Editorial: Behind the Name

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Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinion of the author and is not necessarily indicative of the official stance of the Grand Republic or this publication.

Pseudonyms are a widespread facet of micronationalism. These alternative names are used by many micronationalists, often in the interest of personal privacy, anonymity, and self-aggrandizement. I do not condemn the use of pseudonyms, as I have previously been accused of doing. In fact, I am writing this article to reveal that I use an alternative name as well. My birth name is not David Sarkozy, but Jordan Brizendine. Here I will explain my reasons for attempting to conceal my name, debunk some myths that this article may accrue, and make a statement about why I am revealing my name and what I hope to accomplish by it. Please read the article in full before you respond.

Allow me to begin by specifying exactly when the change occurred. I used my birth name in micronational affairs until the weeks immediately preceding Delvera’s entry into the MicroWiki community in early 2015. Because Delvera and its predecessor, Lavrasia, had only a limited online presence that was almost entirely controlled by me, I was able to implement the change back to a point in time. I chose the beginning of the Commonwealth Era in July 2011 as the end of “Jordan” and the beginning of “David”. I mentioned little of the interaction between these two supposedly separate persons, except to say that they were “friends” and power transferred from the former to the latter in 2011. While this was somewhat deceptive, nowhere did I make a statement that was blatantly false. An example of this can be found in an interaction with the Kingdom of Gotzborg, Delvera’s first intermicronational contact. Initially, when I befriended them on their forum in 2013, I used my real name as my username. When I implemented the change, I created a new account, then asked the admin to transfer posting authority to David Sarkozy, as he was the First Consul (note that I did not say “new” or otherwise blatantly disconnect the two).

As far as motivations, a large part of my reasoning involved privacy, not only for myself, but the people around me. In my previous nations, I had mentioned others among my citizenry by their birth names. When I edited out my own name, I did the same for them. Currently, many Delverans in the Heartland (that is, the original part of Delvera, which now comprises the Province of Lavrasia, its territories, and the Protectorate) continue to use pseudonyms created during the change. These became their legal Delveran names, which are used to refer to those individuals in official documents. At the time, I believed that association with micronationalism could be detrimental to potential employment pursuits, and I did not wish to jeopardize this for myself and my friends and family. As justification for this, I pointed out influential micronationalists who used pseudonyms, such as Alexander Reinhardt. Another reason is, frankly, my pseudonym is much easier to remember and pronounce than my birth name.

Before proceeding to my reasons for writing this article, I will dispel some negative assumptions that are likely to be voiced on this topic. Firstly, I did not change my name in order to cover up my past. Though I did some things as leader of Salania that I would come to regret, such as getting involved in a few wars and pointless arguments, as well as making up stories of wars that I passed off as true, I would have changed my name all the way back to the beginning if that would have been possible. However, since I was a somewhat controversial figure at the time of my participation in the community as Emperor of the Holy Salanian Empire (c. July 2010 – May 2011), I was mentioned on various websites other than those I owned or the wiki, including the OAM forum and the news outlets of A1 and St.Charlie, so I believed that changing my name back that far would be too difficult and highly suspicious. Secondly, I was not forced to write this article by the “expose” published in the Knowledge Warrior. That glorified reddit page publishes enough nonsense that it could be easily dismissed as utterly false.  I had planned to write this article for the last month and a half, largely on my own initiative. Delays in the form of personal commitments continued to impede me from doing so until today. Thirdly, this has absolutely nothing to do with Markus or New Israel or any of that. I would have written this article regardless of the outcome of that debacle, and planned to do so before any of it began. There is also no hypocrisy here. As I said, I have falsified no history (in fact, when I changed my name I corrected some false history that I wrote many years ago). My own birth name would have been easy enough to find if anyone had done any research on the matter, and I would have responded to any messages asking about my pseudonym. Finally, this does not in any way mean that anything currently on this site or the wiki/forum/etc. is dishonest. The only thing that has ever been altered or falsified since the founding of the Grand Republic of Salania in May 2011 is my name, and those of some of my citizens (each of which was given the choice to use a pseudonym or not). We have significant bodies of evidence, including pictures, videos, and original documents and forum posts to attest to this.

