News of the Maritime Markets
|18:14 (- UTC) 131/03/36 PSSC||Sons of St.Andre Employ WM17 in Retaliatory Attack||Military||What is believed to be a small group of followers of the Stripping Path associated with the Sons of St.Andre has attacked downtown Port St.Andre, detonating at least half a dozen cannisters filled with the non-lethal chemical weapon, WM17. In a retaliatory strike which follows a violent attack against the holy city of Poblenou, which involved the use of napalm by the Natopian airforce, the Haifan cultists unleashed the bizarre and poorly understood chemical weapon at several key locations across the city of Port St.Andre, including downtown plazas and marketplaces. Although reports have as of yet not been confirmed, it is believed that the attackers specifically targeted portions of the city which are enclosed by tall buildings, so as to mitigate the ability of the wind to disperse the gas.
Speaking in a telephone interview with a correspondent of an Apollonian news agency, a self-proclaimed participant in today's events described how he and his associates carried out the attack, and provided details as to what he witnessed in the immediate aftermath of deploying the non-lethal gas.
"It was very simple," said the man who requested anonymity on the basis that he plans to carry out further similar attacks in the future. "I just took the gas cannister - you know, it was just like this soda can for the most part - and carried it into an area where many people, families, had gathered for evening meal. Finding a decent crowd I opened the can and placed it on the ground. Almost immediately, a woman kicked it by accident, which cause the gas to begin to disperse at once. Seeing this, I began to run away. I only looked back briefly, but already people were starting to be affected...it was all I could do not to stop and watch. Or to join in. I wanted to join in...I think the gas was beginning to effect me. But I remembered my mission and continued to run. I ran as fast as I could."
Developed in coordination between Nova English and New Zimian scientists, WM17 is a highly controversial chemical weapon which relies on the use of synthesized versions of the sexual pheromones of the Asee-Lisea-Eda. Today's attack against the city of Port St.Andre represents the first known of the chemical weapon in warfare. It is not known how those who carried out the attack obtained access to cannisters containing the gas, although investigations are underway.
|9:30 (+3 UTC) 126/03/36 PSSC||Priestess of Agripinilla Foretells Outcome of Global Conflict||Religion/Military||In a rare appearance before an assembled crowd of many thousands, in the heart of Mylecia, the leading religious authority within the Stripping Path has decreed that the outcome of the global conflict which presently engulfs the world has already been decided, and that the conflict at large will furthermore result in the establishment of a global Haifan empire. Speaking with the support of interpreters, who translated her words for the benefit of audience members who traveled for this widely anticipated occasion from across Keltia, the Priestess of Agripinilla foretold a future arising from the outcome of the current war, in which the city of Mylecia will sit at the center of a global empire.
"A time is coming, my friends," said the Priestess in today's address in the heart of Mylecia, before an adoring crowd of tens of thousands. "in which the place where you now rest shall stand as the seat of power of the greatest empire the world has ever known. From this place the chosen representatives of the divine, manifest through the creative power of the Host Spirit, shall reside as the authorities of the world of men and nations, and all shall come here, to our city, in pursuit of plenty and promise of soul."
A deeply mysterious and often misunderstood religious leader, the Priestess of Agripinilla is regarded within the Stripping Path as being the Highest Oracle of the Pallisican Host Spirit, from whom the existence of the Pallisican and Haifan peoples is derived. With such high regard, the Priestess maintains considerable influence around the world, in particular within the Pallisican sphere of influence. To that end, the spiritual authority of the Priestess of Agripinilla is openly recognized by Kan Zen, the Crown of Passio-Corum. In her closing remarks in todays ceremony the Chief Priestess of the Stripping Path made use of this influence, declaring the next several days to be religious holidays in honor of the gods of war and death.
