The Royal Siraniu Ball

OOC Note: This RP thread is exclusive for nations who have living nobility. Furthermore, although the ball takes IRP place on 10th December we may RP beforehand & afterwards if we so choose. In other words, this is a perfect laid-back RP without any form of stress! :partying_face:


The wedding of King Iulian III from the 19th century from painter Corneliu Bernea.

Tradition… The one word that could summarise all monarchies around Pacifica. It is what has kept their nations unified, patriotic and preserved. Perhaps the one nation that has become the most synonymous with tradition remains Stoinia still. Ever since King Alexandru I’s Stoinian unification in 1.222 CE, the Stoinian monarchy has never waned. Resisting the ebbs & flows of time, overcoming both challenges & perils and providing stability to the realm. Forever in service of its people.
To virtually all Stoinians, the monarchy is what has kept the realm stable and what allowed Stoinia to become a flourishing nation. However, other nations have since risen & fallen together with their monarchs and monarchies have been replaced in favour of other forms of government. Yet now in the anniversary of 800 years of Stoinian Unification, the Stoinian Royal House of Cuza has invited all nobility from Pacifica, both enthroned & dethroned, on Saturday 10th of December for a grand ball in Siraniu Palace, Kingdom of Stoinia. With one exception: Sedunn. Although former-King Vimmru II Innien has called for a rebrand of his nation from a kingdom to a republic, too strong are the bonds of friendship between Sedunn & Stoinia. Forever a friend of the Stoinian people & its Crown.


Siraniu Palace 15 km east of Sinaia.

The largest summer palace of the Stoinian royal family was Siraniu Palace. A large complex surrounded by lush gardens still blooming under the summer’s sultry sun. Built in between 1835 & 1842, it was meant to host regular royalty events from across Bailtem & the Mediterrranean. Allowing hundreds if not thousands of noblemen & noblewomen to discuss matters of state over a dance or fine Stoinian wine. Now it would serve as the host of perhaps Pacifica’s largest ball of nobility. Providing them from breakfast & dinner, to dance floors to bedrooms. A palace renowned for its size. Befitting of a humongous event such as this one.


The Stoinian Royal Guard Brigade in charge of security around Siraniu Palace.

Security of such prestigious guests is not only demanding, but also rigorous. A challenge few willing aids would be proficient in. Yet one such group exists: the Stoinian Royal Guard Brigade. Roughly 10.000 dedicated guardsmen dedicated with the protection of the Stoinian royal family. Through fire & flame they have protected the King, his family & his heirs against communist revolutionaries, overseas campaigns & in defence of their country. Soldiers gilded by valour, honour & tradition. Prouder even than the Stoinian Lion. The ever watching eye of Captain-General Valerian Averescu shall safeguard the thousands of VIP’s during their stay in Stoinia.


The carriage entry of Siraniu Palace.

All guests will arrive by a horse carriage into the palace as is tradition for such festive occasions. All rpovided by the Cuza Household, ecorted of course by members of the Stoinian Royal Guard Brigade. Upon their entry they will receive the reception befit of their status, greeted by the royal couple or their heirs, and make their way throughout the palace during their stay.


A stair-hall of the palace filled with sculptures of Stoinian Lions in a classical architecture.

Once inside, the guest will relish in classical architecture filled with extrinsic artworks such as paintings & sculptures. All celebrating Stoinia’s heritage from the ancient Tolosan Republic to the virtues of the Stoinian people. With the Stoinian Lion being an omnipresent motif throughout the palace. For the Cuza pride is as proud as the animal of their sigil. Roaring virtuously in service of Stoinia.

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A dining hall of Siraniu Palace.