So why am I clearing all of this up? I have three reasons. The first is that my desire for privacy, motivated by the fear that I would be “discovered” as a micronationalist, is now moot. My nation is old and stable enough, and I am comfortable enough with the concept of micronationalism that I could confidently address any concerns presented by an outsider about my activities, as much as I could about any other interest or pursuit of mine. I will not force others who use pseudonyms in my nation to reveal themselves, but neither will I prevent them from doing so. My second reason is a push for complete transparency and honesty in Delvera in the interest of legitimacy. As I said before, nothing in Delvera has been falsified, but if it was “discovered” that I used a pseudonym without my outright admittance to it, other aspects of my nation would be called into question. I do not wish to appear dishonest or to tarnish the reputation of the Grand Republic by failing to make this information known. The third and final reason is the idea that I could be a role model for younger micronationalists. I believe that I am a better example for new people if my somewhat checkered past is prominently displayed than if I begin my career narrative with the point when I became totally honest. It is a beacon of hope for those who have started controversies or been exposed for lying when they know that an important figure in a (dare I say) prominent micronation in this community started off much as they did. All it takes is a little humility and honesty, as well as a lot of hard work to take your nation from a laughingstock to a powerhouse and symbol of legitimacy. I can now proudly say that I know this from experience, and I can use my knowledge to help others along the path.

Now, for the real question. What will change? Well, not much, really. I’ll continue to use my legal Delveran name, largely because it is in so many places that it would be annoying to have to change it, and also because it is still easier than my birth name. However, I will edit the appropriate articles on the wiki to make it clear that I was the leader of Salania, and I will combine the “Jordan I of Salania” article with the “David Sarkozy” article. Business in Delvera will proceed as usual.

Please feel free to comment on this matter, so long as you have read what I have actually said here.

Author: Jordan Brizendine

New Awards System Created

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LAVRADA – The Chamber of Deputies passed the Special Recognition Act on Thursday, October 13. This piece of legislation allows the Council of Governors to create and confer civilian awards on behalf of the Confederal government. Nominations for these awards are received by the Council, which approves new recipients by majority vote, after which the First Consul presents the award.

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Ribbon of the Order of Liberty (unchanged)

The first two awards to be created under the guidelines of this act were the Order of Liberty and the Meritorious Volunteer Service Award. The Order of Liberty, awarded for “especially meritorious contribution[s] to the furtherance of the Grand Republic, the cause of micronationalism, or other significant public or private endeavors,” is awarded in three classes. It was conferred upon three inaugural members on October 14: Jordan Brizendine (1st Class), Dylan Callahan (2nd Class), and Joseph Marx (3rd Class). The stated reasons for each nomination are as follows:

Joseph Marx: for “…[his] efforts in resolving the 2015 Land Claims Crisis, including signing of the Missouri Compact and authorship of the Missouri Proclamation, as well as [his] continual work to maintain a peaceful and mutually beneficial relationship between the Grand Republic and the North American Confederation…”

Dylan Callahan: for “…[his] significant contributions to the furtherance of the Grand Republic, including development of the economy from the ground up as Minister of Commerce, authorship of numerous pieces of national legislation, constant efforts to improve activity via creation and advocacy of the Callahan Plan, and advancement of diplomacy as Ambassador to Austenasia…”

Jordan Brizendine: for “…[his] significant contributions to the Grand Republic, including acting as the primary force for independence from the NottaLottan Empire and the foundation of the nation, conceiving the organization of the government and authoring the Delveran Constitution, Writ of Rights, and Military Regulations, among other documents, building the Delveran Armed Services from the ground up and recording and publishing media on the process, instigating and overseeing many reforms during [his] tenure as First Consul, and establishing strong diplomatic relations with several other nations as Minister of State…”

The Delveran Armed Services also created a new system of awards, including different medals for five major military campaigns in Delveran history, two awards for valor, an award for campaign merit, and a ribbon for long service. Dylan Callahan was additionally presented with the Legion of Merit, the second highest award in precedence, for “…[his] exemplary service during Operation Genesis, especially [his] tireless efforts in research that far exceeded [his] mandated duties…”

