May 21, 2022 3:42 PM
Vanda Nosseo lands on a world that fights a lot of wars.
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"I mentioned the vote - many people are surprised by how extensive Vanda Nossëo's voting eligibility is, but there's so many kinds of people out there being any more conservative would leave someone out and disenfranchisement is no good, so it includes children and slaves and insane people and criminals and untouchables and any other sapient species living in the area and whatnot. We require a majority vote of your entire actual population, not just of the completed ballots, so low turnout can sink a bid to join. It's also a membership requirement that you have and enforce - or let us enforce - laws prohibiting murder, torture, or rape of anyone, with 'anyone' defined the same way as for voting eligibility. Sometimes the definitions there get a little weird - there's a subclause about forcibly relocating substantial populations folded in under 'torture' - but I have no reason to think that in this particular cases the practicalities won't seem basically commonsense. And finally there has to be freedom of emigration. Not immigration - you can refuse entry to anyone you like - but you have to let people leave to anywhere that will have them."

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... And whatnot probably includes women considering some of the people he's talking to are female? Widows have the vote in Wolcyn, he knows that.

Murder, torture, and rape being banned... well, fair enough, most countries do that. Freedom of emigration why does that even go on the list... there's got to be a trap somewhere, that they're planning to use to oppress his entire country.

"Are countries allowed to impose a draft?" he asks, "and is government execution considered murder and government whipping torture?" Those seem like plausible traps to him.

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"You can say 'you have to either join the army or leave'," says Zatuobin. "You can't say 'you have to join the army and can't leave instead'. Anybody including the government killing any person for any reason with some extremely specific exceptions that have never applied to a human or similar victim is construed as murder, except that suicide is legal. Whipping as an official punishment is construed as torture but you can still have it on the books, it just has to have the alternative sentence of exile offered to the accused if they'd rather leave than face it, what you can't do is chase someone down who's trying to get on the bus to elsewhere in the multiverse and insist that they be whipped first. The freedom of emigration is covering a lot of things here - for example, we don't ban slavery, there are actually some people who appear to all investigation to prefer slavery, but they still have to be allowed to leave."

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... That's bizarrely reasonable.

"I see."

... He's not going to be able to trick them into a war. He may as well state it - 

"Gentlemen and ladies of Vanda Nossëo," he says, "Ljudizem is an ancient state of millions of people stretching across tens of thousands of miles, almost all of which is occupied by one or more of our enemies in this war. His Holiness the Admiral has promised the restoration of our full frontiers, but at present very little of it is sufficiently under my control for me to organize a vote, and though my army has soldiers from every village in the nation we cannot ensure fifty percent turnout in lands our enemies have held for twenty years."

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"Do you want us to ask the envoy coordinator for information on how our counterparts are getting along in neighboring countries?"

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"Certainly," he said (more information is always good). "What I wanted to know, though, was just what support you could provide for arranging elections?" And also his other plan, which he'll want to get to shortly.

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(Valerius starts composing a message in the background.)

Zatuobin explains,"Some of us - including additional backup we can call in as necessary - can teleport, and given a map or someone pointing things out according to a picture we can get from the ship above," (Rainë provides an illusion again), "we can visit anyone too difficult to reach conventionally. Ideally we'd have some local authorities they'll recognize along."

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... Hmm. Interesting.

"And what if the occupiers order you to stop, or if they shoot my delegates?"

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(The range of reactions, from worst to least bad!

- The small state of Desnau has ordered the Vandans Nossëo all shot for lese-majesty.

- The even smaller state of Havralt's ruling prince thinks they are hilarious and, sure, they can set up a shop, he'll keep them in mind for if it looks like he might get invaded again.

- The somewhat larger state of Geronmarkh's diplomatic agency (run by one of the king's 382 illegitimate children) is rather reluctant to do anything without consulting the king.

- The delegation sent to the much larger Vzhodoun Empire is presently bribing its way up the chain of ever-more-important bureaucrats, but has not reached anyone with decision-making power yet.

- And the even larger Dominion of Simolya has thrown them in jail for disturbing the peace.)

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"We'd choose escorts suitable to the defensive tasks necessary to the errand, and if someone miscalculated anyway we carry insurance sufficient to resurrect a lost delegate; we currently have no reason to believe that people on this planet are unusually difficult to resurrect, though as far as I know it hasn't been tested.

I'm not, to be clear, confident that it's wise to join with such expansive borders. Twenty years is a long time. Do you have reason to believe public opinion is strongly on your side in those regions?"

Vanda Nossëo will let people try to shoot a Limboite; they will let the locals jail most of their party but the Elf teleports out instead. They aren't in a hurry to get ahold of the king, worry about being invaded is a serviceable reason to permit a shop, and bribery is tiresome but as long as people can be bribed with candy and healing-boops it's not exactly going to break the budget.

