to leave the country.

These are, of course, just a handful of documents that have not yet been extensively researched by experts, so aside from the particular meaning of “Tavari” as “exiles,” we cannot be certain that any of this is true. But archaeologists have been arguing for more than 20 years that the traditional timeline of the Tavari arriving on Avnatra in 1 CE, following the light of the meteor that struck that year, was far too late and have estimated the time of arrival between 500 BCE and 200 BCE. This timeline matches perfectly with the date of the Order of Banishment, and it also corresponds to recent archaeological evidence indicating that the very oldest proto-Tavari settlements discovered so far are in the northeast of Tavaris. And it may be worth noting that if the most recent Tavari language information the Danvreans have dates to 1895, then it may be unlikely that they are up to date on recent Tavari archaeological studies.

If one takes these documents at their word, though, the implications are enormous—and one way or another, these discoveries are sure to absolutely halt the academic research community and take control of the conversation for decades to come. The murky origins of the Tavari language are now even murkier, with it appearing that multiple languages and dialects converged in a diverse population to eventually give birth to Tavari. Dr. Kenkaša, in an interview with the News, says that it’s possible that Tavari first emerged from a pidgin, a mish-mash of grammar and vocabulary from several languages that evolves organically as a means of enabling conversation between people who do not share a language.

“Were the predecessor languages related to Danvrean? Where did the people who first spoke those languages come from? What various different cultures and traditions and understandings came together to give birth to not just the Tavari language, but the Tavari culture and very likely the Tavari religions as well,” said Dr. Kenkaša. She noted that narasq, the realm of the condemned dead in the Tavat Avati, is conceptually out of place among other Avnatran religions and has been for several years considered to be the result of Danvrean cultural influence.

As for the word tavat, while there is no direct evidence yet, Dr. Kenkaša says it’s likely that the modern word for way and path—which has both literal and metaphorical interpretations just as the Staynish-Codexian words do—was inspired by the word Tavari, and not the other way around as was commonly presumed. “There are clear similarities in how both ‘tavar’ and ‘tavat’ refer to movement. If one has been exiled, one must think quite a bit about the path in which they are taking in life, both in the literal navigational sense and in the aspirational sense. It makes sense, then, to link the word for exile to the word for the way an exile takes,” said Dr. Kenkaša.


Metradan, Racatrazi Admitted to Tavari Union

ANARÍS, Metrati Anar—By a unanimous vote of the Council of the Tavari Union, and with help from a ceremonial stroke of the pen from its chairman, Emperor Otan IV, the Republics of Metradan and Racatrazi were admitted to the Tavari Union on Wednesday, completing its mission of uniting the world’s Tavari-speaking countries. It was a far cry from the day in 1904, as the Great War broke out across the world, Racatrazi was unceremoniously removed from Tavaris by an Order-in-Council that provided only 48 hours notice and left that territory without a constitution or even a single law when it became independent. Both Racatrazi and Metradan left what was then still often called the Tavari Empire during the Great War, as Tavaris found itself unable to spare the resources to quell increasingly violent movements for independence. The losses were humiliating, and on top of the country’s brutal losses from the war, Tavaris would enter a nearly century long period of relative isolation and withdrawal from global relevance.

That period is no more—and Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar was there to celebrate its end with an enormous smile on her face. “I am not only tremendously honored but very excited to welcome Metradan and Racatrazi back into the Tavari family, this time not as colonies but as fully sovereign, equal partners,” said Mrs. Nevran Alandar in brief remarks at the ceremony held in the Union’s administrative headquarters in Anarís.

While the Tavari Prime Minister has no special role in the organization above those of other leaders—merely being one of the members of the governing Council—Mrs. Nevran Alandar was the principal architect of the Ranat Accords that both established the organization and brought peace to Avnatra, and she quite clearly has embraced the role of the body’s chief cheerleader. “No one was more instrumental in assuring our accession than Žarís Nevran Alandar,” said Racatrazi Chief Administrator Kanor Tarelda Voštoi, adding dryly “by which I mean, she literally would not stop calling me until my office submitted the application.”

