The logo of the II Summer Esferiad, held in Quoriv and Kharventhin.
It's not often that the TWP roleplay community gets a chance to come together and show off their best storytelling skills in a gigantic RP event, but recently it had the opportunity to participate in one of the most exciting and popular RP sports events. The Esferiad, as it is called, is our own version of the real world's Olympic Games and is named after the in-character name of the planet TWP nations reside in, Esferos. While the first one was held in Saint-Josalyn, Cambria (a.k.a. Tara and Cambray/Bran Astor), the second one made history when a joint bid by the cities of Quoriv, Giovanniland and Kharventhin, Blue Bubble was selected, the first time two nations have played host together.
The event lasted for two weeks, and despite Quoriv and Kharventhin being the hosts, it was Fujai and United Adaikes who scorinated the results each day. A momentous occasion from start to finish, the II Summer Esferiad saw 19 nations in total participate: Arifiyyah, Blue Bubble, Dalimbar, Dilber, Fhaengshia, Fuentana, Fujai, Giovanniland, Hertfordshire and Jammbo, Larxia, Nagaraningrad, Nieubasria, Orandia, The Holy Principality of Saint Mark, Santos-Dominius, Tara and cambray, Teralyon, Tupmonia, and United Adaikes. Notably, this total of participants was one more than the first edition.
Another notable change was the addition of more events, such as Skateboarding and Surfing. The Games were officially opened by King Giovanni I, monarch of Giovanniland, and Kassakira Petrovikan, Mpitarika of Blue Bubble during the Opening Ceremony, which happened in the Grand Esferic Stadium of Quoriv. This beautiful display took place on 24th October of 1421, and involved interesting presentations about Lavender Island culture and history, as well as the long-awaited Parade of Nations and lighting of the Esferic cauldron. Events then started on the following day, happening until 7th November. That day also saw the Closing Ceremony in the Violet Lake of Kharventhin. It similarly showed a historical display, while delegations from each country sailed across the lake with boats featuring their flags, and the closure was finally announced as the flame was put out with water from the Violet Lake itself.
As Esferos' very best athletes congregated on Lavender Island to compete for glory, many nations did their duty excellently in covering the events. The recurring trio from Hertfordshire & Jammbo—Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond—made viewers from around the world break out in fits of laughter, while the sophisticated press of Nieubasria and Cambria gave valuable insights into the results via professionally-made graphics. Not all the press coverage was pleasant, however. For example, the media team from Santos-Dominius drew the ire of many by bombarding their live TV coverage with countless advertisements, and Cambria's Princess Tamara passed away in a rare tragedy that filled the world with shock, sadness and sympathy. Over eight pages of roleplay were produced by all participants overall, and you can see the great content in the main thread.
A roleplay post by Nieubasria, depicting a sports website after the 1st day of the event.
Full version available here
Although the Esferiad was the main attraction in and of itself, such a world-class event naturally gave way to congregations of a different sort on the sidelines. Leading political figures from many nations met Kassakira Petrovikan, the leader of Blue Bubble, and held many discussions and conversations at the iconic Duchy Estate of Kharventhin, a historical building dating back from the medieval Duchy of Quoriv's rule. Notable leaders like Prince Marcarius of Saint Mark, King James of Larxia, First Granddaughter Carnet Goldberg of Santos-Dominius, Sultan Arif Nazhim of Arifiyyah, President Luke Salazar of United Adaikes, King Giovanni I of Giovanniland, and the Queen of Orandia, were reported to be in attendance, with many of them mingling with each other.
As for the results themselves, there was no question as to who were the biggest winners of the II Summer Esferiad. Reigning supreme was the co-host Giovanniland at a staggering total of 69 medals, with 26 of them being gold medals. The sporty Nieubasria came from behind to win a distant but solid 2nd place with 48 medals, repeating their achievement of most medals for a non-host nation. Initial front-runner and other co-host Blue Bubble ultimately garnered 3rd place with 38 medals, whereas Hertfordshire and Jammbo, once a contender for the top spot, was narrowly left out of the top 3, achieving 4th place with 34 medals in total. Last but not least, the hosts of the first Esferiad, Cambria, completed the top five with 23 medals. Many other nations also gained their medals, with all but Dalimbar, Dilber and Nagaraningrad winning at least one.
Overall, the co-hosts proved to be the biggest winners, while an expected trend of solid performances from Nieubasria allowed them to get their fair share of triumphs as well. As for continent results, host continent Aura dominated the competition, with over half (140) of the 268 total awarded medals. Polaris came in second place with 80 medals, while Andolia also had a good performance of 48 medals. Sadly, there were no participants from Doll Guldur, unlike the first edition, though let's hope some of them appear in the next one!
The final medal table, ranking nations by gold medals and coloring them by continent.