Siraniu Palace has many rooms & halls for the festive occasions. However, due to the enormous amounts of guests, they will be split between several dining halls according to their noble ranks with royalties sitting together in the same hall. Therein, a five course meal shall be served to the guests ranging from fresh vegetables to hunted game accompanied by culinary wonders from Stoinia’s finest chefs.
Afterwards, the guests are invited to the dance floor for waltzes, including its Stoinian counterpart the ondulea otherwise known as the inverse waltz, among other dances for all to enjoy. The birthplace of fairy tale as princes & duchesses dance again like the days of old between gilded chandeliers of unrivaled design. Music shall be provided throughout the night by the Royal Siraniu Ensemble which shall perform the Waves of the Siniliu among other classics from the world of muses. For those less inclined to the dance floor, a number of assortments will be brought ranging from Stoinian wine to exquisite nibbles emphasizing flavour. To each a path to socialise over the night or perhaps walk both.


King Andrei III Cuza and Queen Melea I Murani-Cuza in their ball dresses with their full regalia.

The Stoinian royal couple shall welcome all nobility of Pacifica to this ball. Bringing a dying breed of nobility together to showcase the world their merits & style. King Andrei III & Queen Melea shall wear their finest dresses with full regalia on the occasion. The peak of Stoinian royal fashion. Furthermore, they challenge the nobility from around Pacifica to bring out the best & noblest of tenures to this ball.
In addition to the royal couple & their children, the guest can expect the presence of King-Odinior Iulian IV & Queen-Odinioara Alexandra VI and all of their children’s families of Princess Valentina, Duchess of Cordana, Prince Valeriu, Duke of Forișana & Princess Relia, Duchess of Sebeș.

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When the letter arrived from the Stoinian royals, Hana was surprised at first. She would never have guessed that they even noticed the tiny little island from which she hailed. She wouldn’t even have assumed that FiHami had any sort of “nobility” after the late Ha’Coron’ Finix brutally murdered the Antarchi emperor a few years ago. But Hana sits in the carriage today, accompanied by the random toddler who is apparently the real chief of FiHami, according to the falcons.

“Bounce.” The toddler was quite serious, never very playful at all. Hana had even begun to doubt the child was able to talk, until just now.

“Yes, the cart is bouncy, Finix.” Hana smoothed out the toddler’s dress, a finely decorated garment that Hana had sent for people overseas to tailor for the both of them. Finix wore a fancy orange dress with rubies embedded into the fabric to resemble dancing flames. The toddler’s hair was done in a waterfall braid, and for the extra touch, Hana had placed an orange flower in the child’s hair, with a genuine colorful falcon feather. As the final piece to the fusion-styled outfit, the necklace that Finix was found with remains around her neck.

Hana herself wore a fairly fancy navy blue dress with golden sparkles over the bodice. She wore simple gold jewelry with the outfit, and her own hair was professionally made into a fancy updo by one of the Antarchi hair stylists on the island. Her style was much less Finixi-inspired than the toddler’s outfit, as a way to show that the toddler was the real chief of FiHami, Hana was a mere chaperone, the chief at this time only because of precedence, and only ruling until Finix was old enough.

The Stoinians sure have a gorgeous land. Hana contemplated the scenery passing by. It certainly was very different from FiHami’s tropical paradise, and frankly, quite beautiful. It was almost like a modern paradise.

If only I could get rid of all the nationalists. I could usher in a new era for FiHami, with unbelievable technology…

“No more.” Finix looked outside the window once the carriage came to a stop, interrupting Hana’s thoughts. Hana would breathe deeply, channeling her best smile to greet the Stoinians with.

“Alright, Finix. I know in your past life this was an impossible task for you, but can you show me a smile? We need to impress the people we’re going to meet.” Hana poked the toddler’s cheeks, only to find that Finix would pout further.

“Ok.” Hana braced herself for the guards, preparing to greet them without making FiHami look backwards and uncultured.

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Queen Izumi Yekaterina II Perinaiko of the Kingdom of Pelinai rode in a Stoinian carriage to the Royal Siraniu Ball. Instead of the usual 19th century Boreal court attire that she usually wore to formal events, she was instead wearing a formal purple and white silk kimono that was more in line with traditional Pelinese dress. The bright violet primary color was patterned with white butterfly emblems and a small Pelinese Sakura to clearly indicate her nation of origin to the other guests. The tiara that she was wearing was specially made in the early 2000s to encompass the best of Pelinese industry, and spared no expense: it was fabricated from platinum-iridium alloy and set with a variety of brilliant cut and princess cut diamonds, almandine garnets, and tourmalines, and was clearly and visibly emblazoned with the Pelinayaka Orthodox cross as well. Her earrings were made of the same alloy and held briolette cut spinels. Her snow white hair was arranged in a braided updo as was usual, and contained a series of small hair ornaments set with brilliant cut tourmalines.