The new awards replaced the existing system, which Delveran leaders believed to be too large and complicated, as well as too similar to United States military medal designs. Previous awards granted by the Grand Republic and its predecessor, the Commonwealth of Lavrasia, were rescinded (with a few exceptions) and replaced by new awards were applicable.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine

Chamber of Deputies Passes Economic Reforms, Moves Capital

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LAVRADA – Last night, the Chamber of Deputies met to discuss three pieces of legislation impacting national economics and the status of the capital city.

The first bill to be considered was the National Bank Act, which had been rewritten after being sent to committee in the last session of the Chamber. The Act establishes the Confederal Bank of Delvera, an organization that integrates a network of provincial banks into a unified national system. Despite this centralization, Section 1b of the Act states “No section of this act shall be construed to preempt free market banking or credit systems, nor shall any province be denied the power of enacting their own system, so long as such system does not interfere with the operations of the Confederal Bank of Delvera.” The Act specifies the powers of the Minister of Commerce in approving charters for all bank branches and approving all applicants for bank employment, as well as the bank’s legal tender and details of currency. The system of accounts is also clearly lined out.

The Public Compensations Bill, a bill formally establishing the wage system for Delveran government employees, was also proposed. The system presented within changed the method of pay from quarterly salaries distributed monthly in thirds to monthly salaries at the same rate, effectively tripling government salaries. It was noted that this increase will encourage more government participation and make taxes more affordable.

Finally, the Capital Establishment Act called for the relocation of the capital of the Grand Republic to the Territory of Colo. Lavrada, the current capital, was always intended to be a provisional capital until another in a more neutral location not strictly affiliated with a specific province could be chosen. Colo, though a territory of Lavrasia, would be appropriated for confederal use when the need arose, according to the bill. Notably, the bill protects Colonians’ private property in Clause 3: “The grounds of Colo shall be appropriated for all purposes necessary for the functions of the seat of government, but the property of the private citizens therein residing shall be respected as inviolate.” The bill additionally called for a constitutional amendment officiating the capital territory. A proposed name for the new capital city was “Colonia”.

All three bills were passed unanimously by the Chamber after lengthy discussion.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine

Interviews Released, Holy League Refuses to Comment

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LAVRADA – As per the stated goals of Operation Exodus, Delveran Army Intelligence’s latest mission aimed at New Israel’s total compliance with the demands presented during Operation Genesis, High Command has allowed for the release of further evidence against the legitimacy of the New Israeli state. While Genesis was still ongoing, Jordan Brizendine had the chance to interview two respectable members of the MicroWiki community with firsthand knowledge of Mark Williams’ Empire.

In a discussion about the physical location of New Israel, Duke Dylan of Hodiny stated that he had traveled through the heart of Williams’ claimed territory numerous times. He went on to say that he had at no point seen any evidence to indicate that New Israel controlled or even had a presence in the area, making a statement for press release to that effect. However, in order to respect the Duke’s personal wishes, which specified that he be permitted to view an article containing his statement before it was published, the Bannerman will not release the text due to Hodiny’s recent departure from the community.

Johannes Andreassuun of the Angle-Saxish Commonwealth proved to be another wealth of information, this time on the inner workings of the New Israeli government. The discussion between him and Brizendine was as follows:

Brizendine: “I am very interested to know the details of your feud with Markus. Are/were you a citizen of the Holy Empire? What (if anything) prompted Markus to go on a tirade about you?

I don’t mean to pry, but I’d like to understand this matter more clearly. Thank you for your time.”

Andreassuun: “I am not sure if you remember the Kingdom of West Germania, but I was the leader of that nation. It became an imperial state of New Israel, but about two years ago when I tried to break away there was a huge dispute involving other micronations. This dispute was resolved, leading to reunification.

However, Markus recently converted to Roman Catholicism and has ever since grown increasingly hostile towards me and Protestantism in general. He is an extremely zealous Catholic now. He also continues to rant about that dispute which happened all that time ago.

