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The Rejected Times: Issue XLIII

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Issue XLIII | March 1, 2018

Media Officer: Glacikaldr
Editor-in-Chief: Glacikaldr
Deputy Media Officer: The Church of Satan


"The Rejected Realms' Media Department Revival" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF
"Ranking the GCRs: Feeders Resurgent" | FEATURE | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF
"What Keeps Sinkerism Floating?" | EDITORIAL | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF
"Defender's Digest: Iran Liberated and More" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY Intern Fauxia | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr
"The Invasion of Westphalia: Raider Victory over SWORD" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY Intern Relfa | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr
"The January Accords Report" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF
"The Second Annual Interregional Olympic Games" | NEWS | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF
"Interview with Spectacor" | INTERVIEW | WRITTEN BY Journalist Marilyn Manson Freaks | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr
"World Assembly Shutdown" | SATIRE | WRITTEN BY Correspondent The Church of Satan | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr
"Announcing The Honest Reject" | OPINION | WRITTEN BY Journalist Marilyn Manson Freaks | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr
"The Winning Rejectmas Carol" | CREATIVE | MADE BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr
"Cartoon: SWORD Visualised" | CREATIVE | MADE BY TRT STAFF

The Rejected Realms' Media Department Revival
NEWS | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF

The Rejected Realms Media Corporation's logo,
which is the executive government
department that manages The Rejected Times.

The Rejected Times (TRT) and Media Department as a whole, under the previous and current Media Officers of Canton/John Laurens and Glacikaldr/PowerPAOK/Nequedum respectively, has been undergoing a process of revitalisation. This issue being released is testament to a schedule for issues being released once every two months. While this is not as regular as publications once a month a few years ago, the quality found in Issue XLII and XLIII (42 and 43) in comparison to earlier issues with far fewer contributors should speak for itself. While there is still interest in reaching out to prospective contributors, including those from other regions who wish to simply get involved with The Rejected Times, the new monthly updates have and will continue to ensure accountability within the elected position of Media Officer and the duties delegated to the Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Media Officer.

Under the new Media Officer, who is coincidentally the contributor currently writing this article as well as the individual serving as the Times' Editor-in-Chief, Principles of Office have been announced. This new term adopted within the nomenclature of the Media Department was first introduced in January, and has since been updated in the February Update found Linkhere. The current Principles of Office shared by the Media Officer are the following:

Communication: This should not be undermined in the slightest. Please communicate with me. That means prior to working on an article, cartoon, special release, interview, poem, etc. As for issues and issue-writing, I want to be in the know so we can work together in developing articles that are considering an overall theme. Keep this in mind.

Activism: Egalitarian principles are at the forefront of free speech and The Rejected Times. Articles will no longer be shied away from on the basis of controversy. We are the voice of the citizenry but also a voice for democracy. While hit pieces are not my intention, I will not be asking my contributors to pretend everything is perfect in the NationStates community.

Transparency: I will always be open to questions and can be contacted in all of these following ways. I merely request that you give me the same accessibility I afford you.

Innovation: I welcome innovation and new ideas, even if they ultimately fall flat. With this in mind, we will assist other departments in their projects. This feeds into our goal of market presence.

The Media Officer Announcement for February also detailed the completed and current tasks of the Media Department. The February Update shared the news of many revitalised and new projects that have been put into action under the tenure of the current Media Officer. These completed tasks include the revision of special releases, GCR Opinion Polling, TRT's index, and the Ranks and Awards system, as well as the creation of TRT's Subscription Service, TRR's Media Corp. Monitor and TRT's Publication Formatting guide. Upcoming tasks outlined by the update include the publication of this here issue, TRT Radio and assisting other TRR government departments with upcoming events.

Additionally, since Canton/John Laurens was assigned as the Deputy Media Officer back in January, he has gone on to be elected as the Outreach Officer. Hence, in appliance with the Rule of Two and the convention of allowing someone who is not currently a government official to be a deputy, The Church of Satan (CoS) was chosen as the new Deputy Media Officer in the Feburary Update. During the update, CoS was primarily delegated responsibilities that come with reorganising TRT Radio into an irregular podcast, and, so far, progress towards refining the radio's vision and format has been made.

On a personal note, I really do hope you enjoy this Issue. A lot of time has gone into securing a long list of motivated contributors, and I’m very proud of what we have managed to create together. A very special thank you to all the interviewees and participants in our polling this time around, as well as those who went out of their way to give us story tips and work relentlessly to deliver content that will surely lead to, at the very least, me coming back for more from all these talented people! We hope to hear feedback from our readers over on the NationStates gameplay subforum to help us continue working towards improving and delivering content that you enjoy!

Ranking the GCRs: Feeders Resurgent
FEATURE | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF

In Autumn (Fall for you Americans) 2014, the NationStates community recalls reeling with the implications of the outbreak of the Lazarene-Osiran War. For context, our readers last participated in the Game-Created Region Survey during this political climate. Now TRT Staff find themselves with the daring task of bridging a large gap in public opinion with only subjective data. While some things haven't changed (such as Rachel and Funkadelia still being delegates), other things clearly have. Over fifty respondents were kind enough to take the survey this year and the results make for a startling comparison with the previous results found more than three years ago. Activity, players’ interest, and good governance appears to have shifted from the sinkers to the feeders, with some feeders benefiting more from this resurgence than others and one sinker, Lazarus, the clear loser of the dataset.

The East Pacific - 0.740 (+11%)
The West Pacific - 0.726 (+21%)
The North Pacific - 0.714 (+9%)
The South Pacific - 0.697 (+10%)
The Rejected Realms - 0.686 (0%)
The Pacific - 0.606 (11%)
Balder - 0.551 (-7%)
Osiris - 0.536 (-5%)
Lazarus - 0.421 (-27%)

[The Overall Perceptions Index is collected by finding the sum of the performances of all of the feeders and sinkers in all of the survey’s following indices, divided by the highest potential score (50). The OPI provides an overall picture of how Game-Created regions performed on average throughout the survey.]

These results tell the story in broad terms. Our readers' impression of all the feeders has improved; most feeders improved their results by ten percent and The West Pacific doubled that with the biggest improvement of twenty-one percent. Impressions of the Rejected Realms remain stable while Osiris and Balder's reputations have atrophied. Lazarus, on the other hand, has seen a decline of its already poor report-card from 2014 to an embarrassing, new low. While the People's Republic of Lazarus had its fair share of enemies, there is a wide consensus among our readers that the Undead Dominion of Lazarus is not just illegitimate, but also poorly governed to the point that it remains an active crisis zone. Following this argument made by the data itself, TRT Staff ask players who are shaping the Sinkerism ideology, noting how the Rejected Realms is a clear outlier, whether their current political trajectory is paying off?

The Rejected Realms - 4.06 (+19%)
The East Pacific - 3.88 (+16%)
The North Pacific - 3.42 (+3.6%)
The South Pacific - 3.39 (-1%)
The West Pacific - 3.36 (1%)
Balder - 2.84 (-1%)
Osiris - 2.83 (+12%)
The Pacific - 2.43 (0%)
Lazarus - 2.33 (0%)

To quote someone who preferred to remain anonymous when I showed them these results, "READ 'EM AND WEEP, SUCKERS. If you gotta problem with these rankings, go pout to your [mammies]. Nobody, and[,] I mean, NOBODY was gonna beat us at being nice. Y'all show me a nicer person and I'll shank 'em, reject-style, with a can opener. MOVING ON!" I personally think this may be something we need to settle our differences aside for and have a chat over, seeing how the region made up of all the banjected players is considered to be the most accepting and tolerant.

