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Balder Bugle Issue II

A publication of the Ministry of Communications of the Realm of Balder.


New Regional Structure Lays Strong Groundwork

When he was re-appointed for his current term as Statsminister, OnderKelkia emphasized the importance of the position of Zander Cerebella as Minister for Regional Development. This position, tasked with suggesting cultural and thematic changes to the Statsminister to help guide the region back towards its Nordic origins, was most fitting for Cerebella. As a former Delegate, Vice-Delegate, and Statsminister as well as current Prince, he has extensive experience with the cultures and practices of Balder, past and present. Zander's work this term has been pleasing, and in conjunction with the release of the new forums at [a href="[URL]https://www.balder.boards.net/[/URL]"]balder.boards.net[/a], a plethora of pleasing thematic changes were also implemented.​

Firstly, the old terms "Citizen" and "Non-Voting Resident" were scrapped in favor of the terms "Viking Citizen" and "Viking Resident," respectively. Secondly, Viking Citizens and Viking Residents are now asked to pick a city based on excellent roleplay blurbs developed by the Minister of Regional Development. These cities are: Ribe, the city of trade and diplomacy, Aarhus, the city of culture, and Jomsborg, the city of the military. The Ministry of Regional Development is hoping to develop these three cities, and arrange events, such as competitions or festivities, between the three. It is excellent to see Balder returning to its Nordic origins.​

King Appoints Three Experienced Princes

Using the powers vested in him as Monarch of Balder, King North East Somerset has announced the appointment of three princes as members of the monarchy. They are tasked with maintaining a higher endorsement count, along with other miscellaneous security tasks, as well as serving as advisers to the King. Their presence as border control officers with a high level of influence only solidifies Balder's position as the most secure game-created region in NationStates. The Princes were appointed based on the new cities - OnderKelkia for Jomsborg, ZanderCerebella for Aarhus, and Fuzzy for Ribe. We are glad to have these three highly capable individuals in these capacities and are pleased to see them doing excellent work.​

Balder and The East Pacific Host Gala

On 2nd February, Groundhog's day, the Realm of Balder was pleased to host a gala along with our friends in The East Pacific. Although the Realm of Balder has typically hosted our events in the past on the regional forums, we had a unique change this time: the event was hosted on a Discord server that was prepared by the Statsraadet (Cabinet) of Balder in conjunction with our colleagues in The East Pacific. In addition to the formal roleplay of the gala that was hosted in the Manor's Ballroom, the Discord server allowed for games such as Chess, skribbl.io, Town of Salem, and many others to be played by the guests at the festival.​

The Realm of Balder was encouraged by the high number of people (59) who joined the Discord server and participated in the gathering. Following the event, Minister Cinder, one of the organizers of the event, commented, "I think the event went very well. Everyone seemed to have a good time once it started, the games lasted for several hours, the music bot was active until after sundown." The Gala's participants enjoyed themselves and we were pleased to partake in this cultural cooperation.​

Contact Vulturret, Minister of Communications, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
Thanks for the update! It's cool y'all are doing more with the Scandinavian theme. :D

Also impressive gala with TEP (got introduced to Algorithm's amazing music there so like <3<3<3).
 
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Balder Bugle Issue III

A publication of the Ministry of Communications of the Realm of Balder.

Storting Elections Conclude

Last month, elections for five seats in the Storting (parliament) of the Realm of Balder were held. Incumbent Lawspeaker Linkin Maximus and MPs Akillian Talleyrand and Aexnidaral stood for re-election and all three of them were voted back into office by the entire citizenry of Balder. In addition, four other candidates battled it out for the other two positions: Minister of Regional Development Zander Cerebella, MP and Minister of World Assembly Affairs Griffindor13, Minister of Internal Affairs Theoden Sebastian, and Minister of Communications Vulturret. The latter candidate was the only parliamentary candidate to also announce their intention to seek election to the Office of Statsminister as well as to the Storting. Winning these two seats were Theoden Sebastian, a long-time Balderan, and Vulturret, a newcomer to the region whose work as Minister of Communications was well-received by the citizenry.​

