The events and updates listed below are listed in chronological order, as they occurred and were reported by members of various international news agencies on location in Dignania. This site, maintained by the Royal News Service of Eastern Zartania, provides a comprehensive look into the on-going struggle in Dignania. Where possible, pictures and full articles are provided.

 Click here to see the personalities behind the news reports!

Nov-Dec News Reports

November 2, 299 AP

RNS News Update:

[broadcast in progress from the Royal News Service temporary broadcast center in Q'Leist, Eastern Zartania]

NEWS ANCHOR: ... And updating an earlier story, the Royal Zartanian Army this afternoon announced that the special ship carrying several hundred tons of deadly Vedexim gas to be destroyed has nearly reached the end of
its journey. The specially redesigned ship pictured here, formerly a fleet ammunition ship for the Imperial Navy, sailed from Spade Bay in Black Water last Tuesday, escorted by the destroyer HMIS Modena (D-18) and the frigate HMIS Bombardier (F-9).  Renamed ZS Brahfvo, after the ancient god of fire, the ship is loaded down with over 400 tons of Vedexim gas, which the Royal Army is removing from its active inventory. The ship was given a distinctive paint scheme in order to keep it from being attacked by enemy privateers, and to warn other ships to keep away. The warning precautions include the word "Danger" painted across the hull in both Rizne and Standard, the flying of a red danger flag at the fore, and the flying of the Eastern Zartanian red-and-black pennant aft. The convoy has kept to a very northern route, coming within just twenty miles of icebergs on more than a few occasions. According to the royal military, the three ships will be within the 200-mile territorial waters surrounding the Army's undisclosed "incinerator island" by mid-day tomorrow. ZS Brahfvo is expected to dock sometime Thursday evening. The docking will be followed by two days of offloading the chemical weapons, which will be catalogued by Royal Army personnel and taken to be destroyed in the island's underground incinerator. ZS Brahfvo, meanwhile, will be quarantined off the island's coast for a period of at least five days, during which the hull and holds will be thoroughly cleansed. After the quarantine ends, the ship will sail back to Spade Bay where it will be held in reserve until it's needed again for a similar mission. The Royal Army has not announced any plans yet for any further decrease in its chemical and biological weapons arsenal, but does not completely rule out that possibility.

In other news, several farmers in...

[end of broadcast clip]

November 3, 299 AP

RNS News Update: Vedexim gas

[Royal News Service broadcast already in progress from Q'Leist, Eastern Zartania, 16:30 ZST]

NEWS ANCHOR: In further military news, the Royal Zartanian Army and the Imperial Navy both confirmed today that ZS Brahfvo, the converted ammunition ship carrying out-dated Vedexim gas to be destroyed, has entered Eastern Zartanian territorial waters surrounding the Army's "incinerator island." According to sources in the Imperial Navy, the convoy reached the 200-mile territorial waters limit around 11:30 this morning Zartanian Standard Time. At that time, the two warships escorting ZS Brahfvo were ordered by the Royal Army to turn back and leave the waters around the island. Since the island is officially the property of the Royal Zartanian Army, the escorts had no choice but to comply. Fleet Admiral Mikail Indurii at the Admiralty in Claw Anchorage has reportedly expressed amazement and disbelief at the actions of the Army, and has said that he will confront General vun Orcton about the abruptness of it later today. The Royal Army has admitted that it considers the island to be a "sensitive installation," and all information about it has been classified. In fact, once within the
territorial waters around the island, all ships and airplanes not belonging to the Army are required to turn off all data-collecting devices, including radars and sonar equipment. There is some speculation within certain government circles that even the King himself is unaware of the details of the island, having been kept in the dark by the Army. Following the departure of the escorts, the Royal Army says that ZS Brahfvo is continuing on her projected course, and that radio contact with the crew has confirmed that the situation is normal and that all systems are operative.

    In a related event, General Erik vun Orcton, commander-in-chief of the Royal Army, announced today that he has decided not to allow observers from the other armed forces branches to witness the destruction of the
Vedexim gas as was previously agreed upon. Instead, a special unit of the Royal Zartanian Army will film the events leading up to and during the destruction of the gas. That film will later be made available to the other armed forces and to "select members of the Royal Council of Ministers." When asked why some members of the Council will apparently be excluded from watching the film, vun Orcton replied that "not all of them need to know the details, or see our facilities. Obviously not all members of the Council are equally important." Vun Orcton, when asked which members were likely to be excluded, named the Ministers of Science, Treasury & Commerce, and Foreign Relations, "among others."  The comments concerning Royal Council members provoked a strong reaction from several ministers, who feel that, in the words of Treasury Minister Andrew Sides, "if our ministries are important enough to be on the Council, we're important enough to watch the damn film!" Many people
were shocked that vun Orcton plans to exclude Foreign Minister Sir Randall Young from the film, since Sir Randall is widely considered to be one of the four most influential people in the current administration. There was no reaction on the general's comments from the Ministry of Foreign Relations. The other military branches and
their heads also expressed their shock and dismay at vun Orcton's apparent turnabout concerning observers. Said Commander-General Nikolas Vogle, commander-in-chief of the Royal Air Force, "This was a done deal. We had all talked it out, with the King present, beforehand.  Now, to go and make a move like this. It's a slap in the face to the rest of the military, and one that we're not going to take lightly."  Grand Admiral High General Rudolf Yuvan, commander of the Royal Armed Forces, was unavailable for comment on the issue, and a spokesman for
the Royal Family said that His Royal Majesty would not comment on it "until he has a chance to speak with the involved parties." We'll bring you more on this developing story as we get it.

[end news clip]

November 4, 299 AP

RNS News Update: Vedexim Gas (II)

[we join a Royal News Service news broadcast already in progress]

NEWS ANCHOR: And now an update on a continuing story. A spokesperson for Royal Zartanian Air Force commander, Commander-General Nikolas Vogle, said today that some "suspicious activity" has been monitored in
connection with the ship ZS Brahfvo, which is carrying several hundred tons of deadly Vedexim gas to be destroyed at a Royal Army base.  According to spokesperson Flight Lieutenant Natalie Karenter, an E-4 "Skywatch" radar surveillance plane was making a routine patrol just outside the territorial water limits of the Royal Army's "incinerator island." While passing by, the airplane's surface-search radar beams swept inside the restricted territorial limits, giving the crew a clear view of the situation up to 100 miles inside. Two radar contacts were
reported, one of which was positively identified as ZS Brahfvo, heading west at about 20 knots. The other contact, reported as being large and "similar to a merchant ship," was headed south at about 25 knots. The contacts' courses converged on the same point in the ocean. Then, according to radar data, the two ships heaved to alongside each other.  When this information was reported back to the E-4's home base, the base commander made Commander-General Vogle aware of the situation immediately. Orders were then sent to the E-4's crew to remain on station monitoring the situation, and that a TC-10 tanker aircraft was enroute to refuel them in flight. The two ships on the radar screens stayed motionless for more than two hours, then resumed their previous courses. Because the E-4 was low on fuel again by this time, it was not able to visually identify the unknown ship as it left Eastern Zartanian waters headed south. Likewise, the Imperial Navy was not informed of the incident in enough time to dispatch warships to intercept the unknown contact. The Royal Zartanian Army has not had any comment on this breaking story yet, except to say that the E-4's radar search was illegal, reiterating the privacy and sanctity of the island's territorial waters. General Erik vun Orcton, commander-in-chief of the Royal Zartanian Army, has reportedly said that he will take the matter personally to the King and demand "justice and satisfaction for the