The North Pacific - 4.13 (+20%)
The East Pacific - 3.66 (+5%)
The West Pacific - 3.61 (+17%)
The South Pacific - 3.57 (+11%)
The Pacific - 3.23 (+30%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.23 (-9%)
Osiris - 2.62 (-21%)
Balder - 2.37 (-21%)
Lazarus - 2.25 (-32%)

TRT Staff will be honest here, the Rejected Realms' border security, with nothing else to do, tried for hours to find a pulse on their old sister region, Lazarus, and to this day are still not sure what part of it was supposed to be "un-" dead. He's dead, Jim. In contrast, a rebound from The Pacific's Krulltopia days can be seen in the form of a broad tidal wave of activity sinking back into those Pacific shorelines, or should we be saying feeding? Osiris and Balder have also taken a similar hit in terms of activity of which should perhaps have been expected. The Osiris Fraternal Order (OFO) is no longer a new regime in the throes of a war and Balder is currently celebrating being the second most boring region ever.

The West Pacific - 3.73 (+31%)
The East Pacific - 3.69 (+13%)
The South Pacific - 3.65 (+18%)
The North Pacific - 3.38 (+8%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.36 (+3%)
The Pacific - 3.34 (+12%)
Osiris - 2.85 (-7%)
Balder - 2.59 (-14%)
Lazarus - 2.19 (-37%)

Incredibly, Lazarus has managed to drop from first to last place in this latest survey. Lazarus under the People's Republic of Lazarus was once regarded as cultured, fun, and creative. Its successor state is decidedly not any of those things. The West Pacific, meanwhile, has surged ahead; catering to a more sophisticated palate with its daily news programs, roleplays, and... pirating I guess?

The West Pacific - 4.08 (+64%)
The South Pacific - 3.77 (+37%)
The North Pacific - 3.44 (+17%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.15 (-2%)
The East Pacific - 3.09 (-9%)
The Pacific - 2.96 (34%)
Osiris - 2.51 (-27%)
Balder - 2.26 (-22%)
Lazarus - 1.7 (-49%)

Oh, I know what this is, it has to do with all that piracy hype in video gaming as of late, right? Once more, The West Pacific has invaded their way to the top, from being widely dismissed - second-to-last, in fact, last survey - to a admirable lead. TRT Staff imagine that the high visibility of TWPAF is responsible - assuming they weren't also griefing other respondents to force them into giving them a five. Also worthy of mention is the revitalisation of the SPSF on the part of Roavin, Escade et al., and The Pacific Legion through Pergamon. While the RRA and EPSA, which were, to be fair, larger at the time of the last survey, have managed to hold their own in this update, Lazarus' reputation has taken a major hit in the absence of the highly visible Lazarus Liberation Army (LLA), which was a leading defender army in its day. Osiris has also dropped from first-place to a mere third-to-last in this year's survey.

The East Pacific - 3.85 (+17%)
The North Pacific - 3.85 (+18%)
The South Pacific - 3.7 (+10%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.6 (0%)
The West Pacific - 2.98 (+3%)
Osiris - 2.46 (-8%)
Balder - 2.42 (-17%)
Lazarus - 2.13 (-14%)
The Pacific - 1.96 (-14%)

First, congratulations are in order for The Pacific who managed to get an even lower score than last time somehow. While not yet perfecting the act of tyranny to the same effect, the "monarchical" majority of sinkers also performed as poorly as the NationStates community has come to expect from the Sinkerism ideology. It's difficult to interpret what is behind the rise for the democratic regions, but, if TRT Staff were left to speculate, it's possible respondents are now regarding more generous endorsement caps and endorsement sharing as an extension of their social and political rights. It's worth noting, the South Pacific have also adopted a new constitution since the last survey.

The East Pacific - 3.64 (+18%)
The West Pacific - 3.52 (+19%)
The North Pacific - 3.37 (0%)
The South Pacific - 3.32 (+11%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.21 (-1%)
Osiris - 2.67 (+10%)
The Pacific - 2.65 (0%)
Balder - 2.6 (-7%)
Lazarus - 1.98 (-23%)

Yet another low score for Lazarus and Balder. While Lazarus has been devoid of friends and allies in the wake of the region's latest coup, Balder, on the other hand, boasts a well-established network of mature alliances. Their problem isn't so much their portfolio but a longstanding reputation filled to the brim with betrayal and cattiness. Also worthy of mention is the rising diplomatic position of the "Rahl" feeder regions - The East and West Pacifics - that have since joined the January Accords and the GCRSA respectively. Impressions of The South Pacific and Osiris have also recovered from a past of infighting and saber-rattling.

The West Pacific - 3.63 (+15%)
The East Pacific - 3.53 (+4%)
The North Pacific - 3.43 (0%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.28 (-4%)
The South Pacific - 3.24 (-1%)
The Pacific - 3.04 (-1%)
Osiris - 2.65 (-10%)
Balder - 2.52 (-15%)
Lazarus - 2.02 (-33%)

This category proved more competitive than others, Sinkerites aside. The previous frontrunners of this category and the last, The North Pacific and the Rejected Realms - "yesteryear's diplomatic superpowers", if you will entertain NationStates forum banter - have been displaced without much of an actual change in their original score. Rather, The West Pacific and The East Pacific have forged themselves ahead of the pack with a foot in every diplomatic honeypot, active militaries, and a bold, modern approach to internal affairs that embraces its social element. As with the other categories, the three "monarchical" sinkers have also declined in stature.

The Pacific - 4.43 (+15%)
Balder - 4.27 (+27%)
The West Pacific - 4.13 (+21%)
The North Pacific - 3.93 (+10%)
The East Pacific - 3.81 (+2%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.75 (+1%)
The South Pacific - 3.67 (+13%)
Osiris - 2.89 (+21%)
Lazarus - 2.19 (-23%)

All of the Game-Created Regions were regarded as more stable than they were in 2014, except Lazarus that has somehow managed to be perceived as even less stable than it was as a communist junta in the middle of an interregional war. Sorry Lazarus, we just miss our sister. Balder also rose four places and is perceived as even more stable than it was at the beginning of Rachel's second tenure as delegate.

The East Pacific - 4.09 (+29%)
The West Pacific - 3.72 (+20%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.45 (-3%)
The North Pacific - 3.36 (+9%)
The South Pacific - 3.12 (-4%)
The Pacific - 3.07 (+9%)
Balder - 3.05 (-5%)
Osiris - 2.86 (+1%)
Lazarus - 2.2 (-19%)

Yuno convincingly smashes this vote, while Davelands and Catalyse take home respectable silver and bronze medals respectively. 2018's Queen Rachel loses to 2014's Queen Rachel. 2018's King Funkadelia loses to 2014's Chairman Funkadelia - hey that title swap reminds me of something else... And with a positive report card like that, Aleisyr might just win re-election after all!