What is interesting to note from the full results below is that the top four candidates were all tied for first place. This is excellent for the region because it represents how satisfied citizens are with the plethora of candidates available. There was no clear-cut front-runner, which allowed all members of the Storting to enjoy a large base of support among the citizenry, thus allowing them to have strong support among the citizenry and govern with the people of the Realm fully behind them.​

The full results of the Storting elections are as follows, with the members being elected (the top five) being shown in bold, ordered based upon votes received:​
1. Vulturret​
1. Linkin Maximus​
1. Theoden Sebastian​
1. Akillian Talleyrand​
5. Aexnidaral​
6. ZanderCerebella​
7. Griffindor13​


Storting Convenes to Elect Lawspeaker

Following the conclusion of the elections to the Storting, the new members of the Storting gathered in the chamber to deliberate on the Lawspeaker (presiding officer) for the term. Outgoing Lawspeaker Linkin Maximus announced his election to stand for the position once more, which was well-received by the other elected members. Speaking about his colleague Linkin, newly-elected MP Vulturret said, "based on his long record of service to the Storting and his excellent ministerial work, there is no question that [Linkin] is highly suited to continue in the role." Lawspeaker Linkin was confirmed by unanimous support of the Storting.​


Crown Prince Selected and Confirmed

Nomination of a new Statsminister (Prime Minister)

Also on the legislative agenda for the newly-elected members of the Storting was to nominate a new Head of Government. Under the Instrument of State and Government Act, the Storting is responsible for making a recommendation of a Statsminister (Prime Minister) for appointment by the King. As almost all executive authority is held by the Statsminister, making the selection of a nominee a highly important function of the Storting.​

Lawspeaker Linkin Maximus nominated MP Vulturret (who had previously released a platform for activities as Statsminister as part of his campaign for the Storting) for the position. He accepted that, thanking the Lawspeaker for the nomination, and proceeded to receive unanimous support of the Storting to form a government following an appointment by the King.​


King Delivers First State Opening of Parliament of Reign

Additionally, the King bestowed four knighthoods (peerages) upon four deserving members of the region. These were made in accordance with the Ttitles and Honours Act. The following individuals were recognized for the applicable contributions:​
Knight of Odin - HRH Prince Zander of Aarhus - for his idea to create the Three Viking Cities, and the associated Roleplay themes, as well as the great leadership and vision he has shown over the past two months.​
Knight of Mimir - Sir Griffindor - for his excellent service in Cabinet as the Minister of World Assembly Affairs.​
Knight of Thor - Sir Vulturret - for his role in creating and drafting the Balder Bugle, as well as his input into the TEP festival and setting up a new Discord bot.​
Knight of Bragi - Sir Bran Triune - for organising and holding a successful cultural festival; the TEP-Balder gala.​


Statsminister Delivers Opening Address and Appoints Cabinet

Upon the gracious appointment of His Nordic Majesty, Statsminister Vulturret delivered an opening address praising the success of Balder in the past and looking forward to how we can improve in the future. The new Statsminister touched on the importance of Balder sticking to its self-driven priorities as an Independent region and highlighted the critical nature of the term in shaping foreign policy. The Statsminister also highlighted his various goals for the term - including boosting the endorsement count of Delegate North East Somerset, the size of the piling force of the military, and various other cultural, civic, and diplomatic endeavors that will continue to boost the strength of Balder.​

Additionally, the Statsminister appointed a team of dedicated statesmen, many of whom have been in Balder for years, to the Statsraadet, known in English as the Cabinet. The Statsraadet is as follows:​

Minister of Culture: ZanderCerebella​
Minister of Integration: Fuzzy​
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Linkin Maximus​
Minister of War: Cinder​
Minister of World Assembly Affairs: Griffindor13​
Minister for the Cabinet Office: Theoden Sebastian​