[end news clip]

November 5, 299 AP

RNS News Update: Vedexim gas (III)

    The Royal Zartanian Army released an official statement today responding to yesterday's allegations from the Royal Zartanian Air Force that the ship ZS Brahfvo, carrying deadly chemical weapons, was actually "intercepted" by an unknown contact within the territorial waters of the Army's "incinerator island." ZS Brahfvo was carrying several hundred tons of Vedexim gas to be destroyed in the Royal Army's chemical and biological weapons incinerator after being retired from the Kingdom's weapons inventory. The incinerator is based on an island owned and administered by the Royal Army, in an undisclosed location.  Upon entering the island's territorial waters, the two escort warships of the Imperial Navy were forced to turn back for Eastern Zartania by the Army's security restrictions. ZS Brahfvo continued on by itself after that point, and was expected to dock late yesterday. However, an E-4 radar reconnaissance airplane from the Royal Air Force, flying a routine patrol near the island yesterday, picked up a suspicious radar contact in the vicinity of ZS Brahfvo. The two ships were seen (on radar) to heave to and sit motionless alongside each other for more than two hours before proceeding on their original courses. The second radar contact was not able to be visually identified by the Royal Air Force or the Imperial Navy. Today, however, the Royal Army released a statement saying that the ship that intercepted ZS Brahfvo was, in fact, a coastal patrol vessel operated by the Royal Army that was sent to check on the freighter's progress and escort it in. The Army refused, however, to give the name of the escort vessel or its commanding officer.

    The general reaction to the Army's statement seems to be one of disbelief and suspicion. Fleet Admiral Mikail Indurii, commander of the Imperial Zartanian Navy, reportedly was enraged by the Army's statement, and has demanded a meeting with General Erik vun Orcton, commander of the Royal Army, and Grand Admiral High General Rudolf Yuvan, commander of the Royal Armed Forces. Fleet Admiral Indurii has reportedly stated
that the Army has "no right to be operating warships of its own," and says that such action is in violation of the Joint Military Convention.  Commander-General Nikolas Vogle, commander of the Royal Air Force, on the other hand, has openly questioned the Army's statement, and denied is veracity. Said Commander-General Vogle early this afternoon, "It's obvious that they're hiding something. Our recon plane clearly recorded the second radar contact on a course to leave the island's territorial waters following its meeting with ZS Brahfvo. I'm actually surprised that they've put out such a juvenile cover story." When asked what he thought was going on, Vogle refused to elaborate.

    Meanwhile, RNS has learned that Grand Admiral High General Yuvan has called an emergency meeting at Royal Military Headquarters in Imperial City for this weekend. General vun Orcton, Fleet Admiral Indurii, and
Commander-General Vogle will all be in attendance. Many people expected His Royal Majesty to be invited to attend the meeting as well as is customary, but, surprisingly, no invitation has been sent to the Imperial Palace. There is no word yet from the Palace as to the King's reaction to this evolving scenario. We'll bring you more on this story as the information comes to us.

November 7, 299 AP

ALB: Foreign Policy confirmed November 7, 1588 (Alb. Cal.)

TO: All Nations of Vexillium
FROM: Foreign Ministry, Empire of Albion-Merité

    I am most pleased to announce to all the nations of the world that His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Maximilian II, has finally given his full approval to the proposed Albionish foreign policy. Several residences have also been set aside in Tabrik to be used as embassies by those foreign states that will choose to accept diplomatic relations with
Albion. The emperor and I have also approved the empire's new diplomatic seals, displayed here for the first time. Both the consulate seal and the embassy seal are charged with the imperial colors, the name of the state, and part of the imperial arms.

    In the first phase of the empire's foreign policy, the Albionish government wishes to extend full diplomatic recognition to the following states, including the exchange of diplomatic missions: the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania, the Cooperative Commonwealth of the Union of Northern Gronk, the Kingdom of Christiana, the Republic of Ulanova, and the Czardom of Kzanikstan. Following the completion of Phase 1, the Foreign Ministry will proceed to extend diplomatic relations to those nations included in Phase 2. For now, we look forward to hearing back from
those governments listed above. Please contact the Foreign Ministry here in Tabrik to work out the details of the diplomatic recognition and exchange. Thank you.

Lord Mercutio Aehrenthal
Foreign Minister
Empire of Albion-Merité

November 11, 299 AP

KTZ-ALB Diplomatic exchange

On behalf of His Royal Majesty, King Bruno II, I bid greetings to the Empire of Albion-Merité.

    Your message of November 7 has been received here in Imperial City with great enthusiasm.  I delivered the message to His Royal Majesty personally, and he has asked me to once again extend his heartfelt congratulations to your new state.  We are most pleased to receive your government's official diplomatic recognition, and we will be happy to exchange ambassadors.  A residence has already been set aside for the Albionish embassy on the Avenue of Nations in Imperial City, Kingdom of Eastern Zartania, and awaits your diplomatic staff.  HRM has appointed
Rachel Correl has Eastern Zartania's ambassador to Albion-Merité.  She and her staff will be arriving by ship as soon as your foreign ministry gives clearance.  Our diplomatic seal is sent with this message as a goodwill gesture, to be displayed as you see fit.  The Albionish embassy seal is already being displayed in the lobby of the Ministry of Foreign Relations Building with the seals of the other states with whom our Kingdom entertains diplomatic relations.  Again, congratulations on your successes, and we look forward to hearing from you again.

May Honor and Glory grace the Empire of Albion-Merité for Eternity.

Sir Randall Young, K.K.
Foreign Minister, KTZ
on behalf of His Royal Majesty, King Bruno II vun Q'Leist

DATE: 12 November 1588 (Alb. Cal.)
TO: The United Nations of Vexillium
FROM: Foreign Ministry, Empire of Albion-Merité

    After consultations with the Foreign Ministry, Emperor Maximilian II has instructed me to contact the UNV Assembly and General Secretary to announce that the Empire of Albion-Merité officially requests an observer seat within the UNV. While we are as yet unsure of the usefulness of this organization, its use as a conduit for contact with other states cannot be denied. Therefore, the Albionish government wishes to join as an observer. If this is satisfactory, the emperor will appoint our official ambassador early next week.

Lord Mercutio Aehrenthal
Foreign Minister
Empire of Albion-Merité

November 15, 299 AP

RNS Breaking News!