There was initially some doubt whether the countries would be admitted. Unlike Acronis, Elatana, and Rodoka, neither Metradan nor Racatrazi owed their existence to the Ranat Accords that established the Union, and both of them had been operating on their own—with independent currencies, governments, and policy goals—for more than a century. Racatrazi’s membership in particular was questioned by some who were concerned about that country’s history of political instability, inter-ethnic tension, political corruption, and crime. It is also true that, unlike every other country and territory in the Union, Racatrazi’s population has only a minority of ethnic Tavari people—the country’s indigenous Duarist tieflings, primarily Ngodian speaking, are the majority.

“Unlike Metradan, whose membership was never really in question, it did take some time for Racatrazi’s accession to become assured,” said Rodoka and the Isles’ Presiding Chief, Ivi Puna Laar, in an interview after the signing. Noting that she had “always 100% supported” Racatrazi’s place in the organization, Ms. Puna Laar said some on the Council were concerned that Racatrazi’s track record on law enforcement could jeopardize the entire Union if it entered the common travel area and single market. “However, while it did take weeks of negotiating, we did receive more than enough assurance from Racatrazi that, with the Tavari military taking up defense responsibilities for the country, they will re-invest those cost savings directly into anti-drug trafficking measures and other law enforcement initiatives.”

Metradan, too, has seen its share of negative press in recent times, with the Church of Akrona excommunicating its entire organization within Metradan in response to years of corruption not just within the Church but between the Church and the government as well. Such tensions, however, were entirely invisible at the ceremony on Wednesday, where Matron Vana Dandreal threw her arms around Metradani President Shtonar Talakar and hugged him so tightly his feet briefly left the ground. The pair appear to have spent quite a bit of time talking, though all of it was out of earshot of the media. Mr. Talakar later told the press “the welcome Metradan has received today has been so warm, and so powerful, I am certain that now nothing can stand in the way of all of us, together, advancing forward into the future.

Prime Minister, Opposition Leader Announce Massive Royal Overhaul

NUVRENON— The Silver Court, Tavaris’ oldest institution and one famed for hesitance to change, is to see significant changes to how its budgeting and other administrative functions work under a plan announced on Wednesday by two unlikely partners: Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar and her staunchest political opponent, Leader of the Opposition Kolai Šandra Vencrandíl. Most notably, for the first time since the late 19th century, the Tavari monarch will again have the legal authority to spend certain monies without needing to seek approval of the Ministry of the Treasury. Other changes include allowing the monarch personal veto power over certain appointments to Silver Court offices made by the Prime Minister—currently the monarch may only be consulted for the position of Grand Chamberlain of the Silver Court, who is the chief executive of the royal household—and allowing the monarch to “retain and control” their own legal identification documents such as their passport, and allowing the monarch to be issued a national ID card or even a driver’s license, should the Emperor seek it.

“Over the course of the past six months or so, it has become very clear that the needs of the monarchy have changed since 1882,” said Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar in a press conference announcing the legislation, referencing the year of the most recent major overhaul to the Silver Court’s procedures. For essentially all of Tavari history until that year, the Tavari monarchs directly received all income generated by all state-owned land and waters, and also owned and controlled a vast portfolio of private investments, private real estate, and other assets that made them the wealthiest individuals in the country. The monarch would traditionally use this money to fund the operation of the Silver Court and then provide what was left over to the civil government. After the 1793 Instruments of Governance were ratified, that tradition became a legal obligation, but the monarch still directly received and controlled these funds.

But then came the reign of Queen Adra III, whose 30 years on the Silver Throne (1864-1894) proved to be an era of great controversy for the Tavari monarchy. Adra III was the last Tavari monarch to serve as nominal Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Tavari Armed Forces, and while the law at the time stated the monarch’s role was to be only symbolic, Adra III secretly and illicitly influenced strategic military decisions that ended up significantly hampering the Tavari war effort against Bana, Nagato, Aivintis, and others in southern Gondwana during the Gondwana Straits War of 1875 to 1882.

