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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Leandor

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Senator Diaver Kastelos (Blue Demes)

So. Many. Winks. That is the Megas Droungarios? Diaver smiled. The president of the senate must be dying inside, he thought. And what a good surprise: almost everything Diaver said was supported by Javier Espinosa, even his insolence.

"I must admit that I'm gladly surprised by your words, Megas Droungarious, and not only because we coincide with most of our ideas, if not all. As I can deduce from your name, you are a fellow descendent of hispanians. The Kasteloi were once the Castel family, from Aragon. But now its time for questions that will decide our path as Empire for the next years."


Question:

"You propose to establish some kind for piratery to steal and sack the fleets that are constantly traveling between the west and europe, that way we could get plenty resources, as well as dealing some damage to the Xenoi's economy. Sounds like a very good plan, but I must ask: How will our ships avoid the constant blockade that the xenoi maintain at the Pillars of Hercules? Long time ago one of my grand grand parents managed to fool the xenoi ships, that were much more easy to deal than now, and explore the far african kingdom of Mali. Now it is known that xenoi have reinforced the blockade, closing the only exit to the Atlantic. If not destroying their fleets, how?"
 
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Serpent

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Senator Alexios Serapis

*The Megas Drungarios was not what he had expected. A rogue, a pirate, a dangerous man hiding his threats behind a jovial humour. But above all a man whose heart seemed as blue as the ocean. How to deal with such a man?*

[Question]:
"Noble Megas Drungarios, it is truly an honour to be given the privilege to speak with you today" *Since you finally decided to turn up, he thinks to himself while smiling and bowing.*
"I assure you the White Demes does everything in its power to fight the evils of corruption as well as all other ills that befall our dear administration. Not least of which are our crippling debt and inflation."

"My questions to you, however are on purely naval matters. You propose we raid the trade of the Xenoi leading to the port of Seville. If we do so with any success will the Xenoi not simply shift their trade further north where we can not, by your own word, reach them? And if they choose not, will they not simply increase their own spending on their navy? Their incomes, as the Scrianon Barbarorum reports, are twice as great as ours, greater if accounting for our inflation . And if they do increase their own naval expenditures can our new fleet, even equipped with sorcery, defeat theirs?"


*He shakes his head*

"Please forgive me, but is it not simply wiser to subordinate the navy to the army for now, instead of risking it once again against the superior fleets of the Xenoi? The army has already proven it can win our wars, even without the navy."

[/QUESTION]

{{Leandor, how did you make that pretty square?}}
 
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ThetrueColt

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{{ OMFG this guy spends his time in the Pandidakterion? He values knowledge above everything else? Espinosa, eh? He really is not related to the Pylaei (yet)? This is.... madness! But I love it! He is so close in mind to Junius that it almost frightens me (except for his weird parts of course...) }}

Senator Junius Pylaeus (unaffiliated)

*After the Megas Droungarios finishes his speech, Junius stands up, raises his right arm with the index finger pointing towards the ceiling and shouts "Audite, audite" to commend the Megas Doux for his speech.

While still processing the speech, a letter is being handed to him. Confused at first by this annoyance, he sits down again to process its contents.
After a short delay, he decides to write an answer to Senator Serapis, because he needs to ask the Megas Droungarios a question*


"Senator Alexios, at first I thought that the blues had safely won over too many senators so that any resistance to their plans would have done nothing but damage to the Imperial Senate. During the recess I came to the conclusion that this is not the case.

You can trust me when I say that I will return to my original position and join you once more, for your beliefs regarding this topic are my beliefs.

Furthermore, your future plan for the shrinked white demes coincide with what I have in mind for it as well.
During this session it has become one of my aspirations to create a more open demes that is not as narrow-minded and unregenerate as the other two.
First of all I am a scholar in a family of scholars, spending a lot of time in the great Pandidakterion studying.
If you support the idea of an open white demes protecting the religion and caring for the economy as well as furthering the interests of the great Pandidakterion and independent scholars to advance our knowledge and technology, then you can count me in as one of your staunchest allies.

Should we share the same beliefs regarding the future of the white demes, you can also count on my entry into the demes at the end of this senate session.
But even if we disagree on that matter, I will still provide support for economic reforms now, because our financial state is too dire to be neglected as of this time. We can still reform the navy later (in fact, the deal you proposed to the blue demes should be promoted with continued effort).

Senator Junius Pylaeus

PS: I will gladly talk to you in private once I raised my question to the Megas Doux. Just come over to the unaffiliated once you read this letter."

Question:
Most esteemed and venerated Megas Droungarious,
I thank you for your open words and the provided information.

I think I have seen you from afar quite a few times in the great Pandidakterion during my studies, although we have never met in person until now.

My question to you is this: What do you think is the best combination of ship types for our reformed navy? Our dromonoi have been the only fighting force thus far. Our transports are irreplacable tools for the Imperial legions. If we are to fabricate special wealth-robbing ships, would it not hurt either our battle strength or our transport capabilities significantly?
 