TORQUEMIN: Good evening.  I'm Cynthia Torquemin, RNS, coming to you live from our temporary broadcast center in Q'Leist with some late-breaking news.

    This morning, spokespersons for the Royal Government and the military confirmed that an Eastern Zartanian ship has come under aerial attack off the coast of Thistland, northwest of Kalesthesia.  The ship that was
attacked was ZS Explorer, and oceanographic research vessel owned and operated by the Ministry of Science.  According to the Ministry, the ship was on a mission to chart the underwater ridges in the strait between the
continent of Nuarmia and its eastern neighbor.  ZS Explorer was outside the twelve-mile territorial waters limit recognized by the Kingdom, and flying a government ensign demonstrating its civilian ownership with the Ministry of Science.  Fleet Admiral Mikail Indurii, commander of the Imperial Zartanian Navy, had this to say about the attack.

[switch to recorded footage of Fleet Admiral Indurii at a press conference]

INDURII: In an unprovoked attack on a ship owned and operated by a civilian ministry in the Eastern Zartanian government, two Thistlandic warplanes launched three anti-ship missiles at our research ship in international
waters.  The two airplanes were identified both visually and on radar as being from the Thistlandic air force.  Sources aboard the research ship indicate that the attacking planes appeared to be variants of the "Echo" fighter currently being used by the United Brotherhood of Dignania in that country's civil war.  We are currently investigating the possibility of a connection between the UBD and the Thistlandic government that would explain such a similarity in aircraft.

    The research vessel ZS Explorer, as with all government-owned and operated ships, is armed with some small anti-air defenses, and missile countermeasures in order to protect the property of the Crown.  The ship's
crew used these countermeasures to decoy off two of the missiles.  The third was a near miss, exploding in the water just 60 yards from the ship's hull.  Moderate damage was done to the hull below the waterline, four crewmen were injured, and one killed when his skull was punctured by a bolt in the hull that was blown out by the explosion.  The captain of the ship, seeing himself, his ship, and his crew in mortal danger, ordered the fire returned.
Six surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) were fired from the ship's forward launcher, depleting its ordinance.  The missiles destroyed one enemy fighter, and so damaged the other that it had to turn back and break off its
attack.  The wreckage of the downed plane fell in international waters, and boats from Explorer recovered most of it, including the body of the pilot.

    The initial analysis of those materials and the body by the Tal Shiyr agent accompanying the mission, showed that the pilot was, in fact, Zartanian:  34-year old Edward Kapeg, who was exiled from the Kingdom eleven years ago as a member of the MCZ.  This evidence seems to indicate that at least some of the MCZ exiles found new homes for themselves in Thistland.  Also recovered among the wreckage were parts of Kapeg's orders and military
plans.  Those plans, along with all of the wreckage recovered and Kapeg's body, are being flown by helicopter from ZS Explorer to an undisclosed location, where they will be brought immediately to Eastern Zartania for evaluation.

[picture switches back to Torquemin, sitting at the news desk]

TORQUEMIN: Fleet Admiral Indurii went on to call the attack "dastardly" and "a direct threat to the security of this state."  A spokeswoman for the Royal Family has said that His Royal Majesty is extremely concerned of the
incident off Thistland, and an emergency session of the Royal Council of Ministers was called for 11:00 this morning ZST.  It is unclear as yet how the government will react to the attack on the research ship, but most people feel confident that the government must take a strong stand or face similar actions from other so-called "rogue countries" around the world.  We 'll bring you more on this breaking story as it becomes available.  Reporting from the RNS Temporary Broadcast Center in Q'Leist, I'm Cynthia Torquemin.

November 19, 299 AP

RNS Headline News: KTZ Shipping News

Kingdom to Begin Outfitting Merchant Ships to Deal with Privateers

IMPERIAL CITY (RNS) - The Ministry of Public Information & Customs announced today that Eastern Zartanian merchant ships are now being outfitted with guns. The announcement came after several days of discussions between His Royal Majesty, the Ministry of Treasury & Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and the Imperial Navy.  Those discussions were prompted by the continuing attacks upon Eastern Zartanian merchant ships by UBD, MCZ, and Lendian privateers and commerce raiders, and by the recent attack upon a government research vessel by Thistlandic warplanes. Beginning this weekend, all Eastern Zartanian-flagged merchant ships that put into a port in the Kingdom or its possessions will be refitted to carry one 6-inch naval gun on its forward deck and another aft. The Imperial Navy has said that it fully supports the move since it has been stretched thin lately trying to protect all of the Kingdom's merchant ships. In further support of the action, HRM said that "everyone has a right to defend themselves, especially the merchant shipping force. They're vital to the survival of the people, as well as the state, and they need to be protected. If they're going to be targeted by the enemy, then they need to be able to shoot back." The Royal Government contends that the relatively small caliber and number of the deck guns is indicative of their defensive purpose, but some merchant captains are worried about carrying such weapons on their ships. "It makes us a legitimate target now," said one such captain. The Ministry of Foreign Relations has said that it does expect some diplomatic fallout to result from this decision, but says that other governments should "put themselves in our situation, and think about the actions they'd take." In all, more than 120 Eastern Zartanian merchant ships have been lost to enemy naval activity since the beginning of the Kingdom's intervention in the Dignanian Civil War in March. The Imperial Navy, who is overseeing the arming of the
merchant vessels, expects to have more than 150 merchant ships refitted by the end of the year.

A Eastern Zartania merchant ship outfitted with deck gun

-taken from the RNS news wire

November 29, 299 AP

Nov 29

Subject: Tabitha Regional Pact
 From: Randy Young

The following pact regarding the future of the former Gronkian region of
Tabitha has been signed and ratified by the undersigned parties, and is
brought to you as a courtesy of the Eastern Zartanian Ministry of
Foreign Relations:

The Kingdom of Eastern Zartania, the Federal Republic of Whitlam, the
Municipal Government of the Tabitha Region, and the United Nations of
Vexillium Committee on Collapsed Nations, having great concern for the
future of the Tabitha Region and its People and recognizing that the
Government of Northern Gronk has failed in its duties and obligations to
the Region and its People, hereby agree to leave the decision concerning
the Region's future to the leadership of the UNVCOCN, and further agree
to abide by that body's decision in its entirety.

For Eastern Zartania: Sub-Colonel James Ekinop, RZA
For Whitlam: Major Anthony Wright
For Tabitha: Zemchek Odrago, acting mayor
For UNVCOCN: Séamus O'Dea, Chairman

Dec 1

Subject: UNVCOCN Tabitha decision
 From: Randy Young

Following the signing and ratification of the Tabitha Regional Pact by
all involved parties, the UNVCOCN has reached a decision regarding the
future of the city of Tabitha and the surrounding region.