My nation, the Angle-Saxish Commonwealth, is not part of New Israel.”

Brizendine: “Thank you for the information. If I may ask, how much do you know about the inner workings of New Israel? Are there any voices besides those of Markus, or has he repressed all dissent, as he has suggested others do?”

Andreassuun: “During my time in New Israel, it had very few citizens. I think there were perhaps one or two other people involved in Markus’s locality, but they weren’t politically active and I had no communication with them. All of the decrees were issued by him. Sometimes he did not even discuss them with me; the decree which led to the final break-up was “quietly promulgated” – in his own words. I discovered it several days later. So New Israel was very much a Markus cult.”

After the release of “A Cathedral of Cards”, Brizendine reached out to Paolo Emilio I of Trebia, a leading member of the Holy League and a known associate of Williams, about the findings therein. A transcript of their correspondence is below:

Brizendine: “I’d like to know where you stand on the information revealed in my article, A Cathedral of Cards. Do the findings therein affect the relationship between Trebia and New Israel? Are you comfortable with Markus remaining the President of the Holy League? Can we expect a statement from you, the League, or any of New Israel’s other allies about this?

Thank you for your time.”

Emilio: “I would like a statement from Markus himself before acting regarding on our diplomacy. I’m impressed by the information revealed, but I take it with a grain of salt, because it might be biased. Markus has made mistakes in dealing with the micronational community, and has made lots of enemies. While I’m frowned upon, I wouldn’t say anybody here is my enemy (not even the most left wing, prochoice hippy).

However, information regarding me and Markus as president of the Holy League is being kept confidential for non member states of the League. That’s all I can say.”

As of the writing of this article, there had been no public activity on the Holy League forums since September 2, the date of Williams’ last visit to the boards. No confirmed statements from the New Israeli Emperor, nor indeed any form of contact, have surfaced since his ban from the MicroWiki forums on September 11.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine

Delveran Intelligence Announces “Operation Exodus”

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(The Bannerman is pleased to present the first article written by our new Neoshan correspondent, Mrs. Hannah Callahan.)

NEOSHO RAPIDS – In a recent press conference, Vice Consul Jordan Brizendine announced that Delveran intelligence has “begun a second operation, codenamed Exodus”.  He went on to state that Operation Exodus will focus on “bringing about Markus’ compliance with the demands laid out by Operation Genesis earlier this month.”  The operation is meant to culminate in Markus renouncing his claims and possibly being exiled to another micronation.

Exodus will apparently include “revealing further information divulged by Operation Genesis” as well as revising wiki pages to reflect the findings of Operation Genesis, a process which is already underway. While other details are scarce at this point, First Consul Wernher stated that “For every level of resistance, there is a level of recourse.”

The First Consul also stated that peace is their goal, and that he would not allow “military resources to be drained in useless wars or conflict”. He also stressed that Delvera would not “become a policeman of the intermicronational community”.

Army Chief of Staff Dylan Callahan encouraged the other micronations to show their support by standing in solidarity with the demands placed on Markus and letting him know that “his time as an antagonizer is over.” He asked that other micronations “who value integrity in the intermicronational community participate in our operation to the extent that we force him to capitulate.”

Both Callahan and Brizendine spoke of the fact that they are “very concerned about personal privacy”. They emphasized the need to ensure the privacy of those who were used by Markus, and announced that some information would never be disclosed to the public.

However, Delveran officials also stressed their desire to bring the truth to light, stating, “we intend to be completely transparent as the timeline continues to its conclusion.”

Reporter: Hannah Callahan

Brizendine Announces New Foreign Policy

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LAVRADA – Minister of State Jordan Brizendine today announced the new foreign policy of the Grand Republic. In a radical departure from precedent, Delvera will move from the existing policy of recognition of all nations that claim sovereignty to non-recognition, on the basis that a nation does not need recognition to exist. This Molossia-esque viewpoint will not affect existing treaties with other nations, which will remain in force, nor will it prevent future relations and treaties.