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Serpent

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Senator Alexios Serapis

*He opens the letter with a great deal of suspense, while listening with half an ear towards the Megas Drungarios, but while he reads the letter he flashes a wide grin before returning to a relaxed and neutral expression. He quickly pens his reply.*

"Senator Alexios, at first I thought that the blues had safely won over too many senators so that any resistance to their plans would have done nothing but damage to the Imperial Senate. During the recess I came to the conclusion that this is not the case.

You can trust me when I say that I will return to my original position and join you once more, for your beliefs regarding this topic are my beliefs.

Furthermore, your future plan for the shrinked white demes coincide with what I have in mind for it as well.
During this session it has become one of my aspirations to create a more open demes that is not as narrow-minded and unregenerate as the other two.
First of all I am a scholar in a family of scholars, spending a lot of time in the great Pandidakterion studying.
If you support the idea of an open white demes protecting the religion and caring for the economy as well as furthering the interests of the great Pandidakterion and independent scholars to advance our knowledge and technology, then you can count me in as one of your staunchest allies.

Should we share the same beliefs regarding the future of the white demes, you can also count on my entry into the demes at the end of this senate session.
But even if we disagree on that matter, I will still provide support for economic reforms now, because our financial state is too dire to be neglected as of this time. We can still reform the navy later (in fact, the deal you proposed to the blue demes should be promoted with continued effort).

Senator Junius Pylaeus

PS: I will gladly talk to you in private once I raised my question to the Megas Doux. Just come over to the unaffiliated once you read this letter."
Honoured Senator Junius, I am relieved to see you share my view in this, as indeed several others do. Even, I believe, some Blues. I am even more delighted to see that you seem to be a kindred spirit. My family has not always stood for open-minded and progressiveness, but that is what we need now in these difficult times. As long as the White Demes is in my hands it will be a force for enlightenment and constructive politics. I do not believe that truly conflicts with a protection of the Faith. On the contrary, only trough understanding can we be saved. God gave us our minds for a reason, and that reason was not to tempt us into sin but to raise us up into the light of knowledge.

I wish I had shared your studies in the Pandidakterion, but my family required differently from me. Nevertheless, I see only good coming from studying the world as it is, as long as those who study are ready for the knowledge. Even a medicine can do harm if given in the wrong dosage, too much at the wrong time or to the wrong patient can even become a poison. *kinda had to add that last part, you know, grimdark and all that, also true about *.
I will gladly speak with you more later, for now I must give my full attention to our honoured guest."

{{And goodnight}}
 
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ParrotGuy

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Senator Antiochos Salamis (blue demes):
*As Espinosa's speech ends, Antiochos joins the applauses with a great enthusiasm.*
Well spoken, Megas Droungarious. Well spoken. Finally , someone understands that the Blues and the Navy are an integral part of the Imperium. White and Red, it doesn't matter- both if them seem to have a blind hate towards the Blue Demes and towards merchants, a hate which causes them to want to undermine us at all costs, even at the cost of harming the Imperium!
I would also like to request every Senator who opposes a Maritime reform to rethink- our esteemed guest has presented us with a clear evidence that the wise Emperor has a big plan to reform our Navy and make it truly glorious. It would be unwise to undermine him.
Now,
A Question:

Do you believe that we can actually gain enough gold from riches found in the East and raiding the Xenoi's trade to fund such a glorious reform to the navy?
 
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Slavic Wise Man

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Senator Stephanos Vojimir (Blue Demes):
*In a flurry of leather boots and velvet, Senator Stephanos Vojimir enters the Magnaura to find a strange-looking man sitting on the throne. Stephanos is approached by a eunuch who presents him with a transcript of the key points of debate on the Senate Floor and of the entire speech of the Megas Droungarious. As he reads the transcript he agrees with many of the views presented, but is visibly shocked by the tone and manners of the Megas Droungarious. He dismisses the eunuch and than takes his seat.*

Illustrious protospatharios, Megas Droungarious, and fellow Senators, I would like to offer an apology for my lateness and my utmost respect for this chamber and the Holy sovereign whom we all serve. It has been a long and hard ride from Dalmatia, and I would like to eventually present my opinions before this Senate. However, now esteemed Megas Droungarious, I would like to ask:

Question:

Do you believe that recent efforts to vassalize the followers of St. Thomas on the island of Ceylon could give the Imperium a gateway to the riches of the East that could perhaps fund the naval reforms presented before this Senate? Will this venture economically benefit us enough to justify sacrificing the money and time that will be needed?
 

luciusmalfoy012

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Senator Christoforo Colombo: (White Demes)

*After listening the speech, Christoforo furiously writes a complaint to Kommenos complaining of the breach of procedure by the guest*
*He then rises, and signals to speak. He has a rueful smile on his face*

Thank you for speaking to us, Megas. You rather remind me of myself, about twenty-five years ago. You see, I once dreamed of riches beyond belief gained through trade and conquest of faraway lands. I once thought that we must venture beyond the Pillars in order to secure the Imperium, and to do that, we had to fund the navy at the expense of all else. I am wiser now, and know that such dreams are nothing but hot air at best, and temptations from the devil at worst. The Imperial Navy has been crushed due to an incompetence in leadership. It is common knowledge that your predecessor overextended himself and ventured beyond areas where the Dromons are most effective. You say we need to adapt, yet you refuse to use the greek fire at our disposal instead proposing to PAY the Pisans for Aztec ships..

