Sigrblót 2023

Valkyrian naval ensign (2022)

Sigrblót was a holiday of great value to the Valrissi throughout Pacifica, especially in Valkyria. For three days starting on 6 April, the Valrissi will give their offerings, have grand feasts, share stories, and celebrate the new season. For the first time in more than a century, however, the state-sponsored festivities will be held throughout Valkyria at the behest of both Jarlskona Kate Murphy and Prime Minister Steve Bennett.

On the first day, Murphy and Bennett will welcome all foreign dignitaries and meet Chieftain Haakon Danielson, who is constitutionally recognised as the head of the Valrissi religion and chief developer of Valrissi hofs and other sacred sites throughout the nation. Daylight festivities will largely be muted with smaller gatherings and activities, but there will be some ritual combat. After sunset, the two leaders will head to Ravneby Stadium, where they will each give a speech, make a sacrifice, and jointly light a bonfire.

However, this Sigrblót will also serve as a painful reminder to Bennett as the holiday will coincide with the second anniversary of his daughter’s death on 7 April. As festivities resume on the second day, Bennett will pay a visit to Kára Beach in Gullkysten, the site of his daughter’s funeral. There, he is expected to be joined by a small party of close friends and family, whom he will likely spend the rest of the day with. Bennett will also spend some time alone to meditate and perform Utiseta through the use of psilocybin mushrooms.

With Bennett unavailable on the second day, Murphy will attend the Gullkysten festival and watch a reenactment of a naval battle that occurred on the city’s waters in 966. At nighttime, the jarlskona will participate in a party held along the Gullkysten promenade, where there will be feasting and drinking during and after a fireworks display.

On the third day, Bennett will head east to Tvillingelver, a city of historical importance to the modern Valrissi movement, being the birthplace of their resistance to the fascist dictatorship that ruled over both Austurland and Qvait in the 20th century. Bennett’s visit to the eastern city will carry great meaning as the son of antifascist dissidents who were imprisoned and tortured by the fascist regime but ultimately won. The theme of victory is central to Sigrblót, so Bennett’s trip to Tvillingelver will carry symbolic relevance.

Meanwhile, Murphy will travel to the island of Eyjabær, where she will give a speech on the future of Valkyria in the world. The speech has been described by government sources as the Valkyrian blueprint that will define at least the next two years of Valkyrian domestic and foreign policy. By day’s end, Murphy will be joined by Bennett, and they will light a bonfire to be seen on all sides of the gulf shared between Huawan and Valkyria.

Katja Sigurdsdotter Murphy Jarlskona Labour

Steffan Torsson Bennett Prime Minister Socialist

Despite their socialist views and the secularist position of their respective parties, the two leaders were Valrissi modernists intent on reclaiming a religion and way of life from the far-right. Organised by the Ministry of Culture, government officials have repeatedly stated that extremists and exclusivists will not be welcome at the Sigrblót festivities, promoting instead a culture of inclusion opposite of the fundamentalist view.

However, not everyone on the left is on board with Sigrblót, particularly the secularists and religious minorities for differing reasons. The secularists believe that Valkyria should remove Valrissi as the state religion, while religious minorities point to the government’s recent failure to pass legislation dropping the ban on proselytisation, calling the government’s Sigrblót festival ill-timed and inappropriate at a time when minorities weren’t given the same rights and freedoms enjoyed by the Valrissi when it came to sharing their religious beliefs.

Countering the claims of hypocrisy, several government spokespeople said that the National Police under the Bennett government was no longer enforcing the proselytisation ban despite the law remaining in place, which is true because documented arrests connected to proselytism have dropped to null since Bennett became prime minister. However, if another government came to power, they could start re-enforcing the law at any time.

Nevertheless, the Valkyrian government hopes to revive the soft power that embodied its foreign policy during Harrisonisme, a time when Margaret Harrison led Valkyria to near-superpower status, helped build the World Forum, and contributed to the cause of peace, freedom, and democracy, not just in Valkyria, but in every land on Pacifica. Sigrblót represented a chance for Valkyria to reinvent its former self on the international stage.

The new government was hoping to move beyond the Kalkara War and revive a lost part of the Valkyrian creed.