The second part of Brizendine’s policy involves nations which Delvera will engage in relations with. There has been no clear doctrine on this subject up to this point, leading to ambiguity and confusion when considering potential new relations. The Ministry of State has resolved that the Grand Republic will from this date refrain from entering into relations with simulationist nations, which do not maintain real territory or physical institutions, and nations that do not control any of the physical territory which they claim.

The tiers of Delveran relations (Informal, Friendship, and Alliance) and the procedures for entering into relations at any level will remain unchanged.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine

Farewell to a Friend: Christian Newton Resigns

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NORVLAND – Last Friday, September 23, Mr. Christian Newton resigned all of his posts in the Grand Republic and dissolved the Military District of Norden, a 10 acre region of Delvera surrounded by the US state of North Carolina. Newton, who was serving as Supreme Justice of the High Court and an officer in the Grand Republican Army, had become involved in the Empire of Karnia-Ruthenia in May and had since ascended to positions of great responsibility in the Imperial government and military. His decision to leave was based on this dual commitment, which he felt lowered the quality of his service to both nations. His statement to the Cabinet follows:

“Gentleman,

As we all know, this is generally not an easy choice to make. But, considering the roles that I serve in both nations, the most logical thing for me to do at this time would be to stay with Karnia-Ruthenia. I had always had a small feeling that this day would come, but I guess that is the price to pay when serving more than one nation. I can only hope that this action will not ruin the friendships I have made here, and I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors. I hope that I have made a positive impact here, and that my name will be remembered.

With this, I respectfully remove the Nordenian Military Administrative District from the jurisdiction of the Grand Republic, and hereby resign my military and government positions.

Thank you all for the hospitality,

– Christian Newton”

First Consul Nikias Wernher, Vice Consul Jordan Brizendine, and Minister of Commerce Dylan Callahan were supportive of Newton’s choice, voicing understanding of his reasoning and bearing no ill will against him. Newton was honorably discharged from the GRA as a Lieutenant and assured that his Delveran friendships would remain intact.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine

A Cathedral of Cards: The True Face of New Israel

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LAVRADA – Delveran High Command has just released further details of its latest campaign, Operation Genesis. Beginning as a routine intelligence survey of the controversial nearby state of New Israel, the mission soon uncovered evidence of a conspiracy of Biblical proportions.

In plying through simple Google search results for New Israel, its predecessor state Freedomia, and its Emperor Markus II, Army Intelligence discovered a number of controversies surrounding the disestablishment of Freedomia and the creation of New Israel. Apparently, during a turbulent period in February 2013, a sizeable group of Freedomian citizens broke away after Markus ignored the results of a referendum which almost unanimously removed him from power. They formed a provisional government with a new Senate (after Markus dissolved the existing one) and a new Emperor (Titus I) and set out to liberate several regions of Freedomia that desired independence from the Christian theocracy that the Emperor had set up with Pende of Saxony. The movement was strong enough that its adherents set up several websites including a forum, Twitter page, and WordPress site. It seems that the government-in-exile failed in their goals, with the last sign of activity coming from a Twitter post on August 31, 2013.

In the latter days of the movement, the freedom fighters took drastic action to discredit Markus and expose the truth. After renaming themselves “New Israel” in order to tarnish the name of the illegitimate Empire, they released some personal information about Markus, including his real name: Mark Williams (which was apparently used in official capacity before his “ascension”). There is evidence that they were threatened by the Emperor, which they responded to with threats of their own, namely releasing more “FreedomiaLeaks”. None of this was mentioned on the wiki, save perhaps a few vague comments here and there. This historical revisionism was interesting, but it did not affect current diplomatic affairs, and thus did not warrant an immediate response from the Delveran government.