Even if your estimates of income are correct, which they are not, it is only potential. As other Senators have already pointed out: how are we to get ships beyond the blockade effectively? How will those raiders be protected, militarily and politically? So many questions. But I need not ask them. The East is an unknown quantity. Even if we do find things of value, I find it unlikely the Imperium has the resources to effectively exploit them
(not enough traders). In addition, any powers in the East will most likely be angered by any attempts on our part to siphon away their trade. This is all bluster and empty promises.

What is guaranteed is this: The Imperium will have wasted a golden opportunity to reduce inflation and improve the economy, and instead will bank on a half-baked dream requiring yet more loans and yet more cuts to the Army and Church. 20 years from now, perhaps the Navy will destroy the Xenoi fleet and send it fleeing home. But the home the dogged fleet returned to would be falling to pieces, with heretics rising as a result of lack of church funding, raiders and mongols destroying border cities because the Army is too weak to respond, and a complete lack of faith by the people in our currency. I do not wish to see our Navy come home in glory under such circumstances.

I end not with a question, but with a warning:

Should the Navy squander the opportunity it may or may not be given (depending on the whims of my fellow Senators), your head should, and most likely will, be the first to roll. Proceed carefully, young Espinosa. Should you succeed, may you be given every honor in the Imperium! But you shall not do so.

I used to believe in the Navy. Now I believe in God.


{{Czoklet has it out for me, I swear to god. Swings to the church when I am leader of the Reds, swings to the Blues when I'm actually not tryharding my ass off.}}
{{What happened to Warhammer 40k HERESY images? Where's that Czoklet? I want him back.. :( }}
 

Zqrfmb

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Senator Leon Cortez (Blue Demes):

*Leon regards the senator's speech, and rises as soon as he gets a chance between all the other senators shouting questions*

Question:

Since we are at war with Aquitaine, and it is very likely they will be completely at our mercy, if we took land from them that connected Imperium Romanum to the Atlantic, do you believe it would be possible to amass a raiding fleet in the atlantic to hit the xenoi trade routes in multiple places? Or would those ports not be able to construct enough ships supplemented by whatever would be able to run the Xenoi's blockades and make it to the other side? And do you believe there is enough Xenoi commerce going on north of Sevilla to justify such an action?
 

BanishTheSpleen

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*Mahdi quietly watches the Senators discuss the Megas Droungarios' speech and air questions toward the figure of authority*

Senator Leon Cortez (Blue Demes):
Question:


Since we are at war with Aquitaine, and it is very likely they will be completely at our mercy, if we took land from them that connected Imperium Romanum to the Atlantic, do you believe it would be possible to amass a raiding fleet in the atlantic to hit the xenoi trade routes in multiple places? Or would those ports not be able to construct enough ships supplemented by whatever would be able to run the Xenoi's blockades and make it to the other side? And do you believe there is enough Xenoi commerce going on north of Sevilla to justify such an action?
Senator Cortez raises a good point. With the access to the Atlantic, we could build a fleet of ships to flank the Xenoi at the Pillars with our new, reformed navy on the other side, serving as our hammer and anvil. What are your plans for the Atlantic access: breaking the blockade, exploration of the Coast of Africa, or what have you?
 

varetta

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Senator Aetius Scipion (the reds):

Dear Red demes senators,

I have said before and I will say it once more. We must be united!!!

If the most of us support a economic reform, I will support it too but I think that these times claim for a reform of the navy. Not just because their incapacity for achieving success neither similar to those of the Legions but because it will help our interest in the future.

The whites are very scarce {{and half of them crazy}} and the unaligned are that, unaligned, and who knows how they will be the net session of the Senate. By other side, Bleu demes has demonstrated in all the previous sessions to be a strong group and I feel they will continue being this way.

Am I advocating for supporting them because they are a big group? Of course not!! Do I think that maritime reforms are the best one for the Empire while we could change as many things in the Army? Of course no!!!

But I am totally convinced that if we support maritime reforms now, together with exploration of the East as it seems will happen, we will have strong argument in the next session for pushing our reforms program, even if the merchants betray us and this is the reason why I will vote for such reform, except if it becomes clear that the rest of our demes prefer economic reforms and give power to those religious fanatics of Colombo.

In a different subject, I still think on the importance of the cavalry for our legions but it is also truth that recent experience has shown us the consequences of attrition for our forces so I am will to vote for such reforms in our demes if, as it seems, most of us support them

Thanks senators and think on my words when you vote.
 

CzokletMuss

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Megas Droungarios Javier Espinosa:

Upon seeing the standing ovation given to him by some of the Senators, Megas Droungarios smiles and nods towards the seats of the Blue Demes.