The Realm of Balder is highly excited to see what we can accomplish this term.​


Other News

Fuzzy, our Minister of Integration and the Prince of Ribe, won multiple prizes at the highly imaginative multi-regional festival organized by The West Pacific to celebrate their newly announced theme. Fuzzy was named the winner of the prizes for The Best Haiku, The Best Short Story and Best in Class for Writing. Balderans had an excellent time attending the festival and we appreciated the numerous contests that all attendees had the unique opportunity to engage with. The Realm of Balder could not have thought of a better way to celebrate with TWP than this magnificent event, which we thank them for organizing.​


The regional military of Balder, the Jomsvikings, are currently deployed in Westphalia supporting the operation led by The Black Hawks.​


Contact Vulturret, of the Ministry of Communications, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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Balder Bugle Issue IV
A publication of the Ministry of Communications of the Realm of Balder.

Storting Elections Held


April saw the election of a new Storting (parliament) in Balder. The election marked the end of the first full term on Balder's new forum, and Vulturret's first term as Statsminster. The many changes Balder faced over those two months continued to shape issues in the election, with Statsminster Vulturret looking back on the challenges met and the ones still to face as Balder continues to grow and prosper. The region went into the election with confidence, looking forward to another productive term. A number of candidates stood, and five were ultimately elected:

Vulturret
Theoden Sebastian
ZanderCerebella
Griffindor13
Akillian Talleyrand

Election of Lawspeaker

With the elections concluded, the Storting's first act of business was the election of a Lawspeaker (The Storting's presiding officer). Theoden Sebastian declared his intention to run for the office when he stood for the Storting, and upon election was nominated for the position by fellow member Akillian Talleyrand, recieving the unanimous support of his colleages. Seconding the nomination, Vulturret praised Theoden's previous service in the role, commenting "Based on his record of prior service that can be found on our old board, I have no doubt he will render the region an excellent service in returning to the role." Theoden thanked his fellow members for the support and accepted his nomination.

Statsminister ElectionState Opening of Parliament and the Awarding of HonoursAppointment of Statsraadet and Announcement of Term Goals

Following on from the state opening of parliament, newly re-elected Statsminster Vulturret appointed his new Statsraadet (Cabinet) making the following appointments:

Minister of Culture: Zander Cerebella
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Fuzzy
Minister of War: Akillian Talleyrand
Minister of World Assembly Affairs: Griffindor13
Minister for the Cabinet Office: Theoden Sebastian
Minister of Integration: Jake

The cabinet includes a mix of experienced ministers and new faces, all of whom are looking forward to the term ahead.

Vulturret also took this opportunity to set out his plans for the term, stating that "Our continued success is owing to the long record of service by the Monarchy to ensure our region is secure and our high World Assembly statistics are maintained; the Government, meanwhile, has been engaging in the creation of many programs last term that will be ready for implementation this term."

The first of these is a plan spearheaded by the Ministry of Integration which aims, among other things, to improve community engagement on Balder's RMB and increase participation in the Royal Diplomatic Service. This will be supported by the recent completion of a new set of automated telegrams, which aim to increase the King's endorsement count and promote regional integration through increased participation in regional life.

Finally, the "Information for World Assembly Voters" programme was unveiled, which aims to increase co-operation on WA affairs between the various parts of Balder's government and increase the amount of WA vote information made available to Balder residents. This aims to strenghten Balder's influence in the WA, by better co-ordinating our position on resolutions, educating our residents and ensuring that WA nations vote in accordance with Balder's official stance.

Vulturret's plan to oversee the implementation of these programmes recieved the support of Balder citizens and royalty, with Crown Prince OnderKelkia commenting "A very fine speech. We can look forward to another strong term with Vulturret as Statsminister." and Lawspeaker Theoden Sebastian stating "A solid plan of action by the government that focuses on community engagement and participation. I look forward to serving with my esteemed colleagues."


Other News


The Jomsvikings had been assisting Balder's partners in The Black Hawks with their operation in Westphalia. That operation is now concluded, and the Jomsvikings are now training for further reinforcement missions.

Contact Vulturret, of the Ministry of Communications, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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Balder Bugle Issue VIII

A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.