Several admirals and generals received bribes from the Queen—bribes that could not technically be called illegal because of the monarch’s legally unassailable position as pinnacle of the Tavari justice system—in exchange for taking actions the Queen considered to be strategically wise. However, later in the war as the economy began to struggle, Adra III switched tactics and began extorting money from the same military officials to restore her own coffers, diverting cash and even military supplies (which she had secretly sold to foreign powers) meant for the war effort. As a result, the already poor Tavari progress on land in southeastern Gondwana faltered even more, and thousands of Tavari soldiers died.

A group of whistleblowers in the military, including famous admiral Tevri Šonai Õvris, a direct ancestor of former Prime Minister Shano Tuvria, revealed the Queen’s actions shortly before the end of the war in 1882, causing a political firestorm that almost ended the Tavari monarchy entirely. While the Queen could not be taken to court for her actions, she and her descendants suffered significant political consequences when the government passed legislation entirely erasing the monarch from the military chain of command, redirecting every našdat of royal income to the Treasury, and even seizing the monarch’s entire private, non-state portfolio of wealth to repay the Armed Forces for the amount Queen Adra had extorted from her generals and admirals.

While Adra III was allowed to continue on the throne, she called the changes “even more humiliating than abdication or republicanism” because it rendered her “entirely subservient to the state, a beggar and invalid locked in a gilded prison.” She was said to be especially despondent over the loss of military power. While she never said so publicly, Adra III was known by close confidantes to see herself in the image of Queen Melora the Brave, who personally commanded troops and led strategic decision-making in the Third War with Bana, and believed that commanding troops was the monarch’s “truest duty,” according to her son, King Otan III.

The Prime Minister’s proposal does not restore the Tavari monarchy to the military chain of command, but it does significantly overhaul how its budget will work. As under the 1882 amendments, the Silver Court will continue to technically own all public land and water in the country, but will have no independent legal authority regarding it. However, unlike the 1882 amendments, the monarch will once again directly receive all funds generated from these lands—a figure that has since the turn of the 21st century numbered in the tens of billions of našdat per year—but all income over a numerical cap shall be mandated to be sent to the Treasury. That cap is to be set at 48,000,000 našdati per year, adjusted for inflation yearly, and that cap can be changed by the Diet once every ten years.

The money kept by the Silver Court is referred to as the Silver Court Reserve Fund. The monarch may choose, if they wish, to keep less than 48 million našdat from a year’s state income in the fund and pass on the difference to the state, but the law actually forbids the monarch from taking less than half of what is allowed to them under the law, a legal measure designed to prevent the monarch from being “unfairly influenced or coerced to give up their legally permitted funds.”

“With this reform, we expect that annual budget line items for regular household operations of the Silver Court will become a thing of the past in two years. The monarchy will not depend on the whims of the government of the day in order to perform the duties with which it is constitutionally mandated,” said the Prime Minister. The figure of 48 million, she said, is derived from the average annual Silver Court line item over the past 12 years. She also noted that, with a more regular income, the Silver Court will be able to make better and longer financial plans and more sound investments and that, in 10 years when the next review of royal income is mandated to occur, “it’s very likely we will see a decrease, not an increase, because for the first time this century, the Silver Court will have been able to make its own private income to fund itself.” At this decadal review, the Reserve Fund cap may be decreased but only up to 25%. There is no statutory limit on rate of increase.

Under current law, even monies that have already been legally allocated to the Silver Court cannot be spent without approval of the Treasury, as an oversight measure in direct response to Adra III’s financial misdeeds. The new proposal will partially rescind this requirement, allowing the monarch to spend up to one half of the annual balance of the Silver Court Reserve Fund per year without Treasury sign-off. However, with this change—at the insistence of the opposition Socialist Green Party for Democracy (SGPD)—comes a broad swath of vastly heightened account auditing and oversight procedures that will require, among other things, that the Silver Court make its books completely open to the public on an annual disclosure schedule and submit to third-party independent audits every six years. It also remains the case that any single expenditure of 3,000 našdati or greater must receive sign-off from the Treasury, which is a legal requirement placed on every government office and official. Once a monarch has spent more than half of what was in the Reserve Fund as of the beginning of that fiscal year, the monarch will again need to seek Treasury permission for every single spending request, no matter how small.