The East Pacific - 3.74 (+23%)
The West Pacific - 3.55 (+25%)
The South Pacific - 3.4 (+13%)
The North Pacific - 3.38 (+7%)
The Rejected Realms - 3.19 (-2%)
The Pacific - 3.18 (+26%)
Balder - 2.61 (-2%)
Osiris - 2.47 (-6%)
Lazarus - 2.04 (-28%)

A trend with this category is that governments tend to underperform their delegates. The North Pacific and Lazarus were the exceptions to this rule in 2014, and The North Pacific is here to again to challenge that bias, now joined by The South Pacific and The Pacific. However, in the case of The South Pacific, the delegate, is now in a separate official position to the government - with the Prime Minister serving in a head of government capacity.

What Keeps Sinkerism Floating?

The look on the Rejected Realms' face when other Sinkerite communities did
not come to their aid against The New Inquisition's invasion six years ago.

For better or worse - and many still argue for worse - region tags have existed since the 10th of May, 2011. Among many different categories of tags are system tags, which are explained as tags that are, "added or removed automatically according to the region's role or situation", according to the unofficial NationStates encyclopaedia, LinkNSindex. We will now be taking an in-depth look at one tag in particular, and how it has translated over into the political maneuvering necessary in the current stakes of raider and defender gameplay. We will be exploring how and why the Sinker tag has been crafted into a term that implies far more than just what LinkNSindex claims is for, "default [game-created] regions [existing] for ejected or restored nations". Together, we will follow a story of failure on the part of the Rejected Realms, be intrigued by the promise that comes with trying to exploit the tag's implied commonality, examine the narrative brewed to push an agenda under the guise of an attemptedly new ideology coined Sinkerism, and follow an exploration of our role to play in recognising a Sinkerite community beyond the simple implications that come with the tag. This is a eulogy for a simpler time prior to the outbreak of a conflict with The New Inquisition, a recognition of the present, and a hope - or vision if you will dear reader - for the future.

Currently, only four regions, all of which are game-created regions (GCRs), have the Sinker tag. These regions are: Lazarus, Osiris, Balder and the Rejected Realms, listed from highest to lowest in terms of nations as of time of writing. To begin, let us to explore one very early attempt of incorporating the Sinker terminology into interregional politics. At first, the LinkPan-Sinker Security Pact of late 2012 appears just like any other ordinary non-aggression and military alliance treaty. Yet, upon further investigation, the Rejected Realms attempt at using the Sinker tag as an interregional commonality can be seen at play. The preamble says it all; "We, the Sinker regions of NationStates, hereby do enact this treaty in solidarity with each other, while recognising the inalienable right of each Sinker region to sovereignty and self-determination".

It was at this point that a Violetist, shrouded in anonymity by a violet cap, managed to make their way past an editorial assistant serving as the secretary of the Editor-in-Chief's office. The Violetist was visibly upset, having been delayed by the assistant who was practicing an old Dramoonist tradition that has recently been revitalised - specifically that of blocking one's own ears when a Violetist tries to speak. It was clear that this Violetist was well connected in the interregional political underworld and had heard of our intention to produce this article. The Violetist clarified that, "TRR helped push the Sinker term because it suited our politics in 2011… We didn't anticipate a day where we were so different [politically] from the other three." As the Violetist quickly made their way out of the offices to avoid the consequences of our shrieks for the Rejected Realms Army to come save us, they left behind one final word of warning, "It's actually Osiris that is arguing the three sinkers thing the most".

After having composed ourselves and deciding to file an official complaint, which was redirected to an empty phone line meant for the non-existent Border Security Department, we sent out our bravest reporters to the other Sinkerite communities across NationStates. With a tap of their hard-hat labelled, "journalist please do not eat", and a skip in their walk, TRT Staff settled into an anxious state of unrest while we pondered on whether they would ever return. The first mission back was to Osiris, currently run as a monarchy by the Fraternal Order with an Ancient Egyptian theme across the entire region. It was here that we learnt their welcoming dispatch remained the most neutral and factual out of all the others, informing players and citizens alike that, "Osiris is one of the four Sinker regions of NationStates, which means that nations refounded by players returning to the game respawn here." While the definition given is inconsistent with the Rejected Realms and the definition given from LinkNSindex, all four Sinker regions are still recognised as legitimate by the current government of Osiris.

Lazarus, using their World Factbook Entry (WFE), follows a similar approach to the Rejected Realms in their welcoming dispatch by not mentioning the other regions with the Sinker tag. Instead, Lazarus, under their illegitimate monarchy led by the Undead Dominion with a theme of death, claims they are, "the largest sinker region in the world!" As of writing this article, Lazarus with 5,973 nations, leads the second highest Sinker, Osiris with 5,710 nations, by 263 nations, which, to be fair, is not a particularly large lead when compared to the number of nations in other GCRs, but is still a lead nevertheless. In contrast, the Rejected Realms, the last democratic Sinker region of which also maintains a Violetist theme with some Dramoonist now seeping in, chooses to define how it is, "a place where ejected and banned players go after being ejected and banned", rather than defining the Sinker tag, and in turn is not contesting or in conflict with the definition given on LinkNSindex.

Yet with Balder, which claims to just be one realm as opposed to the Rejected Realms being multiple, a politically motivated stance is exerted in their welcoming dispatch. Balder portrays the Sinker tag in a way that excludes the Rejected Realms by defining Sinker as meaning, "nations that are refounded automatically join this region, or one of the other sinkers. (The others are Osiris and Lazarus.)" Not only does this definition exclude the Rejected Realms, but Balder also intentionally excludes the Rejected Realms in their list of the supposed "others". This can easily be determined as offensive to the intelligence of NationStates players, who can rather easily just click on the Sinker tag and observe the Rejected Realms being present on the list. While this could simply be a powerplay in an attempt to manipulate players who do not yet understand the mechanisms behind NationStates, it would also be unfair to assume this motivation to mislead does not stem from another source as well. To understand what TRT Staff mean by this, we must first expose those readers who are as of yet still unaware of this contentious issue in the NationStates community; we must delve into how different factions and allegiances have and are attempting to define the Sinkerism ideology.

A transparent attempt at establishing a Sinkerism ideology was with the LinkPan-Sinker Security Pact discussed earlier, however this treaty was built upon the idea of a Sinkerite commonality, which proved to be bound to fail with its collapse in 2015. To understand why this was inevitable, we must look further back to when the idea of Sinkerite commonality started to expose its cracks. It was prior to the establishment of the treaty in 2012 when the Rejected Realms was invaded by The New Inquisition and the other Sinker regions did not come to help liberate their fellow Sinker region. The invasion lasted roughly one day exactly six years and fourteen days as of time of writing, and can be observed on the Rejected Realms' historical record for major events. One of the most notable attempts in recent memory was in a gameplay thread published anonymously by someone who identified themselves as a Francoist, titled, "The State of the Sinkers". The definition for the ideology of Sinkerism is very clear in this thread, defining Sinkerism as the following:

An ideology for the governance of sinker regions that proposes...
1) A strong sovereign monarch to guard the stability of the region.
2) An intimate, sycophantic alliance with those most likely to invade them otherwise.

