|Official language||English, Menelmacari ConLang|
Osgiliath (of Menelmacariva)|
Menelmacar City (of Menelmacar)
|Largest cities||Pelargir, Silivrin, Calas Galadhon, New Thassala|
|Website||Menelmacar at the Grand Archive|
|Forum||Menelmacari Message Boards|
|Number of citizens||14|
|Number of active citizens||0 (Both nations Inactive)|
|Current leader||Elentári (High Queen) Sirithil nos Fëanor|
4.5.5 - 4.7.1 (as Unified Menelmacar)|
4.7.2 - 6.6.9 (Menelmacar)
6.3.0 - 6.7.0 (Menelmacariva)
The Imperium of Menelmacar was a micronation founded by Sirithil nos Fëanor in 2002 and for the purposes of this article refers to two nations which have used the name- Menelmacar and Menelmacariva- whose histories were very much intertwined. Menelmacar was a leading micronation in its day and by its death had greatly influenced intermicronational politics.
The following is an account of the History of Menelmacar by Scott Alexander, written around March of 2003.
Varjans and Visionaries
“The first post to the board!” With these words, Thomas Hubert inaugurated the new communist nation of Varja on July 15, 2002, the one thousand seventy fourth day of the Apollo Era, an event which, like all others, was the result of the infinite past and the cause of an infinite future. The specific past that led to the founding of Varja and to this less than awe-inspiring historical post was perhaps a little checkered. Thomas had been involved in a number of wars, crimes (if indeed there be difference between the two) and other unsavory events for the past two years, until finally he had been forced to leave micronationalism. Now he had returned under the name ElDorni, in the hope that his old enemies would not recognize him, at the head of a column of friends and acquaintances from the Elendor MUSH.
A MUSH, Sirithil nos Feanor once explained to me, is a Multi-User Shared Hallucination, a category of experience which bears a difference from the usual Role-Playing-Game that is highly significant for Role-Players and totally invisible to the rest of us. This specific Hallucination happened to be one based in the universe of Middle-Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien’s hauntingly beautiful and stunningly complex world in which were set the events of the Silmarillion and of his most famous work, The Lord of the Rings. Elendor was filled with elves, orcs, and even the occasional Dunedain, heir to the lost kings of Numenor. Thomas Hubert had been in Elendor for some time, and was well-acquainted with its many members. When it came time for his clandestine return to micronationalism, he had no trouble recruiting his friend and fellow leftist, Zarathustra Erutirn (a leftist Nietzschean – someone must be turning over in their grave for that) and a number of other Elendorites eager to try this new style of sim.
Thus July 15th, 2002, and that first post to the board. The second and third posts to the board were the equally propitious comments “Hola” and “Testing” – but things began to get interesting soon enough. The first true event of the new nation was the visit of Baracãoan diplomat Dafydd Young, an extremely high-ranking member of the micronational world’s largest and most successful communist republic. But things soon became more interesting than Acting Prime Minister (for so he was) Hubert had bargained for. Minister Young noticed a stray link to Thomas’ old email address in the forum code, and ElDorni’s secret was out before it even really began. Dafydd was asked to keep it quiet – and did so admirably – but a wise man once said that three people could keep a secret so long as two of them were dead, and after Young’s fellow Baracaoan Edward Guimont found out as well, there was no helping the thing.
The secret soon spread to the worst possible person – Scott Alexander, editor of what was then the micronational world’s largest newspaper, the Apollo Skyline. It was announced to the world, and at least ElDorni admitted his identity. But, he said, his previous less than sterling reputation was due to a “character” – a mask he had worn and acted the part of to liven up the pace of events. Now he was going to be the real Thomas Hubert, a Thomas Hubert who could work intelligently with other people and who was committed to peace, justice, and international cooperation. While a number of people refused to believe him, some Varjans, like Zarathustra Erutirn, vouched for their friend, and the micronational world came to a general consensus to forgive him until they saw a reason to do otherwise.
And so Varja went on, none the worse for its first international crisis. Although it had been founded as a communist state, it was still basically democratic, the theory being that an intelligent citizenry would, when given free choice, elect communists to national office. Now this theory was to be put to the test, as political conflicts began to surface. “Varja’s first scandal”, in the words of republican leader Sirithil nos Feanor, was the adoption of a constitution by Hubert without any debate, discussion, or popular vote. Friedrich Bakunin, a communist, answered that, as a communist document, it was made to protect the people and that Sirithil, as a capitalist would-be oppressor, had no right to interfere with that function. The eventual vote that led out of this matter, a proposed amendment by Sirithil to add a basic “bill of rights” to the constitution and clarify election procedures, ended strongly in favor of the communists, but Sirithil warned prophetically that “if by Election Day I am still the only one defending the people's freedoms, you may be surprised by the results.”
And this election day approached very, very, quickly. Thomas had set ten citizens as the magic number before the country would have its first big vote, and the tenth citizen joined Varja on July 20th. Elections were scheduled for the 24th, with the most important position, that of Prime Minister, hanging in the balance. Factions, parties, and cliques took shape at astonishing speed. The most powerful was the Communist Party of Varja, which predictably nominated Hubert for their Prime Ministerial candidate, but very close behind was the Varjan Republican Party under Sirithil. A distant third was Gozzle’s Monarchist Party. There were countless debates devolving into arguments devolving into name-calling between Thomas and Sirithil – and then the election arrived.
Seven to four to two, Sirithil’s victory. Everyone was very surprised, and no one more so than Thomas Hubert and his Communist Party. One gets the feeling that they did not actually expect for a democracy to actually be a force for change as much as an interesting ornament to their simulation, but they were awakened quite rudely. And Sirithil nos Feanor, probably already working on her acceptance speech, was awakened even more rudely when she learned that she would not have to give it after all. Thomas Hubert simply refused to accept the results and told the monarchist and republican parties to take a hike.
The rest of the micronational world was not especially pleased at this. This seemed to be that proof that Thomas Hubert was back to his old tricks that they had been waiting for. Most of the great powers of the day, these being Babkha, Attera, and Tymaria, unequivocally condemned the seizure – the exception being Baracao, which is not quite so against EZOp based coups as they would like you to think, so long as the instigators of those coups are ideologically sound. Edward Guimont, representing the Baracaoan government, promised the support of the Baracaoan militia to the communists, while the republicans and monarchists still sat, slightly dazed and horrified.
But they did not sit still for long. Sirithil spoke out against what she referred to as a coup in posts which have, unfortunately, been edited and are no longer accessible. Thomas’ supporters, particularly Erutirn and Bakunin, branded her a counter-revolutionary traitor, and Thomas soon banned her and her two prime supporters, Adam Safran and Phoenix Valor. A few foreign dignitaries, like Ardashir Shah of Babkha and Eoin Dornan of Treesia, came around to yell at Thomas or to generally make fun of him, while Orion, who is also not quite as against EZOp coups as he likes people to believe, wandered around trying to convince people that what was done was done and they should forget about it and go home. Eventually, the furor died down, aided along by the bannings of all who discussed the issue, and Thomas was unchallenged Prime Minister of Varja.