Outside of fiscal issues, the law also requires the Cabinet to consult with the monarch on who to appoint to any supervisory or managerial office or employee within the Silver Court, essentially giving the monarch a veto over government hires in their own household. Some, but not all, Prime Ministers have offered this right to the monarch as a courtesy—possible because the Silver Court is exempt from civil service hiring rules—but this law will make it a legal requirement.

The law also allows the monarch to “retain and control” their own legal documents—currently, Emperor Otan IV is not permitted to keep his passport in his possession and can only leave the country with a vote of approval from the Council of State. Under the new law, the monarch will be able to keep their passport and use it for identification purposes. They will also be able to travel to countries within the Tavari Union without a vote of the Council of State, as well as to “any country or political dependency thereof of which the monarch’s spouse, engaged partner, parent, sibling, or child is a citizen or lawful permanent resident.” This section of the law is written with the Emperor’s fiance, Duke Hendrik of Koersland, in mind, giving the Emperor the right to visit his future husband’s country of birth without administrative headache.

“What we have come to realize during the preparation for the Emperor’s wedding, as well as the Tavari Union creation process, is that the person of the monarch actually has dealt with far, far more restrictions in liberty than the average citizen, not less,” said SGPD leader Kolai Šandra Vencrandíl. “[Emperor Otan] is currently legally forbidden from making any money whatsoever, spending any money whatsoever, from owning any ID at all. He can’t so much as get a coffee from the KokoVoi. We would never tolerate this if it were any other person. Even prisoners are allowed to make and spend their own money. It’s just not fair, from a sapient rights perspective, some of these restrictions. It’s true that my party wants Tavaris to become a republic, but it’s also true that we want everyone in this country to have their basic civil rights. All people, and yes, that does also include Mr. Otan Nuvo Šolosar.”

With the support of both Írinavi Voi! and the opposition, the bill is almost certain to pass with an overwhelming majority, as the two parties combined control 997 out of the 1,152 seats in the Diet. However, one party that will not be supporting the Prime Minister is one of her confidence-and-supply partners, the fiscally conservative Republican Alternative (REP), who oppose the monarchy. “We were quite surprised, and quite disappointed, to see the Prime Minister suddenly spring this bill on us out of nowhere,” said REP Deputy Party Leader Ademar Olóntra Kendocaš. “We are highly, highly opposed to, in particular, the portions of the bill that allow the monarch to spend millions and millions in taxpayer našdati each year completely freely, with no Treasury sign-off. We believe this is a terrible fiscal policy and we would oppose it for any government department, not even just the Silver Court.” Mr. Olóntra Kendocaš noted, however, that there were some aspects of the bill, such as easing the monarch’s travel restrictions and allowing him national ID, that were unobjectionable, noting “The Emperor can drive an aircraft carrier, I don’t see why he can’t drive a car.”

With only 6 seats, REP cannot change the outcome of the bill, but the Prime Minister does depend on their votes for other issues where she does not have the support of the Official Opposition, which may cause trouble for her down the line. She has already had to agree to remove the face of the monarch from all Tavari banknotes to secure REP support, a measure that is being held up in the courts as it is yet undetermined if Tavaris is allowed to make this change to the currency now used by the entire Tavari Union.

“The Prime Minister should expect heightened scrutiny from us from now on. We are small, but mighty, and we will use our leverage, for instance, in the annual budget process, and we will also be insistent on a fiscally conservative budget for the upcoming royal wedding,” said Mr. Olóntra Kendocaš. The wedding of Emperor Otan and Duke Hendrik of Koersland, monies earmarked for which having been redirected for emergency public safety expenditure, must have its funding reallocated by the Diet, a matter currently being discussed. “Expect news on that very soon,” the Prime Minister said.