After further digging, Army Intelligence successfully located two members of the New Israeli government listed on the Empire’s wiki page and contacted them, hoping for information on the current state of Williams’ regime. A Delveran agent introduced himself to Prince-Elector Landon I of the Kingdom of Strain-Japan and the Grand Duchy of Hilde-Stanton and Prince-Elector Quinton I of the Free City of Sullivan, asking them to provide information for a report on local micronations. The discussion with Landon I can be seen here:

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Quinton I simply answered “None of the above, sorry dude.” These responses clearly showed inactivity in New Israel, but it was a message from Garrett Piofcyk of the Republic of Legendstries, a nation which supposedly went to war with New Israel in March 2011, that drew the most attention:
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These telling results led Army Intelligence to the conclusion that New Israel in its current form has (at most) three citizens, and that many aspects of the nation are merely figments of its Emperor’s imagination. With this data, the Delveran government attempted to contact Mr. Williams over several channels, delivering this ultimatum on September 14:

“Your Majesty,

You should know that we have come across quite a bit of evidence that will shine a light on the true history and present state of your nation. We have prepared a list of demands that you must accede to in a timely manner, or we will release the information to the community.

1. Update the information about your claims, area of control, population, and government official functions to reflect reality.

2. At your discretion, bearing in mind our ability to find fact in all cases, add the “fantasy” template to the wiki articles about your wars where appropriate.

3. Remove the section about your “military” from your wiki page.

4. Reveal the true history of your nation and its predecessors that you have attempted to cover up.

5. Issue an apology to the community for your inflammatory behavior, including a statement about how you plan to improve it in the future.

Failure to comply will result in serious sanctions and inevitable ramifications in the intermicronational community.

Signed,
FC Werhner and MoS Brizendine
Grand Republic of Delvera”

After a period of eight days in which Emperor Markus failed to meet the terms of the demands (or indeed issue a response of any kind), the Grand Republic has made good on its promise.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine

Colo Becomes Territory

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CLANSTON – The Province of Colo has officially dissolved its government today, choosing to devolve into a territory under the guardianship of Lavrasia. This decision comes after a period of marked inactivity by all Colonian citizens except for the governor, John Goldsmith. Mr. Goldsmith had discussed the idea with Lavrasian Governor Jordan Brizendine prior to the move, meeting approval from him and the rest of the Lavrasian Triumvirate.

Colo will be permitted to keep its flag and coat of arms, and the Lavrasian Articles of Governance will be amended to allow for them.

The devolution of Colo leaves Lavrasia the sole Delveran province. This creates a rather unsavory situation in which Lavrasia completely controls the legislature of the Grand Republic. Chamber President Brizendine hopes that the situation can be remedied in the near future.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine

Triumvirate Adopts New Flag, Disestablishes Avannia

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LAVRADA – The Lavrasian Triumvirate met in Lavrada last night, primarily to discuss a proposal for a new flag and the status of the Territory of Avannia. The Triumvirate, composed of the Chief Executor (Governor), Chief Legislator (Deputy), and Chief Justicar, is the governing body of the Commonwealth, with each member representing one of the three branches of government.

The new Provincial Standard, designed by Chief Executor Jordan Brizendine, consists of a red, white, and green horizontal tricolor emblazoned with the Lavrasian Cross and Triquetra. The flag is steeped in regional symbolism, with the colors reflecting those of the Salanian states, precursors to the modern province that existed in the region starting in 2008. The Roman numerals “MMVIII” in the center of the triquetra (itself a throwback) memorialize this historic year. The cross is a combination of old and new imagery, a fusion of the old Cross of Salania and the Iron Cross of the region’s previous banner. The new flag was designed primarily because of a nationwide push for new, original symbols.

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New Lavrasian Provincial Standard

The other major issue during the Triumvirate meeting was that of the Territory of Avannia, a now totally inactive region. Avannia, which started as one of the original four provinces of Delvera, was plagued with inactivity from the beginning of its existence in 2013. Three successive Governors, each more active than the last, failed to rectify this problem, leading to the devolution of the province into a territory under Lavrasia’s guardianship in May. Earlier this month, the territory’s Administrator was fired for inactivity, leaving the region with only one citizen (who no longer resided within the sphere of influence) and no claimed physical territory. In light of these factors, the Triumvirate decided to formally disestablish the territory and remove Cole County from Lavrasia’s sphere of influence. The sole remaining citizen retained his Lavrasian citizenship, however.

Reporter: Jordan Brizendine