"The natural allies of sinkerism are the burgeoning raider aristocracy in the feeder regions - the Rahls - in addition to the Independent Manifesto's sphere of influence, independents and imperialists - a wide, bountiful association" claimed the anonymous Francoist. "The natural enemies of sinkerism will be a far more 'ragtag' gang, consisting of the exiled Lazarenes, the cowboylike Rejects, their friends to the South, and a New Pacific Order". Needless to say, the reception to this thread was not great, as the NationStates gameplay subforum is generally dominated by conscious and subconscious cosmopolitan Violetists. The battlelines make it clear that Francoists only want the term to apply to GCRs that restore nations over the current definition on LinkNSindex that also applies to the Rejected Realms. This is important to note as the Rejected Realms is the only region that remains democratic among the other Sinkerite communities. Another noteworthy mention is that natives of a Sinker region, as opposed to a Feeder region, come about through players making, "a conscious decision to become so, whether by importation or [by] remaining after a refound. It is not their natural state, and not their initial state."

The terminology thrown around regarding natural allies and enemies identifies a schism between democratic and monarchist regions that even makes its way down to democratic and monarchist Sinker regions. While further treaties will not be named, it is not difficult to find a whole category of treaties built around these two opposing ideas of governance much like attempts to use Sinkerism in a similar format. This also, assumably, leaves constitutional monarchists with strong democratic practices and traditions in an awkward middle ground.

So is the Rejected Realms to blame for trying to initially push a Sinker identity through the Pan-Sinker Security Pact? That is a very simplistic view of the issue at hand, and there are far more than the standard three to five options to addressing it this time around. The very notion of there being natural enemies shows the relationship between NationStates and real life politics, as well as the us versus them mindset present in NationStates that has been brought about by the incremental adoption of stricter and far more strategic raider and defender gameplay in the wider community, as indicated by the slow adoption of extensions, plugins and calculators to aid in the process.

Defining the issue in this manner feeds into the visions all interested parties. Those who align with cosmopolitanism, regionalism and isolationism should be content in knowing that this evaluation takes into account the influence of hard power, as well as acknowledging the role soft power has had to play. Even isolationist raiders will no longer be able to deny soft power's influence following their newly founded willingness to sign military alliances as put into action during the raider cooperation apparent in the invasion of Westphalia. This neo-neo-neo approach to NationStates, labelled as the cosmopolitanism of Violetists, the regionalism of Dramoonists and the isolationism of Francoists, can be contrasted with the increasingly convoluted approach to global politics through international relations that shows how wide spreading ideology is no longer appropriate in explaining the real world and hence also our community. Indeed, this presents a great debate to end all great debates, of course until the next great debate arises discussing an issue that has already been discussed in the past. And standing along the sidelines of it all is always going to be someone like us looking back and realising that we exist in a hamster wheel of insanity that we often misprescribe as progress.

Defender's Digest: Iran Liberated and More
NEWS | WRITTEN BY Intern Fauxia | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr

It was the day of January 25, 2018. The Security Council was voting on a proposal, "Liberate Iran". The discrepancy in the voting made it clear that it would soon become SC#241, as it was on track to pass with over 90% support. Defenders, aware that its passage would leave Iran, a region devoid of actual natives, defenseless against raider forces, began to stir and planned for Iran's defense.

They would not neglect their duties. On the final day of voting, January 25th, former officer in both the 10000 Islands Treaty Organization (TITO) and former Grey Warden Commander Lenlyvit created a discord server dedicated to the defender response to the liberation, entitled "Operation Irani Freedom". Lenlyvit then began to invite defenders into the server. At the beginning, he invited SWORD operatives, notably founder South Asians and Chancellor Crystalsummer. Prior to the midnight major update and the official passage of the resolution, other defenders, such as Roavin, then of the Grey Wardens, began to join the server.

The working plan was that Grey Warden Commander Altmoras - using the nation of Fastest Man Alive in Iran - would initially take the delegacy, before handing it to Lenlyvit, who was using the nation Nightkill. The update came. The orders on the server were given to enter Iran and endorse Fastest Man Alive at the very beginning of the update, though, as Iran would be updating more than half an hour into the update, those who were actively defending decided to first wait for Iran. The happenings that update contained both a major defender loss and defender victory. According to South Asians, it was known that the raiders would either raid Iran that update, or that they would raid Westphalia, a medium-sized region and member of SWORD. After initial orders in the defender discord server Libcord to move into Iran and aid the forces there, officers redirected defenders to Westphalia, where they endorsed the native delegate. However, their numbers were inferior to the numbers of the invaders, who took the Delegacy, eventually building up more than 100 pilers and, recently, passwording the region.

While the happenings in Westphalia may have been a bit of a damper that update for defenders, they still moved on to Iran a few minutes later. The massive piling force that prioritised Westphalia is theorised as having prevented the raiders from building a coalition large enough to unseat the defender delegate in Iran. Yet, in a strange, unexplained twist, Lenlyvit, who coordinated the mission and also created a discord server for Iran, resigned from the World Assembly and left the region, leaving the delegacy to Altmoras - using Fastest Man Alive. It is unclear what the cause of this is, and The Rejected TImes was unable to reach Lenlyvit for an interview. Altmoras still holds the Delegacy at the time of this article's writing, indicating that the defenders intend to keep protecting Iran until it can protect itself, or default to some other long term goal. Attempting to gain the influence required for a refound seems a lofty goal, considering that several invading nations in Iran have far higher influence, and, while, at the time of this article, Iramerica, the former Delegate of Iran who long ago attempted to liberate the region, is near the top of the region in the World Census statistic "Influence", almost none of that number is influence in Iran. One can observe this due to how Iramerica's influence continues to drop at an increasingly dramatic rate.
According to the founder of SWORD - now AIR - South Asians, one of the first defenders contacted by Lenlyvit, the defenders do plan to withdraw at some point and hand the delegacy over to Iramerica. It is, however, unclear exactly when this will occur.

The defenders have intended to keep the region safe, however, that has, for better or for worse, meant that a few nations who asked for change in the region's gameside leadership have been ejected and banned. While that may seem brutal to the casual onlooker, perhaps it is necessary to keep the defenders in power, as a lapse in security could cause a raid, especially with the raid in Westphalia clearing up.

Now, of course, one might argue that logistically speaking, the liberation of Iran was not really worth anything. Many liberated regions have, following their liberations, fallen away from any spotlight at all in gameplay, caught in the chaotic depths of inactivity and irrelevance. Furthermore, Greece was a region liberated by the Security Council, and the "Liberate Iran" resolution acknowledges many parallels between the invasion of that region and the invasion of Iran. Greece was refounded by defenders last year. Yet, even now, with an experienced defender - Tim-Opolis - as the stable founder it was said Greece needed, the region contains only 27 nations. Its World Factbook Entry links to a forum with only seven total posts on it in more than three months. Its regional message board is fairly inactive. Greece is, measurably, inactive. If Iran, then, is so similar, will it be different in activity levels? Did defenders just deploy valuable piling units to a region with only one known native, only to see the region sink into the depths of inactivity?

Only time will tell these things. When the defenders withdraw, it will be interesting to see what happens in Iran. Until then, we'll have to wait in suspense.

