Congress of Chryse
The Congress of Chryse of 1696– was an important diplomatic conference, focused around the creation of a new Benacian political order after the Second Elwynnese Civil War (1692 AN–1696 AN which saw the final and irrevocable defeat of democratic forces in Elwynn. As a "congress of the victors" it was a meeting of representatives of Benacia Command, the Black Legions, the Honourable Company of the ESB Group, the House of Osman, the Benacian Archons and the Union Defence Force, and held in the city of Chryse from 20.X.1696 AN until its conclusion.
The objective of the Congress was to map out a long-term plan for the vast swathe of Central and Northern Benacia which had now been cleansed of democratic and feudal forces. While Benacia Command remained committed to the global coalition of the Raspur Pact it was obliged to begin the process of reconstituting itself within the context of a separate political entity with ultimate authority over the conquered territories of the UGB and Elwynn. These steps being undertaken following a cleft in the Benacian membership of the Pact wherein several member-states, particularly Ransenar, Sanama, and Shireroth, had proven themselves either unwilling or unable to commit to the principles of Endsieg ("Final Victory"), which had been applied in the Scouring – a limited orbital bombardment and nuclear exchange which had broken the back of entrenched rebel resistance in Upper Elwynn.
The Greater Elwynnese Realm and the Unified Governorates of Benacia would be reconstituted as one-party states under the control of the respective national sector parties of the N&H movement. While both polities would retain their nominal sovereignty over domestic political affairs, the functions of defence and security, economic, and foreign policy would be vested in a higher coordinating body - that of the Benacian Union where Benacia Command of the Raspur Pact, the Benacian Directorate of the Honourable Company, and the Benacian Archons of the Nationalist and Humanist Movement would provide a delegate apiece to sit upon the High Presidium of the Union.
Jeremiah Avon-El, Commander in Chief of Benacia Command and Szodan of Benacia until the Declaration on the Reorganisation of Benacia and Elwynn on 8.XI.1696 AN, did not attend the Congress as he was subject to a formal enquiry by the Permanent Commission of the Raspur Pact for his conduct of the Second Elwynnese Civil War. Accordingly his place was taken by suitably empowered deputies.
Benacia Command of the Raspur Pact
- Jeremiah Avon-El, High Commissioner of the Raspur Pact & Commander-in-Chief of the Benacian Continental Theatre Command;
- Herlot bi Merensk, Chief of the General Staff;
- Aryo Barzan, Head of the Political Directorate.
Benacian Directorate of the Honourable Company
Black Legions of the UGB
- Sepp Käser, Commander of the 11th Army
- Rofolo Nur Pinito Kasha, Commander of the 16th Army and the Sovereign's Corps
- Felix Lenz, Commander of IV Corps
- Akbar Jalal Alinejad, Commander of VI Corps
- Fridwald Peter, Hierophant of the Nationalist & Humanist Party and Archon of the National Sector Party in Ransenar;
- Adam al-Osman, de-facto Conducator in Elluenuueq, Archon of the National Sector Party in Elluenuueq;
- Constantine Loup, Szodan of Benacia and Archon of the National Sector Party in the Unified Governorates;
- Jasmina Hosseini, Archon of the Democratic Humanist Party, an affiliate National Sector Party in Sanama. (Arrived 1698 AN).
House of Osman
- Aurangzeb Tokaraizadeh al-Osman, Principal Secretary of State of the Council of Sathrati;
- Ayesha al-Osman, Ruler of Chryse.
Union Defence Force of Elwynn
- Abolfazl Shahzad Khoroushi, Chief of Staff of the UDF;
- Wilhelm Wartensleben, Commander of UDF maritime forces;
- Jonathan Maersk, Commander of the 1st Panzer Army;
- Hamilcar von Sehestedt, Commander of the 2nd Panzer Army.
All Benacian states, multinational bodies, and corporations were invited to send observers to the Congress as was the Secretary General of the Micras Treaty Organisation.
- Friedrich Hans Hemmelsworth, Executive Director, Green Micras Initiative
- Samira al-Osman, President, Transegale Trading Company of Elluenuueq, Inc.
- Royston Anders, Vice Chairman, Oranjesion Private Equity Capital
The island of Botha, a private resort set in the Bay of Chryse and normally reserved for the pleasures of the ruler of the city, was chosen as an amenable venue in which to conduct the top level negotiations between the various parties in an environment of safety, comfort, and discretion, removed from prying eyes. At their leisure the principal negotiators were free to conduct their discussions under Bothan Island Rules, that is to say without the cant and hypocrisy that burdens politics and diplomacy when it is carried on in a more public forum.
Course of the negotiations
Negotiations began productively enough, resulting in the Declaration for the Reorganisation of Benacia and Elwynn. But as the work was divided into constitutional, diplomatic, and procedural workstreams for the attention of specialist negotiators, ensconced in hotels on the mainland, the pace of proceedings was slowed down by the calling away of key interlocutors to attend to various other matters; the troubles in Jingdao and the Humanist cause there, the perennial problem of recalcitrant Zeed and its futile war in Eura, and the newly minted expansionist policies of Hurmu on Apollonia. Accordingly, as 1696 AN gave way to 1697 AN many of the principals found themselves called away to other theatres, leaving matters in the hands of their negotiating teams, to make sense of the redacted notes that they had been left as best they could.