- Thank you, my friends. I'm honored to be in Magnaura today, seeing how open-minded and forward-thinking Romaioi have gathered here. And they say the Imperial Senate is a relict of a bygone age. Ha! - Espinosa points at the Senators - You prove them wrong, my friends. I'm going to advice His Imperial Majesty to seek your counsel more often, I give you my word. But let's not get ahead of ourselves – acts speak louder than words and the Senate have yet to vote. Now, as for your questions...

Senator Alexandros Raoul :
Question :
Honorable Megas Droungarios, it is an honor to see you there. I have a question you may be able to answer. Why don't we use Greek Fire and arm the dromonoi with this terrifying weapon ? It is this weapon that saved the City of the World's Desires from the Arabs, and surely it could inflict tremendous damages if it were used in the Western areas of the Mediterannean. Not that I discard the firesticks from the West but I don't see why we should not use our most frightening weapons on our archenemies.

- Ah, the fabled sea fire. But please, use the proper name while speaking of this marvelous weapon - „Greek fire” was a term used by Latins, as I'm sure you know. The Romaioi of old called it by a variety of names – liquid fire, war fire, manufactured fire... Alas, it is manufactured no more. The secret of the Roman fire was lost during the Second Doukid Anarchy during wars between claimants to the Throne from the House Doukas. When Saint Markos ascended to the Throne, this ancient recipe so well-guarded for centuries was already gone. And what a tragedy that was. Imagine how much better the Imperium could fend itself against the Westerners and Mongol barbarians if we had the Roman fire in our hands! Imagine xenoi warships being burnt before they could reach our shores! How different the Europe would be today if we had this weapon during the Sunset Invasion.

Espinosa sighes.

- The advantages of Roman fire are clear. It saved Konstantinoupolis during the First and Second Arab Siege, it could save the Imperium today. During my studies in Pandidakterion I learned that Saint Markos himself spent a great deal of time searching for the recipe, alas to no avail. I believe – and His Imperial Majesty shares this belief with me – that this ancient secret is lost for good. However...

- The war fire, although its properties are legendary, was not a miracle. It was a creation of Roman alchemists, a fruit of hard labour and work of a great mind. If we concentrate our efforts on the Imperial Navy, if we truly dedicate ourselves to this cause - Espinosa pauses for a moment – Than I'm sure that scholars of Pandidakterion may create the Roman fire anew.

- It would take years, decades perhaps, and without a doubt a huge investements. But in the end we would give the Imperium means to finally push back the xenoi back to the sea they crawl from. A wonder-weapon, if you wish, a miracle created by Roman ingenuity like so many great works of our ancestors - Espinosa winks to the Senators from Red Demes - And I'm sure once rediscovered, the war fire could be easily adapted by our Army as well.

Senator Marcus Arrius (the Blues):

*Marcus stands and applauds once Megas Droungarios finishes his speech.*
Well said! To hear from such a bright mind makes the time waited seem inconsequential. I cannot agree more with you. To fear our enemies' tools is the same as accepting death. Just as Senator Raoul says, I am all for incorporating Greek Fire into our attacks, but we must go further. We must use these cannons. The Imperium is greater than the Xenoi. If they can use these weapons, imagine what our ships will be capable of with them.

Question:
Megas Droungarios, how long would it take us to acquire the Xenoi's weapons? Is Pisa willing to sell?
Espinosa laughs.

- Willing to sell? My friend, if I'm trusted with special powers by this august body I shall set sails to the Republic immediately and make the Pisans an offer they can't refuse . And if they do, well, then I shall order the xenoi warship to be seized from them Megas Droungarios hits the armrest of the throne with his fist - Enough time have been wasted! I want the Imperial Navy to have at least 10 such warships ready to face the fleet of the Westerners before the next war. And you can be certain that the war is coming – whatever is absorbing their attention in the Far West it won't last forever. The xenoi will attack sooner or later but this time - He grins - the Pillars of Hercules will not be breached.

Senator Diaver Kastelos (Blue Demes)

"I must admit that I'm gladly surprised by your words, Megas Droungarious, and not only because we coincide with most of our ideas, if not all. As I can deduce from your name, you are a fellow descendent of hispanians. The Kasteloi were once the Castel family, from Aragon. But now its time for questions that will decide our path as Empire for the next years."

Question:

You propose to establish some kind for piratery to steal and sack the fleets that are constantly traveling between the west and europe, that way we could get plenty resources, as well as dealing some damage to the Xenoi's economy. Sounds like a very good plan, but I must ask: How will our ships avoid the constant blockade that the xenoi maintain at the Pillars of Hercules? Long time ago one of my grand grand parents managed to fool the xenoi ships, that were much more easy to deal than now, and explore the far african kingdom of Mali. Now it is known that xenoi have reinforced the blockade, closing the only exit to the Atlantic. If not destroying their fleets, how?
- The fate of the House Kastelos is known to me all too well. After the fall of Aragon my family moved to Socotra to join the largest Iberian community in the Imperium. The day I heard the news of the Aragonian revolt against xenoi was... but I digress again. True, the blockade is maintain constantly and it can't be avoided, not by a whole fleet. And that's why we won't avoid it - Espinosa looks down at the Senators – We will destroy it. Noble senators, with reformed Navy and new warships this and more is within our reach. We cannot be contained by the xenoi superiority on the sea. Who controls the Pillars, controls the Mediterranean – and I say the Imperium should control them.