"Let us give thanks and praise for the grace which lays the foundation for our prosperous future," said the Priestess. "Let us drink in honor of the forces which guide us, in a spirit of love and gratitude for those, on all sides, who fight and die so that our holy empire may be born."
|14:38 122/02/35 PSSC||Port of Vaeringheim Confirms Trade With Jingdao||Economy||The Port of Vaeringheim has announced that in 35.73 PSSC it will begin exporting goods to the Jingdaoese Empire. The company - established as part of the USSO Common Market in 35.64 - confirmed earlier today that having received an investment by Jingdao worth nearly 48,000 Credits, it will begin exporting goods and services to the Apollonian empire at the soonest possible date.
"We are grateful for the investment by Jingdao in our company," said a spokesman for the Port of Vaeringheim, which represents the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa on the common market of the USSO. "and we look forward to working with them in the future."
As a nation which has maintained historic trade agreements with the Shireroth-based ESB Group (Keltia), the establishment of trade between the Maritime Markets and Jingdao represents an apparent shift in foreign policy for the Strait of Haifa. Whereas the Maritime Markets have historically tended to favor the nations of SANE in their dealings with the outside world - especially during the most recent escalation of the Sxiro-Jingdaoese Confrontation - it can now be reasonably assumed that with the creation of the Port of Vaeringheim and the establishment of trade between the Markets and the nations of the USSO, the Haifan nation may now begin to oppose the efforts of SANE member nations in central and eastern Keltia. Although leaders of the Maritime Markets were unwilling to speculate regarding possible efforts aimed at reducing the influence of nations such as Natopia and Alexandria, one anonymous representative of Mylecia speculated that investors may increasingly turn their attention to the northern Strait of Haifa, to the regions which lie to the north of Lake Morovia.
"There is much to be gained in the untamed far north," said the representative. "and there is little to stop us."
|6:45 51/01/35 PSSC||Fleet of Blore Heath Establishes Headquarters in Rouge||Military, Economy||The Fleet of Blore Heath has announced that it will establish a secondary headquarters in the city of Rouge, in order to improve its ability to raid vessels representing Jingdao during that nation's war against Shireroth and its allies. The announcement, which was made earlier this afternoon during a conference attended by the Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Markets, comes as little surprise to many observers, who have noted a recent relative increase in aggression by Haifan pirates against ships representing the embattled nation of Jingdao.
"On one hand it goes without saying that the Fleet has capitalized on the war," say Albert Rudholf, who worked as a tactical advisor and pilot for the Bacchian Vine Fleet for most of his life before retiring in the city of Blore Heath. "On the other hand, it is important to note. The Fleet of Blore Heath are friends of Shireroth. The Fleet's leaders personally lobbied on behalf of the ESB Group (Keltia), in order to bring them into the Blore Heath. They have been targeting Jingdaoese ships since Jingdao declared war on Shireroth. Their new headquarters will enable them to better accomplish what they have already been doing for some time."
The Fleet of Blore Heath has downplayed speculation that today's announcement is meant to coincide with an announcement by the New Zimian War League that it has launched a military operation against Jingdao, involving a blockade of the nation's capital.
"The Fleet of Blore Heath was not aware of any plans by the War League regarding its intention to betray its friend in Jingdao," said a spokesman for the Fleet. "We are merely reporting about what concerns us, and our nation."
Far to the north of the cities of Rouge and Blore Heath, the Jogi Regiment announced earlier this week that in the first few days of their campaign in the city of Fort Itainen, soldiers representing the Regiment have retrieved a quantity of SCUE currency worth nearly 15,000 Lievs.
"We are confident that as we continue to expand our influence in the region," says Alexander bin Akkar, Junior Commander for the Jogi Regiment in its Fort Itainen Campaign. "we will continue to discover vast sums of SCUE currency, which will doubtless allow our nation's investors to expand the markets."
|5:00 AM 44/01/35 PSSC||Jogi Regiment Launches Offensive Against Fort Itainen||Military||A spokesman for the Jogi Regiment has finalized plans to deploy forces to the Ergonian ruins of Fort Itainen. Appearing before the Congress of Regional Investors and the Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Markets, the spokesman for the nation's recently created army confirmed that nearly 1,100 soldiers will be deployed on a mission to liberate the ruins from a substantial community of Ergonian terrorists, and to retrieve a number of currency vaults which are believed to lie beneath the city.