All in all, the II Summer Esferiad has proven to be a great success—both in showing off the creative and artistic prowess of the TWP RP community, and in creating a truly enjoyable event for all those that participated, hosted or in any way got involved with it. Although the fun is over and the results have been released, fear not—the success of these games is only a sign of better things to come, like the III Summer Esferiad, whenever it starts! And if you want to join the fun, read the TWP Roleplay Dispatch for more information on our RP and how to join the map.
By Gryphonian Alliance
Every Monday, our RMB gets together to post the funniest, wittiest, and snarkiest puns in the world of NationStates. Here are some entries from this month that I absolutely have to share.
Did you know that Christian Bale trained for his role in The Dark Knight trilogy by hitting himself with a baseball over and over again? He was an excellent bat.
What did the turkey say when it realized it was Thanksgiving Day?
I was only planning on including one Thanksgiving pun in this article but I can't just quit cold turkey.
Rest in peace boiling water. You will be mist.
People from all over NS are welcome to join us on Mondays for this fun event. So if you're in the mood for wordplay or just want to appreciate some cheesy puns, be sure to check it out!
The poster of the Harvest Festival, designed by Fujai.
On October 13st, the Laika Accords with our comrades in The Communist Bloc (TCB) and The Leftist Assembly (TLA) were announced after fruitful negotiations led by our very own Varanius, with contributions from Delegate Dilber and Ministers Fuentana and Giovanniland. The Accords mark a new stage in the fruitful relationship with TCB and TLA following the establishment of relations in Spring and Summer of 2021 respectively. Most notably, the accords contain provisions regarding TCB's "Ink Cloud'' bot, making Ink Cloud available to both The West Pacific and TLA, while Giovanniland and other West Pacificans who are inclined towards the collection of international artworks will be glad of the Accords' anti-heisting provisions.
The first of the annual festivals proscribed by the Laika Accords followed shortly after ratification, beginning on November 7th, with government members such as Overthinkers contributing to its organisation, and Fujai designing a beautiful server icon and festival poster. The Harvest Festival ran until the 13th, featuring legendary card raffles of Stoklomolvi (won by Syndicalist Operarii), Vancouvia (won by Larxia), Free Socialism (won by The Passerine Islands), and Caelapes (won by Aluminum Oxynitride). The first three were given by Giovanniland through the West Pacific Card Club-operated nation Western Card Storage G, whereas the latter one was donated by Radicalania through TCB's Card Factory (TCBs Card Solidarity). In the spam channels, a count to infinity reached 914 by the time the festival ended, while virtual tacos were produced and sold by members via the popular Taco Shack bot.
Gartic Phone shenanigans were also hosted, reaching more than 10 participants, all having fun as they described pictures and drew new ones according to a sentence, many of them themed after the three regions or NS in general. Skribbl.io was another common game, with players guessing a word through someone's drawing, while there was also an impromptu Smash Mouth concert hosted by Pajonia. In the literature channels, Fuentana posted haiku and short story writing prompts that were themed on the fall much like the rest of the event, resulting on various creative entries, including some Toki Pona literature by Pajonia. There was also an art channel, in which New Astri produced some beautiful MSPaint art while other festivalgoers shared their flags, and a photography one, notably starring fall-themed and pet photos from multiple members.
Our Delegate, Dilber, had the following to say on the Laika Accords and Harvest Festival: "I'm super proud for us to have signed the Laika Accords. TLA and TCB are cool ass people, and we really enjoyed working with them as part of the Crabs of the Apocalypse. It was really fun putting together the accords with them, and I'm excited about our continued cooperation in the future. The Harvest Festival kicked off the accords extremely well, as the festival came out [pretty] great (with a lot of people helping, and only some yelling at Vara). I can't wait for us to do more!"
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Varanius had the following to say: "I really enjoyed being able to participate in the Laika Accords! It's only the second treaty I've ever seen get drafted, but my limited experience thinks it went pretty well! I think we have a lot of shared values with TLA and TCB, and this three way partnership is one I think we're all going to benefit from. I'm really excited to continue to work with them, especially when it comes to discussions on the World Assembly."
The West Pacifican was also able to speak exclusively to TLA's Secretary General Greylyn, who remarked that "it was a pleasure having the privilege of coming together with our friends in TCB and TWP to organize the festivities and ratify the Laika Accords," and TCB's First Minister Pajonia, who commented the following: "I am very happy with how the Laika Accords and the Harvest Festival turned out. The culture of our regions really mesh well together, and I'm excited for the next event. My only regret is not making the festival longer! The Laika Accords provide a lot of benefits to all of its signatories, and it was the most fun I've ever had negotiating a treaty. This was a wonderful start to a great relationship between our regions and I'm looking forward to the future."
