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Saint Mark

Former Delegate
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Saint Mark last won the day on September 2 2023

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  1. Nation name: The Holy Principality of Saint Mark Nation trigram: SMK Players: 1. Stephen Saint Agnes 2. Mary Nicols 3. Klaus von Kringle 4. 5. 6.
  2. I'm old. A Santa beard would be just fine.
  3. The Saint Mark Angels were gathered in front of a whiteboard in a hotel conference room. The celebratory mood over having made the Round of 16 had softened and was now mixed with a dose of anxiety. Coach Rodeberg was going over strategy. "You all know that Cambria's Union Football is an excellent team. You also know that even the best teams can be vanquished with the right game plan and focus. They're a very aggressive team and we're strong on defense. We aren't going to beat them by trying to match their offense at this stage of the tournament. We will play to our strength. We're going to set up in a 4-2-3-1 looking for some balance and flexibility. The two defensive midfielders will protect the back four, and if they drop in, the outside backs can join in on the offense. We'll still have 8 in our own half when defending. Like the 4-3-3, pressing the ball high up the pitch can create turnovers. We need to watch for Montero, of course ... Dragonhart and Trecoup, that will be your focus. We effectively guard our home while trying to create openings for Westley. Don't take Meredith for granted either. He will be ready." The team spent the next couple of hours reviewing the plan and then boarded the bus to take them out for practice on the pitch, anxiety slowing being replaced with determination.
  4. A Joint Post Between Saint Mark and Giovanniland Prince Marcarius arrived with Clarkson at the beautifully inlaid door of King Giovanni’s suite and knocked. He looked forward to this tea. His visits with His Majesty were always cordial … and with everything that had been happening, the prince needed to chat with a friend. King Giovanni then opened the door. “Your Serene Highness, it’s great to see you!”, he said, and invited the Prince to sit at a carefully prepared table for the occasion. “I’m delighted to see you as well, Your Majesty!” the prince replied as he took his seat. He noted that the king’s suite, which was just down the hall from his own, was very similar. The heavy drapes were purple instead of gold and the sitting room seemed a bit larger, but otherwise they were nearly identical. “Tell me, Gio,” the prince continued, dropping formalities after the greeting, “How was your journey, did the protests affect you at all?” “My journey was great, I’ve heard about the protests in Ryxtylopia and I worry about the situation in the country but thankfully they did not affect my arrival here. This country is interesting, the climate is a tad colder than Giovanniland or Saint Mark but the culture and atmosphere seems very lively,” the King commented. “I’m so glad you arrived without incident. My private train was stopped briefly on the outskirts of the capital, but otherwise, my journey was pleasant as well. I agree that Ryxtylopia is worth the visit. Its coastline is gorgeous and I find the cooler temperatures refreshing. My family has had a fishing cottage here for centuries. I must admit, though, I haven’t been there since I was a boy. I see your team isn’t faring as well as they had in past years. What do you think their chances are of fighting their way back?” “Ah, traveling across Aura by train sounds like a lovely experience! I arrived here through a plane departing the Giovanni the Great International Airport back in the capital city Giovannia, but I can imagine that the train voyage surely must’ve been interesting, besides the incident you talked about.” “Oh, aside from sailing, train travel is my favorite!” the prince interrupted. “You should accompany me back to Sanctus Leo when the games are finished!” “I’d love to do that! Thanks for the invite, I look forward to that.” “Splendid! I’ll have Clarkson contact your man and make the arrangements.” King Giovanni nodded. Then, he went back to the previous question and replied: “As for Giovanniland’s team, indeed I’m afraid they haven’t been doing as well as before, especially in comparison to the two Summer Esferiads in which they twice were awarded silver medals. That said, there’s still one match, and qualifying remains a possibility due to the team’s victory in Matchday 1. Provided we win and the right set of results happens, I’m confident that we can make it through!” “Best of luck to you! Frankly, Saint Mark has been doing better than I had hoped. We aren’t out of it either. That match against Nieubasria was amazing! Our next match will be another tough one, though … Fujai. They really are a better team, but you never know. Luck may be on our side.” “Thanks! The Markan team has been impressive and very solid, I see it’s undefeated so far and also managed to hold the defending champions to a draw most recently. Good luck to Saint Mark in the match against Fujai and in the knockout stage if you advance!” “Thank you!” The King then started a new topic of conversation. “So, how are things going for you and for Saint Mark overall?” “I’m sure you’ve heard about the Zoranian bill that has just been