Author Topic: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger  (Read 53489 times)

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Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Topic Start: July 06, 2013, 01:14:02 AM »
Summary:Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
Violation:"Realm mergers are illegal."
World:Dwilight
Complainer:Colin Kern
About:Alaster

Full Complaint Text:


   Summary: The leader of Terran has agreed to a friendly "realm merger" with D'Hara.


   A verbatim excerpt from a letter from Pierre von Genf:



   


      Grandmaster Alaster has accepted to transfer the regions of Terran to D'Hara if and when he believed that there were no actual chance of defending them.




   As of writing this, both non-capital regions of Terran had already switched their allegiances to D'Hara, indicating that the merger is being executed as planned.



   I believe that a plan to transfer the entirety of a realm voluntarily to another realm is essentially the definition of "realm merger". According to the "Rules and Policies" page on the wiki:



   


      Realm mergers are illegal. Realms may surrender to another, including annihilation of their lands, but they may not merge as equal entities on friendly terms.




   Which appears to be what is happening here. The letter goes on to state that the two realms intend to merge on friendly and pre-agreed upon terms; Terran is not "surrendering" to D'Hara.



Vellos

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #1: July 06, 2013, 01:24:38 AM »
For Magistrates reading, here's precedent, I think:
http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3486.30.html
http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3396.75.html

We've actually locked dustole for this before; it appears to be his go-to tactic.
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Chenier

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #2: July 06, 2013, 01:33:54 AM »
This is a trickier case: it's not just one person switching the whole realm to another, as happened with Kabrinskia or Lurian splitoffs. Both lords switched on their own, albeit perhaps with a push (a push perhaps more by the allies than by Alaster). Maybe the lords would have switched anyways regardless of what Alaster may or may not have said... A good number of people would have.

Then, what's motivating everyone? The lords want to keep their titles, probably, and figure they have more chances to keep them in D'Hara than sticking around in Terran. Alaster probably just wants to spite Phantaria, or at least prevent the allies from using said regions against the theocracies. Pierre probably just wants to expand D'Hara. And a bunch of other actors involved in this would love to see Terran destroyed, one way or another, and peaceful (for the most part) is just easier.

This is not a case of realms joining as equals, though. Nothing will remain of Terran if this annexation goes through.
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Vellos

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #3: July 06, 2013, 02:45:11 AM »
It's tricky from the perspective of the individual lords; the line between "region changing sides" and "realm changing sides" gets hard in very small realms.

At the same time, this seems pretty cut and dry. This is clearly a collaboration between Alaster and Pierre to merge the whole realm in in a friendly fashion.
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Scarlett

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #4: July 06, 2013, 02:55:17 AM »
When a couple of region lords can control whether a realm 'merges' it seems like begging an exercise in sophistry to try and parse the difference between a 'friendly merger' and 'the last lords jumping ship.'

Chenier

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #5: July 06, 2013, 03:18:31 AM »
It's tricky from the perspective of the individual lords; the line between "region changing sides" and "realm changing sides" gets hard in very small realms.

At the same time, this seems pretty cut and dry. This is clearly a collaboration between Alaster and Pierre to merge the whole realm in in a friendly fashion.

Total eradication is friendly?

This isn't like when Luria Nova absorbed the other Lurian realms, to basically continue the Lurian Empire thing they had going, leaving everyone with their prestige and titles. D'Hara is not friendly to Terran. D'Hara doesn't want to preserve or honor Terran. And Alaster doesn't get to keep anything out of it. Honestly, I'm not even sure he'd be allowed to stay in D'Hara even if he tried. He's basically sabotaging his own realm, alone. It also isn't as if the realm is viable: he's not chosing to destroy what could have survived as an independant realm, he's simply chosing the conqueror he prefers. Remember:

Quote
Realm mergers are illegal. Realms may surrender to another, including annihilation of their lands, but they may not merge as equal entities on friendly terms.

This is, in my eyes, a clear surrender, not a merger. They do not merge as even remotely equal entities. Alaster did try to get a bunch of concessions from D'Hara at first, but was plainly told that would not happen. And the Kabrinski family are hardly friends to D'Hara.
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Anaris

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #6: July 06, 2013, 03:23:07 AM »
Were Terran and D'Hara at war before this?

Because if not, I think that the "surrender" argument is on shaky ground.

I think it's also appropriate to point out that despite their being Magistrates, Vellos and Chénier are both directly involved in this case, and thus can only speak as well-informed players.
Timothy Collett

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Chenier

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #7: July 06, 2013, 03:30:21 AM »
Were Terran and D'Hara at war before this?

Because if not, I think that the "surrender" argument is on shaky ground.

I think it's also appropriate to point out that despite their being Magistrates, Vellos and Chénier are both directly involved in this case, and thus can only speak as well-informed players.