1) All lands shaded in bright purple on the attached map, which were
ceded to the Cooperative Commonwealth of the Union of Northern Gronk by
the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania in the Second Tabitha Treaty (Jan. 299),
are hereby returned to Eastern Zartanian administration. It is the
belief and decision of the UNVCOCN that the government of Northern Gronk
has defaulted in its obligations toward the people of that region.
Since the government of Eastern Zartania has shown compassion and a
willingness to help those outside its borders in need of help, as well
as the fact that the lands and people once belonged to Eastern Zartania,
that territory and people will be best served under the Eastern
Zartanian government.

2) The lands shaded in dark blue on the attached map, including the city
of Tabitha, which were ceded to the Cooperative Commonwealth of the
Union of Northern Gronk by the Federal Republic of Whitlam in the First
Tabitha Treaty (Jan. 299), are hereby returned to Whitlamite
administration, for the same reasons expressed above.

3) It is clearly the will of the majority of the population of both the
city and region of Tabitha to secede from the Cooperative Commonwealth
of the Union of Northern Gronk. It is also the clear will of a large
segment of that population to return to the administrations under which
they lived prior to the Tabitha Treaties.

These decisions, to be enforced and abided by the signatories of the
Tabitha Regional Pact, will take full effect at 12:01AM, Thursday,
December 2, 299, local time. As of that moment, the Tabitha region will
cease to exist as the territory of Northern Gronk, and will revert to
Eastern Zartania and Whitlam. Likewise, all persons within those
territories wishing to remain will gain Whitlamite or Eastern Zartanian
citizenship respectively, and will cease to be citizens of Northern
Gronk. Those persons wishing to leave the territories will be free to
do so through "safe corridors" to the Gronkian border patrolled and
guaranteed by troops under UNVCOCN command.

The UNVCOCN would like to thank the people of Tabitha for giving us the
opportunity to once again serve Vexillium. We also wish to thank the
governments, citizens, and military forces of Whitlam and Eastern
Zartania for their outstanding cooperation and support in this
operation. The UNVCOCN will continue to observe the situation in
Tabitha for a period of ten days following tonight's deadline to insure
that all necessary steps are being taken to provide for the well-being
of the territory and the people. After those ten days, the UNVCOCN will
consider its mission in Tabitha as complete.

Marci Irvine
Secretary to the UNVCOCN Chairman

Dec 6
[vexillium] KTZ Takes Control in Tabitha Regi

                 NOMAR-TABITHA BORDER (RNS) - The Royal Government of Eastern Zartania
                 announced today that it has finished implementing its obligatory clauses
                 under the Tabitha Regional Pact.  According to Royal Council spokeswoman
                 Laura Belkin, the Eastern Zartanian government has finished taking full
                 possession of the part of the Tabitha Region granted it by the UNVCOCN.

                 "Royal Army units already operating in the region under the auspices of
                 the UNVCOCN were augmented over the weekend by several more regiments,"
                 said Ms. Belkin.  "We're working as hard as we can to meet with local
                 leaders in the region to try to form a civilian government to handle the
                 affairs of the region."

                 The Royal Army Police are currently charged with policing the stek-sized
                 region, which was part of the Kingdom until this previous January, when
                 it was ceded to Northern Gronk as part of the Tabitha Treaty.  Under
                 that treaty, the Kingdom gained what is now the stek of Rastal in the

                 The 1st, 9th, and 17th Regiments Royal Army Police will continue to
                 provide police service and protection to the region, enforcing Eastern
                 Zartanian civil law, until a civilian government can be formed under
                 which the Royal Police will operate.  In the interim, His Royal Majesty
                 has appointed Sub-Colonel James Ekinop Military Governor of the Tabitha
                 Region.  Ekinop will be responsible for overseeing the first stages of
                 the region's re-introduction to the Kingdom, and for establishing a
                 civilian government.  HRM has ordered that the region be governed as a
                 Royal Colony until such time as its final disposition can be decided.

                 According to Ms. Belkin, there are three options currently facing the
                 Royal Council of Ministers about the region's future.  One option would
                 see the region rejoined to the stek of Nomar, which it was broken from
                 in January.  Certain councilors, though, have opposed this plan,
                 pointing out that Nomar was compensated from the Skylands during the
                 redistricting of the steks in the spring.  A second option would require
                 the region to be administered as a colony for the next 18 months,
                 allowing a transition period and time to reflect before deciding its
                 ultimate future.  The third option, put forward by Interior Minister
                 Kestra Andrèv and the Stek Assembly Constable, would create a new stek
                 from the region, probably named "Tabitha."

                 HRM has said that he wants the Royal Council to make a decision on one
                 of these three options within the next two weeks, so that he can make
                 his final decision before the end of the year.  In the meantime, the
                 Royal Army continues to secure the region, and the people appear to be
                 happy with the UNVCOCN's decision, as red and black banners and bunting
                 are seen hanging from homes and buildings everywhere.

                 [printed in the "Imperial Palace Times-Record," Domestic Section,

Dec 6
Unrest Grows to West

                 BORDERTON, Skylands (VINO) - The border crossings are packed, lines
                 stretching to the west for nearly half a mile.  The airwaves are just as
                 crowded, as amateur radio operators talk of the tension.

                 Since Wednesday's decision by the UNVCOCN about the city of Tabitha and
                 its surrounding region, Eastern Zartanian citizens in neighboring
                 Northern Gronk have been flocking to the border crossings trying to get
                 home.  The relief on their faces when they step on Eastern Zartanian
                 soil is all too evident.  Officials in the Ministry of Public
                 Information & Customs, which operates the border crossings in
                 conjunction with the Royal Zartanian Army, say that they had expected
                 some people to try to get home after the announcement, but not nearly as
                 many as have showed up so far.

                 "We just weren't prepared for this," said Alexandre Pukyin, an
                 Zartanian customs official in the Skylands.  "It's like a constant flow
                 of people through here.  And there's so many of them that things are
                 moving slower than we expected.

                 "Yes, people get upset with us when we can process their papers fast
                 enough for them," Pukyin continued, "but they have to realize that
                 simply not prepared for this.  Everyone will get in, but not all at

                 Over the weekend, as the situation continued to grow along the border,
                 the Royal Army moved in two more regiments of infantry soldiers in a
                 show of force to try to keep the crowds from growing unruly.  It seems
                 to have worked to some extent, as the volume of the disquietude as
                 eased.  But all of the returning Zartanians have their stories of what's
                 going on on the other side of the border.

                 "It's just chaos over there!" exclaimed one woman, who asked to
                 anonymous.  "The government has completely lost control.  After the
                 Tabitha announcement, people waiting for the Gronkian government to do
                 something, to try to keep their territory.  But they did nothing.  We
                 were vacationing in Kras, and we heard some people talking about 'making
                 Zartanian bastards pay' and about the need for a government that will
                 take care of the country.  We got scared, and we left."

                 Others have similar stories along the border here.  Oskar Melding, a
                 banker from Fortress Princesa, said that he was in Capital when the
                 UNVCOCN announcement was made.