That was when Sirithil nos Feanor decided to found Menelmacar.
Flight and Foundation
Two nations were created by exiles from Varja after the revolution. Gozzle’s monarchist country of Czakatus withered away having barely even existed, to the vast relief of those of us who might otherwise have to write histories that include spelling its name. But the other, Sirithil’s republican country of Menelmacar, survived and prospered to become one of the most successful micronational experiments of the present era and “an echo and a light unto Eternity.”
“As you probably already know, Varja has fallen from its noble origins and is now little more than a seething hive of communist villainy. Therefore, I have founded this glorious Imperium in response. Enjoy... all that I promised when elected the rightful leader of Varja, I promise again, and will honor. This may be a monarchy, but it is a monarchy in which the people have a voice, and where the monarch serves the people, rather than vice-versa.”
A better opening than that of Varja, for certain. This original post on Menelmacar’s boards was made July 25, 2002 by Sirithil nos Feanor. It was slightly misleading – although Sirithil gave herself the title of Elentari, “Queen of the Stars”, it was not so much a monarchy as a republic with a very strong executive. But this point would be the result of months of tiring political debate – and for the present, what mattered was that it was not a communist dictatorship like the alternative.
What it was was spelled out in the Elentari’s first decree, the Constitution of Menelmacar. The country would be an “Republican Imperium”, which sounds somewhat silly until one remembers Shirerothis an “Imperial Republic” – go figure. Its leader, the Elentari (male form Elenaran), would be elected to a four month term, in which she had the powers to declare war, command the armed forces, issue unilateral decrees, and veto decrees by the legislature. Although this is certainly a large amount of power to concentrate in one individual, in practice it caused surprisingly few problems for the first half of the country’s existence. The legislature would be the Conclave of Equals, which would follow a variant of the ever-popular Timed Direct Democracy system first invented in Jasonia. The final part of the Menelmacari government would be a Cabinet of Prefects each running a particular department.
The obvious similarities to the United States government continued as the Constitution got into its version of the Bill of Rights. Free speech, keep and bear arms, free press, free religion, free association, free et cetera. The single glaring exception was a hard-coded ban on there ever being a Menelmacari communist party. Despite the discrepancy, no one could really blame them, and the ban has survived to the present day.
But although the constitution provided a major framework for the country’s direction and future, perhaps more important was the beginning of the nation’s culture. In Elendor, Sirithil had been a High Elf, one of the descendents of the cursed Feanor who were doomed never to rest until they found the Silmarils. She brought this elven flavor to her new country, imbuing every detail with Tolkien references or fantasy themes. The most obvious (and yet least known) such reference is the name of the country itself – Menelmacar (Quenya Menelvagor) is the Swordsman of the Sky, a constellation symbolizing eternal vigilance against the forces of darkness. The executive name, Elentari, is Elvish for “Queen of the Stars”, with the stars being a well known Elvish symbol. The red dagger-star occupying a prominent place on the flag is the symbol of House Feanor and thus Sirithil’s personal crest, a fact which has not stopped her opponents from continuing to use it as their symbol. Virtually all the Menelmacari names on the MCS map are lifted directly from the Silmarillion or the Lord of the Rings. However, the ultimate importance of the Tolkien base was perhaps not so much for its own sake but in that it attracted a number of the micronational world’s more fantasy-minded thinkers.
The first great operation of Menelmacar, and one that never came to fruition, was Operation: Revival. Described as “an attempt to enforce the Hubert Doctrine”, it was begun when a number of micronational leaders, primarily old Apollonians, came to Sirithil telling her that they had a policy of always trying to deal with Thomas Hubert as soon and as decisively as possible, and offering their help should she choose to attempt something. The merits of action and inaction on this subject were discussed back and forth, providing a major boost to the country’s activity and introducing a number of people who might otherwise have not bothered to stop by the latest micronational upstart. Scott Alexander, who at that time was part of Tymaria, the declining but still influential colossus that had once ruled the world before suffering an agonizingly slow and painful death, briefed Sirithil on the history of the “Hubert Doctrine” as a loose and continual anti-Hubert alliance between most states of an earlier era was called, while Orion advocated moderation and a “live-and-let-live” policy, saying that although Thomas had used EZOp power to steal Varja, he was not an immediate threat and therefore should not be considered a problem. It is widely considered that if even Orion “WarVoid” wants peace on a matter, then peace is probably the only viable option, and the issue was slowly and regretfully closed.
Yet by this time, Varja was slowly fading from even the most militant Menelmacari minds as the country developed in its own right and began to grow...and grow...and grow...and grow...and...you get the idea.
Immigration and Imperialism
Every event lies at the convergence of an infinite past and an infinite future, and if one follows the thread of Menelmacari expansion far enough back, one finds one’s self at the Flying Islands of Jasonia, in August 2000. The Golden Age of Jasonia, self-proclaimed “coolest thing in the history of anything, ever”, was well underway, and two of its primary architects, Bill Dusch and Jason Steffke, had, in the course of programming a computer game, quite accidentally come across an entirely new polytheistic and rather complex religion, Soloralism, as well as the lost, technologically advanced empire of the Microns. They began preaching their new culture to their fellow Jasonians, achieving respectable if not spectacular success, but the Golden Age of Jasonia, like all other things except death, taxes, Bill being young and stupid, and inactivity in Hyperborea, came to an end, and in the great events of the succeeding years, amidst the long winter of the Collapse and the truncated glories of Tymaria, the Microns and their gods seemed lost to history a second time. But as the disillusionment of Tymaria’s moribundity faded away, and a new dawn of hope seemed to come to micronationalism, the lost Soloralist culture began to stir again. In its first gropings toward existence, it came across fantasy-friendly Menelmacar, and the two entered a symbiosis that has lasted the better part of a year and changed both entities forever.
Bill Dusch immigrated to Menelmacar on August 14. Jason Steffke (who was now, possibly as a result of a very selective insanity, referring to himself as “Harvey”) joined along with the last of the Microns, Sai’Kar Lum’Eth, who the unimaginative might call his double login. Both Bill and Jason had come from the Barony of Treesia, another fantasy realm in which they had been pushing their religion but were discouraged by the high level of competition with its native Treesian Unorthodox. They opened a second Soloralist Temple of the Quintessences in Menelmacar similar to the Treesian one, and quickly found fertile ground, converting Menelmacaris Philip Locke (a new arrival from dead Freenesia), Zarathustra Erutirn (who, although still Varjan, had decided to come check out Menelmacar too) and Sirithil herself. To their luck, Soloralism already had a strong tradition of elf-related material, but they further altered a number of their myths and deities to mesh with Menelmacari culture more closely. Further, they relocated the BGI office, a center for making Soloralist micronational role-playing games, to the Menelmacari boards.
