Wintreath Update 11 - June 2017 (omg, monthly dispatches?!)
Realms of Wintreath
Wintreath - 286 nations
New Hyperion - 76 nations
Nowhere - 2 nations
Government of Wintreath
Jarl of Culture: Gerrick
Thane of Culture: Aragonn
Thane of Foreign Affairs: Emoticonius
Thane of Information: Crushita
Jarl of Integration: Finrod Felagund
Click an article title below to read it!
Article by North
From the Citizen's Corner recording studios...
Citizen's Corner is a regular feature where we select a newish Citizen and allow them to opine on current affairs and activities within the region. This month, our contributor is North, who has been a Citizen since August 2015 and a constant presence in the Underhusen, the elected branch of our legislature. Here's what he had to say:
[quote]Hello, Wintreath! I am a man who likes to keep things short and sweet and this is my first time writing anything like this, so bear with me here.
I entered Wintreath a bit disillusioned with NationStates communities and was on the verge of leaving it entirely. I entered expecting another clusterf**k of epic proportions, another waste of time. And instead, I found a gaggle of some of the oddest people I've ever met, and I've met a man who cut off his thumbs for a bet (story for another time).
But in spite of the oddity, the weirdness, and just about everything else this place has wormed its way into my heart. It'a a place of inclusiveness, a place for all to find a corner for themselves and a place worth protecting. So to anyone who finds themselves here, welcome and buckle up! This is a place for all and I hope in another year we can all stand together, stronger then before, and look upon a new, better, greater Wintreath!
Article by Justinian Ezkantion
A Microsope into Incompetence from Ainur's former Crown Prince
Recently the government of Wintreath has finally decided to terminate their formal relations with a region that has been dead for a very long time. Ainur, a region founded with a Lord of the Rings-esque theme and a strong community dedication to its regional government, was once able to boast of a couple hundred nations and a vibrant RP community which oddly enough rarely had anything to do with its theme. However, over nearly 5 years of existence it slowly withered away into a lifeless zombie possessed by ~20 lurkers and with an offsite forum that hasn't been touched since August.
To pinpoint when or how exactly this happened is pretty much impossible. A lot of events that crippled or should have crippled the region ended up being merely shrugged off by a still-dedicated core community. Perhaps Ainur can serve as yet another testament that no matter how dedicated your most loyal members are, things will decay without new blood no matter what. Really, some of the decisions that the inner circle of government in Ainur made (myself included) can be guidelines for what not to do when operating a region.
To begin with, a certain significant person in Ainur's government (who shall remain anonymous even though you probably already know who I'm talking about) believed everyone else wasn't going to do as good a job as he was doing, even when the region was starting to plummet in terms of membership. Thus he tried very hard to prevent giving power to anyone else, because he was afraid they might muck it up, or that they were going to commit some sort of petty vengeance on him. Paranoia from the most powerful people rarely leads to a successful and healthy community.
Secondly, as more and more of the core community (mainly those who had registered to the offsite forums) began to drop off as they grew older and started attending college, recruitment wasn't really very organized. You had one guy whose job it sort of was to recruit people through a legal API tool, and that job wasn't really being monitered very well. Whereas the region I currently inhabit, Wintreath, encourages manual recruitment as well through various rewards, there was no such system in Ainur at any point in time. In fact recruitment was such an enigma to me in Ainur that I didn't even understand how it worked until after I had left following two years of service in various positions.
Thirdly, the amount of reach that Ainur had was dwindling constantly. While I was mostly in the dark about recruitment something I was quite aware of was how Ainur's projection through the greater NS community was shrinking. Our participation in the raider/defender game collapsed into nothing and the regional military effectively dissolved. While the game is hardly necessary to keep up a presence on the site, it certainly helped. The fact that we only posted perhaps once or twice to our site forums page, however, certainly didn't help. While some of those who remember the drama might point to the adoption of less noble individuals into our region causing regions to cut off diplomatic ties and ruin our reputation as the primary act of isolation, I would say that's simply not the case as diplomatic ties would be re-opened only a year later, yet the region was incapable of recovering its position. It was problems within, not without, that caused the reduction of Ainur's position.
Due to the way that the government operated in its later years (Where a few people had a lot of power) when one person went inactive there were many, many functions of the region that suddenly ground to a halt. Responsibilities that were never given to anyone else, shoes that were never refilled, etc. For instance, when the Royal Chamberlain and the Newspaper Editor CTEd there wasn't a single regional update of any kind sent to anyone for months. The Ainurian government lost its functions as a sandblasted sculpture loses its features until it is naught but an unrecognizable pillar of stone.
