Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Hucbold and TCol Update

More IGMs have been sent to me in relation to the Hucbold/TCol story posted on the 20th. Hucbold initiated the exchange with the following IGM:

I am informed that you are briefing people that I called you a nazi. 
For the record, I did NOT call TCol Nazis. I did say that they performed two acts of ethnic cleansing. The term 'ethnic cleansing' to me comes from the Yugoslav wars not WWII. It had to do with the breakup of Yugoslavia into its constituent republics and some of them wanting more territory and pushing out indigenous populations and sometimes even killing them. However the main characteristic was removing people of the wrong 'brand' from territory. When TCol set up their land claim, Aesir had one player there, JoeK4, with 2 towns. He had been there, peacefully, for years. He was told to get out or be eliminated. I intervened at Joe's request and tried to persuade Joe to leave but while that was going on sieges landed and Joe was eradicated. Joe quit the game. I think 'ethnic cleansing' is an exact description of that. 
None of that amounts to me calling TCol nazis!
 I reserve the right, if there is an answer, to publish it, circumventing the game rules, if I think I can spin it in my favour. 
If, on the other hand you wish to pursue the offer made in my previous message, which could lead to exactly what you want, without prejudice to the final outcome and in confidence, let me know.

To which Grombrindal of TCol responded with the following:

Hail Hucbolt (Spartacus?), 
We have little else to say to you. If you somehow believe it is better to compare us to the Sebrenica massacre than the concentration camps, all hope of educating you on the sensitivities of these events seems far gone. 
The case of Joe will be remembered as a colossal failure in leadership from your side (promising that a player will move without consulting the actual player), which we nonetheless tried to solve in a diplomatic and humane manner. Joe eventually quit because he felt betrayed by his own, a lesson you may wish to take to heart. 
As for your renewed efforts to push your previous offer, we have already made clear our objection. Our sovereignty is not subject to negotiation. It is willingly and without precondition acknowledged by those who wish friendly relations with the empire (we will spare you a listing of venerable and ancient they are). 
At this point our trust in you is so tainted by your vicious and unfounded accusations, and your obvious disregard for the truth, that we are uncertain if we, even with the best of intentions, could ever consider you a friend. Your threat to publish our correspondence to spin it to your favor is downright laughable. By now you have more than proven that you could not spin a merry-go-round if your life depended on it. 
On behalf of her imperial majesty Zenorra and the united people of Mal Motsha, 

I asked Hucbold for a comment on the exchange of IGMs and he sent back a list of complaints about the TCol's handling of the situation

1. People do not refer to the Srebrenica ethnic cleansing, they refer to the Srebrenica massacre. 
2. I defined my understanding of the term ethnic cleansing - the forceful removal of people of the wrong 'brand' from a territoty, JoeK was forcibly removed from MM because he was Aesir. I applied the term correctly. 
3. In the case of Joe, he asked me to intervene on his behalf. I offered TCol to move him, and got a semi polite answer from TCol declining my offer of an NAP. I sent Joe copies of the IGMs. Without further notice TCol sieged and razed Joe. Joe sent me and others equipment and resources, told me that TCol had been completely unreasonable, was offered no choice but 'go or be razed, without reference to his lengthy friendly presence there ' and no time to achieve an exit. He chose to leave his towns where they were and quit the game. Tcol subsequently sent me an email compliaining that Joe was attacking them and a short reply when I replied incredulously. 
4. The three messages mentioned above are the only interactions I had before the ones that TCol seem to feel at liberty to publish. There is no underlying hostility between us that I am aware of. 
5. When I offered TCol an NAP (in the first communication) they responded that they were not interested in diplomatic relations with anyone. They subsequently entered not just NAPs but full confeds with alliances in the SINDICATE. 
6. My approaches to them were genuine. I was trying to give them what they said they desired and to keep them out of the war. To be clear here, the risk is that a Ta2in town in MM might launch an attack against one of our confeds. Since the empress asserts her primacy in the use of military force in MM, that could be interpreted as her allies declaring war on her behalf. Observers will note that this was one of the issues I sought clarification on. 
7. In Illy as in RL, everything can be negotiated. Seeking clarifications about the intentions of a new entity before endorsing it is not unusual. Indeed in RL, countries frequently raise issues about human rights or the military intentions of other states. It is the normal practice of diplomacy. 
8. The concerns raised could hardly have been described as unreasonable. 
9. The deliberate insults in the replies are of concern - mispelling my name - the Spartacus taunt - criticising my leadership - and so on. This is not diplomatic language - nor is the fact that communications sent leader to leader are being answered by someone else. 
Hucbold (with no t)