"We have determined that given the recent escalation of conflicts in eastern Keltia and around the world," said the military spokesman, speaking to the Congress of Regional Investors. "it is imperative that we act to rid the Strait of Haifa of elements which may prove adversarial to our interests and national security, and to secure any financial interests which may otherwise fall into the hands of our foes. With that said, we intend, by the end of tomorrow, to begin our deployment of troops to the bandit stronghold of Fort Itainen."
In addition to the 1,100 soldiers which it will deploy to Fort Itainen, the Jogi Regiment confirmed that it will also deploy as many as 24 tanks to the city and surrounding country-side, including ten ESB Horjin AFV and 14 Paixhans Mark 4 Land Cruisers. The Jogi Regiment's campaign against the city of Fort Itainen will provide the military's first opportunity to use such weaponry. This fact is not lost on Abel Fox, Chief Advisor to the President of the Regional Investor of the city of Jogi.
"We in Jogi have spent considerable funds to obtain these weapons from Shireroth," says Fox. "and we look forward to seeing them in action. Obviously we would prefer not to have to use them, but now that the need has arisen, it will be interesting to see how they function. I am confident they will function superbly."
|00:57 AM (+9 UTC) 24/01/35 PSSC||Haifan Religious Authorities Call for Resistance to Pallisican Aggression||Religion, Politics||The Priestess of Agripinilla has called for Haifan peoples around the world to oppose the deployment of forces representing the New Zimian War League to the Strait of Haifa. Appearing early this morning, before a large number of pilgrims in the religious community near Mylecia, the high priestess issued a pronouncement in rejection of the ruler of Passio-Corum, in which she called upon Haifans around the Sea of Storms and in Passas to voice opposition against Pallisican aggression in central Keltia.
"Oh followers of our mad god, oh brethren of the deep seas of the east, children of the vine," said the Priestess of Agripinilla in today's pronouncement. "Now is the time to remove your veils. Expose to those who oppose you your faithful wrath, that those who seek to impose upon you a false order may be forever driven from our sacred lands. Let them know the terrors they have awakened, and let them now turn back before us."
A highly secretive character who rarely appears in public, except for specific occasions, the Priestess of Agripinilla spoke passionately for only a few minutes before returning with her attendants through the great doors of the village temple. The words of the priestess were very well received by those in attendance, particularly by a group of men representing the Knights of Mt.Nysa, who have traveled to Agripinilla following a recent expedition to the city of Abeis.
"The priestess speaks to the righteousness of our cause," says Al bin Saman, a five year veteran of the Knights of Mt.Nysa. "It is our duty to heed her call. For her, and for our god, we must oppose the Pallisicans wherever they seek to meet us."
|Tamia 10, 913 WG||Anthesteria Commences||Religion||The streets of Mylecia have been stained red with wine as practitioners of the Stripping Path have gathered in the streets in order to dump any old or spoiled alcohol which has been accumulated over the course of the past year. This celebration, which began late last night, marks the first of the Haifan religion's four major ritual celebrations which commemorate the Anthesteria, or the ascension of Bacchus from the underworld. Known locally along the Strait of Haifa as "the Pouring," the first of the Haifan Anthesteria celebrations is intended to cause the cities to reek of wine and alcohol, so as to better attract the spirits of the underworld who travel along with Dionysus on his annual journey from the depths of Micrasian Hades.
Following the Pouring, practitioners of the Stripping Path are expected to return to their homes for a period of one day, during which time they are expected to fast, and to ideally abstain from alcohol and other intoxicants. This period of deprivation - the second of the Haifan Anthesteria celebrations - is intended to promote receptivity to the spirits who have been attracted to the region by the overwhelming smell of alcohol. Practitioners will, during this period of fasting, attempt to spend time in silence and meditation, so as to reach the level of spiritual and psychic balance which is necessary to interact with the spirits in the coming celebrations.