The Invasion of Westphalia: Raider Victory over SWORD
NEWS | WRITTEN BY Intern Relfa | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr

Westphalian natives woke up on January 26, 2018 as if it was a normal day like any other. Everything was fine, conversations and games were happening in the Regional Message Board and Delegate Rigia was working on his project to rebuild Westphalia. Rigia had his delegacy ensured by 29 endorsements and the closest endogap was a relatively safe 9 endorsements, for User-Created Region (UCR) standards. Everyone went on thinking it would be just another normal day in the region, but they soon found out that they were wrong. Suddenly, 34 nations joined the region and endorsed Scrapper 142, a nation that was around for more than a month, involved in regional activities in the Regional Message Board, roleplaying games and a lot of other things. This was the moment when the day made the leap from something ordinary to a historic nightmare. The day after, when the update was over and Rigia lost his status as Delegate to Scrapper 142, pilers had secured the delegacy by reaching 100 endorsements on with more to come. It was done; one of the biggest founderless UCRs was invaded and its natives bore witness to The Black Hawks flag waving above their heads.

It seems that the operation to invade Westphalia had been prepared over a period of at least two months. This information can be deduced following a public announcement made by a turncoat that the region was on The Black Hawks' target list. The invasion was only possible with the combined strength of a huge coalition that has exposed the raiding communities' ability to cooperate for the greater bad. The attack was led by The Black Hawks, which has relied on the help of H Y D R A, The Imperium of Agia Germania, The Land of Kings and Emperors, Lone Wolves United, The Roman Empire, Unknown, The Ragerian Imperium, Armed Forces of the Enclave, The Sekhmet Legion of Osiris and, finally, The West Pacific Armed Forces. Yet, what makes this invasion such a victory to the raiders is the fact that Westphalia was a member of SWORD, a defender alliance created after the end of FORGE. Still, many of our readers may still be asking the curious question of why The West Pacific (TWP) would invade a region like Westphalia? The answer is in the past. TWP had some issues with FORGE, and, after its demise, these issues have been transferred over to its successor, SWORD. In fact, they convinced New Western Atlantic to leave FORGE in its final days. Hence, TWP were merely taking advantage of this opportunity to assault the second largest region of SWORD by helping the aforementioned invaders.

To help this coalition of evil, fascist invader regions moved nations to Westphalia to endorse Scrapper 142. Wehrmacht of the Reich and Royal Order helped in the invasion, endorsing the new Delegate and the regional officers, but the help was not much appreciated by some of the raiders. Despite the Delegate accepting and thanking the fascist help, Ludo, a regional officer, banjected some of the fascist nations stating that, "TBH doesn't work with the political side of NS." In fact, Ludo ended up ejecting them. The remaining fascist nations left Westphalia to organize other raids.

FORGE, the alliance that SWORD was born from, was an alliance created two years ago by a nation from the LCRUA named Krypton nova. He established the constitution and other founding documents. The first three members were the LCRUA, the Superiorem Merionem Region, and the Solid Kingdom. Krypton Nova expanded the alliance overtime, however this drew criticism from the original members who felt as if this action deviated from the original plan. Nevertheless, additional regions were still admitted. FORGE had some notably successful operations, yet overall they could be counted on one hand alone. The alliance was pretty inactive and most of its members did not sufficiently compromised to the alliance, which led to respectable forces to leave, such as New Western Atlantic who were influenced by TWP in their decision to do so, The Hole to Hide In led by Lenlyvit in the decision, The Union of Democratic States and several other regions. South Asians, a LCRUA member, led the disbanding of FORGE into the creation of SWORD. Yet this most recent calls into question SWORD's leaderships, having failed to keep SWORD active and effective enough to protect their own regions. With this huge failure, it is not beyond reason to think that the Strategized World Organization for Regional Defence will face its demise in the coming months.

But what about Westphalian natives? What happened to them? The former government of Westphalia founded a new region, RHINIA. The new region has around 40 nations so far and intends to work similarly to Westphalia. They also decided to join SWORD, with a very close vote. TRT Staff asked some of the natives and SWORD members what their plans to liberate the region were, and they all reached a consensus on being realistic, informing us that, at the moment, it appears all but impossible. Their best chance was getting the Security Council resolution approved, but it failed. Right now, they recognise that they will need to form a coalition among several defender regions to even consider a liberation, but that prospect seems a long way out. So for now, Westphalia, a major founderless UCR, will probably be facing a very long domain under The Black Hawks flag.

The January Accords Report
NEWS | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF

Praise rang out on the NationStates gameplay subforum early last week as it was publicly announced that The South Pacific (TSP), The East Pacific (TEP), and the Rejected Realms (TRR) have ratified and adopted a multilateral pact, "the January Accords." The new treaty establishes a standard agreement towards mutual recognition and non-aggression between the regions alongside promoting future shared cultural events.

The treaty's name, the January Accords, recognises the month that the treaty was first introduced to its signatories, yet, it is noteworthy to mention, that the treaty did not come into effect until February. Aside from that tongue-in-cheek criticism, each interviewee of the Times expressed positive experiences regarding the negotiations. The treaty was first passed in TRR on the 28th of January, then the 30th of January in TSP, but was ultimately ratified when, on the 2nd of February, 2018, it succeeded within the hallowed halls of TEP's own Magisterium.

The Accords began as a brainchild of TSP, with their Prime Minister, Roavin, approaching TEP and TRR regarding the possibility of a multilateral treaty between the three Game-Created Regions (GCRs). For TSP, the notion of a treaty like the January Accords presented an opportunity to move past criticism of insubstantial alliances. Specifically, as TSP stated in a recent press statement, the treaty "signifies" a shift in its own foreign policy, "towards meaningful alliances grounded in mutual respect and interests."

Although striking a relationship with TEP had been a goal of TRR's Delegate, Catalyse, TRR's Foreign Affairs Officer, Frattastan, admitted his reservations on pursuing a bilateral treaty; however, the suggestion of a multilateral treaty, alongside Yuno's renewed leadership, came as a great reassurance to TRR's foreign interests. "We had been impressed with Yuno's efforts and we both thought we shared certain commonalities with them that would've made greater ties beneficial," recalls Fratt. "I admit I was a bit hesitant about a bilateral agreement with the East Pacific at first - I wanted to wait longer - but I found the South Pacific's presence reassuring and was fully on board as soon as I heard Roavin's suggestion."

All parties to the treaty have cited a shared common ground as a fundamental motivation to pursuing the agreement, with the treaty itself stating that its purpose is, "promote the ideals of democracy, unity and peace amongst GCRs". For instance, Pendragonania, on behalf of TEP, told the Rejected Times that given the signatories' shared status as GCRs, they needed to "band together" since they shared "fundamental commonalities". Referring to "democracy", however, has attracted its fair share of criticism from some quarters; Cormac Stark even went as far as to accused the treaty of "directly propagandis[ing] against two of [The East Pacific's] existing allies". It's hard to escape the unsettling fact that the signing of the January Accords comes as the GCRs face a significant crossroads: for the first time in recent memory, democratic GCRs are the minority and non-democratic GCRs, the majority.

Taking a more tactful approach, Frattastan defended that common ground more simply as a shared conviction in the rule of law; "... there are some non-democratic regions which believe that a Delegate can take any action it wishes - or which are lenient to take actions against 'rogue' Delegates." explains Fratt. "Our worldviews are different enough that it would be difficult to make a treaty work between us and regions with that mindset." In comparison, Pendragonania took a more optimistic approach to this reality, telling the Times that, "I believe naturally that, given our position as GCRs,... regardless of differences that pull us apart - we should consistently strive for solidarity."