The Agreement on War Reparations (5.VI.1697 AN) between the Unified Governorates and Elwynn, set the final debt burden for the rebel bailiwicks of Amokolia and Upper Elwynn at 3.9 trillion Elwynnese marks, of which 995 billion was to be set aside for the compensation of Alalehzamin, the Sovereign Confederation, and Ransenar, for reconstruction and the remediation of the effects of the Scouring. The burden of reparation payments was initially divided equally between each reconquered bailiwick, irrespective of size and ability to pay. Eventually exactions were scaled to taking forty-percent of a bailiwick's pre-war economic output. The UDF-supervised authorities of Amokolia and Upper Elwynn were accordingly mandated to collect a total amount of 39.8 billion marks per annum for the duration of the duration of the period 1697 AN–1797 AN. Only with the fulfilment of the last payment would the war guilt of the Elw and Amokolian races be considered expunged and the restoration of a constitutional democratic form of government even to be essayed as conceivable. Perhaps seemingly petty at the time, the Imperial State of Constancia demanded restitution of 20 million Natopos to compensate for the building and untimely deaths of staff of the Imperial Embassy in Eliria, and repayment of restitution advanced by the Imperial State for their families. The claim was held to be dubious as the loyalist government had issued warnings for international missions to remove their staff from Eliria as their safety could no longer be guaranteed. The final warning to the diplomatic corps had been given well in advance of the date of the Scouring, as such it was contended that any who, by that stage, had remained in a city at war did so at their own risk. Accordingly clarification was sought before funds would be disbursed from the reparation payments gathered in.
The Agreement on Restitution for Losses Incurred by Allied Shipping (6.VI.1697 AN) empowered the municipal corporations of ports in the Sovereign Confederation and the Unified Governorates to apply for letters of marque from the Congress, and subsequently from the Benacian Union, to outfit ships to serve as Sea-Reavers thereby to seek and take as prizes vessels sailing under the flags of Calbion, Cimmeria and Raikoth, Jingdao, and Nova England. Each port would be permitted to take prizes up until the value of wartime losses incurred by the ports had been reached. Prizes taken were to be sailed to Chryse for the purpose of valuation and auction, to be conducted by an Admiralty Court convened for the purpose there.
Jasmina Hosseini, leader of the Democratic Humanist Party in Sanama joined the Congress on 5.I.1698 AN, in the aftermath of the Rice Riots of 1697, and failed coup attempt. She briefed the delegates on the deteriorating situation in the country and the risks facing the ruling coalition of which she was a part. She subsequently chose to remain at the Congress throughout 1698.
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The final act of the Congress of Chryse read as follows:
- A Benacian Union shall be formed from the ashes of this continent. It shall uphold the Human Supremacy and Obedience of the Highest Divinity;
- The functions of defence and security, economic, and foreign policy are vested in a higher coordinating body - that of the Benacian Union where Benacia Command of the Raspur Pact, the Benacian Directorate of the Honourable Company, and the Benacian Archons of the Nationalist and Humanist Movement provide a delegate apiece to sit upon the High Presidium of the Union;
- There is no law except the will of the victors, bound only by the Covenant and the Commandments of the Righteous;
- This law shall be expressed in the form of edicts;
- The victorious in the late war endorse the unification of Cedrozurvanism and Humanism as the expression of the system of guiding principles under which the conquered lands shall be ruled;
- Any challenge to this authority shall be met by the Force of Arms so as to decide the right to rule;
- This Congress, constituted in the Free City of Chryse, shall remain in permanent session for so long as the verdict of the Force of Arms shall endure;
- A Chamber of Guilds and Corporations, subordinate to this Congress and comprised of four guilds and four corporate bodies, together in unity constituting the Benacian perfection of the Eight, shall be responsible for all matters of public administration beneath the notice or interest of this Congress. The constituent entities of the Chamber shall each have broad areas of responsibility over which their authority is absolute, subject to the pleasure of this Congress;
- This Congress shall determine which entities shall constitute the permitted guilds and corporations invited to attend the Chamber;
- Each entity thus invited shall be permitted to dispatch one delegate to attend the sessions of the Chamber;
- The Chamber shall be organised on the basis of one member, one vote, and the principle of majority decision making;
- This Congress may veto any decision of the Chamber and dispense punishments if deemed appropriate;
- In order to operate in any lawful fashion, any body of persons intending to undertake any activity or enterprise whatsoever, must receive a charter and livery, bestowed for a fee, from one of the entities represented at the Chamber;
- There shall be no separation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers. There shall instead be a hierarchy of obedience, to which all are subject;
- To practice the study of law without permission of authority shall be a capital crime;
- Legacy institutions shall be permitted to continue in operation insomuch and for so long as they do not contradict this Congress;
- It shall be a capital offence to accuse this Congress of contradiction, error, or failings of any sort.