                 "When people realized that the government wasn't going to even
                 the decision, they just went crazy.  I saw at least two shops with
                 busted windows.  Police were all over the place.  It was scary!
                 Everyone was talking about rebellion and revenge.  They want revenge
                 against us all."

                 So far, no official word on any of this has been received from the
                 Gronkian government or Gronkian diplomatic officials in Imperial City.
                 The Northern Gronk embassy in Eastern Zartania has consistently refused
                 to comment on the situation, saying that "consultations with the
                 government" are required before they can say anything.

                 Amateur radio operators in the western steks of Eastern Zartania have
                 reported that their counterparts in eastern Northern Gronk are saying
                 much the same things as the returning citizens.  The area of Northern
                 Gronk directly adjoining Eastern Zartania has a large ethnically
                 Zartanian population, and is often referred to colloquially as "Western

                 Radio operators from that area have reportedly said that the Gronkian
                 civil government is beginning to lose control, with angry bands of
                 partisans roaming the streets.  The Royal Military and the Ministries of
                 Foreign Relations and Public Information & Customs stress that these
                 reports are as yet unfounded.  But Eastern Zartanian government
                 officials do admit that the reports worry them.  The Royal Government
                 has said that it is currently consulting with its allies in Whitlam and
                 Albion about the situation, and that all three are "concerned about the
                 reports from Northern Gronk."

                 Judging from the looks on the faces here at the border, they aren't the
                 only ones who are worried.

Dec 8

Trouble Grows in Gronk

                 EULOS, Northern Gronk (VINO) - Tension and public unrest continues to
                 grow here in Northern Gronk following the Gronkian government's seeming
                 inability to do anything to oppose the UNVCOCN's division of the Tabitha
                 Region between Eastern Zartania and Whitlam.

                 Small fights, not enough to be considered riots, have broken out in half
                 a dozen major cities across the country, as the people look for strong
                 leadership in the wake of several crises this year.  The government, for
                 its part, has withdrawn most of the army's prime frontline units into
                 the interior to help protect Capital, Eulos, and other major cities.
                 This, in turn, has left the fringes of the country in the hands of
                 partisan bands intent on "reforming" Northern Gronk back to a time
                 position of strength and power.

                 Northern Gronk's internal troubles began in January as a consequence of
                 the breakup of the former Merité.  With that country's collapse, just to
                 the west of Northern Gronk, the Gronkian army occupied almost one-third
                 of present-day Albion-Merité, claiming support from the local ethnic
                 Gronkian population.  Firm stands against this blatant imperialism by
                 Eastern Zartania, Whitlam, Bowdani, and others led to the Gronkian
                 government's decision to enter peace talks with Eastern Zartania and
                 Albion.  At the time, many Gronkians saw this as evidence of the
                 government's softness, unwillingness to stand up for their people, and
                 their utter willingness to bend to international bidding.

                 Following the Albionish conflict, Northern Gronk seemed to turn in on
                 itself for a time.  During the great drought this past summer, reports
                 came out of Northern Gronk of discrimination and persecution, brutal at
                 times, against ethnic Zartanians in the country's eastern reaches.
                 Reports cited certain local governments keeping ethnic Zartanians from
                 the local water and food supplies, as well as a few instances of actual
                 terror against Zartanians.

                 This summer also saw the first breaks in Northern Gronk's unified
                 facade.  The four countries comprising MESTO invaded and seized large
                 sections of the Gronkian colonies, such as Novoyoakes.  At the same
                 time, Islandia, through a popular local movement in the colony, gained
                 control of the Eastern Islands.  As a cap, the new state of Kzanikstan
                 was able to successfully secede from Northern Gronk, fighting off
                 seemingly half-hearted attempts by the Gronkian military to force their
                 return to the Cooperative Commonwealth.

                 With the failure of the government and military to hold the country
                 together, the tiny state of Sana Docetan was able to reassert its
                 independence without incident, even though it is still surrounded by
                 Northern Gronk proper.  The secession of the Tabitha Region, and its
                 division between Eastern Zartania and Whitlam by the UNVCOCN, is being
                 seen in Northern Gronk as simply a continuation of the government's
                 overall inability to function properly.

                 In that light, radical and reactionary fringe groups have been able to
                 garner popular support in the outlying areas of the country, attempting
                 to replace the hastily-retreating government forces.  Many of these
                 groups are backed by their own partisan militias, which they are using
                 to brutal effect to police their "districts."  Some have also vowed
                 take their revenge upon the Zartanian and Albionish states that they see
                 as having started and caused the downfall of their once-great state.

                 Unsubstantiated reports are being received daily of skirmishes along the
                 Albionish and Eastern Zartanian borders.  None of the involved
                 governments have admitted to any actual exchange of fire yet, and only
                 time will tell the full extent of the damage that the Gronkian state has
                 taken this year.

Dec 8

[vexillium] Vedexim Gas update

                 IMPERIAL CITY (ZNN) - Today's session of the Royal Council of Ministers
                 here in Imperial City, Eastern Zartania, was marked by mutual
                 recriminations among several of the council members, and a blunt refusal
                 of Royal Authority by the Army.

                 About midway through today's Council session, Foreign Minister Sir
                 Randall Young raised the subject of the Royal Army's destruction of
                 several hundred tons of Vedexim gas more than a month ago.  According to
                 the agreement first worked out for the destruction of the gas, the Army
                 would allow officials from the other military branches to observe the
                 destruction of the gas to ensure proper disposal.

                 However, with the arrival of the gas at the Army's undisclosed
                 "incinerator island," there was an abrupt about-face, as General
                 vun Orcton announced that no observers would be allowed.  Instead, a
                 Royal Army crew would film the destruction of the gas, to be shown later
                 to the other military commanders and His Royal Majesty, but excluding
                 most of the ministers.  The excluded ministers protested vigorously, but
                 no headway was made.

                 Today, Sir Randall again raised the issue, asking General vun Orcton why
                 the film had not even been delivered to those officials marked to watch
                 it.  Vun Orcton responded by saying that he was under no obligation to
                 deliver the film on demand, and that it would be shown to the "selected
                 members" of the Council when the Royal Army was done editing it for
                 classified content.  With that remark, the other military commanders
                 began voicing their concern and displeasure at the Army's obvious lack
                 of trust.  The ruckus continued for another ten minutes in the chambers
                 until the King was finally able to restore order.

                 His Majesty then ordered vun Orcton to deliver the film in its present
                 form, to be viewed by the entire Royal Council.  General vun Orcton
                 bluntly refused, saying that the King had no authority to issue such an
                 order to "a sovereign military body of the Kingdom."  Vun Orcton
                 the previous agreement between the military commands concerning the
                 observation of the gas' destruction as evidence of the Army's supposed

                 The King again issued his command, and it was again refused by vun
                 Orcton.  Having had his command refused twice, HRM officially declared
                 an investigation into the Royal Army's apparent attempt to hide the true
                 end of the gas.  The investigation is being spearheaded by SF3,
                 supported by the Tal'Shiyr, and coordinated by the [Sixth] Ministry.
                 Meanwhile, HRM has ordered General vun Orcton to remain in Imperial City
                 for the time being, and has ordered a general quarantine around the
                 Army's "incinerator island."