Menelmacar was also blessed around this time with the citizenship of Philip Locke, who was recovering from his Freenesian debacle. Locke had been a reasonably well-liked and productive micronationalist until he tried to destroy Tymaria in a fit of temporary insanity brought on by an overdose of Nietzsche. After the entire micronational world allied against him, he moved to working in tandem with the general scum of the micronational world to cause trouble and war, with the country of Freenesia, which actually transcended its eviality for a while, being the vehicle through which this occurred. But Locke finally had an epiphany after a particularly nasty attack, disbanded Freenesia, and, lacking a home but knowing where to go, moved to Menelmacar, dragging some of his friends/partners in crime like William Jesmer with him.
It did not stop there. Eoin Dornan, former Hubert opponent and lovably sarcastic wombat-baron of the micronational world’s leading fantasy realm, was a very early immigrant, and Fidel Nico, a communist and general shady character, was let in too under the very liberal immigration policies. Thomas Cutterham, who loathed everything for which Menelmacar stood, joined anyway for reasons which are not yet clear to me. There were also a number of other people who no one had ever heard of and who were probably spies.
And last, but certainly not least, Orion, an old-timer who had returned with a bang by trying to restart a nation called “The People’s Republic of Hell” and then going off and conquering and annexing places, decided to mellow out and join Menelmacar instead.
Menelmacar having a decent population and culture, it was now time to get some land. Sirithil requested from the Micronational Cartography Society a prime piece of land, the island chain at the far east of the map. This had been occupied for some time by Chas Jago’s nation of Alteria, but Alteria had been dead as long as anyone could remember. Of course, as soon as the claim was made, who should show up but Chas Jago, claiming he had a plan to revive Alteria and asking that the land not be given away. The Cartography Society put Sirithil’s claims on hold for a while – a very long while – but finally she and the other Menelmacaris drove Jago away, and when his attempt to revive Alteria failed to materialize, the islands were given to the Menelmacari under the name of Feanoria. But that was not all. Philip Locke’s Freenesia and Thomas Cutterham’s Jaiha, both of which were now dead, were sitting around taking up space, and the two decided to give their territory to Menelmacar, making it unusually large for such a new nation.
But better luck was still to come. Bill Dusch finally grew fed up with what he viewed as Unorthodox interference with his proselytizing attempts in Treesia and decided to leave the country. He took with him the extremely large Treesian territory of Elpidos and offered it to Menelmacar in early September, with Menelmacar gladly accepting. Treesia publically took the loss in stride, although privately they grew very bitter and Eoin eventually left Menelmacar in extreme displeasure. And at about the same time, Orion donated a large package of all the territories that his People’s Republic of Hell had conquered under the name of Ashintully, which was also highly appreciated despite the fact that the less-than-reputable manner in which some of those territories were obtained caused trouble later.
When they annexing (or, as the Menelmacari call it, “eating”) fit was done, Menelmacar was second only to Shireroth in its land area, leading Philip Locke to memorably proclaim “We have eaten many nations, and they are all sweet”.
Somewhat less memorably, but of major symbolic importance, the Skyline wrote a long article around this time on the astounding success of Menelmacar. It ended: “The example of Menelmacar goes to show that ever so often a new nation by a new person does actually work, even if only once in a blue moon. The rest of us can take heart that we’ve finally got some fresh blood, fresh ideas, and best of all, ACTIVITY!”
Commies and Cold Wars
Things had proceeded less well for the loyalist Varjans, who had suffered disappointment after disappointment in the same period. A few weeks after the election, with activity at an all time low, Thomas Hubert had resigned as Varjan president in favor of (the now also Menelmacari) Zarathustra Erutirn. But this regime change had failed to improve matters, so that the two, by this time Varja’s only real active citizens, elected to give the nation to still-flourishing Baracao as a province. They brought with them a few hundred pixels of MCS land, two citizens, and an abiding dislike of Menelmacar which carried over to their parent country all too well.
The Baracaoans, being communist, needed their capitalist fascist oppressors to complain about and keep the people in a state of continual revolution and war-readiness. The Soviet Union had their USA. China had their...USA. Cuba had their...okay, this thread of discussion is closed. But for the Baracaoans, Menelmacar must have seemed a gift from the God they didn’t believe in. Sirithil was a known macronational conservative, to the point that calling her a “Reaganite” would not be out of place, and Menelmacar was built on strong anti-communism principles which were enshrined in its constitution. Further, a number of micronational events happened at this time to cement the feud. First, the remnants of Tymaria and Baracao came close to the brink of war a number of times over the rebel Tymarian territory of the Free Territories, and Sirithil, having taken the position of Tymarian Foreign Minister, was definitely part of the “enemy camp”. Second, Menelmacar began to drift towards a loose friendship with Attera, while Baracao also forged the beginnings of what would eventually become the Venceramos-Rastakhiz Pact with Babkha, Attera’s traditional enemy.
Things only got worse when Philip Locke decided to defect to Baracao. He had been growing more and more communist for some time and decided the revolutionary state might be a better place for him. When the Baracaoans kicked him out along with Orion for sympathizing with Menelmacari counterrevolutionaries, he decided to quit Menelmacar instead, and take Freenesia with him, although he did not bother informing Menelmacar of this. When the secession came out, there was much outrage, and the two countries briefly considered war, until it was finally agreed to much grumbling on all sides that Baracao would get two-fifths of Freenesia while Menelmacar kept the rest. Philip Locke redefected (as is his wont) from Baracao back to Menelmacar a few weeks later anyway, so it did not cause too much of an issue.
These were the big things, but the little things were equally bad. Sirithil went to the Baracaoan off-topic forum, Chez Guevara, and argued persuasively for the inherent evil of communism, and the Baracaoans responded in kind in the Menelmacari Tavern of the Mind. The Baracaoans used a nifty script to change the avatars of major Menelmacari leaders to Cuban dictator Batista, and the Menelmacari in turn changed Baracaoan avatars in Menelmacar to Josef Stalin (which, knowing the Baracaoans, they would probably take as a compliment) and, in one very odd instance, a slice of limburger cheese. Another thing that didn’t help was Bob Silby, a foul-mouthed and extremely undiplomatic Baracaoan who led the anti-Menelmacar faction being appointed as the ambassador to Menelmacar.