The period of fasting, known as "the Wasting," will in two days time be followed by "the Welcoming," a ritual celebration which is marked by a full day of public consumption of the year's first, newest yields of wine and mead. This celebration, which also includes an extravagant carnival and rodeo, marks the entrance of Dionysus himself into the city. Perhaps the most extreme of the religious celebrations, participants in the Welcoming will celebrate in the nude, or dressed only in masks and crowns made of vine or ivy. This ritual will be followed by a nighttime hunt, in which children are expected to be led by the men of the community in a sacred, savage pursuit of the region's boar and deer. As the men and children go off to hunt following the Welcoming, the women of the Stripping Path will return to their homes, to prepare for a highly secretive ritual in which they will consummate their personal relationships with the god of wine.
On the final day of the Haifan Anthesteria, practitioners of the Stripping Path will gather for the third time in four days, to enjoy a vast feast composed of the fruit of the previous night's hunt. This feast, known as "the Reuniting," is intended to honor the dead and the spirits of the underworld. Food, during this period, will be shared with ancestral totems, and religious practitioners will wear garments formerly worn by deceased relatives, and will wear masks symbolizing the dead. Certain practitioners, during this feast, will be honored by the high priestesses of the religion, by being allowed to wear the Sacred Horns, which symbolize the god of wine himself. One lucky person, in addition, will even be allowed to wear the Profound Phallus, the most sacred of all objects within the Stripping Path.
Following the great feast of the Reuniting, the fourth of the Haifan Anthesteria rituals, most practitioners of the Stripping Path will again return to their homes to engage in a period of pronounced spring-cleaning, which is intended to symbolize the ushering of the dead back to the underworld. During this period practitioners will render their homes utterly spotless, so as to make them uninhabitable by the dead, in an effort to ensure that no demons or ghosts remain to haunt the city. Some practitioners, however, including those appointed to wear the Sacred Horns and the Profound Phallus, will be allowed to venture along with the religion's high priestesses, into a secretive temple in the remote wilderness. Here, this select group of practitioners will consume a tea extracted from a native type of cactus. This tea will induce an intense, psychedelic trance, which according Stripping Path, allows those who consume it to temporarily travel with the departing spirits to the underworld, where it is possible to appeal for the blessing of the god of death. This privileged ritual, which follows the Haifan Anthesteria, is the subject of intense controversy and speculation.
These celebrations, which began late last night, are expected to continue for at least one week. Travelers to the Strait of Haifa are advised to exercise extreme caution during this period, or to reschedule their trips entirely until after celebrations have concluded.
|Almase 9, 900 WG||Bank of Blore Heath Pegs Money Supply to Population||Finance||The Bank of Blore Heath, the bank of the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa, has announced that henceforth the size of nation's money supply will be tied to its population. In a brief press conference earlier today, the bank explained its reasons and methods for altering the mechanism through which it determines the size of the nation's money supply.
"Traditionally, the money supply has a reflected an arbitrary unchanging quantity plus a fraction of the nation's GDP, plus income from taxes and piracy," said a spokesman for the Bank of Blore Heath. "As a result of today's decision, money supply will now reflect rather than an arbitrary base quantity, a fluctuating value plus the aforementioned factors. The money supply will now reflect, in other words, X plus some percentage of GDP, plus income, where X equals the nation's population. This new policy, to put it in yet another way, ensures that the number of Lievs in circulation will always at least equal the nation's popopulation, insofar as there will now be at least one Liev in circulation per each of the nation's citizens. The advantage of this policy is that the money supply will now grow relative to GDP as well as the population, rather than relative to GDP alone. This fact, we expect, will promote investment on a scale not yet seen before in our nation."
The bank's newly adopted policy will result in the immediate addition of around 9,200 Lievs to the nation's economy. This money, which will be evenly divided between each of the Maritime Markets' three major Regional Investors, is expected to be used to expand investments in existing companies in the Port of Blore Heath.
|Momia 5, 895 WG||Port of Blore Heath Companies Agree to Reduce Production Capacities||Finance||Five years after agreeing to reduce their prices in an effort to increase investment, business leaders from across the Maritime Markets have now agreed to reduce their respective production capacities. The decision, which was agreed upon early this morning following two weeks of discussions, and which is intended to promote employment, will enable all of the nation's companies to remove as much as 40% of all available shares from the market, thereby reducing each company's production capacity by an equal percentage. This reduction in production capacity, says Johah Chechov, Spokesman for the Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Markets, is expected to result in an overall increase in employment.