However the final nail in the coffin to any life supported region such as this comes when attempts to clean the slate and build anew are blocked by attachment to the old. When people become unwilling the change the region they've spent so much time in, they fail to breath new life into it, and the dissatisfied will simply seek greener pastures. Such is the case with Ainur, where almost every single member of government in the summer of 2016 left and never came back. While the immediate cause of the exodus, and with it Ainur's demise, was a series of unlawful bannings and regional drama, Ainur would have been able to recover were it not so insular, and that was a problem that had been permeating long before.
May all this serve as a reminder, that no region is an island, and that even the closest of communities can collapse from within. Be warned, lest ye end up having to communicate on skype because apparently Discord is too complex my compatriots said while playing Dwarf Fortress.
Eldarion III, King of Ainur (deal with it, Crush)
Article by Gattoartico
It's kinda like a digital version of this!
I suppose something we are known for (not that I would know as this is my first and only region) is our LGBT community. In honor of Pride month we recently acquired an LGBT forum over here. Topics are already pretty great, from a discussion on a college course about all this to a thread about Drag Queens.
I myself am responsible for at least one thread, one I intend to use as a place for members to introduce themselves as them. So that new and old members can find others who share similar experiences or just need a little guidance to help them find themselves.
Wintermoot has started a thread chronicling his time taking Stanford's Transgender Inclusiveness course, a thread that is quite interesting to be perfectly honest.
And another user created the thread on Drag Queens as they work towards becoming one. A great thread that I thought was pretty nifty so there.
As well as quite a few others I just noticed to be perfectly honest with you. Quite a few others. Like, a lot. Like legit I don't think you comprehend how many here. A literal lot of threads.
I feel like this is an important part of Wintreath that we often overlook. Which if I recall correctly is part of the reason Wintermoot made the forum. So, out of what little kindness remains in my black heart I elected to write this article. I've reached the point in this article where I've said all that I wanted to say but I still want it a little longer.
So as a final note this particular part of our forums is always open to new and interesting threads, from personal experiences in life to maybe a thread discussing RuPaul's Drag Race. I honestly don't know what will crop up. But I hope to see it become an integral and active part of the region in the future.
Article by Gerrick
That's kinda what we do around here.
This is the first installment of the Culture Review, written by me, Gerrick, Wintreath’s Jarl of Culture. I’ll be talking briefly about some events going on in the cultural areas of the forums, such as Ministry news, monthly contests, and forum games.
The Monarch’s Game Bag is a list of over 150 spare Steam keys that Wintermoot and other citizens have donated to the region over the years. As the Monarch’s Game Bag used to only be rewarded to those who won the Monthly Recruitment Contest, which had no winner for a year, it had no real use, and the Steam keys were left unused. To help with this as well as to help spur civil service activity, a new system was put in place to reward those who take the initiative to make Wintreath a better place. All of the games were split into two categories: Gold Rewards (those that cost at least $10 each) and Silver Rewards (those that cost less). Silver Rewards are given to those who write 2 articles for the Orendi, gain 1000 recruitment points in one month, or win Wintreath's Finest of the Month. Gold Rewards are given to those who win the Monthly Recruitment Contest, gain 2500 recruitment points in one month, win Wintreath's Finest of the Year, or complete two of the Silver Reward tasks. Rewards will also be given out during festivals, so make sure to attend our Summersend Festival in August!
Wintreath’s Finest is the name for Wintreath’s citizen of the month. Nominations are for those who stood out as contributing or showing dedication to the region or having been extra active, caused activity, or been a good influence on others. The winner of May 2017’s Wintreath’s Finest was Justinian Ezkantion, who was nominated for creating and hosting the newest roleplay, the Wild Men of Wichita. I had the pleasure of interviewing him about the RP in an article in last month’s Orendi. The other nominations for Wintreath’s Finest were Fortis_Scriptor, who has written several stories and pieces of lore for the world he and Crushita are building for a book, and Elbbsas, who has been writing short timed prompts to work on her creative writing. Both Fortis_Scriptor and Elbbsas have helped revitalize the Halls of Art and Writing and have inspired others to post their works as well.
The Avatar Theme of the Month is the theme that several forum users will adopt into their avatars for the month, whether that means using pictures or memes that have to do with the theme or Photoshopping the theme into their usual avatars. Nominations are typically related to current world affairs, historical dates, holidays, or happenings in Wintreath. The winner of June 2017’s Avatar Theme of the Month was a tie between the FBI (nominated because of the ongoing high profile FBI investigations) and the Battle of Midway (the famous WWII naval battle that took place in early June 1942). Other nominations included Skyrim, flags (nominated because of Flag Day in the US, which takes place in June), and June as a name (May as a name was a nomination in last month’s contest).