When Menelmacar was attacked by a number of small bombs in September, it was generally suspected to be the work of Baracao and quite possibly of Silby himself, who was known to have carried out similar attacks in the past. The Menelmacari accused the Baracaoans, and the Baracaoans said the Menelmacari should be ashamed of themselves for making accusations without evidence. There it languished. Sort of. The Menelmacari created Area 52, a secret military planning forum, to take anti-Baracaoan operations into their own hands. From the beginning, Area 52 was marred by some of the worst security ever, and I include nuclear laboratories during the Clinton administration in that statement. The password was accidentally posted in a supposedly secret forum that Eoin Dornan had access to, and Eoin shared the password with micronational reporter Scott Alexander, who, in an extremely rare show of restraint, did not publish the entire matter immediately. The two of them continued to obtain information for about a month until the matter was discovered by Bill Dusch, and used their knowledge to foil a few less ethical Menelmacari plans like Operation Jade Wolf, the attempt by Orion to gain control of what was now the barest bones of an excuse for Tymaria. Other operations in the Area included an attempt to throw the Baracaoan chairman elections, which was never really carried out particularly well but which the Baracaoans guessed was going on and for which the the Menelmacaris got in trouble.
Perhaps Menelmacar’s most successful – and yet most troublesome – battle in the great cold war with Baracao was their sabotage of Pacary. Pacary was the other half of the great Baracaoan block, the Alliance of Free States. It also had Sirithil as a citizen. Taking advantage of the general belief that Baracao was responsible for the recent terrorist attacks, she started and pushed through a vote to withdraw Pacary from the Alliance, over the extremely strong objections of Pacarian leader Sander Dieleman and of Pacarian Defense Minister Liam Sinclair. Unfortunately, a backlash in Pacary led to an even better relationship between the two countries. Baracao, out of respect for the Pacarian leadership’s distaste for the vote, offered to defend Pacary without mutual obligation on their part, and also created a Foreign Legion in which non-Baracaoans could work to defend Baracao. Sander, bomb-maker extraordinaire, joined the legion, as well as Minister Sinclair and even some who had been totally uninvolved with the AoFS before. Sirithil, disappointed and slightly guilty, started a vote to rejoin Pacary to the alliance, which succeeded. However, the Baracaoans were now hopping mad about Menelmacari interference (particularly successful Menelmacari interference, which is always the worst type) and began grumbling and plotting. Thus began an even more ugly phase of the cold war, which would not end until both nations had it knocked out of them by catastrophically unfortunate occurrences.
Terrorists and Telepaths
Every event is the convergence of an infinite past and an infinite future, and some threads can lead further, and in far stranger directions, than one would ever suppose. Jason Steffke, Prefect of Foreign Affairs at this time, was, in his own words, an empath – one who had an ability to work with and understand others bordering on and perhaps crossing the border to the paranormal. In an effort to increase understanding of him, his unique talent, and his life, as well as of the events leading up to the foundation of the Flying Islands of Jasonia, he wrote a seemingly innocent abridged autobiography in which he described some portions of his career. William Jesmer was at the time head of MISSION, the laughably bad Menelmacari secret intelligence service that everyone knew about. Jesmer wondered if perhaps if Jason really had psionic skills, they could be turned to good (read: evil) use. He knew of some good psionic sites on the Internet and contacted the administrator of one, asking him to come take a look.
The administrator came, and although not particularly impressed by the story, was highly interested in micronationalism. He contacted Scott Alexander asking him what it was about, and receiving one or two answers, immediately got an intuitive grasp of the whole thing and immigrated to Menelmacar under the login Archetype23. He mentioned to Sirithil that he was a psion and might be very useful in intelligence or military related operations. A plan to put him under Jesmer in MISSION somehow morphed into a plan to put him above Jesmer in MISSION, and he became head of Menelmacari intelligence for a brief span until the organization was dissolved (or so they tell us historians). He also became, due to his interest in and talent with the law, the Prefect of Justice, and became a strong presence in the secret discussions constantly going on in Area 52 as well as in the Menelmacari government as a whole. One thing he did not do was reveal his psionic talent or his psionics site – he felt micronationalists visiting his site could be problematic, and was not too anxious to let potential enemies know of his “secret weapon” either, especially since they already mocked Menelmacar for living too much in a fantasy world. Nevertheless, it soon became obvious even for more prosaic reasons that he was the new person to watch.
However, a number of people just started to plain not like him. Most vehement of these was the very person he had entered micronationalism to help – Jason Steffke. Where Jason went, of course, Bill followed, and since neither Bill nor Archetype is very good at being diplomatic or keeping a lid on their tempers, this soon fueled itself into a very, very strong antipathy. Somehow Erik Mortis also got himself on Archetype’s bad list. Philip Locke decided Archetype was crazy early on because of his belief that he was a psion, and told him so to his face – which soon degenerated into hostility there to. And despite Archetype’s mentoring of William Jesmer, some micronational disagreements drove a wedge between them as well. On the other hand, Orion and him got along pretty well, as did, surprisingly, new immigrant from the “Corporate Republic” of Cranda Robert Belci. Fax Celestis of Shireroth worked well with him also. Strangely enough, though, a number of non-Menelmacari and him got along very well. Abbas Namvari, who is otherwise an outstandingly sane and rational person, somehow gets along with him, as does Atteran Liam Sinclair despite his unfortunate and bigoted undying hatred for all Canucks.
In a micronational world that has seen enough bizarre pseudo-religions to make a Scientologist blush – from Yuri V. Andropov being at the ontological foundation of human existence to stodlum being the agent on Earth of gods whose archenemy is a demonic Thomas Hubert, to...well...Soloralism, Archetype once again took the insanity-related cake with the foundation of his new faith, the Path of Yellow. The Path of Yellow, which length-conscious Menelmacari quickly began calling Yellowism, worships as deity a telepathic banana, has as its highest commandment insanity, and somehow grants sheep a special relationship with their fruity deity. Originally developed on Archetype’s psionics site, its importation to the micronational world was at first something of a disappointment, with few micronationalists in the Soloralist stronghold of Menelmacar being willing to convert. However, at this same time (early October) Archetype was building his own nation, the Collective Unconscious, out of people he had recruited from among his friends and students in psionics. Quickly becoming a center for micronational Yellowism, it managed to develop the faith until it attracted some “mainstreamers” like Abbas and Sander. However, Archetype soon chose to temporarily inactivate the Collective Unconscious until he had time to rework it and give it more attention. Yellowism, and his high position in Menelmacari society, remained.
It was only a few weeks after Archetype joined that the attacks came. There had been three or four instances of terrorist attacks scattered over about a month before the fateful day of October 11, but they had all been minor, amateur, and easy enough to clean up that they were not worth making a fuss about.
On October 10th, the login “demon elf” started spamming Menelmacari boards. Stjepan Aracic told Scott Alexander told Archetype23 told Sirithil (with the last telling, oddly enough, occurring via alleged telepathy as Sirithil was not at her computer at the time) and Sirithil managed to ban the login and delete the threads, although the bombs were an order of magnitude better than had been seen before and seemed to be far more numerous. The next morning, October 11, a number of logins began posting on preexisting threads with a very advanced bomb that messed with browsers. Thankfully, Archetype23 and Jason Steffke caught the attack about an hour into it, before total catastrophe could occur, and laboriously cleaned up the debris, with the latter inventing in the process a new defensive technique, the AEGIS Protocol, which would later win him the Norton Peace Prize. By the time Sirithil came on, the damage was mostly fixed. But it could have been much worse, and the population of Menelmacar was enraged.