Senator Alexios Serapis

[Question]:
"Noble Megas Drungarios, it is truly an honour to be given the privilege to speak with you today" *Since you finally decided to turn up, he thinks to himself while smiling and bowing.*
"I assure you the White Demes does everything in its power to fight the evils of corruption as well as all other ills that befall our dear administration. Not least of which are our crippling debt and inflation."

"My questions to you, however are on purely naval matters. You propose we raid the trade of the Xenoi leading to the port of Seville. If we do so with any success will the Xenoi not simply shift their trade further north where we can not, by your own word, reach them? And if they choose not, will they not simply increase their own spending on their navy? Their incomes, as the Scrianon Barbarorum reports, are twice as great as ours, greater if accounting for our inflation . And if they do increase their own naval expenditures can our new fleet, even equipped with sorcery, defeat theirs?"


*He shakes his head*

"Please forgive me, but is it not simply wiser to subordinate the navy to the army for now, instead of risking it once again against the superior fleets of the Xenoi? The army has already proven it can win our wars, even without the navy."
[/QUESTION]
Espinosa scratches his beard.

- You made a good point, senator Serapis. The Imperial Navy may not face the full might of the xenoi and be victorious. But it doesn't have to. The fleet of the Westerners dwarf our own, there is no doubt about this. However, as long as their forces are occupied in the Far West our ships will be free to raid their transports. If war breaks out tomorrow, I shall call our forces not to the Pillars but to thema nautikon of Sicilia. Let the xenoi enter the Mare Nostrum, let them spread thin – then we shall strike. By concentrating all dromonoi against seperated fleets of the Westerners I believe we can be victorious. And when the reforms of the Navy I plan to enact are completed, I'm sure that we will finally gain an upper hand and will be able to crush the enemy in an open battle. As for xenoi shifting their trade to other ports – yes, this may happen. But by this time I believe we would have direct access to the Sunset Ocean and xenoi transports sailing from Frisia or Londinium will be well within our reach.

Senator Junius Pylaeus (unaffiliated)

*After the Megas Droungarios finishes his speech, Junius stands up, raises his right arm with the index finger pointing towards the ceiling and shouts "Audite, audite" to commend the Megas Doux for his speech.

Question:
Most esteemed and venerated Megas Droungarious,
I thank you for your open words and the provided information.
I think I have seen you from afar quite a few times in the great Pandidakterion during my studies, although we have never met in person until now.
My question to you is this: What do you think is the best combination of ship types for our reformed navy? Our dromonoi have been the only fighting force thus far. Our transports are irreplacable tools for the Imperial legions. If we are to fabricate special wealth-robbing ships, would it not hurt either our battle strength or our transport capabilities significantly?

- Ah, a fellow student of the Great Pandidakterion! You are not one of the Blues, are you? He shakes his head - Such a shame. I look forward to spending more time with some of you after this Session is over, if my duties allow me of course. And if the Blue Demes deems me worthy to invite me to its meeting - Espinsa grins – As for your question, well... The reforms of the Navy, if enacted, shall increase our capabilities of supporting numerous ships, thus increasing the potential size of the fleet. There will be practically no upper limit to our naval forces, I assure you of this.

Senator Antiochos Salamis (blue demes):
*As Espinosa's speech ends, Antiochos joins the applauses with a great enthusiasm.*
Well spoken, Megas Droungarious. Well spoken. Finally , someone understands that the Blues and the Navy are an integral part of the Imperium. White and Red, it doesn't matter- both if them seem to have a blind hate towards the Blue Demes and towards merchants, a hate which causes them to want to undermine us at all costs, even at the cost of harming the Imperium!
I would also like to request every Senator who opposes a Maritime reform to rethink- our esteemed guest has presented us with a clear evidence that the wise Emperor has a big plan to reform our Navy and make it truly glorious. It would be unwise to undermine him.
Now,
A Question:

Do you believe that we can actually gain enough gold from riches found in the East and raiding the Xenoi's trade to fund such a glorious reform to the navy?

- Delegate of the House Salamis raises a fair point, my friends. Will the gold taken from the xenoi itself pay for all expenses? Obviously not. But it will allow us to build a great Navy, Navy capable of protecting Roman interests in every corner of the world. Many of you know firsthand the volume of the trade flowing through Alexandria to the Queen of Cities. Why should we allow the traders from Hindustan to make a profit of it? Why limit ourselves to simply buying whatever they are willing to sell to us? Let's create a new fleet dedicated solely to protecting our trade in the Horn of Africa and beyond and I guarantee you, the coffers of the Imperial Aerarium will be filled with gold in no time.