Queen Izumi close her pocket mirror and returned it to her small handbag. Prime Minister Makarov and the rest of the Pelinese State Parliament were far from pleased about her attending any event in Stoinia without a Life Guards battalion or two, but she herself was sure that nothing would happen on Stoinia’s end. Even so, Makarov and his foreign minister will both have already made it very clear to the Stoinian ambassador that his nation will be held responsible for her safety and for any adverse events. Queen Izumi hoped that Parliament’s hostility towards the Concordia Entente wouldn’t become too much of a problem for her during the Ball; both Weissersteiner and other non-Stoinian nobles are attending, and it would be unfortunate to have something happen during the first major interaction between Pelinese and non-Weissersteiner royalty since 1982.

Izumi stopped to ponder something for a moment. Her flight to Stoinia was escorted from Pelinai to the edge of Stoinian airspace by Winterblossoms on account of her nation still technically being in a state of war, and there was every possibility that she could encounter a certain nation’s king here as well.

I’m sure that will go very well.

But that would come later, if ever. The carriage has just arrived at Siraniu Palace, and now is the time for her to meet the welcoming committee.

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King Joshua VII, along with his wife, his eldest son, Queen Jen II(His Cousin), and the Exiled Spirasian King, King John II rode together in one carriage. It was a little cramped for Joshua’s liking, but he just went along with it. He decided to wear his Military dress uniform, even though his wife insisted he actually wear something besides a military uniform, with him commenting “I would, but I think its a little irradiated at the moment”. This was the first time where he didn’t have the 3rd Royal Guard protecting him, but Joshua was sure that Stoinia, a friendly nation, would provide more than enough security, especially with all theses Monarchs and Nobles attending. Which included the Pelinese queen, which will be interesting at how THAT encounter will go. Joshua felt the carriage slow down to a stop, which meant that they had arrived at Siraniu Palace. Now, lets get out of this cramped carriage and meet the welcoming committee or whatever its equivalent is.

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President Vimmru Innienn suppressed a smile as he and his family started making their way from the carriage. Rarely had he felt so Sedunnic as he did now. There they were, non-royal, non-noble. While his wife and daughter wore dresses that maybe could impress some of the other guests, he only wore a dress suit, lacking in gold, diamonds, medals or similar. It likely didn’t quite look like they belonged there he imagined, but he did like it that way somehow.

The palace was a true marvel. It was different from its Sedunnic counterparts. The Great Palace in Grovne for instance, it wasn’t exactly empty or lacking in design or furnishing, but it had had a certain “efficiency” to it. Sedunnic efficiency. Perhaps Sedunners put more focus on single objects which were supposed provide the message, while the Stoinians, and typically many other royal palaces, relied on the awe in the lavishness.

He and his family had had been given a crash course in royal manners so that they at least would know what was going on and avoid insulting the other guests which had likely practised manners since birth. But most importantly, they just had to remember that they represented the over two thousand years old Sedunnic state, and the dellmship and act accordingly.

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Awkward silence was what manifested itself between the still-King-in-title Gianluca IV and former Atlantic King, now Archduke, Ikaros VIII the latest after their plane landed in Stoinia. Both experienced their own dethronement, one by the other, one by the people. They had different political views. One had a wife coming along with him, the other had some headphones to numb out the world.