Statsminster Election

The second Statsminster elections under the Constitutional Reform Bill 2019 took place in February, with Balder's two legislative chambers putting forward candidates for the position. In the Odelsting - the lower house, consisting of all eligble citizens who choose to take their seat - Bowzin, a nominee in the last election and Minister of the Interior under Statsminster Theoden, was proposed and seconded by other members of the chamber. No other candidates came forward, and Bowzin went on to win the Odelsting vote with 8 votes in favour and one vote - from Bowzin himself - abstaining. In the Lagting - the upper house, consisting of Balder's princes and nobility - Bowzin was also proposed and seconded, with no other candidates coming forward, and went on to receive the unanimous backing of all those who voted.

With the backing of both houses, Bowzin was put forward as the presumptive Statsminster for the new term, awaiting his appointment by the King.



State Opening of Parliament

With the Statsminster election concluded, King North East Somerset formally opened parliament. Speaking of Bowzin's governmental positions here and abroad, and his status as a relative newcomer to Balder, the King stated "I think this shows there is great potential for Bowzin to lead the Realm over the next term, and I hope he will focus his drive and energy on moving us forwards positively. Indeed, Bowzin only became a Citizen during this my current tenure as King, and to me this demonstrates the opportunities of Balder."

Looking back over the previous term, the King noted that Balder has "begun to show our growing military strength in recent deployments, whilst in parallel we have maintained an active presence in World Assembly affairs." Hoping to see the same going forward, he thanked those who had served in the previous government and said "We must continue to engage with our allies and friends to ensure we progress our mutual interests with dynamism and enthusiasm."


Statsminster's speech and announcement of Statsraadet

Shortly after his appointment as Statsminster, Bowzin laid out his goals for the term in his opening speech. Noting the substantial changes that have happened in Balder recently, including opening the new bicameral legislature, introducing longer Statsminister terms, and providing new ways for citizens to get involved in Government, Bowzin promised he would keep up the pace, stating "now we must push forward to new territory and take advantage of the systems given to us".

Bowzin also announced his ministerial appointments in his speech, saying "I have a strong team behind me, and I have the utmost faith in them to accomplish great things this term." The ministers appointed to Bowzin's Statsraadet are:

Eriadni as Minister of Interior Affairs,

Vamperiall as Minister of War,

Fuzzy as Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Aexnidaral as Attorney General



Civil Service

One of Statsminster Bowzin's priorities for his first term as Statsminster is to see more citizens becoming members of Balder's Civil Service. To that end, the Statsminster has initiated a recruitment drive, asking all ministers to open a Civil Service application thread for their respective ministries, with the aim of making the Civil Service easier and clearer to access. Applications are now open across many of the current ministries, and the Government is looking forward to engaging with members of Balder's citizenry to move the region forwards. The Civil Service will, as always, provide an opportunity for citizens to engage with and take part in Government, giving them an excellent opportunity to help shape and implement policy and perhaps even start a Government career!


City Reform


The Princely Cities Act (February 2020) is currently up for debate in the Odelsting, following extensive Government level discussions. The Act, which if passed will be a Basic Law of Balder and therefore a core piece of legislation, aims to encourage activity at City level by legislating for the creation of City charters and governments. With each City possessing its own distinct culture, the shape of these charters will be left up to the citizens of each City, with the Prince who rules each City taking the lead on creating the charter, and having the final say in its shape and the scope of the powers any City level governments will have.


Trial of Griffindor13

On February 11th, the Realm of Balder brought charges of Treason and Deception against Griffindor13, for consipring to overthrow Balder's elected Delegate, King North East Somerset. In his statement announcing the charges, Statsminister Bowzin dismissed Griffindor13 from his position as Minister of WA Affairs.

Griffindor13 informed the Government of his intention to contest the charges and a hearing commenced on February 15th. Both parties agreed to appoint Crown Prince OnderKelkia to act as Arbiter (judge). Griffindor13 represented himself and Attorney General Aexnidaral represented the Government. Both parties were invited to present their arguments and evidence in turn, followed by a closing statement.