As a comment on points 1, 2 and 9, I'd like to point out that the Srebrenica massacre was part of the Bosnian Genocide to which Hucbold had earlier referred. I'm not going to go into much detail into the genocide because there are things I'd much prefer to do with my time than research things like this. However, this is a quote from the wikipedia article on the Bosnian Genocide: ' The ethnic cleansing campaign included unlawful confinement, murder, rape, sexual assault, torture, beating, robbery...'. Given all this, I'd consider Grombrindal calling him Spartacus and spelling his name wrong to be a somewhat mild response.
I'd also consider the 'Empire Ambassador' responding to IGMs from foreign powers on the behalf of the Empress to be a somewhat standard state of affairs.

-Eowan The Short.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Bellicose Noobringed, Continues to be Attacked.

Bellicose and his alt Dennis have both been the targets of a strong and successful offensive by Unbow in Western Elgea. According to an Unbow player, more than 20 cities were captured, razed or forced to exodus out of the region. Of these, around 18 are believed to have belonged to Bellicose and Dennis.

As a result of the operation, Bellicose was totally noob ringed and Dennis was reduced to a single town though, due to the fact that it was in exodus when his other city was razed, Dennis has had a starter town spawn in Mal Moshta. As this town falls within TCol's landclaim, it is under their protection currently.

However, it didn't stop there. Since being noob ringed, Bellicose has continued to be attacked by a number of Resistance players; Morgweneth, FIGJAM, Thanes Aristophanes and Lagavulin. In GC, it has been claimed that these attacks are to prevent Bellicose from becoming a threat again but one must wonder at what point it becomes an attempt to force players out of the game. 

When I asked Thanes Aritophanes about the attacks on Bellicose, he responded by saying that 'Storm do not comment on ongoing operations.'. How attacks on defenceless players can be considered operations is not clear to me. 

I also got a response to the questions I asked by a player from Unbow;
1) Why was it decided to noobring Bellicose? 
Bellicose/dennis, as also Bradik, Shagrat and Anas did, did occupy a few cities in the desert of Lan Laross/Western Realms and those cities can be seen as military very important. We did however at first left them there living in peace. But then they tried to capture one village of our alliance. We didn't accept that and attacked their siege and later on attacked the city of Bellicose from where the attack took place. As a reply on that SIN and TA2IN declared war on us. In reply on the war declaration we attacked all cities in our area of alliances related to these two aliances. All in all more then 20 cities were captured, razed or exodused.

2) Was Bellicose offered a surrender deal at any point? 
There was no surrender deal offered, while Bellicose and Dennis both had the opportunity to flee to a safe haven in BL, which they didn't take. They exodused one or two villages to a nearby forest. Two weeks after we had removed all cities from the desert we started to remove all remaining villages in our area. When you are at war and still want a surrender deal you do have to ask for it and the terms must be agreed on by the leaderships of the alliances involved.

3) Why is Bellicose continuing to be attacked despite the fact he has been noobringed? 
I disagree with the people who attack beginning villages in the noobring. I don't care if they are really new or forced to begin again as a victim of the war. I see it as committing a warcrime when you attack starting villages. I do like fighting a war, but on justified rules. It is a matter of respect for your opponent as they have had respect for us in the past.

4) Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I'm part of the old Unbowed and we do respect our opponents, but disagree with their ideas/statements. As they we are a warmachine. We have our pride and we stand for a free and peacefull Illyriad with no bounderies and some agreements to live in Elgea and the Broken Lands. We will fight for this freedom.