The fingers immediately pointed to Baracao, which by this time was locked in epic cold combat with Menelmacar and which very obviously and publicly hated its guts. Those wishing to go a bit more specific accused Bob Silby, the Baracaoan ambassador to Menelmacar, who was known to do these kinds of things. The Baracaoans not only vehemently denied it but were enraged that the Menelmacaris could even suggest such a thing of the peace loving workers and peasants of their republic. They proposed that the Menelmacaris had done it to themselves to try to make Baracao look bad.
Scott Alexander and Jason Steffke teamed up to investigate the issue. Jason discovered that the demon elf login had been used at Baracao prior to its appearance in Menelmacar – hardly conclusive, but certainly suspicious. Both obtained AIM and MSN transcripts of Silby bragging that he had done it, and Archetype23 also presented a conversation between the two of them in which Silby had taunted that no one could catch him (generally considered to be a bad thing to say to Archetype). Scott finally traced the IP of the bomber back to Hoefensill, a low-ranking officer in the Baracaoan army, and at the same time, an anonymous informant, who cannot be identified here save by the mysterious initials Fidel N., gave him copies of numerous Baracaoan secret documents which proved the attacks were part of a long-term anti-Menelmacar plan led by – of course – Thomas Hubert.
The two decided enough was enough from Baracao, and sent EZBoard what they hoped was enough evidence to get them shut down. At the same time, Scott published an expose on the whole matter. To his surprise, the Baracaoans, when presented with proof, not only backed down but apologized, seemed deeply mortified, and passed a law completely dismantling their military structure and ending the cold war on extremely generous terms. Hubert and Silby created an opposition faction dedicated to militarism and Menelmacar’s eradication and attempted to impeach then-Chairman Dafydd, but they were defeated by a large margin and left the nation to a live in a state of disgrace (Politika, to be precise). Under the circumstances, destroying Baracao via what had been code-named “Operation Deathblow” was hardly fair – so Scott and Jason told the Baracaoans exactly what evidence to delete so that EZBoard would be unable to pin anything on them. They are still around, so either it worked or the EZBoard staff is extremely lazy.
But the hour of Menelmacar’s great victory was bittersweet. On the same day as the Baracaoan announcement, Sirithil, having been threatened by William Jesmer, revealed that she was, in fact, male, playing a female character only as a “persona”. Although most Menelmacari said they would not think less of her? him? it? for this, there was a sense of betrayal, and a strong feeling that perhaps the administration was being less honest than it would like to appear.
Nevertheless, Menelmacar’s one great enemy having been vanquished, the nation should have proceeded to a Golden Age of unrivalled proportions. Instead, it took a deep downward dive and began the slide into factionalism and its own destruction.
Disillusionment and Division
Menelmacar began the post-cold war era with a number of problems looming on the horizon, as problems tend to do. Things started cheerfully enough – Menelmacar held the first Switching Day, a beloved micronational holiday, in two years, getting some good publicity and having some good fun. Menelmacar got an active and productive new citizen, Mari Greenwood, who was elvish and female besides! Prince Kieran was another active and productive person at this period, although of course later he turned out to be a spy. And Menelmacar had the benefit of being the nation that sits back with popcorn and chips and a superior look on their face as two little nations fight a war and each appeals to them for help.
Then things got ugly. Robert Belci and a number of Crandans had entered the nation, as had a number of Unconscious friends of Archetype. They had now become a very sizable political bloc with the power to influence national policy, although they rarely did so. Bill Dusch, as is his wont, began crusading against what he viewed as foreign influence and the decay of traditional Menelmacari culture. Belci took up the role of crusading against him, saying that he and his friends were as Menelmacari as Bill was. The two became mortal enemies, with both constantly calling one another idiots (and both being right), and soon, much of the nation had gotten riled up in the controversy, with pleas to Sirithil to ban one or the other participant for some real or imagined violation becoming common. Bill became an “Apollonian bigot who is trying to use Nazi tactics to remove anyone who doesn’t fit his idea of racial purity”. Belci, the Crandans, and the Unconscious became “carpetbaggers who are trying to steal Menelmacar to remake it into a cultural colony of foreign powers.” Bahram Gul Khan, who is to angry insulting discussion what a gigantic tank of propane is to sparks, did not help matters much either.
Archetype landing in Belci’s camp (which from that point on became Archetype’s camp), the dislike between him, Bill, and Jason continued to grow. This reached a climax when Archetype presented what he believed to be evidence of Jason stepping beyond his authority in foreign relations and he and Sirithil berating Jason for this violation. Jason alleged that they were completely overanalyzing and misinterpreting the situation, said he no longer wished to be in a country where he could not do his job without political opponents trying to nail him at every turn, and left in disgust, with a parting conversation in which both he and Archetype accused one another of being paranoid. Sirithil ended up apologizing for the accusation, but Jason stood firm. Announcing his departure publicly, his resignation thread further fueled the fire, with everyone saying how sorry they were he was going, Archetype saying he still thought Jason was a jerk, and Jason strongly implying this was all Archetype’s fault for being a paranoid witch-hunter. People of course sided with their respective camps, and the insulting continued merrily long into the night.
All kinds of other things then came in rapid succession. Bill noticed some classified information that had been leaked, and, though the real source was the Alexander-Dornan break that had been fixed long ago, he suspected Archetype as one of the few people who had access to the appropriate forum and, better yet, as a guy he didn’t like. Archetype being accused sued for slander, and that certainly did not help the national climate, although Bill finally apologized and Archetype dropped the case.
And, in the final straw, the last bit of kind of almost good feeling binding the nation together, the willingness of Archetype and Sirithil to work together, finally snapped. The two had already drifted apart due to a vast overblowing of differences in their opinions on what information should be kept secret and what could be declassified, as well as Archetype’s lurking paranoid suspicion that Sirithil might be favoring Bill in their dispute. But the big break came when Sirithil, knowing that a nation divided against itself couldn’t stand, decided either Archetype or Bill had to go. Not being willing to abandon a close friend and supporter, she chose Archetype, and privately requested he leave for the good of the country. Archetype was livid beyond words that after all the work he had put in his was being shown the door to placate someone he viewed as basically a spoiled child. He told Sirithil absolutely not, and, considering himself betrayed, split from Sirithil forever.
Around the same time and for about the same reasons was founded The Imperium’s Truth Party, the first real opposition party in Menelmacar and the first party since the nation had disbanded parties by mutual consent in the September golden age. The Truth Party had as its ideals the total relaxation of the secrecy which was infesting the nation and as a specific focus the myriads of crazy plots focusing around Area 52, which had changed from a command center against the Baracaoans to a hub of random murmuring and arguing about who was betraying whom. At the center of the issue was Sirithil’s attempts to use Archetype’s psionic powers. In fact, the whole matter was extremely odd, as Archetype was generally the source of a most Menelmacari secrecy in the first place, as Bill and Sirithil were quick to point out, but Archetype effectively countered this argument by saying that what he wanted secret was secret for a reason, often personal real life privacy, while what Sirithil wanted secret was generally matters that should be known by the populace. The Truth Party, which soon gained Belci as its most loyal adherent and a number of others in that camp, pushed for total Area 52 declassification as well as the protection of Yellowists and Crandans against Bill’s stabs at “cultural purity”.