Five days of arguments followed, and on February 20th Arbiter OnderKelkia issued his judgement, finding Griffindor13 guilty on both counts. For Treason, Griffindor13 was sentenced to six months banishment from the region and forum, as well as a year long ban from holding an elected office within the region, beginning with and subsequent to the expiration of the six months banishment. A period of at least six months banishment, followed by a year long ban from elected office, is required by statute for all persons convicted of Treason. For Deception, Griffindor13 was sentenced to seven weeks banishment from the region and forum, to be served concurrently with his sentence for Treason.


Military Operations

Over this term and the last, Balder's military, the Jomsvikings, took part in a number of successful operations.

In December, the Jomsvikings deployed to Cretanja Queendom, supporting The Black Hawks in a raid they conducted of the region. The raid was completed successfully, and the Jomsvikings were recalled to Balder on January 1st.

At the beginning of February, the Jomsvikings again deployed in support of The Black Hawks, assisting in a raid they conducted of ASEAN REGION. The Jomsvikings were recalled to Balder on February 8th.

On February 16th, the Jomsvikings deployed to Slatos in support of the Eastern Pacific Sovereign Army's invasion and occupation of the region. The deployment ended successfully on February 23rd.

Vamperiall, the Minister of War, alongside the Chief of Defence and Viking Command, is working to further develop and expand our military capability, and the Jomsvikings look forward to a busy roster of operations in support of Balder's international objectives over the rest of this term. Anyone interested in working alongside the Jomsvikings, or as part of it, should contact Vamperiall via NationStates telegram or Discord DM at Vamperiall #2044.


Contact Fuzzy, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
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Balder Bugle Issue IX

A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.


Statsminster and Talman Elections

The nomination process for the May Statsminster election saw two candidates put themselves forward for the position. Fuzzy was the first to put himself forward, announcing his candidacy in Balder's upper house, the Lagting. Shortly thereafter, Fuzzy was nominated and seconded to the position by two members of the Odelsting. The incumbent Statsminster, Bowzin, put himself forward for re-election in the Odelsting and also received the support of two other members. Fuzzy went on to receive the unanimous backing of the Lagting. The Odelsting vote saw 7 votes for Fuzzy, 3 for Bowzin and 2 abstentions. With the backing of both houses, Fuzzy was put forward by the Storting as the presumptive Statsminster for the new term, awaiting his appointment by the King.

The elections for Talman (Speaker of the Odelsting) also took place in May, with the incumbent Talman, Zander Cerebella, putting himself forward for re-election. Zander was nominated and seconded to the position by other members of the Odelsting and was returned to the office with the unanimous support of those that voted.


State Opening of ParliamentStatsminster's speech and announcement of StatsraadetLinkin MaximusDeputy Statsminster and Minister of Culture
Zander CerebellaMinister of Foreign Affairs
MinethefirstMinister of Integration
CharaxMinister of World Assembly Affairs
VamperiallMinister of War
BowzinMinister of Discord Affairs
AexnidaralAttorney General


Civil ServiceCity ReformUniversity nears openingMilitary OperationsContact Fuzzy, Statsminster of Balder, with comments regarding the Bugle.
 
Glad to hear from our friends in Balder, and congratulations on your election, Fuzzy! :)
 
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Balder Bugle Issue X

A publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.


[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=medium]A New Term Begins[/font][/size]


[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Statsminister and Talman Elections[/font]
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The nomination process for the November Statsminister election saw both houses of the Storting separately resolve to nominate John S. Talleyrand for the position of Statsminister. He was subsequently appointed to the position by King North East Somerset.