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Letter to the Editor, 28 January 2022:

Time To Ask “Hard Questions” About Heirs to the Throne

The time has come to ask the hard questions about the future of the Tavari monarchy. Namely: what is going to happen to the line of King Utor I and King Davras the Great once our gay Emperor marries a man who is entirely genetically incompatible with our orcish heritage?

It will simply not be possible for an heir to be produced that is genetically descended from both Line Nuvo and Line Milba. One side will have to give up. And we know how hard it is for orcish pregnancies to reach full term, especially the royal family. What if it is our side that has to give up?

What if the next Emperor of the Tavari is not an orc, but a Vistari half-elf? Or something else?

Legislation must be passed that ensures that descendants of Queen Elarai of Elatana or other living cousins of the Šolosari assume the Tavari throne if no orcish heir is produced by the Emperor and the Duke of Koersland. Only this way can preserve the noble line that wrote the Tavat Avati and established our great country and Union.

Otan Nevran Tankašar, 54
Chocolate industry executive
City of Nandrat

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Letter to the Editor, 29 January 2022:

In Response to Mr. Nevran Tankašar (28 Jan)

Respectfully, sir, you are full of [expletive deleted]. Please allow me to demonstrate, point by point.

Firstly, nothing about Prince Henrik, Duke of Koersland, is incompatible with our heritage. There have been human Tavari since 1634. An elven Tavari woman is head of state of Acronis. Never once, not for one moment in the existence of the Tavari people, has citizenship or membership in our society been restricted based on species. Not ever.

That is part of the Tavari legacy that we must defend. We now know with certainty that the very first Tavari people were actually multiple peoples who spoke many languages. Who is to say there was never a half-elf among them? Who is to say it was not a half-elf who taught us to follow the stars, who led us on our way across the sea, or who laid the first cornerstone of the first Tavari shrine? Can you say so, with certainty?

You cannot.

The very thesis of your repugnant letter supposes that it must be an orc that sits upon the Silver Throne. This has never been so. The Silver Throne belongs to the Chief of Nuvo, an office that predates the Kingdom by nearly a thousand years. Dozens of chiefs are lost to time. For many generations, just like nearly all the Lines, the office of Chief was elect, open to anyone who could prove their merit to the elders of the clan. Was not one of my father Chiefs ever a half-elf? I simply cannot say. And if you prefer modern law to ancient custom, the Tavari constitution has made clear since 1793 that equal application of law and justice shall be guaranteed regardless of species.

Secondly, equally repugnant to Tavari society is your insistence on “genetic descent,” which has also never been part of Tavari tradition. You yourself acknowledge our country and species’ legacy of low birth rates, which have taught us—those of us with a shred of compassion in our souls, at least—of the other ways in which a family can have a child: adoption.

Over the course of Tavari history, there are many thousands of recorded disputes over the legitimacy of a chief, but in none of them recorded have we ever found a case of a chief being disputed simply because he was adopted, not born, of his father. I should know because I looked, as I conducted research for my 2004 order as Chief of Chiefs that clarified, but did not change, the law that stated that whether by natural birth, adoption, or surrogacy, the eldest child of the Chief of Nuvo becomes the next Chief when the previous dies. When I issued that order, having just been come out to by a fearful, hesitant son, I learned that I had not been forceful enough in standing up for that which I had already known to be true. I seek to correct that error today.

The Spirits know that I myself have a lot of learning to do, and indeed I am still learning. You, Mr. Nevran Tankašar, clearly need some yourself. What you call “hard questions” are naught but close-mindedness borne from ignorance of what it truly means to be Tavari. When the Staynish brought the word bastard to our shores, we had no translation for it, because it has never been an insult to a Tavari to be a son not by blood. You have two notable names, sir, Otan and Nevran, and you deserve neither of them. If you seek a name with which to replace them, as an effort to encourage cross-cultural thinking and to enforce the idea that legacies and meaning truly can cross the species boundary, I suggest adopting the quite fitting Staynish human word I mentioned earlier in this paragraph.