Bill, of course, grew livid. If there is one thing that Bill does not like, never has liked, and never will like, it is political parties, and for one to have been formed, by his enemies, in a nation in which he had somehow pulled off a minor miracle to get them eliminated pretty much made his eyes bulge out of his head with rage. The fact that a surprisingly large number of Truth Party discussions, ideals, and posts involved fighting him, insulting him, or revealing information about him and his actions he did not want revealed certainly did not help matters.
The conflict erupted, for the first but not the last time, on December 1, in a frenzy of angry posts on all sides. Philip Locke had noticed that, in epic bad timing, the Elentari elections were in two weeks, and asked who people would vote for. The poll turned into a debate which turned into an argument which turned into World War III. It was not an actual riot or coup or anything, but it was about as close as they come. Everyone was throwing every insult in the book at everyone else and calling them traitors and demanding they leave the nation immediately. It was absolutely awful, although it did wonders for the nation’s post per days count. Finally, when night spread its calming veil o’er the land, the belligerent parties (of whom Philip Locke had shown himself, somewhat surprisingly, the champion of Bill’s Soloralist faction) went to sleep things died down. Except for that whole pesky election thing…
Truth and Turnover
The contest in the Elentari elections was evident to everyone before they had even begun. Sirithil and Archetype. The two would finally face off in an ultimate battle to determine the fate of the country. The stakes were to be about as high as they come, and everyone knew it. No one seemed to really be considering the fact that a victory by either party would, almost certainly, completely alienate half the nation, or if they did consider it, they considered that half a bunch of worthless scum who wasn’t worth having around anyway.
Well, maybe one person considered it. Poor Caesar Augustus, who had returned to micronationalism from a long absence a month or two before and who was now a respected Menelmacari jurist, decided to run on a “third-party” ticket. Although in retrospect voting for him could have solved a lot of difficulties, he unfortunately was relegated to the role of the clueless African explorer in the middle of two herds of wildebeests stampeding right into one another.
There was a admirable if rather half-hearted attempt by the two candidates not to have the election degenerate into a crazy hatefest, but some of their supporters, like Bill and Robert, took the responsibility themselves, and finally the candidates decided eh, what the heck, let’s make it a crazy hatefest. So they did.
Each candidate soon appointed a Vice-Elenaran to share their ticket, as a debating partner if nothing else. Delvenusian leader Fax Celestis was chosen by Archetype, whereas Sirithil in an rare show of common sense avoided Bill and nominated Mari Greenwood, who until that point was a rather uncontroversial and nondespised figure. So far as this historian can tell, Caesar never appointed a running-mate.
An unofficial Skyline poll quickly discovered, to everyone’s mild surprise, that Archetype was in the lead. It appeared he had more of a constituency than had been previously thought, even if they weren’t perhaps as loud as Bill can sometimes be. A number of Delvenusians had quietly immigrated over the past few months, as had some Crandans besides Belci and some of Archetype’s Unconscious friends, and they all provided a powerful bloc unwilling to accept anything other than full equality with the original Menelmacaris. Sirithil was nonplussed, saying, without a reason, that she was sure she would end up winning in the end. Archetype used mind-reading to discover that she was planning on getting some extremely inactive citizens who had not been around since at least Chapter II to support her, which would tip the balance in her favor but perhaps not reflect the will of the Menelmacari people so well. It was about this point that her campaign manager resigned in disgust.
But Archetype, as usual, did not give up. He dropped a media bombshell by revealing that Sirithil had tried to use his psionic powers for evil, asking him to spy on citizens and even to try and reprogram Jason’s mind to make him come back after his resignation. Archetype came out of the affair very much looking like the good guy, since he had refused on moral grounds, whereas Sirithil appeared as a manipulative tyrant. Sirithil responded with a few similar accusations of her own, but they were comparatively very minor and had the obvious appearance of being last-ditch damage control efforts, which they certainly were.
The Menelmacari response, particularly after Scott fanned the flames a bit through a timely editorial, was generally one of outrage. Few Menelmacari believed in psionics, and a number of them openly ridiculed both Archetype and Sirithil for their gullibility in the matter, but they did believe that if a leader was willing to betray her citizens through nonexistent means, she was probably the type of person who would betray them by existent ones when they came along. The issue shifted from a discussion of the reality of psychic phenomena to a discussion of what the new information revealed about Sirithil’s character. By the time the dust settled, Archetype was perhaps tied with her despite her inactive supporters, although in an odd footnote to history, William Jesmer, one of the targets of the psionic reprogramming, actually changed his vote to support Sirithil out of a general-principle support for evil.
But more! It was revealed that Sirithil had grown so disgusted with the state of affairs that, if elected, she was going to just totally wipe clean the country to start from the ground up. Alas, Babylon! Despite this not being a half-bad idea, this was the final outrage, and Archetype at last took a significant lead in the voting.
On December 16, the micronational world woke bright and early to examine the polls and see who the next Elentari of Menelmacar was to be. What they found was – nothing. There were no polls. In fact, the Menelmacari boards were locked.
Then, a new forum. “The Ruins of Caras Menelmacar”. And a post, by Bill. Archetype had won the election. It would be better for Menelmacar to die than for it to lose sight of its principles by continuing under his leadership. Therefore, Bill had killed it. There were a number of very displeased Truth Party supporters kicking and screaming, but Bill ignored them and in fact completely disappeared from micronations for the time being.
Sirithil showed up a few hours later. She said she had NOT authorized Bill to do what he did, nor supported it. But now that it was done, she couldn’t really object. Menelmacar had destroyed its founding ideals, and it would be better to “die proudly when one is no longer able to live proudly” than to become another Tymaria.
Archetype and his supporters, however, had no intention of dying, proudly or otherwise. William Jesmer lent them an out-of-the-way Menelmacari intelligence agency board, and they began relocating the government there. The provinces of Ashintully, Balar, and the Teir’Dal Wastelands (which Ryan invented for the purpose in some spur of the moment enthusiasm) revolted and joined in a provisional government under Archetype23.
The Provisional Government began to pick up and do rather well, and perhaps it could have blossomed into a fully functioning country if it had had to, but thankfully, it did not. After a lot of internal and international opposition, and having some time to think the matter through, Sirithil changed her mind. At 4 PM on the 16th she issued a decree stating: “I have met with unexpected resistance on many fronts; I have put some thought into this, and it seems that there are those who have some dedication to Menelmacar even after its total disgrace. Perhaps there is the chance that some of those I considered not to be true Menelmacari have some Menelmacari in them after all... and I have realized I would be remiss in my duties as Elentari not to give them a chance. So... yeah. The nos Fëanor administration officially acknowledges the legitimacy of the incoming Archetype administration, and I also therefore hereby declare Menelmacar not-yet-dead.”