The elections for Talman (Speaker of the Odelsting) also took place in November, with veteran member Theoden Sebastian putting himself forward for re-election. Theoden gained re-election with the unanimous support of those that voted.
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[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I was pleased to see a positive contribution from Balder to the CRAB initiative on N-Day, alongside our allies in The West Pacific, NPO and UK. We collectively outperformed expectations there, surviving to the very end despite our much smaller critical mass compared to the major alliances. The launch of the new roleplay map, the Nordic Atlas, I hope will garner some interest going forwards. The remodelled Viking Art Rewards scheme appears to have enjoyed more success than the original initiative thanks to the efforts of the Crown Prince, and may be a factor in our relative improvement in endorsement rates over the past month, which has put me firmly back into the top 10 WA Delegates by endorsements. In the World Assembly we have once more proven influential, and a highlight from the term was the successful defeat of a condemnation resolution concerning our allies, the LKE. The Civil Service Act I hope will prove to provide structure for the crucial development of future Ministers. Jomsviking deployments have occured in Calefacta Aquas Piscinae, Uniao da Cracolandia and South Pacific. I look forwards to putting out a Foreign Update to our friends and allies in the near future.
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Once appointed, John took the time to set out his plans for the term stating "A key focus of this term will be the engagement and retention of new members. Increasing our presence across all platforms used by Balder is a top priority of this government." Hopeful that the recently-passed Civil Service Act (2020) would help get new members involved, John encouraged all ministers to utilise the framework the act provides for to its fullest extend in order to increase activity and new member involvement.

John also announced his cabinet, made up of the following ministers:

Fuzzy
Vamperiall
Marnie
California but Worse
Blowing Trees
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[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=medium]University Opening, A New Judiciary, and the Civil Service Act (2020)[/font][/size]
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With the University of Balder Act passed, King North East Somerset appointed Linkin Maximus as Chancellor of the University. Linkin quickly got on with the work of establishing the university, appointing staff - including John S. Talleyrand as Vice Chancellor - and setting up the various wings and departments. This includes the Balder School of Law, and the Somerset Museum of Balder

With the passing of the the Justice for the Realm Act (2020), Balder now has a permanent judiciary. King North East Somerset put forward his preferred nominations, who were all appointed following confirmation votes in the Lagting. Balder's jusiciary consists of the following:

Chief JusticeAssociate JusticeAssociate Justice
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[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=medium]Balder's RP Reimagined[/font][/hr][/hr]



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The government has spearheaded an effort to develop Balder's roleplay scene. This term has seen the establishment of the governing rules of the RP, via the "Runic Accords", and the creation of a map.

On the map front, the Statsminister is very pleased to unveil the "Atlas of the Nordics", the official map of the region. This ambitious project couldn't have been as successful as it has without Bran Astor's tremendous help. Balder is lucky to have such gracious allies.

On the governance front, after public consultation, RPers will control a Nordic country during the Late Modern period (1800-1914). The main governing body of the world shall be the "Norsemen Council", an intergovernmental organisation responsible for resolving disputes and serving as the guardian of the peace.

With a number of nations having already signed up, and with interest growing we look forward to seeing many more!


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Balder Bugle Issue XI
A publication of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.

A New Term Begins

Statsminister & Cabinet Appointments

On 15th August 2021, King North East Somerset officially opened parliament and appointed J. S. Talleyrand as Statsminister. This is J. S. Talleyrand's fourth consecutive term in the post, a record in Balder, and means that at the end of this term he will have held the position continuously for 1 year.

Opening Parliament, King NES commented that such a term of service "is to be commended." and set out his hopes and aims for his government in the coming term.

Following his appointment J.S. Talleyrand appointed Kazaman as Deputy Statsminister and Minister of War and Foreign Affairs, and Sarah Bread as Deputy Minister of Engagement and Culture. An advert for the position of Minister of World Assembly Affairs has been placed and the Government is looking for keen Citizens, Residents or WA Members in Balder to apply for the position. J. S. Talleyrand also outlined the five pillars of core policy for his new government and noted there was much to be achieved: "We have much to do, so we must get to work immediately. Because the future can't wait. We deserve it, but we must work for it."