Senator Stephanos Vojimir (Blue Demes):
*In a flurry of leather boots and velvet, Senator Stephanos Vojimir enters the Magnaura to find a strange-looking man sitting on the throne. Stephanos is approached by a eunuch who presents him with a transcript of the key points of debate on the Senate Floor and of the entire speech of the Megas Droungarious. As he reads the transcript he agrees with many of the views presented, but is visibly shocked by the tone and manners of the Megas Droungarious. He dismisses the eunuch and than takes his seat.*
Illustrious protospatharios, Megas Droungarious, and fellow Senators, I would like to offer an apology for my lateness and my utmost respect for this chamber and the Holy sovereign whom we all serve. It has been a long and hard ride from Dalmatia, and I would like to eventually present my opinions before this Senate. However, now esteemed Megas Droungarious, I would like to ask:

Question:

Do you believe that recent efforts to vassalize the followers of St. Thomas on the island of Ceylon could give the Imperium a gateway to the riches of the East that could perhaps fund the naval reforms presented before this Senate? Will this venture economically benefit us enough to justify sacrificing the money and time that will be needed?

Espinosa sits silent for a while before answering.

- I was there, on the island of St. Thomas. It the first task given to me by His Imperial Majesty when he honored me with dignity of Megas Droungarios. I walked the streets of its cities and ports and what I've seen... As you said noble senator, it is the gate both to Hindustan and to the Far East. Blessed Autokrator Markos III Angelos sent drougnarios Kermanos to the East in hope to discover exactly this. Before sacred Emperor Belisarios decided to, hmm, withdraw from this venture and instead use the Navy as a glorified means of transport for the soldiers of the Army... Well, it doesn't matter anymore. The Imperium is ready today and His Imperial Majesty is most enthusiastic about the potential which Roman presence in Hindustan would give us. Alas, our relations with Ceylon deteroriated somewhat in recent years.

- King Jayabahu III Savulu refused entrance for our ships during my last diplomatic mission. Instead of seeking closer alliance with the Throne, he decided to ignore the Throne and instead focus on conquest. Could you imagine? Espinosa shakes his head – The rise of Funj, the discovery of the disciples of Saint Thomas, these are all signs from God. Some say that they are heretics who reject Our Lord. But didn't Saint Markos himself show compassion to the misguided? Who are we to reject his guidance? So to answer your question – Ceylon must brought into the fold. Such is the wish of God's Regent on Earth.

Senator Leon Cortez (Blue Demes):
*Leon regards the senator's speech, and rises as soon as he gets a chance between all the other senators shouting questions*
Question:
Since we are at war with Aquitaine, and it is very likely they will be completely at our mercy, if we took land from them that connected Imperium Romanum to the Atlantic, do you believe it would be possible to amass a raiding fleet in the atlantic to hit the xenoi trade routes in multiple places? Or would those ports not be able to construct enough ships supplemented by whatever would be able to run the Xenoi's blockades and make it to the other side? And do you believe there is enough Xenoi commerce going on north of Sevilla to justify such an action?

- Well, it's rather hard to say at this point, isn't it? Right now the tagmata are marching to face the armies of the Mad King and the war has just began. Oh, did I say „marching”? – Megas Droungarios grabs his turban in a gesture of false surprise – I did, didn't I? I'm afraid it's not the case. In fact, I think it would take months for tagmata of the Imperial Army to reach Kingdom of Aquitaine considering that the bulk of its forces is still in the East. Good thing we have those transport ships of the Navy, eh? Who knows how long it would take for the strategoi without the Navy support to get to war they take such pride in.

- In any case, the good Christians of Aquitaine should be protected from xenoi and only His Imperial Majesty offers such protection. I believe we should save as much souls as we can lest the Mad King leads his people to imminent doom.

Espinosa takes a sip from his chalice and nods at the President of the Senate.
 
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CzokletMuss

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Michael Komnenos, President of the Senate:

Michael Komnenos gives a sign to eagle-bearer, who strikes the floor with iron end of the Fasces.

- Noble Senators, before we continue the debate and before you ask more questions to His Excellency, I believe it is time to, hmm, count the votes so to speak. Is there anyone who would like to propose the motion concerning amendments to the bills of His Imperial Majesty? Hmm?


***

This was a great debate so far but it's indeed time to count the votes. From now on until the end of the Session you may formally propose the amendments to the bills and support them.

PROPOSING AMENDMENTS
Every Senator who is a member of a Demes may propose an amendment. To propose an amendment you have to:
  • Use the following template:
    Code:
    [size=5]AMENDMENT OF SENATOR <NAME>[b][/size]
  • Write what bill you want to amend (for example senatus consultum concerning reform of the Navy).
  • Write how you want to amend the bill (for example instead of reform of the Navy you propose reform of XYZ).
  • Write why you want to amend the bill.
  • Remember that your amendment is just a motion which has to be supported by 5 other Senators to be put to a vote by the Senate.

PROPOSING POLICIES
All rules concerning proposing amendments apply accordingly.

SUPPORTING AMENDMENTS & POLICIES
Every Senator may support an amendment. To support an amendment you have to:
  • Use the following template:
    Code:
    [b][size=4]House <NAME> supports the amendment of Senator <NAME>[b][/size]
  • Write why you support the amendment .
  • Use the „Agree” button in bottom right corner of the post which contains the amendment you are supporting – this will allow everyone to see exactly how many Senators support the amendment.
  • You may support as many amendments as you want.