Dignitaries planning on attending:

  • Marja Sanddorn, Chancellor of Gianatla
  • Aurelian, Crown Prince of Stoinia
  • Felix Gähring, Chancellor of Fauderland
  • Galen Hughes, Prime Minister of Emerald-Denver
OOC notes

Everyone is welcome to post on this thread any plans for their leaders to visit Valkyria during Sigrblót or any IC posts about that. You may even share stories from a tourist’s perspective.

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Sorry, for the long delay. Struggled with writer’s block and work.

DAY 1 — 6 APRIL 2023
Utøvende → Ravneby Central Hof

In Valkyria, Prime Minister Steve Bennett was the wolf at the peak of the mountain, the prime minister of all Valkyrians. And yet, in many ways, he was a wolf without a pack. Bennett was a leader who knew where to go, but he was lost at the same time. Sigrblót was supposed to be a time of celebration but it was one of introspection for Bennett. After all, tomorrow will be the second anniversary of his daughter’s death – his only child – Lucilla.

It was the first day of Sigrblót and the beginning of a national holiday in Valkyria. Soon after waking up, Bennett did his normal morning rituals, then he paid a visit to a völva at the Ravneby Central Hof. The hof was a frequent destination for the prime minister, having attended gatherings there since childhood. Bennett was well acquainted with the hof’s gyðja, Runa, a longtime friend that he could count on. On his way to the völva’s sanctum, Bennett crossed paths with Runa, stopping by a peculiar painting of a valkyrie that he had seen probably a thousand times.

The two embraced each other and wished the other good tidings during Sigrblót. Before moving on, Runa told Bennett, “I know why you are here, friend. I can’t presume to know your pain, but know there’s always a place here for you.” The two shared another embrace before Bennett resumed making his way to the völva.

“Völva, I’ve come to ask what you see.”

Ragnarsborg Fortress → Ravneby International Airport

The jarlskona woke up on the first day of Sigrblót feeling optimistic. For the first time in a long time, Valkyria was going to celebrate a Valrissi holiday on a level not seen since the Kingdom days – the days that preceded fascism. Jarlskona Kate Murphy was prepared to bring the nation and the wider world into a new era, and Sigrblót was an opportunity to do just that.

Forgoing warnings from secularists, Murphy assented to the prime minister’s request to hold a national festival, seeing it as the chance to reappropriate the Valrissi religion that, for years, has earned a negative reputation due to its cooptation by the far-right. Now was the chance for Valrissi modernists to reclaim a religion and a movement that can and should promote diversity and inclusion.

At the feast hall, Murphy enjoyed a meal of corvina and mead with her family and friends. Despite the momentous day, the jarlskona made sure not to drink too much mead. After all, she was about to welcome several foreign dignitaries and did not want to greet them drunk. All the while, two of Murphy’s cousins were engaged in a drinking contest nearby, providing the jarlskona with some levity for the lively morning.

But alas, work was on the schedule for the Valkyrian head of state. Dipping out of the feast, Murphy got in her electric car along with six unmarked National Gendarmerie utility vehicles to make her way to the airport to meet the dignitaries visiting Valkyria during Sigrblót. The jarlskona was ready to tear through the motorway driving at 200 km/h (125 mph) on the V1 route, much to the chagrin of her police escort.

With the roads more or less empty due to daytime partying, the jarlskona was free to drive as fast as she wanted in a nation without speed limits, doing so at more than double the advisory limit. It was one of the many liberties that two of the most recent left-wing governments brought to Valkyria, particularly during Margaret Harrison’s time as prime minister. For the jarlskona, she hopes to see a trans-Cordilian motorway system without enforced speed limits in less than a decade’s time.

In no time, Murphy arrived at the airport to welcome the visiting dignitaries.

Ravneby Central Hof → Ravneby International Airport

After speaking with the völva, Bennett made his way to the airport to stand beside the jarlskona and greet the dignitaries. On the way to the airport, Bennett and his police escort were swiftly overtaken by a sports car trailed by six police vehicles. Right then and there, he knew that was the jarlskona, making him snicker. The prime minister was a relaxed kind of driver, opting for slower travel to take in the view while reaching the destination.

Bennett made it to the airport, albeit minutes after the jarlskona arrived. On the airport apron, the prime minister was greeted by a smiling Murphy, who snarkily asked, “Caught up in traffic?” Bennett replied with equal snark, “No, I had a fun time seeing our city’s landmarks instead of using them as checkpoints.” The two shared a laugh and a hug before stepping forward to meet and greet the dignitaries.