The signatories indicated that, in time, there are hopes to organise an event to recognise the occasion, but delays due to a busy cultural schedule are currently taking their toll. Nevertheless, Roavin assured the Rejected Times that an event will happen in the near future.

The Second Annual Interregional Olympic Games
NEWS | WRITTEN BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr | EDITED BY TRT STAFF

The main logo of the II
Interregional Olympic Games.

On the 24th of February, 2018, The South Pacific (TSP) publicly announced they will be the proud hosts of "the second annual Interregional Olympic Games" (II IROG). This was brought to the attention of NationStates gameplayers (NSGPers) across the entire community through a gameplay dispatch posted by TSP's Minister of Regional Affairs, Escade alongside spreading the word through embassies and the short-lived convention of DEFCON 2018. With backing from a major feeder like TSP, whom of which have an event-scene that is currently exceptionally active, it looks like the event's motto of Unity, Integrity, Ability will live on. This interregional event, open to both raiders and defenders, will begin on the 2nd of March, on Friday evening, but sign-ups are still open. It should also be noted that no natives will be harmed by the event, and instead all regions will be created by game hosts.

To participate, you can either notify the event organisers that you are a member of a regional or org team, or just sign up as unaffiliated, using the google form found Linkhere. It is worth mentioning that there was an outdated form that was shared around prior to this one, and that the event organisers are requesting that people who previously applied still fill out this form as well to be properly registered. On the form you can sign up for individual events, however you will need to be a part of a team to participate in the team-based challenges. After signing up on the form, you are advised to join the II IROG's discord server, with an invitation link found Linkhere, to be properly masked and notified when the various challenges are taking place. The event organisers also hinted to running events multiple Times to take into account the vast differences in time zones across the NationStates community.

The current individual and team events announced as being facilitated by the II IROG have been broken down into two categories in the dispatch that can be found here. These two categories are R/D Challenges and Other Competitive Challenges. The dispatch gives the following descriptions for each event:

R/D Challenges:
Chase - You'll be chasing a target nation through a number of preselected regions. This will be a time test, so they'll want to see how fast you go.
Liberation (Team only) - One team will occupy a region, another will try to liberate it. Team 1 will have to ban as many people as possible, Team 2 will have to try and get as many in as possible.
Endotarting - How fast you can Cross-endorse on a target.
Tagging (Team only) - How many regions a team can tag in an update. We'll be jumping from region to region to get as many as possible.
Capture (Team only) - CtF with regions. Each team will get a passworded region as their "flag". Each region's password has a riddle to solve. First one to successfully figure out the password and take the region wins.

Other Competitive Challenges:
Create a Flag - All joining regions\orgs\individuals are asked to submit a team flag for the opening Olympic Ceremonies.
A panel of 3 judges will award medals to the flags that,
1. capture their team spirit
2. are aesthetically pleasing
Write an Anthem - All joining regions\orgs\individuals are asked to submit an anthem to be displayed on the opening Olympic Ceremonies
A panel of 3 judges will award medals to the flags that
1. capture their region\team\spirit
2. are creative and fun
Olympic Trivia Round - Individual and Team Olympic Trivia Rounds that go from easy to super hard questions about the history and origins of the Olympics and the current Winter Olympics
R\D Trivia Round - Individual and Team R\D Trivia Rounds that question your knowledge of basic and advanced R\D techniques and history
Relay Race - Teams engage in a battle of endurance on Discord to pass the flag to their team members in the correct order without mistakes. This is a live Discord Team event with teams needing to be on together for the duration of the race!
Battleship - Team event. An online version of the classic board game. Through luck, chance, and wit figure out and sink your opponents battleship.
Cards Against Humanity - An individual event where teams sent a person to be the funniest of them all in Cards Against Humanity.

Running alongside Escade, the TSP Minister mentioned earlier, while they were busy trying to organise the event by Friday, the Times managed to snatch up some of the juicier details for our readers. "The second Interregional Olympics Events promotes unity between raiders, neutrals, and defenders in bringing us together in a space to compete in an amiable way," clarified Escade, having barely found the time to glance at us with her bloodshot eyes before needing to once again direct her attention onto the slow progress of raising festival tents. "Integrity is important because the events are a test of ability across the NSGP spectrum and help all competitors prove their individual and team efforts."

Growing bored with the generic and disengaged commentary, TRT Staff began to play devil's advocate. After pointing out how the Games Committee did not have TSP as the first choice for hosting the olympic games, Escade had the following to say: "Last summer I hosted Defender Expo with a really amazing group of people. Seeing the R\D games and many of the same people participating, as well as overlap in this goal to have friendly competition, I decided to apply to host. As with many events, the first time you host you learn a lot about what works and what needs more attention. TSP and our friends and allies are really great at hosting events and creating activity so we bring that to the table. My original hope was that an ally of ours, promoting their newly created independent military, could host and therefore get some publicity,... [with TSP’s] help [to] support [them]. Due to some issues, the original host couldn't so we picked up the promise to host and added a lot of new planners and people to our events planning team. I'm glad we're doing it and I hope this becomes a regular annual event" - well, let's wait and see if the Games Committee is glad you're doing it too! All tongue-in-cheek commentary aside, we are sure TSP won't disappoint, especially if the Harry Potter and the Festival of Friends event they recently co-hosted is anything to go by.

While trying to make some distance from us, Escade had the following closing remarks to add, "One goal [in including Other Competitive Challenges] is to be inclusive of community members who want to partake but are WA immobile or don't know enough about R\D... Really it's putting together the best parts from events I have run in the past for TSP and making something that is fun for everyone involved! The end goals are to bring awesome people together, to showcase all the wonderful people in our community, and to give them a chance to earn something to boast about for themselves and their regions\organizations! As for [how] ambitious [TSP is in regards to future events], TSP has hosted several really successful events and hope to continue doing so! Keep an eye out for the Summer Olympics!"

The hosts have also recently announced the II IROG Schedule found here. The events schedule is listed below:

"The games are about to begin! Your hosts are Escade, Ian Fleming and Alkasia! Your live events announcer is Omega!"

All times are in EST

Friday March 2

8:30PM - Opening Ceremony, Team Flags & Anthems

9PM - 11PM - Chase (no switching) Round 1, Olympic Trivia Round 1, Cards Against Humanity Round 1

11PM - Live Coverage of Events (Medal Totals Announce)\VC Party!


Post Major - Chase (with switching) Round 1, Werewolf Round 1, MiniClip Game #1 Info Released

Saturday March 3


1PM - 3PM - Chase (no switching) Round 2, Olympic Trivia Round 2, Cards Against Humanity Round 2

9PM - 11PM - Endotarting (Cross-endorsing) Round 1, Relay Race Round, Chase (No Breeze) Round

11PM - Live Coverage of Events (Medal Totals Announced)\VC Party!


Post-Major - Endotarting (Large Number) Round 1, MiniClip Game #1 Screen Caps Due,

Sunday March 4

9AM - 11AM - Endotarting (Large Number) Round 2, Chase (with switching) Round 2, Werewolf Round 2, Miniclip Game #2 Introduced


1PM - 3PM - Endotarting (Cross-endorsing) Round 2, Battleship Round, R\D Trivia Round

9PM - 10PM - Mini-Clip #2 Screen Caps Due, Total Medal Counts\Awards, Closing Ceremonies (VC Party)


"The torch has made its way to the host region, us, the South Pacific! Join us at to spectate, compete, and enjoy [the] II Interregional Olympics 2018! Good luck to all competing teams!"