“I would have never guessed, we could get invited as Gianlucian royalty”, the stress on the world “Gianlucian” was somewhat condescending, “to this place. We always wanted to travel here, but never could…Look, what we missed out on, Parthena!”
Ikaros swayed his hand in the direction of some peacocks showing off their feathers, standing in the sun glowing onto the meadows the carriage is driving by.
“I know, Ika. You never listened to me though, always wanted to go to places like Ryccia or god-forbid Izaakia instead. I’m still feeling the shivers, because you ultimately only wanted to visit the most boring and cold of places…”
“No, my darling. Those have been the most chilling places. Something we needed after all the work…”
“Which work? Drinking tea with your friends between parliamentary sessions in the last like five years?”
“Don’t be like that, darling…Let’s rather look forward to this splendid event!”
“How can I look forward to this with that guy over there staying with us?”
Parthena glared at Gianluca, who was dosing off listening to his friend’s podcast about psychology.

“Don’t pay attention to him, he’ll most likely do his own thing. Also he’s not that bad of a person. He is young, he was put into this weird position as new sovereign over us when he was even younger and he now has to deal with becoming ordinary again. Even more ordinary than he already is anyway, that means.”
“If you say so…Oh, look! I think, we’re arriving at the castle!”

Ikaros lightly kicks into the left shin of Gianluca, who immediately startles and takes out his headphones. “Alright, let’s do this. I’m a bit out of the role, but everything will be fine. Do you want to go in first?”
“It would be a pleasure”, the former Atlantic king answered.

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The Peonic royal family arrived in the Siraniu ball. With her head matriarch The Peony leading the way, lavishing at the large amount of photo flashes and modelling for the news the next day. She mostly wins the “best dress” discussion in the morning conversation programs in the next week, and she reckons she’ll have a good chance winning once more today. She was looking forward to see some old faces, and some acquaintances of her family through years of tea diplomacy.

Her guardians were around her as VIPs entered the vicinity trying to guide The Peony. Agent Safa’a led the guardians today, not impossible but quite unusual. Even moreso unusual is that Rin came to the event as the High Princess of Huawan, a title she kept in person, but seldom in practice. She still felt uneasy to be flashed with so many cameras, and she’d think much about how she looks if she were alone. Rin grasped Aran’s arm tightly, she was glad that she was able to think about the crowd with him guiding the way.

Right next to them is Shizuka, Shizuka! The crowd was surprised. The princess that threw her royalty away came back into the Peonic fold. It was a lengthy amount of time for Shizuka to return to the Peonic family by action, and her inclusion today was seen by most as a sign that The Peony wishes for her to be formally returned back to the family. Her husband and child was still back in Austral. She was much more cool and collected, she was taught by the royal palace for stately etiquette after all.

A photographer took their pictures, “come to think of it” he thought, the three women was portraying the three aspects of their mother, the previous Peony. Glamour, Modesty and Constitution.

“No” he thoughts as he took another picture. “They were their own.”

They entered the ball, and The Peony made her greetings to the other dignitaries. Making sure that they are present.

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As the FiHami delegation debarked from their carriage, the Stoinian royal couple was in front with rather modest clothes for now. King Andrei wore an exquisite hand tailored navy blue suit from the renowned clothing company Gheorghe Andoni. Something some fashionista’s might describe as the peak of Stoinian class. Yet Queen Melea had outdone him with her modest yet elegant purple gown with deep yellow patterns woven into it . They were unsure what to expect from FiHami’s delegation as the nation has had some previous relations with them, but ever since their cultural decline the bonds they once had soured. Hopefully, they would rekindle those long lost bonds on this ball. Or at least try for they knew all too well that children could stubborn at the Chief’s age.
The Royal Guardsmen lowered their swords as the FiHami delegation approached the royal couple
“Welcome to Siraniu Palace, your majesty Finix of FiHami, your excellency Hana. We hope the horses weren’t agitated too much. They rarely get to work this intensively.” King Andrei greeted them with his strong baritone voice.
“My God what beautiful hair you have!” Queen Melea remarked at Finix as she bowed slightly down. Smiling joyfully with a mother’s spark in her eye. “My daughter Elena would be so jealous! Did you do it yourself? Perhaps she can teach some Stoinian braids as well?”