signed into law. I can hardly believe how short-sighted they’re being. Markan investment in Zoran will dry up without a doubt. I realize the Zoranians are going through an intensification of nationalism triggered by their recent Civil War, but we supported them, both during and after the conflict! I guess sometimes emotions trump reason.” “Yes, I’ve heard about the bill”, replied Giovanni. “My royal family does have properties that are now threatened there, but much fewer in comparison to the Markan houses’ estates, I believe. I do agree with you that Zoran is shooting itself in the foot, ultimately. At least the other controversial bill was vetoed, I’m sure the Giovannese and Lavandulan minorities living there are relieved by that.” “I’m sure you’re right. That, at least, is a bit of a bright spot. There are, of course, some Markans living there as well. Many less than before the war, but still some. The Queen and I spoke and a joint commission between our nations to iron out the property transfer is a possibility. Perhaps something can be salvaged when passions cool. We’ll see.” “Ah, that’s good to hear. Also, how is Saint Mark internally?” “We’re doing well, thank you. We have begun talks with Arifiyyah on a high-speed rail route between our two nations. It’s in the early stages, but is a dream of mine. I suppose that isn’t really internal news, though, is it? Hmmm … let’s see …. Our archeologists have discovered a new tomb near Halomarch! It’s fascinating, really, and could shed a lot of light on early Markan history, well before the Founding. How are things in Giovanniland?” “Those are good news, I’m glad to hear about both these happenings! In Giovanniland, the Prime Minister has recently sent me the monthly report about the national economy, it describes positive numbers for most of the economic sectors which is wonderful. Furthermore, December will be a culturally significant month for our nation, since both the 1423 Chess Championship and the Lavender Festival will happen, two of the most famous Giovannilandian events! If you are able to, I invite you to attend at least one of them, I’m sure it will be a great time.” “I would be delighted to attend! Clarkson will check my schedule and get back to your office. It’s always good to catch up with you, Gio.” “Likewise, Marcarius! The relationship that we have enjoyed on a personal level is wonderful, just like the centuries-long one between our nations.” The two monarchs talked long after the tea things were cleared.
  5. A joint post of Saint Mark and Zoran A panel of the mahogany wall slid down, revealing a screen. Averton, the young footman attending Prince Marcarius on the Red & Gold, the private train of the Royal Household, checked the settings and then handed the remote to Clarkson, who handed it to the prince. “Her Majesty will join momentarily, Your Highness. Shall I pour some more tea?” “Yes, thank you, Clarkson.” Queen Adsila appeared on the screen sitting behind her desk, her face cold and stoic. “I take it that this isn’t one of your social calls, what is it that you wish to discuss, Marcarius?” The prince admired the sheen of her long, wavy black hair, and how it emphasized her perfect cheekbones. “Ugh. there I go again. My mind stops working whenever I’m around her. This is business. I must focus.” “Sadly, no, Adsila. I wish this were a social call. I would like to discuss your position on this land-grabbing bill that has just been passed in your legislature. As you know, many of our most prominent Houses have maintained estates in Zoran for centuries. Surely your lawmakers know that we pay significant taxes on these properties that do much to help support the local economies?” The queen lets out a low chuckle, “‘Land-grabbing,’ what an ironic phrase to use. I understand the concerns of your Houses but if you crack open a history book, you will find that many of those estates were gained through either forced resettlement, coercive treaties, and or aggression from Markan forces during the colonial era,” she says in a mirthless tone, “We have…tolerated the presence of the Houses within Zoran for a period of time but that has still left a foul taste in the mouths of the many Zoranians. The bill has passed the Council with near absolute majority on both sides of the political spectrum and frankly, it is a bill that could put my position at risk should I veto it.” “In most cases, those properties were acquired over a millennium ago, and in all cases many centuries ago. What is this really about, Adsila? Why now? I thought our nations cooperated very nicely at the Maritime Conference last month, with each of us very happy with the Sea of the Wild Cry Protocols.” “I do not decide the bills that are introduced into the Council. I can propose bills but this bill came from the Council itself,” she says as she shuffles a few papers on her desk, “the ancestral memory of the Zoranian people runs deep, Marcarius. Zoranian has generational trauma from it and holds deep grudges against the Markans for the colonial period. I understand your confusion but it is a cultural difference that I cannot do much about besides try to promote cooperation between our two people, which is what I am trying to do when it comes to drafting my reasoning for rejecting the Blood Alone Act. But, when it comes to the bill that seizes the property of