A Pillar of NationStates Retires

On 4 September a sad day dawned for Balder; for it was the day that OnderKelkia announced his resignation as Vice Delegate and Crown Prince of Balder, a decision made as part of his wider retirement from the game. On the occasion, he made the following remarks:

Greetings,

It has been my honour and privilege to serve as the Vice Delegate and Crown Prince of our region since February 2019. I am therefore sorry to announce that I recently decided to retire from the position (including the ex-officio roles as President of the Lagting and Chief Justice), as well as from my separate appointment as Chief of Defence, with effect from this public announcement. This decision forms part of a wider retirement I have decided to undertake (or, in some places, to complete) from many of my most significant and time-consuming responsibilities in NationStates. In retirement, for the immediate future at least, I will continue to serve as Prince of Jomsborg, to contribute towards upholding the in-game security of our region. However, my future role will solely be focused on on-site security and I will not be involved in regional policy discussions at any level.

I first came to Balder in October 2011 when our region was created, when I was proud to be a member of our Constitutional Convention. My first Balder nation Wicker table has the third-longest residency in our region and the longest held by any gameplayer. Thanks to the efforts of several dedicated citizens, most notably our Monarch North East Somerset, and steadfast regional allies, initial attempts to subvert Balder by hostile UDL- and FRA-aligned elements were thwarted. Instead, Balder has evolved into a free democracy and ultimately a constitutional monarchy, firmly independent from external raider or defender forces intent on threatening our sovereignty.

While I have been a member of Balder for almost a decade, I have only been involved as an official in our premier governing institutions since mid-2016, when I was pleased to be entrusted with the position of Minister of Integration. I was honoured to be nominated by the Storting and appointed as Statsminister for the first time in August 2016. In total, I served as Statsminister for 10 parliamentary terms of two months, split across three distinct continuous periods (3 consecutive terms from August 2016 to February 2017, 4 consecutive terms from June 2017 to February 2018, 3 consecutive terms from August 2018 to February 2019), serving as Foreign Minister or Chief Adviser in the intervening months. As Statsminister, it was my pleasure to lead the Statsraadet in delivering on the promises that I and the MPs who supported me were elected on. Among other achievements, we made a highly successful, active start to the regional Discord server; improved outreach to on-site nations through internal naturalisation telegrams; launched and carried forward our WA Expedition; secured bilateral treaties with United Kingdom, The North Pacific and The West Pacific; contributed to building and deftly managed tensions within the GCR Sovereignty Accords; and organised an impressive and impactful intervention in the Lazarus affair (perhaps too impactful for the liking of some raiders and defenders alike).

When I became Vice Delegate and Crown Prince in early 2019, my focus moved from managing and coordinating the performance of our government to facilitating and providing the conditions essential for maintaining a secure and free region with a positive long-term outlook. Part of this role entailed practical tasks such as efficiently determining citizenship applications, reviewing on-site security developments, publishing and promoting our WA Expedition runestones, and directing military operations. However, I have also aimed to contribute to the strategic direction of our region, mainly through my advice to the Monarch, especially on diplomatic and security matters, and to a lesser extent my input into specific executive and legislative decisions, such as in designing the constitutional reforms that led to the present bicameral legislative structure. Under the Monarch's leadership, the foundations of Balder have become stronger. Externally, we have formed new alliances (for instance with NPO and TEP), settled previous conflicts (as in our rapprochement with TSP), strengthened several pre-existing relationships (notably our alliances with TWP and TNP) and even pursued new strategic initiatives (such as Inter-Regional Chat). Internally, while progress has been slow at times, a suitable balance between measures for upholding security and freedom has been pursued with great judgement and care, contributing to an upturn in regional activity.

At a later stage in my NationStates career, it has been a pleasure to actively serve as a government official here. While I already had substantial experience of regional leadership elsewhere before I first became Statsminister in August 2016, working in Balder has enabled me to participate in roles (as an elected politician) and an area of world politics (as a GCR) in which my prior experience was relatively limited (to my pre-2010 political careers in the LKE and GB&I and my Delegacy of The Rejected Realms respectively). I hope that my contributions as Statsminister and as Crown Prince have brought benefits to the region, alongside the work of others. I am confident that a cohesive framework is in place which will allow our region to excel in the future. While my decision to retire as Crown Prince is driven by my wider wish to retire from the game more generally, I also feel that my work as Crown Prince has perhaps reached an eventual ending point and the region will be well-served in the long run by other capable leaders assuming additional, new responsibilities. I give my best wishes to the current and future leaders of Balder in guiding the region forward successfully.