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Pelinai… It was a nation recently stained by its actions with the United Kingdom of Emerald & Denver. So much so as to risk the stability in the Mediterranean, which King Andrei promptly was able to push diplomatically into a ceasefire. Yet the name left a sour taste in Andrei’s mouth still. Today would be different however. They would show her that Stoinia & the CE weren’t inherently hostile to Pelinai. This was a chance to amend the wounds recently made.
The Stoinian Royal Guardsmen escorted the Pelinese Queen out of her carriage and lowered their swords in unison across each other as she passed them.
“Welcome to Siraniu Palace, Queen Izumi II Perinaiko.” King Andrei welcomed her. Pronouncing her name fluently. “I’m glad to make finally make you an acquaintance in person. I hope you’ll come to appreciate our lands, people & culture.”
“I must say that kimono of yours is just stunning. You certainly have taken challenge well… And I must say that Orthodox cross is exquisite. Perhaps you’ll start a new trend in the Mediterranean.” Melea added with a friendly smile.

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“The child cannot seem to amount any protest, but she did not seem to enjoy the process either. I was trained in a few styles as part of my ceremonial duties, but I’ve never had to do a child’s hair before.”

Hana was pretty unsure of what to do, as she had no upbringing in the royal customs from abroad. Hell, Finixi “royalty” historically acted as any other civilian, often opting to live well underneath the means of the rest of the people. The late chief herself would refuse any formalities except in religious ceremony, refusing to be served. But, Hana was not about to make the Stoinian royalty regret inviting FiHami to their grand ball. Hana was on a mission, that mission being to re-establish long-lost ties with other nations. She did not want FiHami to come across as unstable and uncivilized, but as a civilized and peaceful society. Of course, the nationalists were making it difficult, but at least re-establishing ties with other nations as Finix had started doing a few years ago would help.

“This palace is very lovely, thank you for coming to greet us. I do bear gifts, as is the custom of my people.”

Hana gently put Finix on the ground, who then picked up a couple tins from the carriage, filled with FiHami’s most fragrant teas.

Ki ai’huah Panua.” Finix would quietly say, holding out the tins of tea as best as her little toddler hands could.

“This is Panua flower tea, harvested from my old home in the temple of the sun. It is the national flower of FiHami, and regarded as the finest tea the nation produces. I hope you enjoy it.”

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King Joshua had grown as a new friend to the Stoinian monarch. Ever since King Andrei made it his mission to help stabilise the troubled nation. A task he didn’t commit to alone as Prime Minister Vlaicu & Secretary-General Noica worked day and night to help build a stable future. Yet there were new tensions now as King Joshua was at the front of the recent escalation in the Mediterranean. King Andrei was surprised the exiled Spirasian King had accepted, though it wasn’t a great surprise. Andrei himself volunteered to defend the Spirasian Crown in the Civil War. Still bearing the scare to remember it.
As the royal entourage treaded out of the carriage, they revealed the marvellous dresses they were wearing. Of course the military uniform stood out. King Andrei wasn’t sure what to make of it, but he’d do anything to overt any interpretation that King Joshua had come to make a deterrent statement.
“Welcome, your majesty to Siraniu Palace. I hope we can prove our friendship through our friendly hospitality once more.” King Andrei greeted King Joshua, grasping the monarch’s hand with a firm grip. “And this must be the young heir,” He eyed to Joshua’s son “a pleasure to meet you, Prince Edward. Perhaps you may find a liking to spar with some of my sons during your stay here?”
While the female nobility greeted each other, King Andrei finally turned to the Spirasian King. Switching from Austral to Tarnese, emphasising even archaic forms of Tarnese language. Curious as to how the Spirasian royal family was doing and where there thoughts were. He wondered whether they were still clinging to a robbed fate or had found a new focus.
“I’m glad the seasons haven’t tarnished your health. How does your family fare these days? Still looking at the bygone dusk or to a new dawn?”
Meanwhile he signalled his youngest daughter Elena to move in the salted bread which was to be consumed upon arrival. A Tarnese tradition that survived the times and integral to Tarnese culture that it couldn’t be missed from the royal etiquette.