the Houses, I have some troubling documents that I believe you may want to see from our recent delve into Corporate documents.” “Of course, I’ll look at them. Another concern of mine is that this will through cold water on anyone from Saint Mark wanting to invest in Zoran. Why sink money into projects that could potentially be torn away from you? It sets a bad precedent.” “Well, all I can say to that is be shrewd in your business dealings. Nationalization and seizure of property is nothing new in the world. Zoran is not the first to do it and it will certainly not be the last country to do it. But, like many things, actions come with consequences…even if those consequences do not come immediately.” “While I understand you’re referring to the actions of my ancestors and the current-day consequences, what is more relevant is the consequences of this bill, should it become law, to the Zoran economy. I would hope that there are some in your government who might see that upon more cool reflection.” “We have considered it, and when I say ‘we’ I mean my ministers and I, and while we do see the potential risks from Markan investors, Markans are not the only groups investing in Zoran. You are competing with Giovannilandians, the Astorrians, Overthinkers, various Nuran nations, etc. We might take a hit, yes, but nothing devastating.” “Adsila, we are not talking in front of audiences right now. This is a private conversation between the two of us. You know that I know this already, and you know that this is not a sound move, either politically or economically. It’s pure theater for the masses. Again, just between us, why and why now?” “There are actions that go beyond politics and economics, sometimes it is about doing the right thing. When it comes to the people who still mourn what we refer to as ‘The Age of Death,’ this is one of the best ways to get people to move on from those times. If you topple the figure that people look at to think of those times with hatred, soon they will look forward instead of back.” Prince Marcarius sighed, realizing he would never understand a people who hold such a long grudge. “Very well, Adsila. I see how your people are looking at this. In the best interests of both of our nations, perhaps Saint Mark can do something to help soothe the feelings of your people? I guess they have already forgotten the aid we provided in the recent civil disturbance.” “We have had much patience and leniency with the Markans, we have not forgotten the kindness shown to us but there comes a time when patience runs out. At best I can see if I can get the Council to offer financial compensation to the Houses affected by this act but to veto it would be out of the question.” “I see. Well, that is something to consider. I appreciate your taking the time to discuss this with me. I think I understand the position of your lawmakers better now, although I very much disagree with it. May we form a joint commission to try to come up with a solution that is palatable to both nations and that seeks to preserve our good relationship?” “I shall see what I can do, but knowing the lawmakers it would be hard to get them to cooperate. In case this does not work with them, prepare to try and herd the Houses of your nation like cats.” The prince blinked. Herd the Houses like cats? It must be something Zoranian that doesn’t quite translate. “I appreciate your efforts. Our counterparts will keep the other informed throughout the process. My best wishes to you for your team’s success in the games!” “Best of luck to your team as well. But do take a look at the documents that my intelligence director will send you, the evidence is damning enough to warrant an investigation. I have stayed my hand in terms of sending my intelligence officers over to investigate due to our trust in your ability to deal with it yourselves.” “Absolutely. I will look into it even before we arrive in Ryxtylopia. Again, my best.”
  6. "Her Majesty will not be attending the games, sir. The protests in Zoran surrounding the bill require her attention. She would be pleased to make herself available for a video conference, however. Your schedule could be adjusted to accommodate that while you travel to Ryxtylopia, sir." "Very good, Clarkson. Please set that up. With regard to the journey, has Lady Kornica accepted our invitation to travel with us or will she seek her own way? "Yes, sir. Sir Karl's mother was pleased to accept your invitation. She will board the train in Halomarch." "Splendid. Thank you, Clarkson."
  7. "They passed what!?" His Serene Highness, Marcarius, nearly knocked over the glass of 20-year-old Solurian Port as he threw his Lion's Voice crossword puzzle to his desk. Clarkson, the prince's valet and personal assistant deftly prevented the spill as he responded. "Yes, sir. Lady Fargone (Saint Markan Minister of FA) informed me moments ago and requested an audience to discuss the situation." "Of course," replied the prince, regaining his composure. "Please set that up for as soon as possible. We must do what we can to stop this from becoming law. Do you realize how many of the Electors own estates in Zoran? The House of Halohin has enjoyed the views from Larus Hall since the mid-500s! Do we know if the Queen will be attending the football games? Perhaps she and I can meet informally." "I will make inquiries, sir."