"Given the unusual nature of our economy, which is based upon the Pallisican Post Standardized Currency, the purpose of this action may be unclear," says Chechov. "The basic principle is that the percentage of the nation's population who is unemployed, directly corresponds to the average percentage of unpurchased shares on the nation's marketplace. Where the percentage of unpurchased shares is high, so too is unemployment. Currently, around 87% of shares are unpurchased, and so unemployment also sits at around 87%. Today's decision to reduce the overall number of shares available on the market will reduce the percentage of unpurchased shares to 68%, which will in turn result in a 21% reduction in unemployment."
Similar to the decision five years ago to reduce prices, today's decision by business leaders will result in another considerable decrease in wages. While the decision to reduce average production capacity will increase employment by as much as 22%, it will also result in a 99% decrease in average wages for the next four years.
"This reduction in wages, again, is far from desireable," says Chechov. "but it is a necessary result of increasing employment. As investment increases in coming years, however, we can expect to see an increase in employment and a restoration of wages. This will be the natural result of the difficult decisions which we are forced to make today."
|Momia 5, 890 WG||Port of Blore Heath Companies Agree to Price Reductions||Finance||All of the companies based in the Port of Blore Heath, in cooperation with the Bank of Blore Heath, have agreed to a 10% reduction in the prices of their shares. The agreement comes as part of a further effort by the political and business leaders to reduce, and ultimately eliminate the significant debts which have plagued the nation since its inception. According to a spokesman for the Bank of Blore Heath, the agreement between the nation's companies will help to minimize the overall impact of the debts on the nation's economy.
"This agreement will reduce the overall amount of money owed by investors to their respective lenders," said Bank Spokesman Ismael Fox. "In this way it will minimize reductions to the size of the nation's economy as the debts are repaid. While the agreement may result in an overall loss in jobs and wages in the short term, we are confident that such things will be restored in the long term, as investors gradually renew their ability to fund new business ventures. We are confident that as the economy improves, and debts are resolved, we can begin again to raise prices to their earlier levels, and wages and employment will be restored."
|Ondemia 25, 889 WG||Storms Drive New Zimian Task Force From Strait of Haifa||Military||A New Zimian naval task force has been driven from the Strait of Haifa after being refused access to a number ports during the region's recent storms. The task force which was deployed to the region last year, and which is comprised of as many as four ships including one Bijeko Class Attack Craft, was forced to sail out of the Strait earlier this week as storms and flooding rendered the region's waterways unnavigable and unsafe for passage. The New Zimian ships, which sailed through the Port of Blore Heath early yesterday morning, are believed to have sailed upon leaving the Strait of Haifa to the unsettled city of Qorali, and it is unclear if and when they will return to continue their operations in the region. Regardless, devout practitioners of the region's religion have already begun to view the departure of the New Zimian ships as a positive sign from their god.
"This is a happy omen," said one worshiper, a man living in Blore Heath who wished to remain anonymous. "We shall remain free and able to worship as we please. The Pallisicans shall have no authority here."
|Ondemia 7, 887 WG||Bacchian Vine Fleet Captures Pallisican Treasure Ships Bound for Haifa||Finance||Representatives of the Bacchian Vine Fleet have confirmed the capture of a New Zimian treasure ship bound for the former Free State of Haifa. The captured ships, which were scuttled soon after falling under the control of the Vine Fleet, are believed to have carried a sum of money worth around 7,000 Lievs, and were presumably en route to Haifa as part of an effort by the government of New Zimia to foster relations between Haifa and Passio-Corum. This money, which was plundered prior to the scuttling of the ships, will be distributed to the Congress of Regional Investors in order to help relieve a portion of the substantial debt which has been accumulated by the investors since the establishment of the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa.|