Notwithstanding the retirement of such a great figure, the position of Crown Prince must be filled. In his place, the King nominated Fuzzy, Prince of Ribe, a distinguished longtime servant of Balder to serve as Crown Prince and Vice Delegate. Fuzzy's nomination is currently being voted on by the Storting, as required by regional law.

As the King has said, while we profoundly regret OnderKelkia's decision to retire we fully respect his decision and wish him a happy, well-earned retirement.



Balder's RP
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With a new term underway, one of the government's main objectives is Balder's new Roleplay. Set inbetween the years 1811 and 1821, it is a political roleplay which follows the actions and reactions of a number of player controlled nations based on a fictional map.

The government is encouraging members to get factbooks up and running and to start making decisions, and is always looking for new players to claim a spot on the map and join. Anyone interested can find more information on our forums here: balder.boards.net/board/36/hringhorni-port





Balder's Game Nights[/hr][/hr][/hr]​




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Balder's 2021 Battleship Tournament Scoreboard

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The winners of Balder's Skribbl game night of 4 September 2021

Balder has recently organised not one but two game nights, with more to come! Thanks to our lovely Deputy Minister of Engagement and Culture, Sarah, Balder has already hosted two games (Battleship and Skribbl) as well as an AMA with the King of Balder, NES, on the RMB.

Notifications for future game nights will be posted on our discord and the RMB. Ambassadors and foreign residents are welcome to join in. If there's a game you'd really like to play, please let us know!​
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Balder is pleased to announce the Pact of Runes and Tacos with 10000 Islands. For more details about this treaty, please see the statement on our gameplay forum embassy here.
 
Balder Foreign Update -- Fall Term 2022

Treaties

The Modern Gameplay Compact

On August 12th, Balder joined Europeia, The North Pacific, The Pacific, and The West Pacific in announcing the Modern Gameplay Compact (MGC). The MGC provides a framework for mutual recognition and defense between signatories and their Frontiers. The compact is a significant leap forward for the Independent/independent/unaligned sphere, and reflects the deepening ties between our regions in recent months.

Announcement: https://forum.nationstates.net/view...id=ec59bce58ed412c05cbd6ededeb98e42#p39879408
Dispatch: https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=1747503

The Treaty of Alfhelm

August also saw the strengthening of ties between Balder and Lazarus, marked by the adoption of the Treaty of Alfhelm. Lazarus has proven time and time again that they are a dependable friend and ally, and we are extremely pleased to see this relationship continue to develop.

Lazarus Regional Update (August 2022): https://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?p=39899240#p39899240
The Treaty of Alfhelm: https://nslazarus.com/forum/index.php?threads/4090/#post-28025

Treaty of Savotta and Ribe

The League and Balder ratified a treaty on September 25th. Both regions look forward to working together bilaterally and with our mutual allies.

Upcoming culture activities:

To strengthen our relationship with Lazarus we're currently planning a Friendsgiving culture event near the Middle-end of October!

We're also planning a Halloween theme event with our friends at Thaecia!

Look for more information on both events as we get closer to the start of them!
 
Balder Update, November 2022

North East Somerset to step down as King

In the state opening of the Storting this month, NES announced his intention to step down as King of Balder. His current reign began in 2018. NES has opened elections for his successor; Crown Prince Fuzzy has stood with a platform promising widespread reforms and regular elections for the monarchy. To read the King's speech to the Storting, see this dispatch: https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=1794490

Sarah becomes Statsminister

Sarah Bread started her second term as Statsminister this month. She has appointed a dynamic Cabinet of both newcomers and older Balderans:

Zander Cerebella as Deputy Statsminister
Unintra as Minister of World Assembly Affairs
Leo as Minister of Culture and Engagement
Kazaman as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of War
 
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