  8. The Saint Mark Angels Football Club Roster Coach: Sir Karl Rodenberg Name / Position / Number / Age / (Starting/Reserve) Matthew Westly / Keeper / 3 / 25 / (Starting) Ronald Harper / Keeper / 10 / 24 / (Reserve) Renfrew Trecoup / Defender / 15 / 24 / (Starting) Merlin Dragonhart / Defender / 7 / 29 / (Starting) Corwyn Armsforth / Defender / 9 / 26 / (Starting) Scott Granger / Defender / 11 / 26 / (Starting) Rudolph Quagmire / Defender / 13 / 25 / (Reserve) Liam Newson/Defender / 2 / 19 / (Reserve) Evard Wolfensbach / Midfielder / 6 / 26 / (Starting) Harold Brickhouse / Midfielder / 8 / 29 / (Starting) Lincoln Praiseworthy / Midfielder / 12 / 25 / (Starting) Donald Masters / Midfielder / 17 / 23 / (Reserve) Andrew Lionguard / Forward/ 1 / 30 / (Starting) Hunter Wilcox / Forward / 4 / 27 / (Starting) Cedric Seabroom / Forward / 18 / 28 / (Starting) Roland Croft / Forward / 20 / 27 / (Reserve) Mark Blaze / Forward / 22 / 25 / (Reserve) Injure my players: yes Assign my players yellow cards: yes Assign my players red cards: no Godmod injuries: no Godmod scoring: no Godmod other events: no Style Modifier: -2
  9. I chose typing quickly because I am a very slow typist, but already read pretty fast. 🙂
  10. Even though I'm not at all athletic, I picked the sport one because this would mean I'd be in great shape, and I could still listen to music.
  11. We can leave it as former del. On the Forum, it doesn't really matter.
  12. Lord Eastmarch, back in the study of his cliffside manor house in Saint Mark, closed the connection on his secure phone and looked over to where His Serene Highness sat in a leather wingback chair. I informed General Waholi of our desire to help the Monarchists take advantage of their momentum, sir. Aside from direct intervention, we will give them anything they need. Thank you, cousin. The Monarchists have demonstrated that they are the only faction that can govern Zoran with the people's best interests in mind. I am cheered by their recent victories and pray they continue to take control. The sooner this bloody nightmare ends and peace is restored, the better. The prince raised his glass to his cousin and finished off his bourbon.
  13. Mother Angelica, Lady Abbess of The Order of Saint Clare, climbed the winding staircase to the Light Chamber. Her cheerful countenance belied the sharp pain in her back and knees with each step. Normally, if she had wanted to speak with her Sisters, she would have received them in her own office, but as these three were Sisters of The Mind and had just recently returned from Trance, they were still too weak to accommodate her. The Holy Hierophant himself had asked her to receive their report … so up the stairs it must be. Many centuries ago, in the Age of Mystics, The Seers, as the Sisters of The Mind were called then, were wild, living in caves and unattached to any specific service to God. Since shortly after The Founding, however, they have been attached to The Faith, first as part of a separate Order and later under the protection of The Order of Saint Clare. Their special gifts had been used many times to guide The Faith as well as the Principality. At the top, Mother Angelica paused outside of the small wooden door to catch her breath. After a brief prayer to Saint Agatha for healing, she tapped softly at the door. Mary Katherine, the young postulant attending the three Sisters, answered, bowed her head, and silently showed the Lady Abbess in. The three Sisters of The Mind were propped up in their beds. Two sipped tea, while the third had her head back and her eyes closed with a cold cloth on her forehead. The two put aside their cups and the third opened her eyes and removed the cloth when she entered. “Blessings to you, Reverend Mother,” they greeted in unison. “Blessings also unto you,” she replied. “I pray you are not too exhausted for my visit?” “God is our strength, Reverend Mother. We are ready to serve.” “The Faith values your use of your gifts in our service.” The Abbess seated herself on a cushioned stool and Mary Katherine brought her a cup of tea. “What have your visions told you about the poor Zoran heiress, Atsil?” she asked. The one whose eyes had been closed answered. “The location of her captivity has not been revealed to us, but we do know that she is not in danger from her captor, the thief, and she will soon leave this place of hiding of her own accord. We do see that a son of a basket weaver, one bathed in blood, poses a grave risk to her safety. We will try to reach out to her and warn her.” “Thank you Sisters. Your assistance is very much appreciated. I will leave you to your rest. May God continue to bless you with His many gifts and give you strength for the journey.” With that she rose and braced herself for the long, painful trek back down the tower.
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