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Dinot did not get to the part about resurrection yet, actually! Though he can try to avoid showing it -

"When I raised my banners," he says, "volunteers flocked from across the country. I am not short of loyal men, however great the cause." But that's only half an answer.

"But it may be the case that in some border regions, the Ljudic population has already been expelled. So, could a province secede to join another Vanda Nosseo member? If the heartland secedes, we can then organize individual regional elections, and let the people decide which nation they want to be part of." Because it will be his.

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"Yes, we allow regions to secede and join Vanda Nossëo at the same time if that's what their people want," confirms Zatuobin, "and then consolidate with other member states if they agree on how to go about it."

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"Then Ljudizem could secede piece-by-piece, if the people willed it."

He nods decisively. "I'll call my ministers, they'll want to go over the Vanda Nosseo rules to make sure there isn't some trap, but if not -" he casts a grin over his shoulder, the first one in a long time "- you'll have a new member."

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"I'm delighted to hear it!" says Zatuobin.

"The neighbors are mostly not being nearly so delightful," reports Valerius. "They arrested two of the teams - coordinator doesn't have an update yet on whether they were impressed after trying to shoot Sofia - Eruanna had to teleport out but the rest of her team is hanging out in jail waiting to see what happens - Havralt's letting them set up a shop, but not moving beyond that so far."

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Well, that's the fault of the neighbors for being tyrannies.

Dinot will immediately begin Organizing. All the ministries need to know about this situation, and he needs (well, they need, he's delegating) complete descriptions of the laws that members and citizens of Vanda Nossëo need to follow, and also the Vandans Nossëo should feel free to open up shops selling food and anything else people want to buy, and also he'd like to know what support they provide for members. He'd like Vanda Nosseo's help letting his allies know what he's doing, and thinks they should get in touch with the Admiral if they haven't, all this ought to be his department (which is what they're fighting the war over.)

(At some point in this, the drinks show up; Dinot does not notice, he has WORK to do!)

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Zatuobin will go over the full minimum legal code with all its definitions and edge cases and precedents with him and the parameters of defensive support and universal basic income and the availability of signing perks and the likely cultural and economic trajectory to follow; Quicksilver and Rainë excuse themselves to go set up a shop once they know how to find a place to put it; Da'ell is happy to go find the Admiral if they know where he is, or wait a few minutes for forensics to find him if they don't. Valerius will tell the shipboard coordinator which allies are to be told what.

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As it happens, Dinot is delegating going over everything with Zatuobin to his Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice, since there's king-elect-only stuff he needs to do. Their main questions are about what it means for the state's present foreign relations (being in a military alliance), what the precise rules limiting their ability to continue supporting their allies if the enemy leaves them but not their friends alone are, how to integrate religious commandments with Nossean rights, and what Vanda Nosseo's reaction would be to the planet (including Ljudizem) being attacked by demons would be.

The Admiral is somewhere with an army. Where, Dinot doesn't presently know.

Dinot will give short summaries of the situation to the shipboard coordinator to pass on to every member of the Holy League, and a request for the Admiral to URGENTLY COMMENT ON THE THEOLOGICAL ACCEPTABILITY OF JOINING VANDA NOSSEO, RIGHT NOW PLEASE YOUR HOLINESS.

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If a Vanda Nossëo citizen departs Vanda Nossëo and kills a dude, that is murder; if they kill a dude in self-defense, that isn't murder, but you don't get Vanda Nossëo protection to do that with if you just want to go provoke people into requiring self-defense, and you'd still need to stand trial for murder. They can still supply their military allies with materiel, take in refugees, go learn magic if they can pass a screen for it and then go join a neighbor's army, that sort of thing, especially if individuals want to do this in a completely private capacity, individuals are allowed to do lots of things that Vanda Nossëo per se is not; but this is strongly disrecommended and they should be acutely aware that their enemies are all getting the same offer. If demons attack they will try to talk to the demons and minimize destruction and death while that's going on; they might do something like teleport all the demons far away if they won't stop attacking to chat.

Their counterpart teams in other locations will faithfully pass on these messages.

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Oh good, that's fine with Dinot.

In that case, he's still planning to march west - that army needs stopping and if Vanda Nosseo wants to use their instant-communication to stay in touch with him, that's fine; if not, his deputies here can handle organizing a massive balloting campaign in every village in central Ljudizem without him, he thinks.

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They will give him a phone, sure, though they recommend maybe not trying to get in a few last battles before joining up, that might be a famous last words situation.

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"Another man can organize elections and no other man can lead the army of Ljudizem," he says, raising his right arm.

And then it is time for him to depart!

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Would he like to be healed first or would that interfere with his recognizability or something?

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"Not until Ljudizem is free," he says, "but if you're looking for people to heal..."

And he can provide SUCH A LIST OF VETERANS.

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They'll get on that, then.

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And they think they aren't participating in the war.

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