The voting on bills of His Imperial Majesty and bills of His Imperial Majesty with your amendments starts tomorrow as per the Fourth Session announcement.
 

varetta

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AMENDMENT OF SENATOR Aetius Scipion


Dear senators,

I want to propose an amendment to the Reformatio de Classis Romanorum act:

”Reformatio de Classis Romanorum” Act

The Imperial Senate, excersicing legislative power it was given by the Sacred Emperor Basileios III Angelos, basileus basileon by the Grace of God, king of kings and rulers of rulers, Caesar Augustus of the Romaioi and all Men, Autokrator of the Holy Church and Protector of the Christendom, acting on authority of His Imperial Majesty and with His approval, decided what follows:

1. That in order to strengthen the Imperial Navy, it has to be reformed in such a way that would ensure that the Mediterranean Sea is free from the presence of Heathens, Heretics and Soulless Xenoi at all time and that in case of War the imperial dromonoi would destroy the Enemy.
2. That to achieve this goal temporary supervisory powers have to be granted to Megas Droungarios so that all of the Droungaroi and Sailors of the Navy as well as the Logothetoi responsible for the naval supply system and Strategoi responsible for recruitment of the Seamen are controlled under his scrutiny.
3. That the new thema nautikon should be created in thema of Socotra as a new base for operations of the Imperial Navy in the Eastern Seas.
4. That therefore all Senators agree that the Reform of the Imperial Navy (Diplomatic Focus) is of the utmost importance for the prosperity and stability of the Imperium.

Bill adopted by the Imperial Senate on [DAY] January 7028 Anno Mundi and submitted to His Imperial Majesty for approval on the same day.
In its place I would like to propose the "Reformatio de legionis Romanurum" Act:

”Reformatio de Legionis Romanorum” Act

The Imperial Senate, excersicing legislative power it was given by the Sacred Emperor Basileios III Angelos, basileus basileon by the Grace of God, king of kings and rulers of rulers, Caesar Augustus of the Romaioi and all Men, Autokrator of the Holy Church and Protector of the Christendom, acting on authority of His Imperial Majesty and with His approval, decided what follows:

1. That in order to strengthen the Imperial Army, it has to be reformed in such a way that would ensure that the presence of Heathens, Heretics and Soulless Xenoi in Imperial lands finish once and for all and that in case of War the imperial legions would destroy the Enemy.
2. That to achieve this goal temporary supervisory powers have to be granted to Megas Domestikos so that all of the Strategos and Legionaries of the Army as well as the Logothetoi responsible for the army supply system and Strategoi responsible for recruitment of the Legionaries are controlled under his scrutiny.
3. That the new thema Xenoitikon should be created in thema of Milano as a new base for operations of the Imperial Army in Western Europe.
4. That therefore all Senators agree that the Reform of the Imperial Army (Military Focus) is of the utmost importance for the prosperity and stability of the Imperium.

Bill adopted by the Imperial Senate on [DAY] January 7028 Anno Mundi and submitted to His Imperial Majesty for approval on the same day.
The purpose of this amendment is to assure the strength of our Legions, loyal servants of God and the Basileios, and their place as shield of Christiany against heathen monsters. It will assure the quality of the weapons used by the legions, the reduction of the technological gap with the heathens and the supply of food and other items in future campaigns against those demons.

Xenoi delenda est
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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{{Just in case this comes up, are you allowed to support an amendment proposed by a member of a different Faction, and are unaffiliated members allowed to support amendments?

Also, will we have to make an amendment concerning Ceylon that if they refuse to become a vassal we will conquer them, or is that already the case?

Furthermore... Greek Fire may be reborn!:D}}
 

ParrotGuy

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Senator Antiochos Salamis (blue demes):
Senator Scipion, I would ask you to wait.
In the current state of the Senate, it seems that some of the Red Demes support a Maritime reform in addition of giving power to the Megas Domestikos, and some, in their blind hate of anything blue, completely refuse to vote for a Maritime reform and instead wish an Economic reform.
In this situation, the Senate is completly split into two halves. We cannot reach Senatus Consultom.
As it seems to me like we cannot make a deal with the white demes and their supporters, I will propose this to the members of the Red Demes, if my fellow Blue Senators agree-
If you vote for Maritimes reform today, and the reform passes, the members of the Blue Demes, or their successors, shall vote for the single reform which the Red Demes choses- it can be this Economic reform, or a military one- we will vote for whatever reform the Red Demes agrees upon. In addition, and this part is negotiateable, the Reds will vote with us for giving more power to Megas Drougarios to ensure that the Naval reforms will be effective. You saw how many interesting ideas Espinosa proposes, and I believe that we should give this man a chance in order to ensure that the Navy is completely prepared to stand side by side with the army and crash the Xenoi. In exchange, we will vote for whatever focus you choose in the next session in which reforms will be discussed, such as today. This way, in the next few years Megas Droungarios and the Navy will have a great power to reform the fleet with the greatest effect, but in the next time the Red Demes will have a complete control of the Senate and will easily pass whichever reform they support, as well as give power to any part of the Imperium they choose- the navy, the administration, or, as a more obvious and if I may add reasonable choice, the Army. Of course, for this grand deal we will need the support of the more stubborn Senators of the Red Demes- but I assure you, Senators Wedrovander and Taurinos- the navy is not the army's enemy, the navy is the army's friend. Remember this- if our fleets will be destroyed by the Xenoi each time, then the transportation fleets will also be unable to work, with the Xenoi hunting down every Romanoi ship in Mare Nostrum in such a situation, and so the army will have to walk. Which is disastrous, as it will not allow our legions to reach different corners of the Imperium in which they are needed in time, and will also cause a great attrition.