On the whole, a wonderful time was had by all! The recent friendship between the three signatories of the Laika Accords is likely to continue in the future, and this festival will certainly be one to be remembered, while we wait for the next one in the coming years. This is it for this article, but stay tuned about more articles about our interregional events in future editions of the Western Post!
By Blue Bubble
Just like in 2019 and in 2020, the region of The West Pacific hosted another edition for one of its yearly events, the Turkey Pardon. Of course, this event is themed on Thanksgiving, allowing nation members to choose which turkey to save from being eaten. This time around, region had four contestants to choose from, Natty S, a quality turkey who worked at a gas station and offered quality meats; Gord, who had already been roasted a month before; Tatersaurus, who did not even appear to be a turkey and wanted votes for their resolutions; and Margarine Collard Greens, a turkey who screamed about treason. The Gobblr profiles for the pardon candidates were announced in the 13th of November, with the vote starting the next day. They were all created by former Delegate Bran Astor and can be seen below:
A poll was held for five days, and with a strong majority of 59 votes, Gord was selected to be saved. Tatersaurus, Margarine and Natty achieved 12, 11 and 9 respectively, not even close to match with Gord's candidacy for the pardon. Therefore, the Hall of Nations then scrambled to write up a petition to request Dilber, Delegate of the West, to officially pardon Gord. This was followed up by another vote, because apparently we need some forms of democracy sometimes here in TWP, and a turkey would be the perfect opportunity for such a thing.
The petition was drafted by Zoran, Speaker of the Hall of Nations, with some suggestions by Giovanniland, while other members such as Dalimbar, Mediobogdum, Wymondham, Hertfordshire and Jammbo, Papercuts and Skittles, and Wascoitan also commented on the thread. The petition itself first dealt with an explanation of why the other turkeys were not worthy of a pardon, and then gave reasons to support Gord, for example the spirit of Thanksgiving on their offer of sharing share a Kraft dinner with someone and to introduce them to their family. Lastly, it petitioned the Delegate to officially pardon Gord, with an additional reason: "if not for their qualities, then for the purpose of trolling Varanius, who does not know what a gourd is."
Despite that, the proposal was controversial, and barely passed through the Hall, with 14 citizens (58.33%) supporting it and 10 (41.67%) opposing, perhaps because some citizens wanted a fourth turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner. After about 27 hours of thought, Dilber delivered the message to the region that Gord had been set free and pardoned for all crimes in the West Pacific. However, the Delegate also noted that TWP does not have any treaty with the country of Canada, and that Gord had not been pardoned there for the crime of being delicious, adding that "it turns out their petition date was like a month ago and I'm pretty sure his goose has been cooked." Nevertheless, Dilber made sure to repatriate Gord's delicious remains as soon as possible, closing this yearly tradition.
This unusual finish concluded this year's Turkey Pardon, where Gord was saved, and the other turkeys were just simply delicious. Here's to next year's Turkey Pardon—who will be in the roasting tin next time? You'll have to wait another year to find out, but in the meantime, consider applying to join the Hall of Nations to take part in this and other fun activities! We hope to see you there soon.
By Fuentana, Poet Laureate of Haiku and Christmas Scrooge when it comes to music
I am declaring war.
Not on Christmas, or on NS (as anyone who plays past their first 10 minutes will learn, you can't really make war on NS). My war is against bad Christmas music—yes, Christmas music. You might be surprised to learn that there are things that drive me up a wall. Bad Christmas music is one of those things.
I'm usually known as a warm and friendly player. In fact, I'm part of a highly secretive secret society of secretness that is made up of good, friendly, patient, creative NS players who have a secret Discord and a secret method of deciding who can join our secret club. It's Skull and Bones meets Fight Club, except we send thank you cards a few days later in our finest penmanship. But a few weeks ago some miscreants sullied my RMB, and I was not in the mood for thank you cards. In fact, I wasn't in the mood for much more than taking a baseball bat and going Limp Bizkit on someone.
Because I was feeling more like Scrooge than Santa of late, I decided to poke fun at crappy Christmas music, the kind of dirges that make me more like the actual St. Nicholas (who was known to punch miscreants in the face). But this list has a twist! Instead of simply listing my always carefully curated music, I asked some of our friends in the West and some friends from the rest of NS to take a wild guess at Christmas songs that I probably hate. Guess what? They were often right, or pretty damn close. So below you will find some of my most favorite unfavorite Christmas music, with commentary on why.
'Tis the season.
OK, this one is overrated. But it's hardly the worst. Well, I guess it can be the worst if one hears this song every day—which I'm sure is the best way to spread holiday cheer!