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The fall of monarchies was no secret to a longstanding Frastinian partner of Stoinia. However, they still had earned the respect of the Stoinian King and he was looking forward to meeting them. He had heard virtuous reports of the now Archduke Ikaros VIII. King Gianluca IV was another matter however. Royalty experts were more critical of Gianluca for his quirkiness. Yet King Andrei knew all too well what expectations thrusted upon someone young can do with them. He would try to make young lad feel at home as he likely was expecting for him to be overwhelmed by the many royalties to this ball. An aspect which might not have been so present during his reign.
“Die Frastiners sind gekommen…” King Andrei received his Frastinian guests, but his Queen wife gave him a stern elbow between the ribs. He’d made a mistake receiving the Archduke in Allman. “Welcome. I do hope your majesties can excuse the less tropical climate of Stoinia. Our lands have not been blessed the same manner by the cocoa gods. Please, have a piece of our Stoinian welcome.”
Then their youngest daughter, Princess Elena, waltzed in traditional Stoinian clothing. Carrying a plank of fresh bread marked with flower ornaments. On top of it, it had a small circle digged where a a cup filled with salt was put, meant to serve as a dip.

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The Dellm was a title of power in Sedunn. In Stoinia it was a title of friendship. The bonds between Sedunn & Stoinia were no secret as they had forged it over a short millenium. Choosing to cooperate as Bailtemmic brothers over and over again. So much so that the Stoinian always referred to the Sedunnic Dellm as Delmul cel demn. A little wordplay translating as the Dignified Dellm as it had sparkled many proverbs where the Dellm’s prestige was honoured.
“Ah, welcome Dellm Vimmru…” King Andrei received the Sedunnic family in a rather fluent Sedunnic “May mount Vetres ever watch over our eternal friendship.” He then switched to back to Austral. “I hope you don’t feel to improper for this ball. If anything, I can attest that family of the Dellm has perhaps a lesson or two the royalties of Pacifica may yet learn to master from you. Please have a little nibble as our way to say welcome.”
Princess Elena needed only a slight nod from her father to know what she had to do. Picking up a new plank of bread & salt, she put on her nicest smile as she dazzled joyfully towards Vimmru’s family.

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“Perhaps it something enjoyed when done by another girl. Your effort & attention to detail must however be commended.” Queen Melea replied Hana’s humble remarks.
The royal couple was however taken by surprise of the gifts. Of course it was expected some royalties might bring their own, but it was something uniquely Stoinian to take the role as a host dead serious. When guest brought gifts, it somehow rubbed King Andrei the wrong way. Ye he knew that gutted feeling was a fault of his own and not of his guests. He smiled and accepted the gift.
“Ki ai’hua Panua? Thank you for the thoughtful present. I fear we Stoinians are still behind regarding tea, but perhaps we finally have something to make the Peony jealous. We also have a small present of sorts, though it’s more of a nibble.”
He waved at his daughter Elena. Their young blonde was only 15 years old and had a smile to match her youthful enthusiasm. She wore traditional Stoinian attire of white, red & black. It was made of the finest traditional silks in Stoinia and woven with unique patterns worn only by the Stoinian royal family. Embroidered with motives of a lion instead of a heart, it truly was something befit of a Cuza.

Carrying a plank with a bread with flowers molded on it, King Andrei was sure FiHami had forgotten the intricate ways of Stoinia. On top of the bread was a small cup with salt meant as a dip. Princess Elena presented the bread to the FiHami delegation and gave the child a reassuring smile as the freshly baked bread was still warm. Just at the right temperature.
“A small nibble of bread & salt. A tradition we’ve kept from our Tarnian roots. It symbolises our friendly wishes as bread is our most holy food while the salt signifies the hopes to a long friendship as eternal as the sea.”

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”Good evening, King and Queen Cuza.”