{{I'm glad we support the Navy this time, my Senator can finally say arguments which actually make a lot of sense rp-wise , unlike Exploration :p}}
 
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Slavic Wise Man

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Senator Stephanos Vojimir (Blue Demes):
Senators, before we start negotiating and exchanging favors that we might regret later, just as a way to secure a few more votes, I would urge you all to keep in mind one thing. The reforms of the Imperial Navy and the granting of special powers to the Megas Droungarios are, in my opinion, near useless without eachother. While pursuing naval reforms without special powers for His Excellency would take far too long and sap our economy of badly needed funds, allowing the Megas Droungarios more power while disregarding naval reforms would be foolish. Unless we have a clear goal of building up our navy, I believe it is not in the interest of the Imperium to, forgive me your Excellency, grant the Megas Droungarios special powers which he will have no use for. I for one, am prepared to support both measures, and while I do urge Senators to not act against their own beliefs and interests, do not make the mistake of putting the Imperium in a useless state by supporting only one of these two measures.
 

ParrotGuy

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Senator Stephanos Vojimir (Blue Demes):
Senators, before we start negotiating and exchanging favors that we might regret later, just as a way to secure a few more votes, I would urge you all to keep in mind one thing. The reforms of the Imperial Navy and the granting of special powers to the Megas Droungarios are, in my opinion, near useless without eachother. While pursuing naval reforms without special powers for His Excellency would take far too long and sap our economy of badly needed funds, allowing the Megas Droungarios more power while disregarding naval reforms would be foolish. Unless we have a clear goal of building up our navy, I believe it is not in the interest of the Imperium to, forgive me your Excellency, grant the Megas Droungarios special powers which he will have no use for. I for one, am prepared to support both measures, and while I do urge Senators to not act against their own beliefs and interests, do not make the mistake of putting the Imperium in a useless state by supporting only one of these two measures.
Senator Antiochos Salamis (blue demes):
Well said, Senator Vojimir, and this is one of the reasons which caused me to propose this deal- support of the Red Demes for Maritime reforms and special powers to Megas Drougarious today, in exchange a promise of support of all the Blues or their successors to any reform and special power the Reds decide upon in the next time we are called to consult the Emperor in such matters.
This is the only way to ensure that the Senate reaches a Senatus Consultum and is not rendered useless- remember, Senators of the Red Demes, that if we do not reach Senatus Consultum the Emperor will enact a Maritime reform.
 

Serpent

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Alexios Serapis of the White Demes


Amendment of Senator Alexios Serapis


Reformatio de Oeconomia Romanorum

I propose an amendment of the bill Senatus consultum concerning reform of the Navy.

Instead of a reform of the Navy I propose the Imperium dedicates itself towards a reformation and strengthening of the Economy. {{Economic National Ideas}}

I propose such reforms because of the urgent need of the Imperium to stop and reverse our descent into ever more crippling levels of Imperial debt and inflation, so as to secure the future needs of all sectors of our government and armed forces. The needs of our economy are acute. Our navies can adapt their strategies to a short term limit on their expansion and our armies are currently serving the Imperium successfully, even without further funds. Neither army nor navy will prosper in the future without a healthy Economy to support them.

I call on all Senators, of all Demes as well as the unaligned to support this bill. Let the needs of the Imperium prevail over factionalism and short-sighted personal interests. I make a call to reason. The costs of what the Megas Drungarios propose would devastate the imperium for centuries to come.

 
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ThetrueColt

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{{You might want to add a change of National Focus as well, Serpent. Dip Focus without dip ideas would be a waste - I suggest Mil Focus to sway the reds.}}

Senator Junius Pyleaus (unaffiliated)

House Pylaeus supports the amendment of Senator Serapis

"The economy stands on the verge of collapse. If the Imperium is to prosper, the value of the basilikoi and the repayment of our debt need to be addressed first and foremost.

To any senator who deems it better to build a navy without having the necessary funds I can only say: This is madness! Please come to your senses!"
 
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McGrey

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Senator Titos Livios Melissenos

*Titos waited for a moment, before raising from his place. Every word of his statement needs to be right for him not to show all his cards quite yet.*

It is clear to me, that the idea of economic reforms – suggested as a compromise – has caught on with many senators in this hall. If it is the best option is a matter of debate and there are good points for and against it. But I'm of the opinion that this proposal should be made official due to it's appeal and it's value should stand the vote of the senate instead being merely a point for discussion. Therefor:


The House Melissenos supports the amendment of Senator Serapis