As the team leader for the Rejected Realms, I wish all participants the very best during the II IROG challenges but also leave you with this first and final warning: you better keep out of our way while we steamroll the challenges and take gold, or else!

Interview with Spectacor
INTERVIEW | WRITTEN BY Journalist Marilyn Manson Freaks | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr

TRT Staff are excited to share with you a tale from the Rejected Realms' Culture Officer Marilyn Manson Freaks who recently came to The Rejected Times recalling a conversation they just managed to snag with a reputable Former Delegate of Lazarus, Spectacor, around the back of Kandarin's BBQ & Grill while the retired man was trying to sneak off after a greasy meal in the establishment known for being filled with literal Rejects.

Hey Spectacor, how are you? We haven't heard from you in forever!
QUICK RU-... I mean... I'm well, thanks. And yeah, it's been a few years,... hasn't it?

Indeed. Let's get on to the first question: For the newer players, who are you, and what have you done in your NS Career?
Not again… Well, I'm the player formerly known as Spectacor. That would be my most well-known NS identity. I was a long time Lazarus resident. May 2005 until about November 2013, I think. Beyond Lazarus, I was a member of the Invaders Army from about February '05 until some time in the summer of '06. Dates are a bit fuzzy at this point. Also I did some raiding with The West Pacific's Black Sheep Squadron for a time. And I held various governmental positions in a few UCRs over the years: Delegate of Vampire Forumites, several positions in The Exodus, senator in Novus Orsa. That sort of thing.

When you were delegate of Lazarus, what was the current government name? For example, names such as the Celestial Union, People's Republic, Emerald Council and New Lazarene Order.
Oh, I was Delegate long before all of that. This was way back in the summer of '05. Lazarus was the smallest of the GCRs then, about 800 nations or so on a good day. And it was a time of transition, as the original old guard was stepping back, folks like Lies Inc and Baribeau, and before folks like Harmoneia, Drop Your Pants, Northern Chittowa, Killer Kitty - aka Evil Wolf - showed up. It was rather quiet. There were no grand governmental [titles]. Just Lazarus.

That sounds great. Nothing to divide you guys. What do you remember about your time in The Invaders?
I mean, the regional map [in Lazarus] was a graveyard. Pick your own tombstone! A fair bit. That was a good time, until the end. I decided to try my hand at the whole raider-defender thing, and chose raider. Invaders felt like a good fit. I only went on a couple of missions , including helping in Lynnaka's raid on Lazarus of all things, before I stepped back to try to infiltrate Lazarus.

My time as Delegate in Lazarus ended due to my modem getting fried. And it was months before I could get it replaced. So I was kind of out of NS for a few months. My only computer time was trips to the local library every few days. I stayed active on a few forums, Lazarus, Invaders, The Exodus mostly. And it was during that time the the RLA crashed the Invaders' forum. So, when I got a new modem, I returned to NS and raiding.

Then Ajaans retired, and we were left a bit leaderless. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he had named me his replacement. But he posted that in the government section of the forum, and I never went in there. I was there to raid, not play politics. I got enough of that in The Exodus and Lazarus back then!

What do you remember about the early days of Lazarus? Were you a responsible father?
Like I said before, when I joined Lazarus it was fairly quiet. A lot of the old guard were stepping away, and we were only just starting to get some new blood in there. I tried to be responsible, despite my less than pure reasons for being there in the first place. I tried to get active nations on the Yaman Council, an appointed group of officers. I didn't have too much time before I had to step away due to my computer problems. But I did what I could.

You did a fine job. As a Lazarus oldie, do you personally recognize the new government led by Funkadelia?
I just returned to NS in November, and other than a quick scan of both sides' forums, I haven't paid attention to Lazarus. I decided when I came back to try to make a fresh start, new nation and everything. And other than my lurking on TRR's forum, I've been rather successful at that. So, I have no opinion one way or the other on currentish events in Lazarus.

Do you remember the information of your old accounts? If so, would you ever think about reviving them?
My puppet tender nation has all of my old nations in its dossier, other than the [three] or [four] that I know I had but can't remember their names. So if I wanted to, I could bring them back at any time. There could be reasons for doing so, but I don't foresee any at this time. But who knows, maybe.

You should bring them back. It would be funny if you revived them and posted a message on the Lazarus RMB along the lines of, "Hey, remember me?" Anyway, which region does your new nation reside in, and why?
All of them? That's like 130 nations or so!
Well, your Lazarus delegate one.
I currently reside in a smallish UCR. Not saying which one, as I am trying to keep my prior identity of Spectacor, etc. separate from my new one. As for why, they had the most interesting recruitment telegram when my new nation was founded. Well, that would be Spec. And I'm not sure who of the new batch would even remember me.
Well, a few would. If they don't you could always remind them!
Maybe. If I revive anyone at this point, it'd probably be bobs raider puppet, just to get it kicked out of 10KI again. That's always fun.

Could you tell me about Emerald City, the Undead theme, and the symbolism of the Phoenix?
So, just everything, then? I've tried to refresh my memory a bit by reading an unhealthy amount of decade old posts. Still, I can't guarantee everything is accurate. Just what I remember. . . . When I joined Lazarus, they had a pretty strong land of the dead theme going. The Delegate appointed people to the Yaman Council, named for the Hindu god of death, to serve as various commissioners. The regional map was a graveyard, and you could pick your own tombstone. The flag had a skull on it. The army was called The Undead Horde. That sort of thing. After we transitioned from the z7 InvisionFree forum to the z13 one, it was decided to try a new theme. Some felt that the old way was a bit depressing, and a new theme might help attract more people. If memory serves, Harm was Delegate by then. We voted on a new Mandate - Lazarus' version of a Constitution was always called the Mandate from long before I got there - and that was when the Delegate became a Monarch. The Delegate, now King or Queen, had always served as long as they wanted to, ignoring the occasionally successful invader. An election would be held when the previous Delegate resigned. This continued for a bit, though at some point a challenge system was put in place. A Delegate could be challenged by a citizen in good standing, though I don't recall this happening often if at all. Eventually, and I don't recall when it happened - 2010 or so maybe - it switched to regular elections for the Delegacy. I believe they were every six months. I'm not sure if that was also when the Delegate was no longer called a monarch. Probably.

The Yaman Council continued for a while, though the names of the commissioners were changed to now be ministers. Eventually, the council itself would be renamed the Emerald Cabinet and all the positions would become commissioners again. Though there was one - brief - phase when it went back to being the Yaman Council and all of the ministers got really elaborate death-related names that were really hard to spell. But I can't seem to find those anywhere, and things went back to the Emerald theme not too long after. Also, at some point the ministers/commissioners were no longer appointed by the Delegate, but were elected by the citizens. I think those elections were every three months when we remembered to hold them on time.

In March of 2006, when the Delegate became a monarch, etc., a legislative body was created for the region. It was called the Assembly of Immortals at first. Eventually, it would be called the Emerald Council. There may have been a name change or two in-between, but I don't remember. Initially, it was also meant to be the region's judicial body as well. At one point, a separate court system was created, but it was eventually scrapped since it was never used. If I recall, the judicial powers never returned to the council, and that caused a bit of a problem towards the end of my time in the region.