The fact that a member of the Resistance is willing to call out other members as war criminals shows that it may just be a minority in the Resistance who feel such actions are appropriate. If this is true, then I urge the Resistance to publicly denounce those who feel it is fine to attack players after they have been noob ringed. It is extremely difficult even today to get players to talk about the last server war due to the lack of proportional force used in it. Let's not repeat the mistakes of the past.

-Eowan The Short

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

GH Landclaim; Fact or Fiction?

On Monday the 18th of December, KLiPstA entered in GC and made a comment about how she wished the siege that had been placed on her town of Bikini Bottom would be hit by an NPC. KliPstA is a 3 town player and at the time was unaffiliated with an alliance.
A search of the herald siege page showed the siege belonged to Sabbathius (aka Bruce Lee), leader of GH.
When I IGMed Sabbathius and asked him why he was sieging a noob, he said the following:
'Taomist is ours, the city will be razed if not relocated in 2 weeks. I have recalled my siege.'

To me, it seems that saying 'Taomist is ours' would be a good indicator that he has a landclaim on the region. However, I could find no mention of this landclaim on either the forums or GH's profile or Sabbathius' profile. As a result of this, I decided to announce GH's landclaim for them in the forums.

For some reason, Sabbathius then appeared on the forum thread saying:
'We do not have a land claim, Eeowan is just a troll '

This does raise serious questions as to why the noob's town was being razed if there is no landclaim; its not within 10 squares of anyone's towns and the noob had no prior contact with Sabbathius. BillCipher probably summarised the conflict best on the forum post:
'She was the right to stay where she is because there is no land claim as put on the GH alliance profile. with that anyone cant tell someone where they can and can't have their towns especially since there is NOT  a land claim. She was sieged because she was "In GH land claim" But to reinforce it there is not a land claim. The IGM was because of the land claim. A warning then an attack was sent following the IGM.

It comes down to the fact that Golden Horde AND Sabbathius attacked a newb with NO REASON'

Neither Sabbathius or any other member of GH has confirmed whether the rejection of  a landclaim means that KLiPstA can stay where she is.

Since the conflict began, KLiPstA has moved into pTory.

-Eowan The Short

Hucbold Trying to Drag TCol into Server War?

Her Imperial Majesty, Zenorra of TCol has today forwarded me a message from His Most Serene Grace, Hucbold, Duque de Bragança, Víðarr of the Æsir relating to the recognition of the TCol's establishment of a Kingdom of Mal Moshta
The message goes as follows:
Greetings Your Imperial Majesty

The last time we spoke, I indicated that it might be possible for The Æsir to recognise your claims on Mal Motsha. However, you cut the discussion short with an ugly and unnecessary act of ethnic cleansing, wiping out our two peaceful towns in the territory. As this was our only communication, I have been somewhat surprised at the negative and aggressively hostile attitude taken by you and your ambassador towards me in GC. However, I am a forgiving lord and sufficient time has, I feel, passed for us to tentatively explore the possibility of recognition of Mal Motsha as a Kingdom in its own right.

Obviously, at this stage I have very many venerable and ancient allies and friends who are also interested in this situation. For some time I have been nudging them towards the benefits to global peace and prosperity which nations states can bring. I have to be honest and say that not all agree. In truth, some are vehemently opposed to the idea. I do feel, however, that I can represent a significant number of alliances and that given the right conditions it may be possible for us to reach an agreement that would involve the recognition of Mal Motsha by peacable and respected Elgean alliances.

Here are the issues of concern:

1. The 'newb ring' now touches Mal Motsha. We want new players to be able to choose their own direction and allegiance. We would therefore expect that towns spawning in Mal Motsha would be allowed to stay unless and until they join other alliances and that they would be allowed to settle another town within a reasonable distance of the first.

2. We believe that players not alligned with an alliance should be able to settle anywhere there is space, subject only to clearly established local custom and practice. That would include a limitation on army size and a ban on scouts to enable local authorities to verify army size.