The Monthly Recruitment Contest is back after a year of having no winners. The winner of the contest must have the most recruitment points (with at least 1500) by the end of the month. Recruitment points are earned by manually sending out recruitment telegrams to new NationStates nations, using our recruitment tool. The winner of May 2017's Recruitment Contest was Mathyland, who recruited to 1578 nations. As the winner of the recruitment contest, he was then allowed to choose any game from the Monarch’s Game Bag, which he decided to be Sid Meier’s Civilization V.
Spyfall is an easy-to-learn party game of bluffing, probing questions, clever answers, and suspicion. In the game, one player is the Spy and has to try to figure out their location, while all other players try to figure out who is the Spy without giving away their location. We had already had five games since it was first introduced to Wintreath in early 2015. This sixth game was made up of eight players and took place in a cathedral to Wintreath’s unofficial religion, Potatoeism. The non-Spy players took on roles (such as Bishop, Beggar, and Tourist) to help them ask and answer questions in-character. The game ended up lasting from May 30 until June 13 when BraveSirRobin, the Spy, figured out the location and won.
Article by Wintermoot
Cause it's not like we have better things to do, right?
Wintreath Does Yet Another Political Quiz
Over the course of the past month, members of the forum community have been taking the 8 values political quiz, which attempts to place you among four axis based on your responses to various political issues it asks about. Overall, the quiz determined that the forum community as a whole tends to be socialist, globalist, libertarian, and progressive. Even the most "conservative" member, Justinian Ezkantion, was described by the quiz as a centrist, with most members being categorized into libertarian socialism or social libertarianism. Overall, it was an interesting look into where individual members and the region as a whole stands on various issues!
Below is a description of each axis and the two values that comprise it as stated on the website, along with some information on where the region stands on each axis.
[quote]Economic Axis: Equality vs Markets
Those with higher Equality scores believe the economy should distribute value evenly among the populace. They tend to support progressive tax codes, social programs, and at high values, socialism. Those with higher Market scores believe the economy should be focused on rapid growth. They tend to support lower taxes, privatization, deregulation, and at high values, laissez-faire capitalism.
Most Capitalist: Justinian Ezkantion (49.4 Equality/50.6 Market)
Regional Average 69.9 Equality/30.4 Market
Diplomatic Axis: Nation vs World
Those with higher Nation scores are patriotic and nationalist. They often believe in aggressive foreign policy, valuing the military, strength, sovereignty, and at high values, territorial expansion. Those with higher Globe scores are cosmopolitan and globalist. They often believe in a peaceful foreign policy, emphasizing diplomacy, cooperation, integration, and at high values, a world government.
Most Globalist: Crushita (22.3 Nation/77.7 Globe)
Regional Average: 37.9 Nation/62.1 Globe
State Axis: Liberty vs Authority
Those with higher Liberty scores believe in strong civil liberties. They tend to support democracy and oppose state intervention in personal lives. Note that this refers to civil liberties, not economic liberties. Those with higher Authority scores believe in strong state power. They tend to support state intervention in personal lives, government surveillance, and at high values, censorship or autocracy.
Most Authoritarian: Justinian Ezkantion (40.0 Liberty / 60.0 Authority)
Regional Average: 69.0 Liberty / 31.0 Authority
Society Axis: Tradition vs Progress
Those with higher Tradition scores believe in traditional values and strict adherence to a moral code. Though not always, they are usually religious, and support the status quo or the status quo ante. Those with higher Progress scores believe in social change and rationality. Though not always, they are usually secular or atheist, and support environmental action and scientific or technological research.
Most Progressive: taulover (12.2 Tradition/87.8 Progress)
Regional Average: 23.0 Tradition / 77.0 Progress
Honestly, we're too lazy to find another image this time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Wintreath was featured on NationStates' "The World Page" on June 30th, which led to over a dozen nations finding their way to the region!
If for some reason you find the urge to read all the past Orendi editions, you can now do so in our new Orendi Archive, which includes every edition ever published along with its date of publication.
Wintermoot has been making efforts to make the Wintreath website more mobile-friendly, although this is an on-going effort.
Based on feedback, our Citizenship App was changed to include a space for new Citizens to introduce themselves and to separate NationStates-related questions to a separate section (being involved in NS has been optional for Citizenship since November 2016).
Could Stellaris games be in Wintreath's future?
If you liked this edition of the Orendi, consider showing it by upvoting this dispatch!