They weren't at war, perhaps not, but their official diplomatic relations are a relic of the past. Neither Barca nor D'Hara could have expelled Terran without going through a war period with each other, and both realms had other priorities. That does not mean they were friendly, however, or that they planned on a long period of good neighboring.
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Anaris

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #8: July 06, 2013, 03:33:16 AM »
They weren't at war, perhaps not, but their official diplomatic relations are a relic of the past. Neither Barca nor D'Hara could have expelled Terran without going through a war period with each other, and both realms had other priorities. That does not mean they were friendly, however, or that they planned on a long period of good neighboring.

If there was no real danger of being destroyed by D'Hara, then this cannot meaningfully count as a surrender.

That exception was written into the realm merger rule to permit a realm that has clearly lost an ongoing war to surrender before the foe that has defeated them, not to allow realms that aren't on the best of terms to have one give all its regions to the other just so the smaller can avoid being destroyed by a foe they dislike more.
Timothy Collett

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #9: July 06, 2013, 03:38:31 AM »
Just to add something more: I have heard that there have been at least casual discussions of how D'Hara will re-found Terran out of these lands once the war is over and the brouhaha has died down.

If possible, I would like to see evidence of this. If not, I would like to see some firm denials from people who would know.

However, I would note that casual discussion of such a topic may not end up being viewed as evidence of further intent to break the realm merger rule; it may simply help clarify what is going on here. Much depends on the specifics, which is why I would like to see the messages in question.
Timothy Collett

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Vellos

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #10: July 06, 2013, 03:44:42 AM »
Letter from Pierre von Genf   (18 hours, 5 minutes ago)
Message sent to everyone in your realm (30 recipients)
Welcome to D'Hara, Lord Grayson of Gretchew.

I owe an explanation to D'Harans for your coming, for it is not a surprise to me, even though the timing is. I have held talks with Grandmaster Alaster of Terran concerning their realm's fate. As you know, it is very unlikely that Terran will survive the combined assault of Phantaria and the Farronite Republic.

Grandmaster Alaster has accepted to transfer the regions of Terran to D'Hara once if and when he believed that there were no actual chance of defending them. In exchange, he only asked that only Astroist Lords be appointed to these regions, so as to comply with his oath to the church not to leave lands in other hands, something to which I readily agreed. As such, Lord Grayson retain the rights to Gretchew within D'Hara.

The capital, of course, would eventually have to be taken by force, and the same rule would apply as to its Lords.

Which brings me to a plan I have considered for some time now. D'Hara is becoming stretched almost to the breaking point. To keep these lands, it would better to split off into an eastern realm on the islands and the Sallowcape and a Maroccidens realm comprising Paisly, Chesney and Saffalore. Both realms would be viable. Both realms would be republican. And both realms would share a constitutional monarch, King Machiavel, who would hold the single D'Haran crown. I feel this would be a great boon for nobles of both sides.

This can be done quickly if we are to take these lands. What do you say?

Pierre von Genf
Prime Minister of D'Hara
Royal of D'Hara
Priest of Sanguis Astroism



Seems pretty explicit to me.

Also, Hireshmont isn't very involved in this. He didn't even hear about it until today and isn't in either D'Hara or Terran: he's a conscientious objector in a third party realm supporting a war against Terran.
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Chenier

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #11: July 06, 2013, 03:59:18 AM »
Just to add something more: I have heard that there have been at least casual discussions of how D'Hara will re-found Terran out of these lands once the war is over and the brouhaha has died down.

If possible, I would like to see evidence of this. If not, I would like to see some firm denials from people who would know.

However, I would note that casual discussion of such a topic may not end up being viewed as evidence of further intent to break the realm merger rule; it may simply help clarify what is going on here. Much depends on the specifics, which is why I would like to see the messages in question.

It is in no way the refounding of Terran. Talks about the creation of a new joint colony in Chesney has been going on for a while between the regional leaders, but the Chateau originally had nothing to do with it and it certainly wasn't to create a new Terran. Pierre's letter refers to the addition of the Chateau to this plan, but he did not consult the other regional leaders before writing that letter, hence the !@#$storm that broke out.
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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #12: July 06, 2013, 05:32:06 AM »
I would like to submit the collective discussion, mostly ooc, from D'hara.

Quote
Letter from Pierre von Genf   (1 day, 20 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in your realm (30 recipients)
Welcome to D'Hara, Lord Grayson of Gretchew.

I owe an explanation to D'Harans for your coming, for it is not a surprise to me, even though the timing is. I have held talks with Grandmaster Alaster of Terran concerning their realm's fate. As you know, it is very unlikely that Terran will survive the combined assault of Phantaria and the Farronite Republic.