On December 22, 2002, Archetype23 was officially inaugurated as the second Elenaran of Menelmacar. In turning over power, Sirithil told him “Arch, frankly, it was the dirtiest, most mudslingingest election I've ever seen. But you did win. So... don't take Menelmacar too far from what I would have wanted. I'm sure you'll do just fine.”
Well, at least it was a nice thought.
Turmoil and Treason
Thus did it come to pass, on the 1234th day of the Apollo Era, that Archetype the Twenty-Third, as he began to refer to himself, became King of the Stars. And declared, as the saying goes, that “there are going to be some changes around here”.
First he took care of some basic decreeing. All of Sirithil’s last few decrees, particularly the nation-destroying ones, were repealed. Next he made a decree that no Elenaran could ever decree the end of the nation, although this was somewhat pointless as it is perfectly permissible for Elenarans to repeal one another’s decrees, including this one. Next he replaced the Cabinet, giving positions mainly to his supporters but with an admirable number of his political opponents who could be expected to do decent jobs mixed in. Finally, he decreed Menelmacar on Winter Holiday, as many citizens were on vacation or generally unable to participate. Sirithil did not return from this holiday, having no desire to participate in an Archetypal Menelmacar. Bill, in contrast, took the holiday to gather the last tattered remnants of his sanity together and return in a marginally better but still pretty upset state.
When the holiday ended, a number of very pressing matters had to be considered. Elpidos and Ptia wanted to secede. The immigration department was having some awful problems. Bill, and to a lesser degree Jason, were still very mad about everything and doing whatever was possible to make life (or at least Menelmacar-ruling) difficult for Archetype. And a number of organizations hearkening back to the old elvish traditional days were beginning to form that demanded attention and recognition.
Elpidos, which technically includes the island of Ptia, had been freed from Menelmacari rule by Sirithil’s Dissolution Decree. Historically the territory of Bill Dusch, its new independence coincided perfectly with Bill’s new dislike of the Menelmacari government. Ptia, an island city just off the Elpiferno coast, was a place of great historical importance, and was particularly loved by Jason Steffke, creator of most of its culture. Archetype, however, took the position that since he had repealed the dissolution decree, Elpidos and Ptia were both still Menelmacari – a position which ignored the obvious fact that you can’t really take back giving something to someone, but which few people decided to question at the time. Jason and Bill decided that they would secede through legal channels, which required a vote in the Conclave, rather than unilaterally or by pushing the decree issue. However, after votes were started, things immediately began to complicated themselves. Archetype insisted on separate votes for Ptia and Elpidos, and when the Elpidos vote passed, demanded another vote because the Elpidos vote had also included Ptia, which by that time had already seceded. However, with the help of random intermicronational orator Demosthenes1, widely considered to be an alter ego of Scott Alexander, as well as support from Sirithil and some of her inactive friends, Elpidos and Ptia were successfully removed, although lingering complications continued to irritate the country all the way until the Great Schism.
The immigration problem occurred when Prophet of Yellow, who as the name suggests was a psion and Yellowist friend of Archetype’s, tried to immigrate to Menelmacar. Mari Greenwood, one of the political opponents of Archetype who had nevertheless been given a high government position, was at that time Prefect of Immigration, and was responsible for carrying out the immigration procedure, which involved a live interview with the applicant. After a number of attempts to schedule such an interview, she rejected the Prophet on the grounds that he was being rude to her and consistently missing his interviews, possibly because he figured he would be rubber-stamped for being a friend of Archetype’s and a Yellowist. In what was perhaps not the most savvy political move ever, Archetype fired Greenwood, replaced her with Belci, and then...well...rubber-stamped Prophet’s application. But wait! There was a reason! According to Archetype, he had investigated the matter, and Greenwood had in fact tried half-heartedly to schedule something but finally given up and rejected him out of hand because he was a Yellowist rather than an elvish traditionalist. Both Mari and Archetype vehemently denied the other’s story, and a country already supersaturated with feuds gained another.
Further immigration...well, either brilliant decisions or abuses, depending on your faction…were soon to come. This thread traces back to Erik’s continuous use of the phrase “I shall revenge!” for little to no reason at all, a use commonly known to most micronationalists. When he used it within Archetype’s hearing, Archetype decided this was some sort of precursor to a Shirerothian attack on Menelmacar and grew extremely defensive. Erik found this funny and started baiting him further until Archetype came disturbingly close to launching a preemptive attack on a Shireroth he was sure was about to begin a full-scale invasion. When Bill and Jason, always eager to annoy Archetype, heard about this, they decided to, in the best Discordian tradition (although they did not know it) create a conspiracy that had absolutely no purpose so that Archetype would get extremely worried but be unable to “crack” the cabal. They went ahead with this plan, and it worked about as they expected – with the exception that Scott Alexander, who was being used as an unknowing accessory, got extremely mad about it. Archetype, on the other hand, when he learned about it, instead of smiling sheepishly and admitting he was paranoid, or perhaps going into a mad rage, both of which the conspirators had kind of hoped for, dismissed Bill, Jason, and Erik as children and told them to go away and not mess with civilized nations. The way this relates to immigration is that a few weeks later, Jason decided he had worked off his grudge against Menelmacar and wanted to reimmigrate. Archetype told Belci to reject him on the grounds that he was immature and undesirable. Those of his faction said of course, good call – while those of the opposing faction finally had their “proof” that Archetype was rubber-stamping Yellowists and automatically rejecting Soloralists so as to ensure that he had a permanent majority both in Conclave and in future Elenaran elections. There was, of course, no decent way to fight this, as the Unconscious already had a significant Conclave majority and had been consistently shooting down any proposals of this sort.
In response to this growing feeling of impotency and to her dismissal, Mari founded the Menelmacar Elvish Traditionalist Party, a political faction dedicated to the original elven culture of the nation. Archetype originally tolerated the organization, but after it became extremely vocal and at least slightly nasty decided that now would be an excellent time to ban “segregationist groups”, defined apparently as any group founded by or supporting Soloralists, since the Truth Party was somehow exempt (Archetype, to his credit, resigned from TITP as he began pushing the bill, and said that the Truth Party wasn’t really segregationist because it was open to anyone who supported truth, but then again, MET was open to anyone who supported elvish traditionalism, but on the other hand...gah, I’ve been reading that debate thread too long!). This decision was certainly influenced by Philip Locke’s creation of SLAM, the Soloralist Liberation Army of Menelmacar, which kept swearing rather unconvincingly it wasn’t as militant and violent as it certainly sounded. Nevertheless, this legislation only increased the atmosphere of discontent from a low simmer to a boil. The people who, in the Soloralists’ opinion, were the founders and masters of Menelmacari discontent and rebellion were now completely destroying freedom of association just as soon as they had finished exploiting it to rise to power, to make sure no one else could never do the same. They completely abandoned all hope of working within the legal structure at about this time.