                 The SF3 investigation is expected to take up to three months, unless vun
                 Orcton and the Royal Army begin cooperating with Royal Authorities.

Dec 8
[vexillium] Skirmishes Frighten, Enrage Albionish

                 CORDEVAL, Albion-Merité (RNS) - The Albionish imperial government
                 officially admitted today that its forces have been engaged in at least
                 five skirmishes so far with Gronkian insurgents along the country's
                 eastern border since the announcement of the Tabitha secession.
                 According to the Albionish War Ministry, the raids began the day after
                 the UNVCOCN announcement that ceded part of the Tabitha territory to
                 Eastern Zartania.

                 That morning, December 2nd, this sleepy border village of Cordeval was
                 wakened by a rumble that most people took to be thunder.  But the
                 thunder quickly turned deadly as artillery shells screamed down on the
                 sleeping villagers.  Within minutes, almost one quarter of the buildings
                 were in flames, a demonstration to the fact that the Gronkians had
                 sighted their pieces on the town far in advance of the actual attack.
                 The shelling stopped when three MA-109 "Dagger" fighter-bombers of
                 Albionish Air Force arrived over the village.

                 Colonel Vlad Haringer, commander of the Eastern Border Militia District,
                 says that the Gronkian insurgents have grown bolder in their raids as
                 the days have passed.

                 "The first couple attacks were just long-range shelling over the
                 border.  They'd put a couple heavy artillery pieces in the hills on the
                 Gronkian side of the border, and lob shells at our towns for a couple
                 hours.  Then they moved a little closer, attacking small border patrols
                 with small arms fire.  Today's attack has been the biggest so far."

                 Just after dawn this morning, a force of Gronkian insurgents of unknown
                 size crossed the border into Albion-Merité about sixty miles south of
                 Cordeval, and attacked the Albionish militia base at Fort 187.  The
                 Gronkians took the Albionish soldiers by complete surprise, killing
                 several guards outright.  The 120 soldiers based at the fort, though,
                 were able to recover quickly, and assumed a defensive posture inside the
                 fortress walls.

                 Throughout the day, after the Gronkians found that they were unable to
                 capture the fortress quickly, the position was pummeled with mortars,
                 grenade launchers, heavy machine guns, and rockets.  By mid-afternoon,
                 though, the Gronkians had almost exhausted their ammunition supply
                 without taking the fortress when they were struck by four MA-109
                 "Dagger" fighter-bombers carrying cluster bombs and rockets.  The
                 Gronkian insurgents quickly fled back across the border.  The Albionish
                 did not pursue them into Gronkian territory, though.  The War Ministry
                 has said that in today's skirmish the Albionish militia lost five
                 soldiers killed and another nine wounded, while casualties inflicted on
                 the enemy could not be readily determined since the Gronkians took their
                 dead and wounded with them.

                 Across the country, the border raids and skirmishes have had a mixed
                 effect.  Those living along the border itself are obviously frightened
                 that their town will be the next Gronkian target, and are clamoring for
                 the government to provide adequate military protection along the border
                 regions.  But across the spectrum, the raids have raised Albionish ire,
                 and generally enraged the population.  In a rare public address, Emperor
                 Maximilian captured the public mood.

                 "We have been violated.  We have had our people killed, our homes
                 destroyed.  Albion's sanctity has been violated, and our sovereignty
                 challenged.  This latest attack today demonstrates a blatant disregard
                 for Albionish sovereignty, and shows a very real danger and threat to
                 the lives of the Albionish-Meritéan citizenry.  We realize that the
                 Gronkian government is under severe internal pressures at the moment,
                 and that they most likely did not sanction these partisan assaults.  But
                 unless the government of Northern Gronk takes steps to prevent these
                 depredations from happening again, then we will take those necessary
                 steps ourselves."

                 Meanwhile tonight, the imperial government in Tabrik has ordered all
                 active Albionish militia units to move eastward toward the Gronkian
                 border.  The units being moved are being replaces in the interior with
                 the four Eastern Zartanian army regiments still remaining in Albion.
                 The Albionish government has said that if it comes to a fight, it's
                 going to be a clean fight.  But everyone is still hoping that such a
                 fight can be avoided.

Dec 10

RNS Exclusive: Attack off Thistla

                                    TZ-merch.gif ( view it)

                 Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  I'm Derik Thelman, and this is an
                 RNS news update from the temporary RNS Broadcast Center in Q'Leist.

                 Early this afternoon, the Imperial Zartanian Navy and the Ministry of
                 Public Information & Customs confirmed that another Eastern Zartanian
                 ship has been attacked off the coast of Thistland in Nuarmia.  According
                 to government officials, the merchant oiler ZS Zartlam Star, flying the
                 Eastern Zartanian merchant ensign (TECH: attached), was attacked by
                 three Thistlandic warplanes just outside Thistlandic waters.  The ship
                 was traveling in ballast, having just delivered a shipment of Guwimith
                 crude oil to Burovian Kalesthesia under a contract with Zartlam Oil, and
                 was transiting the Nuarmia-Melania straits to begin its voyage home when
                 it was fired upon.

                 At approximately 12:45 ZST, the oiler detected three approaching
                 contacts on its old air-search radar unit.  With the contacts
                 approaching from the general direction of Thistland, the oiler's
                 captain, a former naval officer, ordered full speed and turned the
                 ship's head further out into international waters.  A warning was
                 radioed to the incoming aircraft in plain Standard, identifying the ship
                 as a civilian oiler and giving its coordinates outside Thistlandic
                 waters.  When the aircraft refused to acknowledge the message and
                 continued on their course, a frantic distress call was sent, also in
                 open Standard.

                 The warplanes, when they reached the speeding oiler, were positively
                 identified.  The ship's captain continued broadcasting in the open, and
                 the Imperial Navy has what amounts to a recorded transcript of the
                 entire attack.  The oiler had recently been to the Dignanian station to
                 help refuel the naval squadrons based there, and was involved in a minor
                 UBD air raid.  The attacking warplanes today were positively identified
                 by the oiler's crew as very similar variants of the UBD "Echo"
                 The pilots of those planes were also overheard to be speaking in Rizne,
                 indicating Zartanian nationality.

                 Upon reaching the oiler, the three airplanes circled the ship, taking
                 turns making strafing runs on it.  The attackers used tracer ammunition,
                 and were apparently trying to set the oiler's supposed oil cargo afire.
                 When that failed, each plane launched a single anti-ship missile from a
                 distance of about two miles.  The oiler, a standard Class 2 merchant
                 vessel, was unable to defend itself or outrun the missiles.  All three
                 missiles impacted the oiler's hull, sinking it almost immediately.