An orthodox monarchy like Stoinia would normally have been the kind of nation that the Kingdom of Pelinai could easily maintain a cordial relationship with. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out that way. Most of the Pelinese government and people alike hated and mistrusted the “oligarchic and imperialistic” Concordia Entente, and the Pelinese Armed Forces’ general staff have been preparing to crush a “peacekeeping operation” from the alliance since the day that it was founded. As a result of its membership in the CE, and Pelinai’s standing problems with Sedunnic and Sunrise Triad economic dominance in the Mediterranean, Pelinai’s view of Stoinia defaulted to being gelid and hostile. Stoinia, on its end, was probably irritated at Pelinai for, among other things, its heavy militarization of the Golden Strait and for threatening Mediterranean trade by turning the western Mediterranean into a war zone.

Stoinia is likely to remain agitated at least until after the Six-Hour War is officially ended by the delegations in Atlantis. Until then, it would likely be best to keep any interactions with Stoinian royals as brief and few as possible in order to avoid any confrontations.

”Thank you for inviting me to this ball of yours. I brought a gift for you, if you do not mind receiving it.”

Izumi then held up a bottle of Pelinese Red Wine. It was a type of mulled wine that was used in Pelinayaka religious ceremonies, and was therefore almost completely dealcoholized; its ABV was usually between 0.3% and 0.5%.

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“It’s a pleasure, and I see you’ve noticed the my dress uniform. Well, My wife insisted I wear something else, but my only other suit is currently at the radiated palace in Starton.” Joshua adjusted his collar on his navy blue uniform, with his 2 medals proudly showing, and the gold woven throughout. He was wearing a traditional military cap, with a gold anchor in the center of the cap. His son, meanwhile, was intrigued by Andrei’s question. “I might, if my over protective mother would allow it.” He made sure to emphasize overprotective to make sure his mother heard it. The Spirasian King in Exile, spoke in his Spirasian dialect.
“Ah, if it isn’t the Tarnian Lion himself. We have moved on from the 80’s and I have forgiven the Communists in Spiras, well, the moderates at least, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t have royal duties, I am technically in charge of House Territory Dinkle, which is home to many Royalists from the civil war. Many of them I believe are civilians your unit rescued and managed to evacuate.”
The Spirasian king gladly took a piece of the salted bread, not because he was hungry, but instead for tradition. Joshua and Edward would also end up taking a piece as a sign of goodwill.

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The Kaiser of Weisserstein, Wilhelm II, arrived in Stoinia alongside almost his entire family, the Imperial and Royal House of Lichtenburg-Hohenzollern. Everyone from his two siblings, his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, and his nephews and nieces, were invited to attend the Royal Siraniu Ball. Other members of the House of Lichtenburg-Hohenzollern, mostly the cadet branches of the House, also attended the Ball. All dressed in the fanciest royal attire one could expect from the Imperial Republic.

Besides the Kaiser’s own kin and blood, the other royal dynasties in Weisserstein, from the House of Wittelsbach to the House of Stauffenberg-Sigmaringen, were also invited to attend, bringing perhaps one too many nobles to the ball on Weisserstein’s side.

As the family approached Siraniu palace, the Kaiser remains in awe of the architectural wonders of Stoinia, its culture and people had always been something the Kaiser looks to. He had always wanted to visit Stoinia with his family for a relaxing vacation.

His youngest grandson, Prince Leopold, looked excited to see the horse-drawn carriages, more so when he found out he’d be riding in one, the prince sat on the lap of the Kaiser throughout the entire journey, talking nonstop about horses throughout the entire ride. His second-youngest grandson, Prince Friedrich Oskar, seemed less interested with the horse and more towards his phone, where he plays as a governor fighting against insurgents, a game the Kaiser felt the Sugovians would be quite familiar with. His third-youngest grandson, Prince Maximilian, was listening to soothing classical music through his earphones, although only putting one of the earphones on his ear to make sure he could hear whenever his elders spoke to him. His other children and grandchildren mostly rode on the other carriages.

As the Imperial Family arrived at the Siraniu palace, the Kaiser, carefully supported by his three sons, stepped out of the carriage, not forgetting to say his gratitude towards the driver. The Imperials fixed their clothing, the princes wore their heraldic orders and iron crosses. The princesses fixed their elegant gowns.

As they prepare themselves, two princes discuss a little wardrobe issue.