I don't know what's more evil, kicking Altino's TWP nation (Altincredible) during the great purge of 2021, or leading her on before I kicked. You see, I pinged Alti first and asked, "Hey Alti! Trick or treat?" No matter what she answered, I was going to punt Altincredible. But in truth, this damn song is definitely more evil, more annoying, more stockworthy. Disgusting, annoying, banal. It's perfect for the commercialized holiday season! And I hate it. Please, Chipmunk Song, be very very late.
Also I'd never kick Marina's nation. Only Alti. Because I'm secretly evil... to Alti at least.
Hey Jude. Don't write this song. Please! Sir Paul McCartney will be vindicated in history for being one of the best songwriters and frontmen in modern music history, but this song is a clunker. It's bizarre and jarring coming from a man known for his melodies and songwriting flair. A man who penned (or helped pen) "Blackbird," "Yesterday," "Hey Jude," "Let it Be," and "Live and Let Die" wrote this Christmas dirge? I suppose I should be surprised, but Michael Jordan finished his career as a Washington Wizard, and Guns n Roses tried with Chinese Democracy.
This year to save me from tears, I'm burning this song in effigy. I can't tell you how many last Christmases I heard this damn song. Actually, I probably can. No matter what number it really is, it's definitely at least one year more than Varanius can claim, because that song came out well before Vara was even a thought.
Actually, that song may or may not have been released before I was even a thought. But I'm older than Vara. I'll become as much a questioner as Vara. I might even eat his jarlic before I listen to this oh-so-memorable and uplifting Christmas song. Bring on Freedom, please!
Add 50% offensive colonialist supremacy, add 20% nonsensical combinations of singers and musicians. Top with 30% of some of the dumbest musical notes ever packaged together. Voila! You have one of the most memorable pieces of garbage to ever grace the airwaves in the 1980s. It's truly laughable, cheesy, and thoroughly uninspiring. Boy George and Bono plus Spandau Ballet and a bunch of others? I guess at least Phil Collins was on drums. But that synth work? That bridge? "Feed the world"? I can feel something else coming in the air tonight, and it's something closer to St. Nick punching people in the face.
And now it's time for a bonus unfavorite—a song so bad that I deliberately expunged it from my memory until Zoran suggested it.
NewSong - Christmas Shoes
This is the most emotionally manipulative song of the last 35 years. I'll admit it: the first time I heard it as a sappy adolescent, I was weeping. But it's a rotten pot of chicken noodle soup for the soul and so damn overplayed. I happen to be a very serious Christian, but this song alone makes me want to oppose the spread of contemporary Christian radio. It's not worth it. Christians out there: learn from the mystics, who often say that "God's first language was silence." Don't sing crap. Embrace the silence.
While we're at it: Bran hadn't heard of the song. Within the sidebar is a real transcript of several Discord DMs.
A snarky person once told me that anything that is too inane to be spoken is sung. Case in point. Also, there was no drummer boy at the Nativity. This is an anachronism. Finally, WHO PLAYS DRUMS FOR A NEWBORN?!
Pretty sure loud drum playing is hated by everyone except for teenage boys aspiring for rock glory and their imaginary girlfriends.
I can't hate Mariah too much: lots of adolescent boys had a crush on her, and few others in the 90s could match her insane range and belting. But humans can only bear so much! Make my wish come true... and retire the song.
Dishonorable Mention 3: Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus is Coming to Town
I dislike Bruce Springsteen on principle even though I'm from the Garden State. Pick a song, any song (at least those appearing in the late 1970s and beyond) and play the game of writing out what you think he's singing. It's almost Pearl Jam level enunciation, except Eddie Vedder writes complex lyrics and the band generates respectable rock. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are lucky if they can get the drummer to play on tempo. (But Steven Van Zandt was pretty good on The Sopranos).
Give me Christmas Shoes over any Bruce Springsteen song any day. And make sure Xoriet gets to hear that song every day please. Doing so will make me smile like the Grinch.
Standing at the end of this all, you have to agree: there's a lot of crappy Christmas music. I haven't even scratched the surface (Drummer Boy, Mary Did You Know, or singing Silent Night at day church services). Instead, cue up some Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Wizards in Winter (it's lit!), or if you like finer things, Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium. Or don't listen to music if that's your thing (but who doesn't listen to music? I guess maybe Varanius? that rascal). It will probably save you from these wonderfully illustrious Christmas songs.
Anyway, happy holidays to you and yours!
Thanks for reading! Tell us about your favorite part on our RMB!
The Western Post Staff - Delegate-in-Editor-in-Chief: Dilber Editors: Fuentana, Fujai, Giovanniland - Staff: Aluminum Oxynitride, Blue Bubble, Bran Astor, Fhaengshia, Gryphonian Alliance, Podium, Santos-Dominius, Teralyon, United Adaikes, Zoran, and YOU
All your chocolate belongs to Darkesia
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