Grandmaster Alaster has accepted to transfer the regions of Terran to D'Hara once if and when he believed that there were no actual chance of defending them. In exchange, he only asked that only Astroist Lords be appointed to these regions, so as to comply with his oath to the church not to leave lands in other hands, something to which I readily agreed. As such, Lord Grayson retain the rights to Gretchew within D'Hara.

The capital, of course, would eventually have to be taken by force, and the same rule would apply as to its Lords.

Which brings me to a plan I have considered for some time now. D'Hara is becoming stretched almost to the breaking point. To keep these lands, it would better to split off into an eastern realm on the islands and the Sallowcape and a Maroccidens realm comprising Paisly, Chesney and Saffalore. Both realms would be viable. Both realms would be republican. And both realms would share a constitutional monarch, King Machiavel, who would hold the single D'Haran crown. I feel this would be a great boon for nobles of both sides.

This can be done quickly if we are to take these lands. What do you say?
Pierre von Genf
Prime Minister of D'Hara
Royal of D'Hara
Priest of Sanguis Astroism

Letter from Rurik Clarke   (1 day, 9 hours ago)
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Prime Minister,

I am opposed to accepting the regions of Terran. I am opposed to a pledge to place those regions under the lordship of any specific religion as lords are chosen by their peers based on ability. I am opposed to spiting any of D'hara's traditional lands off into another realm.

More importantly, I am opposed to your continued diplomatic policy of provoking other realms into declaring war on D'hara.

(ooc: Furthermore, such actions are not allowed to my understanding. It is a clear case of "peaceful" realm merging which is been disallowed by word of Tom.)
Rurik Clarke
Duke of Port Nebel
Margrave of Port Nebel

Out-of-Character from Pierre von Genf   (1 day, 8 hours ago)
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Tom has always been clear that while merging among equals is disallowed, surrendering is clearly allowed. Terran is being soundly defeated as of now. It is normal that they would seek refuge elsewhere. I am confident that this is strictly within the rules.
Olivier landry

Out-of-Character from Rurik Clarke   (1 day, 8 hours ago)
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Well, you can try painting it as a surrender, thou I am unsure how you surrender to someone who you are not in conflict with. It would be a technicality at best, which Tom is traditional fond of...
Dan Rhinehart

Out-of-Character from Kay Kinsey   (1 day, 4 hours ago)
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As long as one Terran region remains, it's fine. It's a technicality but it's hard to tell where you draw the line. No one was punished when almost all of Solaria merged into Luria Nova, leaving behind a non-viable rural region in the middle of nowhere.

There would be trouble if that one last region joined D'Hara, though. You can't surrender to a federation partner. I think that's silly.
Yangfan Wang

Out-of-Character from Machiavel Chénier   (1 day, 3 hours ago)
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It's vassalization... We are destroying the theocracy, eradicating the name, to put something D'Haran in its place. This is not a merger of equals. It's well within the rules.
Dominic

Out-of-Character from Rurik Clarke   (1 day, 2 hours ago)
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As far as I can tell, and with what I've heard from a game dev on the issue, it is a planned peaceful realm merger. That is not allowed.

Furthermore, Dustin O. (player of the Kabrinski family) should know this better than anyone. From the Kabrinskia Realm Merger Magistrate case:
Realm mergers are illegal. Realms may surrender to another, including annihilation of their lands, but they may not merge as equal entities on friendly terms.
You can't paint it as surrendering because it is not. Terran and D'hara are not enemies. You cannot take over the regions of another realm on friendly terms. The welcome and friendly take over of all the regions of a realm is not allowed.

While the Kabrinskia Realm Merger case had the issue of the "last duchy allegiance change" bug, the verdict clarifies that the bug only made mergers easier, but the policy on them is independent of the bug.

Calling it "vassalization" or "surrendering" is just a rather poor attempt to pretend that it is different from previous cases and not against the rules.

For referance, previous cases are:

Merger of Solaria and Luria Nova
forum board <Edit: Was a link to relevant case>
Verdict: Guilty with one day lock

Kabrinskia Realm Merger
forum board <Edit: Was a link to relevant case>
Verdict: Guilty with three day lock
Dan Rhinehart

Out-of-Character from Machiavel Chénier   (1 day, 1 hour ago)
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I disagree, it's a total surrender. The new Terran has nothing to do with the Old Republic, the federation status is illegitimate, and we would not lift a finger to help this new Terran if they asked it. We aren't trying to preserve them under a new banner.
Dominic

Out-of-Character from Rurik Clarke   (1 day, 1 hour ago)
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I will say again. You don't surrender to people who you are not fighting. Even though D'hara will need to "declare war" to take the last region, there is no conflict. It is prearranged and is a peaceful act. It is a merger.

No amount of rule lawyering will change that. And Tom's thoughts on rule lawyers should be well known and surrounded with lightning bolts.