                 The final missile attack on the oiler, though, was witnessed by two
                 Burovian fighter-interceptors that had been launched from Kalesthesia
                 when authorities there picked up the ship's distress call.  Two
                 Altlandic fighters from Afrazure Altlandique also arrived to investigate
                 the disturbance.

                 The Burovian fighters arrived in time to witness one of the Thistlandic
                 fighters make a low-level pass over the oiler's wreckage, attempting to
                 strafe the few survivors.  The Burovian fighters fired an air-to-air
                 missile a piece, and knocked down the strafing Thistlandic fighter
                 before it could react.  The other Thistlandic planes fled westward, and
                 were unable to be pursued.

                 While the Burovian and Altlandic fighters patrolled the skies, a
                 Kalesthesian rescue vessel arrived on the scene to pick up survivors.
                 We can now report that at least three crewmembers have been recovered
                 from the waters where the oiler sank.  The Imperial Zartanian Navy has
                 dispatched two frigates, HMIS Arctic Wolf (F-4) and HMIS Bombardier
                 (F-9), to the area to assist in the rescue operations and to recover any
                 wreckage or other evidence of use to the Tal'Shiyr and M6.

                 The Royal Government in Imperial City has had no official comment on
                 today's attack yet.  But a spokesman for the Royal Family has said that
                 His Majesty is visibly upset by the loss of life, and angered by the
                 attack.  The Royal Armed Forces have been placed on Defense Status 2
                 across Vexillium, as the government tries to decide what action to
                 take.  That's all the information we have for right now.  We'll bring
                 you more as it becomes available.  I'm Derik Thelman, thank you for

[vexillium] RNS correction

Dec 10

                 This is Derik Thelman again, reporting to you from RNS.

                 In a continuation of our earlier story concerning the second Thistlandic
                 attack on an Eastern Zartanian ship, the Ministry of Public Information
                 & Customs has informed us of a mistake in our earlier broadcast.  In
                 that segment, we mentioned that the two Burovian warplanes on the scene
                 shot down the Thistlandic fighter that was strafing the sailors in the
                 water.  The Ministry and the Royal Military have informed us that our
                 information was wrong.  It was, in fact, the two Altlandic fighters that
                 so courageously defended our helpless sailors.  The sincere thanks of
                 every Eastern Zartanian go out to those two pilots and Altland as a
                 whole.  We at RNS apologize for the mistake in our earlier broadcast.
                 We now return you to your regular programming.

December 10, 299 AP

A military briefing at MLFLD headquarters in Kasma given by General Kenneth Calcaterra – (12:00 PM)

(This is the first official briefing given by the MLFLD since the shocking one given in late August.  The one in August told the world of the coup by Duke Avion against General Matthew Cook and the duke’s subsequent death.  The briefing also declared that the UBD summer offense had been halted with no further signs of UBD continuing the attack.)

Calcaterra:  Good morning ladies and gentlemen, sorry to keep you waiting.  First of all, on behalf of my government, I would like to apologize for the silence of last few months.  This silence was not intended to keep the press out of the loop, but rather for us to reorganize after the heck changes the summer produced.  Today I would like to discuss the current military situation along the front and the reorganization of our forces.

As you know the battlefield is divided into three sectors: the western, central, and eastern.  With the death of the traitor Avion, Lt. General Khan has assumed command of the Central sector after his efforts to defeat the coup.  Now since that time, MLFLD and KTZ forces have reorganized the front to better meet the challenges presented by the UBD.  In late September, General Cook met with sector commanders and Field Marshal Erik vun Kahtzs commander of the KTZ 2nd division.  The army Skylands consists of over two hundred thousand brave men and women from Eastern Zartania who without their help during the UBD offense and coup Dignania would now be under the terrible yoke of oppression.

 During that meeting and several others that followed, the decision was made to restructure MLFLD and KTZ forces to facilitate a stronger defense and simplify the command and control apparatus.  By October, Plan Alpha was drawn up and given the order to commence. Plan Alpha was the quiet restructuring of our forces between sectors.  We wanted to keep the movement low key because of the fear that the UBD would take advantage of our forces out of position and attack, but I’m pleased to report that the UBD did not lift a finger to stop us and now it is too late.

 This map will show that new division of forces along the Ambrosio Line.  As you can see MLFLD forces now operate in the Western and Central sectors, while the KTZ forces claim the eastern sector as their area of control.  This division of responsibility allows us to strengthen are forces in each sector while at the same time having a simplified system of command and supply.  This move also gives us a tactical reserve of men and materials from both armies to defend against future UBD attacks and even allows us the opportunity for our own offensive options in the future.

 The new command structure is as follows: General Cook is the supreme commander followed by myself and Field Marshal Erik vun Kahtzs as dual deputy commanders.  The next level of command is based around the three sector commanders Lt-General Lance Tolken in the West, Lt-General Dennis Khan in the Central, and KTZ Major General Lando Mollari in the East.

The September meetings was also a time to reflect on our success in transforming our supply system.  For the better part of the war, MLFLD’s system of supply has been less than stellar. The soldiers in the trenches suffered shortages of weapons, clothes, food, and many other necessary equipment needed to win a war.  To no fault of the men and women who struggled to bring supplies to the front our supply system could not cope with the massive task of supplying a modern army in the field.  We had no existing infrastructure to draw from and with a shortage of manpower we could not spare trained and able soldiers to run supplies.  For several months, elder patriots and children who were unfit to fight in the trenches delivered supplies.  Twelve and fourteen year old children drove trucks or horse drawn wagons to the front.  They could not read or write well, but they refused to give up to the UBD.  Children no older then thirteen volunteered to drive trucks through strafing UBD fighters.

In one instance, a child of twelve delivered a needed shipment of rifles to the frontlines.  When the officer went to thank the driver, he discovered that the young boy was dead with hole in his stomach.  As many here know, a wound in the stomach is most often fatal, but he didn’t complain even after he delivered his supplies.  A medic latter discovered that due to the amount of blood loss the boy must have been wounded several hours before arriving.  A child of twelve drove on even though he was wounded.  General Cook decided that such sacrifices could not be wasted.  Our supply system had to improve or we would lose the war.  He knew that the battles, which took place this last summer, would depend not only on soldiers in the field, but also with the legions trying to deliver the supplies.  The side who could deliver reinforcements of men and material the fastest would win.  With this in mind, General Cook handed over control of the supply system to the arriving KTZ forces, even though this produced much disagreement among MLFLD officers.  He knew that Eastern Zartania had much more experience in supplying large formations of soldiers in the field then the MLFLD.  They also had the equipment needed to do the job.  He cut off any argument and told the KTZ to get the job done their way.  They flew supply units over to organize and train our own units.  Ships unloaded trucks and jeeps needed to move the supplies to the front.  KTZ construction battalions built new roads and bridges to help facilitate the delivery of supplies.  Trained KTZ professionals in the science of moving mountains of supplies organized a ragtag group into well-oiled machine.  General Cook’s direction worked as our victory in late August demonstrated.

