St. Kaschivus of the Fifth Circle
This Year: A Lecture on the First Year of the Angirisian EmpireSurvival is the primary goal of every region. If it cannot survive, it ceases to exist and vanishes into the oblivion of the NationStates boneyard. Regions, and nations alike follow the same trend if they're not fit for the winter. They lose activity and die. As brutal as it is, these are the mechanics of the game. No region or nation exist for long if nobody is there to keep it alive. It is not an easy path for a region without a majority of its foundations in place, but by no means of fortune, the Angirisian Empire has survived its first year.
On the 20th of March 2017, Aerandarial Anakinexi founded the Angirisian Empire.
I recently asked two of the 'Original Four' about the origin of the region. For those that do not know, the four were the minds behind the region. Aerandariel Anakinexi told me that "We all came together from the region of Equinox to form a new region, to basically strike out on our own." The four were Aerandarial Anakinexi, Jewdroid, Liam, and Pention. Pention has since left the Empire.
Furthermore, the origin of the name of the region is also quite interesting. Aerandariel commented that the name "comes from the main RP nation I played as in the Eternity roleplaying region. In a sense, what the Angirisian Empire in that world would have looked like is what the actual NS region became."
One of the Emperor's first actions was to establish policy on raiding and defending. His stance was "to remain, forthwith, wholly impartial in regards to the matters of Raiding and Defending warfare." This is important historically due to its implications on the potential for involvement in military gameplay. I do consider this a wise move on his part, as the region is young and will need experience before partaking in any military activities.
Whilst our capacity as a region to participate in R/D gameplay is limited inasmuch as this policy, I'd like to think that it's not permanent. I'm hopeful that the current, or future, generations of Angirisians do not view this policy as an ever binding agreement to abstain from all military activities. It is an area of the game with a brilliant potential to enable regional growth and outreach that simply cannot be ignored. In the current political climate of the region, I'm fine with abstaining from military gameplay until we have established the foundations upon which all else can be created. Then we can begin to take the steps necessary to getting started with R/D gameplay. Though ultimately, I do not know what the fate of the Angirisian Empire will be in terms of its military ambitions. It may become defender, raider, both, or none, after me. I do not know what it will want.
Another important aspect of the region had been created on the same day; namely, the forums. Not only did the creation of the forums blossom additional bureaucratic processes, but it vastly expanded the opportunities and capabilities of the region to execute its purpose and function as a community. This is certainly a turning point.
A few days later, the Emperor announced another policy: the Rights of the Citizens. This was an especially important policy because it laid out the definitive, 'unalienable' rights of every Angirisian citizen before the region had even begun its first growth. Rights are the most important freedoms a person can have as a member of a region. So it was wise for the Emperor to have established them when he did; sooner is better than later when it comes to the rights of the Angirisians.
The Emperor created multiple 'councilor' positions, akin to ministers or secretaries. This indicated the intention to form a proper government. We have seen a variety of different people take Councilor positions, be relieved of them, throughout this past year. Whilst we have utilised the various ministries as branches of the government, I am not going to consider any cabinet an official one until the Imperial Council is confirmed as part of a ratified constitution. Until then, every cabinet that has or will exist before the first constitution, or Imperial Code, did not have powers vested in regional law.
What pushed the region into great action was the Convention on Civil Government. The Emperor began this in June last year. It aimed to "begin the long process of planning out the future of the Angirisian Empire." It was the catalyst for change, and it largely helped bring the region into a well-needed discussion. This sure was a brilliant way of deciding where the region wanted to be and why it wanted to be there.
The Emperor outlined three core aims of the convention: He firstly said he did "not want in any shape or form to be left with any significant political authority over the Imperial government." Secondly, he wanted the region to "have an elected executive and legislative branch of government, with a deep system of checks and balances." And finally, he wanted us all to "ensure Angirisian neutrality and implement standing and future Imperial policies into whatever constitution or code we adopt."
The Convention saw immediate interest and proved the members of the region wanted to assist in the success and growth of the region, which was promising.
Not soon after the Convention began, the Emperor set out a possible outline for a constitution. The outline features bicameral legislature, a double court, and other prominent possibilities. Unfortunately, the dialogue lost the fire it had upon its creation and died out. The Emperor ordered its closure and, for four months, it laid dormant. This was at a time when the region had not seen such a high population before, comfortably plateauing at around 38 nations.
A couple of days later, the Emperor issued a new policy to "create some resemblance of a Government headed by the Emperor." The Emperor knew that the region needed some sort of governance, and that was definitely a good sign. I vastly respect Aerandariel for his intent on establishing a formal government instead of vesting all of the available power in himself and rendering every other facet of potential governance null and void. It was a wise choice, and it was what originally inspired my openness of the region's potential when I first joined.
Ten days after this, the Emperor established his penultimate policy: the Imperial Policy Regarding Embassies. The policy was the first sign of an interest in serious diplomacy between the Angirisian Empire and the rest of the NationStates world. Once again, another massive milestone. This stepping stone was one that took the region further than any other, simply due to its importance in regional identity. The Empire know acknowledged possible relations with other communities. It had learnt to use its eyes and look for others like itself. Most certainly a key policy in the history of the Empire.