Also, saying that D'hara would not lift a finger to help Terran is false. What do you think is happening? Offering political asylum is generally not considered a harmful act.
Dan Rhinehart

Out-of-Character from Machiavel Chénier   (1 day ago)
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Right, because there was a ton of bolts given when the Lurias merged.

Oh wait...

As a magistrate, I'm telling you that I would not expect this to warrant any sanctions. Far worse has been done with no punishment.

And we aren't granting them asylum, we are profiting of an opportunity to satisfy our own expansionist ambitions. This may not be the case for your character, but a bunch of southern characters hate the idea of a theocracy in 'moot lands, and equally hate the idea of a Kabrinski in power. The Chateau would make a perfect addition for the colony that was discussed.
Dominic

Out-of-Character from Rurik Clarke   (1 day ago)
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As a magistrate, I'm telling you that I would not expect this to warrant any sanctions. Far worse has been done with no punishment.

Implication: Because we won't get punished for not following this rule, we shouldn't follow the rule.
Dan Rhinehart

Out-of-Character from Machiavel Chénier   (1 day ago)
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If things are not worthy of sanction or reprimand, then they are not against the rules.

Your interpretation of the no realm-merger rule is not the same as the one made by the bodies entrusted with enforcing the said rule.

There is no equal-to-equal union here, which is what is prohibited. We aren't forming an Empire where Terran basically continues to exist. We are destroying it. If their ruler prefers being destroyed by D'Haran than Phantaria, than be it. It doesn't make it against the rules. And there's nothing to say we wouldn't have declared war on them anyways once they were down to their capital.
Dominic

Out-of-Character from Rurik Clarke   (1 day ago)
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To quote the interpretation of the Magistrates from the verdict of the Kabrinskia Realm Merger case:
Realm mergers as stated in the Rules and Policies does not, as originally envisioned, refer to a 'push button to join' another realm but through the welcome and friendly take over of all the regions of a realm which is not allowed. Realm mergers are only allowed if all its regions are taken over through war. This would be the meaning of 'no friendly realm mergers allowed'. Also, previously, the last duchy (with the capital) could not join another realm. This was regulated through game mechanics.

It is currently through a bug that realm mergers with the last duchy containing the capital can join another realm by 'pushing a button'. Even so, any merger of an entire realm by its original conception whether it is by by pushing a button or through the friendly takeover of all its regions outside of a war is not allowed.

Your interpretation seems to be the one which is at odds with the body entrusted with enforcing said rule.
Dan Rhinehart

Out-of-Character from Machiavel Chénier   (1 day ago)
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No, it isn't. "All" includes the Chateau, which WOULD be taken through war. We aren't exploiting of a bug, like they did in Luria Nova, to do what we shouldn't be supposed to be able to do. The rule requires hostile action, which would be taken.
Dominic

Out-of-Character from Rurik Clarke   (23 hours, 52 minutes ago)
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Firstly;
Realm mergers as stated in the Rules and Policies does not, as originally envisioned, refer to a 'push button to join' another realm but through the welcome and friendly take over of all the regions of a realm which is not allowed.
 
Realm mergers are only allowed if all its regions are taken over through war.

Secondly, a "war" where the "enemy" willingly hands over all but their last holding and then invites us to come and get the last one because they want us to have it is not a war. This has all been prearranged and is therefor a peaceful merger.

The rule on realm mergers existed before the bug which allowed for the Lurian merger. Without the bug, a war to take the last region would always be required. Therefor, a peaceful realm merger, during the point that the rule was written, was written with the understanding that there would be a "war".
Dan Rhinehart

Out-of-Character from Gornak Gellander   (22 hours, 58 minutes ago)
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Let's cut the OOC chatter, which is ALSO discouraged on Dwilight.

If and when we take that final region, open case, Rurik. I have saved our message log from the past 2 days to provide as evidence.

So, I suggest we all drop it, and we can let the Magistrates argue about it when the time comes. No need for us to argue about it.
Eric Henson

End of conversation.

egamma

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #13: July 06, 2013, 06:41:44 AM »
I have the same posts as the Silent One has, saved from my message log yesterday, in case it is needed.

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Re: Terran-D\'Hara Realm Merger
« Reply #14: July 06, 2013, 01:52:53 PM »
As the "plaintiff" here, I think you know where my biases lie. That said, I present another quote from the Kabrinskia case:

Quote
It is currently through a bug that realm mergers with the last duchy containing the capital can join another realm by 'pushing a button'. Even so, any merger of an entire realm by its original conception whether it is by by pushing a button or through the friendly takeover of all its regions outside of a war is not allowed.
Gretchew, Saffalore = "pushing a button"

Chateau Saffalore = "friendly takeover outside of a war"

I would suppose - without knowing - that "war" here refers to a previously active war with IC reasons, and not just mechanics-based declarations of war, because those are always necessary to TO a region and thus "takeover outside of a war" by that definition would be impossible.
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