On the other hand, not everything in January Menelmacar was all gonads and strife. The Living City Project, an attempt by Archetype to flesh out Menelmacar’s fictional landscape with 3D-generated artwork, progressed rather nicely in the buildings phase, with a number of citizens getting ‘houses”. Thanks to its new seriousness, and maybe just a little to do with Abbas and Archetype’s friendship, the Imperium was recognized by the Kingdom of Babkha. The new country of Hurmu, based on really bad spelling and syntax, agreed to be annexed by the Menelmacari at the request of new Menelmacar citizen RicLyon.
Meanwhile, the Soloralists had finally figured out their way to work outside the legal structure. Sirithil nos Feanor, as the creator of the forum, still had EZOp, a permanent control over all goings-on inside it. Philip Locke and Bill Dusch asked her to return and to take advantage of her EZOp control to overthrow Archetype’s government. Although she was at first extremely reluctant, Locke can be very persuasive, and Bill can be very whiny. In a chat to which most of the leading Soloralists of Menelmacar were invited, Locke, Dusch, and nos Feanor announced their plans, and some others including Jason Steffke, Mari Greenwood, and new Delvenusian immigrant Jadie Mathematician announced their support. On February 19, 2003, which coincidentally happened to be the third anniversary of the founding of the Flying Islands of Jasonia as well as the release of BGI’s first game in over six months, the Six Patriots (as they called themselves; their opponents had some more colorful names for them) seized control over the forum and reinstituted a Soloralist Menelmacar.
Many things occurred all at once after this. First, the rebels totally reshaped the government. Restoring Sirithil as Elentari was pretty predictable – however, they went further and made her a true monarch, allowing her to rule for life and appoint her own heirs. The nation was very quickly Elvenized – which on its surface resulted in a conversion of most government names and many personal names to Quenya and in a deeper level is still going on. A system of nobility was proposed, and the forums were reorganized.
Apparently the Soloralists expected Archetype and his supporters in the legitimate government to be rather annoyed but to eventually give in and get back to work. They were wrong. Within a few hours of the coup, Ryan and Archetype had created a new forum and were quickly redirecting their somewhat confused supporters there and debriefing them on what had gone on. To say the legitimate government was angry would be an understatement. The feelings on the new board hovered somewhere between extreme hatred and blood feud. The Great Schism had begun.
Soon the rest of the micronational world began to take notice, despite the conspicuous absence of the Skyline, which had closed its doors a few days before. Most of the Great Powers condemned the coup in extremely strong language. Babkha was the first to issue an angry communiqué, with even the usually mellow Tahmaseb going so far as to deliver some rare insults. Attera also expressed displeasure at the rebels, leading Babkhan William Bagram to suggest that under other circumstances a Nobel Peace Prize would be in order for getting Babkha and Attera to agree on something. Ayllu issued an ultimatum to the rebels to return the boards to the legal government, but looked somewhat silly when he had to be informed that an ultimatum traditionally also included a threat of action if the demands were not met. Cranda, obviously, opposed the coup strongly, although oddly enough Major General Volkov decided to side with the rebels (let the accusations of him being a spy begin!) And last and probably least, the remnants of a dying Baracao also issued their condemnation, proving that, wisely, they vastly prefer theoretical and fictional, or past revolutions to the less easily glorified genuine article. On the other hand, though, the Landsraad of the Republic of Shireroth, which had Erik Mortis as the Kaiser, many Soloralists as dual citizens, and a strong shared culture with the Apollonians, passed an act congratulating the Soloralists and recognizing them as the true government, while Delvenus, led by rebel Mari Greenwood, remained officially neutral but was unofficially pretty pro-Soloralist. Bobby’s nation of Politika, continuing its tradition of supporting whichever side appeared to be more evil, also recognized and congratulated the Soloralists.
There was some debate in the Menelmacar government-in-exile about what their policy should be. Although there were some who favored all-out attack on the Soloralists, and although someone using the login James McGinty actually did jump the gun and attack them, Archetype suggested “letting the rebels sit in their warehouse”, although he also repeatedly stated he wouldn’t be heartbroken if an attack coincidentally occurred. Their policy toward the rebel leaders was more clear, if somewhat split – Philip Locke and Sirithil were to be charged with treason if they could ever be obtained, but the others were to be given amnesty if they renounced their rebellion and swore allegiance to the true King of the Stars.
Both Menelmacars tried their best to get as many original citizens as possible, but when the dust cleared it was Archetype’s that seemed the winner in that regard – out of twenty full citizens when the Great Schism occurred, twelve were with him to five who were with Sirithil, two fence-sitters were decidedly leaning towards Archetype, and one person who wasn’t around, Fax Celestis, was known to usually support Archetype in these sorts of things. Yet both Menelmacars, particularly the Soloralist one, soon enjoyed a major influx of immigrants bringing their numbers far beyond what their old citizens could give them. Archetype recruited a number of friends to his Menelmacar, also getting Helian senator and outspoken coup opponent Thoenen and a few random people who were probably spies. Soloralist Menelmacar got a few of Locke’s real-life friends, a Delvenusian, and some roleplayers who just sort of came out of the woodwork at the best possible time.
The conflict between the two soon shifted theaters from a propaganda war that the Soloralists had lost before it begun but which meant nothing to the floor of the Micronational Cartography Society, where both wanted as much of the territory of the original Menelmacar as was possible. Sirithil gave an eloquent speech in which she invoked the MCS Standards which stated that successful rebellions should receive land equal to their population percentage in the area in which they can most logically be considered culturally based, but Archetype responded equally eloquently by saying that MCS recognition of Sirithil’s claim would be a de facto legitimization of EZOp coups everywhere, which would certainly help no one. Society Chairman Erik Mortis has yet to render his decision, although there are going to be some pretty angry and possibly vengeful micronationalists no matter what it is, which is hardly fair.
The only attempt at any sort of civilized dialogue between the two entities occurred in a conference hosted by the Baracaoans, but it unfortunately broke down almost immediately. Sirithil demanded as a prerequisite to discussion the recognition of her claim to the islands of Feanoria, and Archetype just as categorically refused.
Decline and Death of Menelmacar
For better or worse, the thread of history that is the Imperium had divided into two filaments, leading out into the future further than any eye can see, into far different directions. But some virtues the Menelmacari did have – transcending feuds, factions, parties, and even Schisms – were dedication, patriotism, imagination, and stubbornness and contributed to their great influence on the Micran Sector of the time. However Menelmacar, like so many other micronations, did not survive the final breakup of the Apollo Foundation and decline of the Apollo Sector and by late 2004 was defunct.