“Surprised to see you wear something formal for once,” says prince Alexander Wilhelm, son of the Crown Prince and the Kaiser’s grandson

“Eh, wanted to wear something else, but thought about it for a second and decided to use this as an opportunity to look royal. But forgot my heraldic order tho.” says prince Wilhelm Emanuel, grandson of the Kaiser’s brother and the Kaiser’s grandnephew.

“Don’t worry 'bout that, I happen to bring a spare.”

“Thanks, Alex, you’re a life-saver.”

With everything set, it is now time to enter the palace.

Gott mit uns , the Kaiser says to himself.

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“I deeply appreciate the gift.” Hana respectfully dipped her head. “I must thank you for inviting us to the ball, I know it must have been quite the shock to the Stoinians when FiHami went completely silent all those years ago. I do hope we can re-establish the ties we once had.”

Hana would then face Queen Melea, her face still a little hot from the high praise.

“I do appreciate your words of praise as well. May Ha’Fi-nix continue to bless you.”

By this point Finix would have gotten bored from hearing the adults talk, and with her “royal duty” done, she would instead look around the garden, admiring all the plants and trees. As curious as she was, she would not leave Hana’s side, choosing instead to hold onto the skirt of Hana’s dress.

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First Ikaros, then Gianluca and at last Parthena took each a piece of bread and dipped it into the salt. “Thank you, we will enjoy this”, the still-in-name King Gianluca IV replied to his host and took a bite of the bread. Just like it looked from the outside, it was white bread. Inferior bread from a Gianlucian perspective, after all the Frastinians overall, but especially the Gianlucians are known for having more than a hundred, probably way more, types of bread made out of every type of grain imaginable, some cultivated domestically, some imported. That thought mixed with having way too much salt on his tongue, made it a challenge for Gianluca to not make a face in any way, but he passed that challenge.
Ikaros and Parthena on the other hand looked even quite joyful after taking the bite and took a second one right after it. “I guess a maritime culture makes you more resistant to saltiness”, were Gianluca’s thoughts.

As Andrei and Melea were turning towards other guests and Elena also had the job to tend other high dignitaries, the three Frastinians made their way into the palace. “My palace in Atlantis is still pretty big, Königspalast is too, but this…Quite extravagant! Reminds me of our vacation castles in the countryside, don’t you think so too, Parthena?”, Ikaros let his thoughts wander around. “I quite like this kind of architecture. Too bad we won’t be able to build something inspired by this anymore…”, Parthena answered. “It’s not all about size though. It’s what you do with the space and especially: Who sits in it”, Gianluca brought up. “Quite true…”, Parthena agreed with an unnerving look at the young royal.
While Ikaros and Parthena gently stepped towards the main hall of the palace, Gianluca took an unexpected turn into an aisle full with paintings. His curiosity about the Cuza family, a long-standing royal family he doesn’t know much about, has drawn him here and he was set to spend at least a few more minutes into figuring out the general history and reigning style of his hosts.

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The King & Queen were intrigued and both of them smiled at the Pelinese Queen. As King Andrei received the bottle of Pelinese red wine and studied it, Queen Melea gave the signal to her youngest daughter. Princess Elena to bring a fresh bread. The bread had Stoinian ornaments on it and a sip of salt put in it.
“Please enjoy a nibble of our bread & salt. It’s a tradition to share these with our guests.” Queen Melea said while taking the initiative and breaking the first piece.
Princess Elena then turned towards Queen Izumi and welcomed her with an innocent girlish smile. As the Queen took a nibble of bread and dipped it in salt, King Andrei signalled a Royal Guardsmen. Dutifully, the Guardsman brought a small navy blue box and gave it to the King.
“We too have a gift for you.” King Andrei added.
He slowly opened the box, revealing a fountain pen of unique make. It was shining with both silver & gold and decorated with Stoinian traditional patterns. These were pens only issued by the Stoinian Royal family and among the rarest pens of Pacifica.
“A token of friendship and a not so subtle invitation to become penpals.” the King remarked with a welcoming smile.

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