And, as a closing note, I would also like to remind you that, as a chocolate industry executive, you would do well to remember that Tavari chocolate is a bitter beverage you choke down for good luck on festival days. The sweet chocolate you got rich by selling was brought here in the 17th century by merchants from, like Duke Hendrik, a country called Vistaraland. Let it never be said that the Vistari have no place in our culture.

Zaram Nuvo V Šolosar, 67
Unemployed
Dravai Heights

*Editor’s note: The author served as King of Tavaris from 2000 until 2022. In recognition of his position as a person of significant interest, we have afforded His Highness more space than usually allotted to Letters to the Editor.

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No Longer “Unemployed,” King Emeritus Returns to Nuvrenon as Shrinemaster

NUVRENON– Eight months after his abdication, King Emeritus Zaram is returning to the Royal Palace in a rather different job: shrinemaster of the Royal Shrines. Historically a title that belongs to the monarch, Emperor Otan IV issued an order on Sunday in his capacity as Spiritual Head of the Tavat Avati Shrine Association (TASA) bestowing the title on his father, granting him responsibility for “any and all matters of Tavat Avati spiritual concern on the grounds of the Royal Palace,” according to the statement issued by the Emperor. The Royal Palace—which is the largest building by area in the country—contains at least six separate shrines, most of them not open to the public because they are considered private ancestral shrines of the royal family. The most famous shrine on the grounds of the palace is the Festival Garden, from where the monarch presides over the annual New Years’ and Unification festivals.

“On behalf of the College of Spirit-speakers, I am quite pleased to countersign this order issued by the Emperor, our Spiritual Head, but I emphasize that it was not strictly necessary for me to do so. The Emperor has complete and total authority over the shrines on the grounds of the Royal Palace because it is his own house. This is a right recognized in hundreds of other shrines on private property across the country since time immemorial,” said Kendar Tarešt Caldrovi, the Administrative Head of TASA. Mr. Tarešt Caldrovi is the chief executive officer handling the temporal, organizational affairs of the organization and the presiding officer of the College of Spirit-speakers, a body of the 144 senior-most shrinemasters across the world that, among other things, is typically the body to appoint shrinemasters. Mr. Tarešt Caldrovi also noted that “even if this were not the case, the constitutions [of TASA] allow the spiritual head to take ‘any action appropriate for the spiritual health of the community of believers.’”

His Highness the King Emeritus himself was not present for the announcement, but issued a brief statement saying that he was “tremendously grateful for this opportunity to once again serve the people of Tavaris” and promising to dedicate himself “wholly, in body, mind, and spirit, to ensuring the shrines on the grounds of the Royal Palace are kept in a noble state befitting their significance to Tavari culture.” He also promised to “undertake [his] duties in such a way as to ensure that these spiritual treasures are as open and available to the public as possible” and said that he wishes the Royal Shrines to be “for everyone.”

This is the first time that a Tavari monarch has appointed a shrinemaster since King Utor V in 1368, a date far, far preceding the establishment of TASA in 1944. The first five Tavari monarchs (known as the “Etarini”) held direct control over all shrines and shrinemasters, but Queen Anadra I began a process of Tavari monarchs abandoning formal religious authority outside of festival days when she came to the throne in 1369. By the end of her reign, monarchs had ceased giving input on matters of clergy or doctrine and mostly interacted with the faith only through public worship and the establishment of new shrines. Later, the death of King Utor VI in 1445—after just a year on the throne, interpreted by many shrinemasters as evidence of a curse upon the royal family because he had somehow lost the favor of the Etarini, who were all named Utor—caused a major schism in which shrinemasters began to reject all royal authority outright. However, TASA was established in an era of revival of the Tavat Avati faith after the Great War that saw royal authority restored—but only on paper. Emperor Otan is the first Tavari monarch to ever exercise any authority vested in them by the TASA constitutions.