3. We believe the territory of Mal Motsha is the limit of the land claim. Mal Motshans are free to live outside Mal Motsha but are subject to local laws and customs.

4. In furtherance of point 3, we believe TCol should rename itself Mal Motsha.

5. We note the declaration by the Empress that she is responsible for all military action in Mal Motsha and accepts responsibility for all military actions by Mal Motshans. We trust that this means that any military action emanating from a confederated town in Mal Motsha is a military action by Mal Motsha.

6. If this agreement were to happen, we would expect Mal Motsha to enter NAPs with all participating alliances.

If Your Imperial Majesty believes that it might be possible to address these concerms to our mutual satisfaction and is prepared to indicate that to us, then I will more strongly persuade my colleagues as to the wisdom of this action and would indicate to you the alliances that might be interested in pursuing this course.

Given in friendship, this 18th Day of December, by His Most Serene Grace, Hucbold, Duque de Bragança, Víðarr of the Æsir

TL;DR version:
Hucbold begins talking about Aesir recognising TCol's claims on Mal Moshta, accuses them of ethnic cleansing and then forgives them for it because he's such a nice guy
He says a lot of his friends don't like the claims but he might be able to pacify them
Hucbold then states that noobs and unaligned players should be allowed in Mal Moshta
Next he confirms that TCol will be allowed outside Mal Moshta and asks that they rename themselves Mal Moshta
Hucbold then asks for NAPs and a confirmation that Zenorra is responsible for the actions of TCol and its confeds.
In return for all he asks, he says he will try to convince his friends that the TCol claims on Mal Moshta are OK.

Attached with the message was TCol's response:
Hail Hucbold (Spartacus?),

Let me begin by complimenting you for the effort of writing such an embellished mail. Tcol is always happy to hear from alliances that recognize its rights as a sovereign state. However, the remainder of your writing seems to build on a flawed foundation; that is to say, the belief that recognition of our sovereignty is subject to negotiations. 

Given the abrasive nature of your IGM, which seems to belie a great deal of underlying grievances, we sincerely considered replying with the utmost brevity. However, we will give you the courtesy of replying to some of your points, if only to correct any false assumptions you may hold.

Everything that happens in MM is dictated by TCol. Our sovereign borders are absolute. No neutral entities are suffered on our soil. Your sincere concern for newer players is noted, and we assure you that they are treated fairly. We will not, however, suffer outside meddling in our business with them. We do not judge the rest of your Issues of Concern worthy of a serious response. 

Due to the tone of your writing, a new grievance has arisen which should be addressed. Tcol does not engage in acts of ethnic cleansing, and we will require an apology for any suggestion to the contrary. Furthermore, we would like to inform you that we do not require your forgiveness for an event that stemmed from your own lack of leadership and communication. 

We hope this answers any questions you and your...erm...very many venerable and ancient allies and friends might have had. We realize you will probably decide to rescind your offer of friendship, and feel additionally grateful for our own allies, who have seen fit to recognize our sovereignty without precondition. 

Grombrindal and Zenorra

In IGMs with me, Zenorra stated that she believed this was an attempt by Hucbold to 'drag us [TCol] into the war'. This could be due to Hucbold's statement that he has 'very many venerable and ancient allies and friends who are also interested in this situation.' 

Given that this is likely the same set of allies and friends who are fighting the current server war, one must wonder at the wisdom of Hucbold risking a new enemy given that the war is far from conclusion, especially given that TCol are on Aesir's doorstep.

When asked to comment on this IGM, he first tried to suppress his publishing and then stated that there had been 'alterations to the text'. However, he refused to state what these alterations were.

It should be noted for those who attempt to suppress the publishing of IGMs on this site, in the past I have had problems with the DEVS in relation to the publishing of information related to the DEVS punishments of players. I was informed during these problems that as long as there was no link to articles breaching the rules in the forums, it was permitted by former Community Manager, GM Rikoo. 

-Eowan The Short