What did you enjoy about being delegate of Lazarus? What did you hate?
I enjoyed leading that particular group of Lazarenes. They were a good bunch of folks. I wish I'd had more time. I was only Delegate for a few months, not really enough time to get going. What I hated was the plague of inactivity that befell the region at about that time. I had to replace my commissioners a few times, with ever shrinking options.

Who do you remember that was in Lazarus at the time?
Well, since I've been snooping around the old forum the last few days, quite a few folks. Baribeau, naturally. TyaGE, Zyonn, PeoplePie, Sugar Bear, Rechze, Eggrauk and Engstrom, The Free Confederates and North Harmoneia showed up just before my time as Delegate ended.

Do you think that you molded the future of Lazarus in any way, in your short term as delegate?
No, can't say that I did. I guess, at best, I could be seen as a caretaker delegate. But no, the events that molded the region came about after I left the position. And the nations that brought them about joined either late in my term or after it ended.

The full interview can be found Linkhere in the Library of Spurned Knowledge, the Great Library of The Rejected Realms.

World Assembly Shutdown
SATIRE | WRITTEN BY Correspondent The Church of Satan | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr

As you may already know, the General Assembly and the Security Council have temporarily been shut down, but many do not actually understand the intricacies of the situation. First, some historical context for our readers. Gnomes were created as clones to work for an organisation that was later rendered obsolete to the World Assembly. The exact name of this organisation Cannot Be Named, but TRT Staff can tell you that it sounded a lot like "United Stations." Gnomes, as an entirely new species, were designed for the sole purpose of fulfilling administrative duties. In return, the gnomes were afforded some basic rights as payment for their services, however these rights did not carry over during the transition to the World Assembly. The gnomes now maintain jobs exclusively in the Security Council sector, while a human-run administration now manages the affairs in the General Assembly. This power struggle came about following interregional outrage that pushed for World Assembly jobs to be given to the citizens of nations with membership instead.

In response to these developments, the gnomes in the Security Council, still maintaining a majority within the sector, unionised to better voice their opinions to the wider NationStates community that had previously proved its influence. The union's creation was validated by concerns spread by a documentary that aimed to educate on how clones have been lost jobs in various industries. In the case study of Oompa Loompas, chocolate factories made their Oompa Loompa clones redundant due to machinery now being, for the most part, automated. The argument being made by the chocolate industry was that machines required far less upkeep, unlike the Oompa Loompas of which required, at a minimum, food, water and shelter. The real issue highlighted by this documentary was how the Oompa Loompas were being phased out of existence through many regions refusing to give them citizenship and even residency, defining the species as abominations rather than conscious beings. The gnome union, of which demands to be referred to as the, 'World Assembled Gnome Union', "with the [letter] 'G' no longer silenced," has previously gone on record stating that the treatment of Oompa Loompas presents a real problem faced by gnomekind that may one be their own reality if they are to keep quiet. The creation of the World Assembled Gnome Union has led to previously apathetic gnomes now expressing their anti-establishmentarian and, needless to now point out, disruptive tendencies. The gnomes are also resolved to bring gnome interests to the forefront of the Security Council, but so far their efforts have not undermined the council’s legitimacy among regional actors.

The most recent example of this consortium’s escapades can be seen in the form of their backlash against the negative response to the proposal titled, "The Cloning Conventions". Due to clones in this form lacking reproductive organs, gnomes are now demanding a new generation of clones to be created to ensure gnomekinds survive. Therefore, in response to the interregional backlash against this cloning proposal, the union has seen to it that gnomes take action. halting our world governance until their demands are met. Following their self-proclaimed affirmative action, the World Assembled Gnome Union has released a statement informing the wider NationStates community that they believe cloning to be the future of the World Assembly gnomes' existence as a species and thus have decided to jam the cogs of bureaucracy until the resolution is passed through the General Assembly. This disagreement has resulted in a temporary shutdown of The World Assembly, being called by Max Barry while he acts as a mediator between the General Assembly and the demands of the gnomes in the Security Council. The World Assembled Gnome Union has gone on recorded stating that the World Assembly will remain shut down until such time that a compromise can be reached, however the General Assembly administration has in contrast stated that no compromise will be made until the World Assembly is reopened.

Furthermore, the General Assembly administration stands by their decision to protect our democratic process, stating that cloning has been deemed immoral by our community. "Naturally, the topic of cloning is controversial among many nations with membership and that is completely understandable," claimed human human resource manager, Charlie Bucket, "I am also familiar with the Oompa Loompate rights abuse cases and believe this [gnome] union is overstepping its moral bounds by comparing the case with the stability they are afforded in the Security Council. How dare these little… [gnomes] claim that we cannot decide our own destiny beyond the laws suitable at the time for the organisation that Cannot Be Named? How many more species do these gnomes want to create through an expensive cloning program? Imagine how many more of our own children won't be employed as a result. Won’t somebody please think of the children?!"

On the other hand, arguments from the Security Council are being made that cloning more gnomes to work in other sectors as well would increase interregional economic activity, using the World Assembled Gnome Union as an indication of gnomekind productivity. "The biased reports pushed by big money and the corrupt General Assembly administration peddles a narrative that is simply not true!" explained rival gnome gnome resource manager, Trahald Stoor, convincingly pushing his agenda upon TRT Staff. "The reality is that gnomes played no part in the collapse of the organisation that Cannot Be Named. And why not embrace the idea of using more clones anyway? Imagine big, beefy gnomes ruling the - I mean - aiding the productivity of regional factories!"

With this much disagreement between the internal organs of the General Assembly and the Security Council, how much longer do you imagine it will take before resolutions are again up for vote in the General Assembly? When will this deadlock end? Only time will tell.

Announcing The Honest Reject
OPINION | WRITTEN BY Journalist Marilyn Manson Freaks | EDITED BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr

Oyez, oyez, oyez! Friends, Romans, Countrymen; lend me your ears!

Believing that our government is corrupt and imperialistic, I have decided to create The Honest Reject, a newspaper free from the oppression and tyranny of the government! It shall become renowned as a Citizen-run, conspiracy paper. By the way, did you know that our delegate, Catalyse, performed a coup of TRR, and that our officers, including myself, are communist reptilian creatures? TRR isn't what it seems to be. Open your third eye today!

Disclaimer: THR expresses opinions of which are not affiliated with the Rejected Realms and those of even their own authors. The opinions expressed in this article and by THR are the opinions of fictitious characters.

The Winning Rejectmas Carol
CREATIVE | MADE BY Senior Journalist Glacikaldr

Featuring the winning carol of the 2017 Rejectmas Carol Contest.

"Every Reject Is Different (But Plays Like Fool)";
A Rejectmas parody of My Chemical Romance's "Every Snowflake Is Different (Just Like You)"

Every Reject's different just like you
(Every Reject's different just like you)

I'll teach about it if you don't flog me too
(Flog me too)

Different pop and different rights
Like every old nation in the grave
Every Reject's different just like you

And even the oppressed carollers

Harlot end
There are so many reasons you must be fool
You must be fool[x2]

Every werewolf misplays just like[x2]
But every detective still acts like fool

Cartoon: SWORD Visualised

NOTE: The Rejected Times does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rejected Realms.

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