The population of the region after this began to decline for the first time. It dropped to 18 in September of 2017. For the most part, nobody had any inclination to contribute to the growth of the region. The region was devoid of active leadership. The population kicked back up again during October, reaching 39 nations, attributed to the recruitment efforts of the Councilor of Recruitment at that time, Neon Heights (or Rave.) However, this growth did not last. The region came to a standstill once more and dropped back all the way down to 15 nations in mid-January of 2018.
Before the fluctuation of the population, the Emperor announced his last Imperial Policy. The Imperial Policy Regarding Roleplaying Administration. It set out the guidelines for the administration of roleplay. Whilst it was the first official acknowledgement of a need to moderate roleplay within the region, it was never implemented and utilised according to the purpose it had been given by the policy. The current condition of roleplay within the Empire shall be covered later in this lecture.
The end of the month of October brings us to my arrival.
The first Imperial Prime Minister, Jazzy Land (Jewdroid), had resigned and had assumed her previous ceremonial position as Empress Regent. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vaithes, had been recalled by the Emperor. It seemed there were many holes in the government that I knew I could help fix. So...
I joined the Empire's Discord server on the 23rd of November 2017. I can't find the exact date I joined the region in-game, but I'd assume it'd be on the same day. Whilst I was on Discord, I extensively spoke with various members of the region at the time about how everything worked and how things could be improved. I think it came as a shock to the Emperor, who I had originally contacted about their position as a Senator in Equinox (this was about something unrelated to the Empire) when I began to quite heavily suggest ways that the region could be improved. I must admit, I did not hold back when it came to what I thought was not working and what I thought would work.
When I joined, the region was at the start of a two-month population dip caused by the aforementioned lack of interest in contributing to regional improvement and growth. In other words, not enough people cared about the region, or its future, to help. But when I moved into the region and familiarised myself with the community, my perception of the region changed. I saw a region with great potential, held back by that lack of care. I saw an Emperor, Empress, and a few others who wanted the region to do well, but neither had seen that it was legitimately possible by the time I arrived. The Emperor and I spoke at length about the region, and about what we thought could work.
A day after I joined the regional Discord server, I made a post in the Convention on Civil Government after the Emperor reopened it. I made my thoughts clear on a range of topics, from the legislature to the courts, to roleplay, and the Imperial Council. I tried to start the fire once more. I stirred and waited for a reaction. On the same day, the Emperor responded. A discussion had begun. From that discussion, we got motivation. From that motivation, we got action. From that action, we got change. It was the start of everything. A new era.
The convention was far more active throughout December. More people were engaged and prepared for the changes to come. On January the 16th, I was appointed as the second Imperial Prime Minister of the Angirisian Empire, and I was given the "full power to act as head of government as well as a forum administrator."
The Emperor also said: "I have also decided to transfer the vast majority of my powers as to him, as it was always intended to happen eventually. He will now be the primary leader of this Empire," continuing on, he said "Though he has been with us for a short time, I am confident that Kaschivus will do a fantastic job. It was he who helped spur renewed interest in the Convention on Civil Government and it was he who has provided considerable insight and advice to me and other members of the government on many matters. It is these reasons which I give him a mandate to act and a mandate to lead."
And what was the result of the convention? This. The Initial Outline of the Imperial Code. This was something I had been waiting to see for since I joined. The promise of putting together the most important document in the history of the region. The zenith of our collective desire for success. It was our time now to do what must be done. But before that could be done, I had some housekeeping to do as the new Imperial Prime Minister.
I made a series of changes to the forum as soon as I was made a Forum Administrator. I thought to make these changes if nobody else will, and so I did. I'd like to believe rather small changes have much larger impacts, so I blew the dust from the shelves, tidied here and there, organized as much as I could, and eventually, things were looking better. I won't bore you all with the trivialities of administrating a forum, but at least now we knew where everything belonged, so that's what mattered most to me.
With the forum (mostly) dealt with, I looked to the ministries behind the government. It became apparent that there was work that needed doing, and I was going to be the one that did most of that work. As soon as I could, I established three programs. One for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one of the Ministry of Culture, and one for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Each of these programs outlined the minimum for what I wanted each ministry to have done by the end of the year. I have spoilered them below so you can see what I had planned for each ministry.
Contents of the ProgramRecruitment
- Writing an updated:
- Recruitment telegram for new nations;
- Recruitment telegram for refounded nations;
- Welcoming telegram.
- Recruitment telegram for new nations;
- Setting up an API recruitment system for the region with a general recruitment TG.
- Continuing our recruitment drive through telegram stamps.
- Aiming for 10k sent each month.
- Advertising the region through the NS forums (via an Embassy thread) in the Gameplay subforum.
- Writing a 'Welcome to the Angirisian Empire' megathread;
- Writing a Frequently Asked Questions thread;
- Improving outreach to newly moved nations through RMB posting, encouragement of the forums, Discord, and roleplaying.