The exact nature of the duties of the position are not yet entirely clear but will be developed in consultation with TASA leaders and the King Emeritus, according to the Emperor. King Emeritus Zaram is known to be a man of particularly devout faith. In 1990, as Crown Prince, he left the capital for 144 days upon the death of his wife in childbirth to undertake a sacred ritual of cleansing and penance in which he was not allowed to speak. Two of the shrines on the grounds of the royal palace were restored and resumed active use at Zaram’s direction while he was King, including the Shrine to the Fallen Queens that memorializes all the mothers among the royal family who perished in childbirth, including his own late wife. Said the Emperor of his father: “There is simply no one better for the job, and this is something that I should have done the day I assumed the throne.”

While it was not mentioned at any point during the brief press conference held by the Emperor, it is widely presumed that this is, in part, a response to the King Emeritus’ 29 January letter to the editor in which—according to News policy asking all letter writers to identify their name, age, and occupation—he listed himself as “unemployed.” The letter, now famous, was a strident and forceful defense of his son’s pending marriage to the half-elven Duke Hendrik of Koersland, Prince of the Vistara, and the continuance of the royal family through adoption of a non-orcish child. However, the single word near the bottom, “unemployed,” became something of an embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar, who stripped the former monarch of all royal status—even removing him as a member of the royal family—and so firmly enforced this statutory order that the King Emeritus was forced to leave the Royal Palace, unable to independently reimburse the government for the costs of his security as the Prime Minister demanded. Since June he has been living in the home of his brother, Dr. Kanor Nuvo Nakrotan, the father of Queen Elarai of Elatana, in Dravai Heights, Dravai Province.

Notably, the Prime Minister was not present at the press conference and her office declined to comment for this story. A high-level source within the Office of the Prime Minister, unnamed because they were not authorized to speak on the record, told the News that “the Prime Minister was absolutely flayed alive on Pigeon after that letter went out. Supporters of Zaram came out of the woodwork everywhere, people everywhere saying it was an embarrassment that a former King of Tavaris, a 67 year old man, was living unemployed in his brother’s basement.” While rumors of significant tension between the Prime Minister and the King Emeritus have abounded since his abdication, no government source agreed to offer comment on that issue for this story.

The position of shrinemaster will come with a salary paid out of the Emperor’s personal funds. With this salary, made possible by recent changes to the Emperor’s legal authority to spend money, the King Emeritus will be able to meet the statutory requirement that non-members of the immediate royal family pay for their security at the palace and enjoy a lifestyle “as is appropriate for any shrinemaster,” said the Emperor, while declining to state exactly what that salary will be.

A surprising endorsement of the move came from the office of the Matron of Acronis, Her Most Esteemed Beneficence Vana Dandreal. It was in the presence of the Matron that the King Emeritus embarrassed himself, the Prime Minister, and the country by interrupting the Priestess while attending an Akronist worship service to accuse her of, in his view, unfairly “claiming” the legacy of Shano Tuvria, who has identified as a follower of both the Tavat Avati and Akronism and comes from a mixed-faith family. This interruption, according to statements made by the Matron at the time, shattered any hope of reconciliation and provided perhaps the final impetus for Acronian secession. However, her statement on Sunday sang a much different tune.

“The Tavat Avati faith is one of the most beautiful on Urth, and it is a faith with which Akronism shares much,” said the Matron in a written statement. “I was quite pleased to see that the King Emeritus has been permitted to resume a role in this faith, of which he is clearly a devout believer and a learned scholar. Like many Tavari, I was deeply moved by the then-Prince’s reawakening of religious belief after the loss of Princess Torevar, especially his remarkable dedication in being, at least according to known records, the only Avatidar in the 20th century to complete the fully silent 144-day ritual of penance. This tradition, while rare among modern Avatidar, continues to exist in Akronism, where it is considered one of the most difficult—but most spiritually rewarding—expressions of our faith. The King Emeritus and I have our theological disagreements, and we have political disagreements, too. He has his faults, but so do I. While it must be said that, because of his prior actions, Acronis believes that His Highness should never again exercise any political or constitutional role in any country, in the Silver Court, or in the Tavari Union, it must also be said without hesitation or condition that just like each and every other living being on this Urth, the King Emeritus is a gift, a gift with which the global community of Avatidari will surely be well-served.”