Today our lines of communication are clear and strong while our supply system delivers ample weapons needed for our assured victory.  I want to now give you a few numbers to justify my claim.  By looking at this chart, you can see just how far we have come.  In the month’s of May and June only 40 to 50% of supplies needed reached the front.  With the defeat of the UBD airforce in June and the improvements made to our supply system that number jumped to 72% in August and 85% in September.  In May only 57 artillery pieces of various caliber were delivered to the front, by August that number had jumped 376.  In May just 2,532,000 rounds of rifle ammunition arrived, but now compare that to 7,546,000 rounds in September.    These numbers just give a glimpse to just how far we have come.  Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your attention, this ends that briefing.

Dec 16

vexillium] The Empire Strikes Back!

TABRIK, Albion-Merité (VINO) - After enduring eight more days of border
                 raids and skirmishing with partisan and paramilitary forces from
                 Northern Gronk with no sign of activity from the Gronkian government,
                 the Albionish government made good on its threat of military action
                 early this morning.

                 Just after dawn this morning, local time, the Albionish Air Force
                 launched two coordinated air raids against suspected partisan staging
                 areas inside Northern Gronk.  The two raids occurred in the vicinity of
                 the Gronkian border towns of Pikne and Itetra.  [TECH: see attached
                 map]  Both towns have been indicated as being largely controlled by
                 Gronkian paramilitary forces, and supply depots and staging areas were
                 reportedly located just outside the towns.

                 Aircraft from the 1st and 2nd Attack Squadrons and the 1st Fighter
                 Squadron took part in the raids.  Using rockets, cluster bombs, and
                 nose-mounted cannons, the MA-10.9 "Daggers" of the attack squadrons
                 through the partisan bases, wrecking havoc.  Above them, the IF-54.1
                 "Dart" fighter-interceptors [TECH: schematic attached] of the 1st
                 Fighter Squadron provided aerial cover.  Total mission duration was less
                 than three hours.  Only one plane failed to return: a "Dagger"
                 fighter-bomber from the 1st Attack Squadron that was shot down by enemy
                 flak near Itetra.  No parachute was observed.

                 Officials in the Albionish military here in Tabrik have declared the
                 missions a complete success, and say that the supplies and staging areas
                 have been "obliterated."  But air force spokespersons refused to
                 on the likelihood of further air strikes.

                 Government officials moved quickly to give assurances that the raids
                 were not launched against the Gronkian government or the Gronkian
                 people, but at "those paramilitary groups that are threatening
                 [Albionish] security."  No official reaction to the strikes has come
                 from the Gronkian government.  Those Albionish officials also stressed
                 that the Gronkian government itself has done little or nothing to halt
                 the raids that have killed more than 100 Albionish civilians so far.

                 Only the Kingdom of Eastern Zartania has made any comment on the
                 Albionish air raids, announcing its support of today's raids, but
                 cautioning against "excessive use" of that tactic.  The Eastern
                 Zartanian government confirmed today that its military forces as well
                 have been engaged repulsing "several raids" by Gronkian
                 along the kingdom's western border.  The bulk of those raids have been
                 in the newly acquired Tabitha region, but have stretched as far north as
                 the stek of the Skylands.

Dec 16

[vexillium] Trouble on the Border

                 ALFACRON, Skylands (RNS) - The Royal Government announced today that it
                 has, indeed, been assailed by Gronkian paramilitary groups along the
                 Kingdom's western border.

                 The announcement, made today in Imperial City, did not come as a
                 surprise to most people, who have been watching similar events unfold in
                 Albion-Merité on the other side of the continent.  But the announcement
                 has served to heighten tension and the awareness of danger in towns
                 along the border.

                 According to the announcement made by Grand Admiral High General Sir
                 Rudolf Yuvan, elements of the Royal Zartanian Army have repulsed at
                 least eight "light to moderate sized" raids along the border.  The
                 of those raids have come along the border of the Kingdom's newly
                 acquired Tabitha region south of Nomar.  For the most part, the attacks
                 have involved either long-range artillery shelling, or small-unit
                 infiltration.  Eleven civilians have reportedly been killed by the
                 fighting, and another twenty or thirty wounded.  The Royal Army,
                 meanwhile, has suffered only four dead and 10 wounded in action.

                 Yuvan made sure to point out that Royal troops have been given strict
                 orders not to cross the border into Northern Gronk to pursue the
                 partisans.  Some military officers have voiced their displeasure at this
                 policy, saying that it deprives the Kingdom of the chance to "settle the
                 issue once and for all."  Other political critics around the world have
                 hailed the decision as a clear recognition of international law and

                 Reports continue to filter into the Kingdom from western Zartania in
                 Northern Gronk, though, of persecution and atrocities being committed by
                 the paramilitary groups against ethnic Zartanians.  In the town of
                 Ibjia, an estimated 700 ethnic Zartanians were removed from their homes
                 and forced to watch as those houses were set afire, before being marched
                 out of the town and into the surrounding wilderness.  In some towns
                 where the paramilitary groups have taken over, the new
                 "governments" are
                 refusing to allow the ethnic Zartanians access to water, food, clothing,
                 or sanitation.  There are also a few reports of deadly violence against
                 ethnic Zartanian travelers.

                 In the town of Ellox, approximately 150 miles inside Northern Gronk,
                 ethnic Zartanians have reportedly taken control of the local government,
                 and a hastily-organized militia there has repulsed an attempt by
                 Gronkian partisans to take the town and drive the Zartanians out.  The
                 Zartanian leader, Bart Lindar, has called for ethnic Zartanians from
                 nearby Gronkian towns to join his forces in Ellox.

                 The Eastern Zartanian government has had no official response yet, to
                 the actions taking place just to its west, but public opinion seems to
                 be with the ethnic Zartanians.

December 17, 299AP

RNS Headline News - (9:00 Local Time)

Dignania- Fighting along the Ambrosio Line has been reported limited and uncorridnated.  The restructuring of MLFLD and KTZ forces has been completed with the KTZ assuming responsibility over the eastern sector.

Novoyoakes- The fighting and unrest has now expanded to include most of the country.  Few news reporters venger into Novoyoakes due to the unstable nature of the fighting.  Witnesses report that the landscape is filled with bandits and gangsters killing and robbing anyone they find.  News organiztions will not allow reporters to enter Novoyoakes as reporters are targeted by armed groups.  This especially took place after BLANK was shot and killed.  And since his death, four other reporters have been confirmed killed and three kidnapped.  International aid agencies refuse to enter the country due to the October 19 massscre of aid workers where 24 were killed.  This and several other instances   There is no government or police force to stop the lawlessness.  Most governments have barred their citizens from traveling to Novoyoakes.  No one is sure who or whom run Novoyoakes.  Most analyists agree that the country is probably control by various factions fighing over pieces of territory.  In some cases, fighting over who controls that power plant or the water supply.

Click here for RNS news updates for January

Page last updated on Dec 18, 299.
©1999 Matt Cook / Randy Young