- Open dialogues between the experienced and inexperienced through the forums, Discord, telegrams, or any other suitable means of communication to offer a more personal method of learning about the region without having to read too much.
Contents of the ProgramEmbassies
- Outline the standards for accepting embassies;
- Establish embassy protocol;
- Search for new diplomatic opportunities with regions of interest;
- Establish forum embassies, if agreed upon, with our embassies;
- Keep an open dialogue with every or as many embassies as possible.
- Set up diplomatic applications;
- Set up diplomatic training manuals, guides, and tutorials;
- Decide on how diplomats will be distributed to our embassies;
- Establish guidelines/rules for diplomacy with other regions in the interests of the region.
- Establish procedure for handling ambassadorial forum membership;
- Advertise to embassy regions about forum embassies/relations;
Contents of the ProgramCommunication
- Establish a regional news outlet, perhaps named the Imperial Scroll, or something similar;
- Ensure the Regional Message Board is active and encourage discussion through liking posts and responding;
- Plan regional surveys, polls, and other outreach/marketing/research strategies.
- Plan for one-year anniversary festival w/ embassy/allied regions;
- Represent the region when attending other events in the NS world;
Evidently, these programs have had a positive effect on each of the ministries in its own way, by providing clear, attainable goals. I will not go into any more detail about how each of the ministries has improved because I think the quote above does a well enough job of that. However, I can say one more than in relation to the ministries: We are far from finished with these programs. We still have so much further to go before we can say these programs have completely worked. Only time will tell.Foreign Affairs now has an Ambassadorial Corps to facilitate foreign relations and is more capable of broadening the diplomatic prospects of the Empire. The ministry has widened our diplomatic outreach through forum embassy requests, distribution of notices and newspaper articles, and dialogue with foreign communities.
Internal Affairs has ushered in the next generation of Angirisians and continues to do so going forward. Our recruitment program has shown great success and now uses much better methods of recruitment, which leaves improved retention as the primary focus, as it is paramount to retain the nations that decide to join the region.
Culture is the life of the Empire, the ministry that aims to bring out the best in all Angirisians. The main goal of Culture has been ensuring that the Imperial New Year Festival runs smoothly and planning game/film nights for all to enjoy to create a closer community and a better overall sense of unity.
One area of the region that I really wanted to work on was roleplay. It is important to have a good roleplay scene. I recently established the Angirisian Roleplayers' Guild to act as the moderation group for roleplay as a whole and to provide a collective group for those with the common interest of roleplay to join and to communicate with one another. We've seen a spike in roleplay interest, with my new roleplay Terra Angirisia. I have organized the forums so that roleplay can operate in its own category, with its own subcommunity, with its own rules. It needs air to grow and become what I know it can be.
Diplomacy has been vastly reformed and improved during my tenure in addition to the improvements made in other areas specific to the three current ministries. Three in-game embassies have been opened and three closed, diplomatic procedure now exists, our foreign outreach is developing at a faster rate than we have ever seen before, and we're not even getting started.
But what now? Where we go as a community from here?
Well, let me tell you what I think.
Recruitment momentum needs to be maintained. It is our recruitment and retention efforts that will harvest the most success in the long run. One excited new face can change the entire course of the region. This is something that cannot be forgotten, lest we regret it. Retention efforts should include more useful resources for beginners, regular TGs, an active RMB, and anything else that makes new Angirisians see what is good about the region.
I do believe we should explore the possibility of regional involvement in raiding and defending gameplay, but in time, and when we know for sure that we'll be able to do so properly and responsibly.
Our diplomatic program should be expanded steadily, with relations being carefully monitored and cultivated. We do not want hundreds of useful embassies. We want a dozen strong, active ones. We want allies and friends, so we must be vigilant and attentive rather than reckless and unfocused. As the quote goes: "You shall know a person by knowing his friends." It applies to NationStates. You shall know a region by knowing their allies.
The region must change analogous to the ratification of the first Imperial Code (constitution). This is an absolute must. The decisions of the legislature should never be ignored. Nothing and nobody should be above the laws we pass. Every Angirisian is subject to them and shall be innocent beneath them. Corruption should be stamped out anywhere it is found with tremendous force and vehemence. The Empire should be inclusive, trustworthy, and safe.
The government should change in accordance with the desires and the needs of the region, whether that be the creation of a new ministry, or the dissolution of one, whatever it is, it should have the best interests of the region in mind.
I could go on, but I will leave the fate of this region up to those who inhabit it. I can only offer so much personal advice on this region's future.
I will let the words of the Emperor himself conclude this lecture.
"We look to this Second Era filled with hope and optimism for the future. A future where the Angirisian Empire stands atop the NationStates as the foremost beacon of light amongst the darkness. A future where the Angirisian Empire truly becomes the region we are destined to become: a destination for all nations, no matter the ideology, no matter the standing, no matter the power and influence, no matter their past or their destinies, that they will and can have a home and that the Angirisian Empire will forever be a single, great united Empire!"