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[Stormark Embassy] Getting to know the Ambassador
A missive soon made it way to the desk of the Storish Ambassador, begging leave to request when an audience might be made available for the youngest Caputian Minister to attend, to discuss matters of reconstruction, infrastructure, trade, and other mutual interests.
By return of post a Note of Reply was delivered at the Office of Reconstruction and Infrastructure by a Storish diplomatic courier. The note is addressed to the Caputian Minister of Reconstruction and Infrastructure and brings tidings from the Storish Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Union of Caputia.

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Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Esther Fatima Gudrid of the Houses of Waffel-Paine, of Ayreon-Kalirion, and of the Descendants of Freyja 

Earla of Anglia 
Earla of Nådens Havn
Storish Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Union of Caputia


His Excellency Gerhardt Eugen Seydlitz 
Her Caputian Majesty's Minister of Reconstruction and Infrastructure and Lord Great Chamberlain

A Note of Reply

Your Excellency,

It pleases me to inform you that your request for an audience has been granted. 

Please be advised that I am willing, able and ready to receive you in audience at the Imperial Storish Embassy, which is temporarily situated at 27 Avenue Lewis in the city of Zalae, to discuss matters of reconstruction, infrastructure, trade, and other mutual interests of the Kingdom of the Union of Caputia and the High Realm of Stormark.

With Affection and Esteem,

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Esther of Anglia
Storish Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Union of Caputia
The missive, on receipt, was treated with all appropriate ceremony. Instead of being folded, it was rolled, tied with ribbon, and tucked into a drawer. That accomplished, the Minister went about further state business.

At the appointed time and date, the Minister, dressed very formally in a dark business suit, inveigled his way through a military transport, and was dropped off at the appropriate location, where he wiped his brow, checked his hair, looked around for the nearby sentries, and did what he could to ring the doorbell.
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The door was answered by a Valiant Vixen security guard who, after having verified the His Excellency's identity, entrusted the Caputian Minister to a footman who quickly ushered him to the Lady Ambassador's drawing room on the second floor.

At the drawing room Minister Seydlitz was warmly welcomed by Her Imperial and Royal Highness the Storish Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Union of Caputia.

The Princess Esther then invited His Excellency to Afternoon Tea to discuss the matters of import he had in mind while enjoying this exquisite teatime meal with her.

After the two of them had taken their places at the teatime table, a string quartet appeared. They bowed deeply for the Lady Ambassador and the Minister withdrew to a corner of the drawing room and started playing solemn but cheerful tunes to accompany the dignataries meal.

Footmen served Her Imperial and Royal Highness and His Excellency tea from silver set engraved with the arms of the Earldom of Anglia as well as delicate savouries - such as cucumber sandwiches, egg and cress sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, cakes and pastries - from silver tiered stands.

The meal commenced after a toast to the health of High King Harald of Stormark and Queen Elisabeth of Caputia and the good fortunes of both monarchs' realms and territories.  
Esther Fatima Gudrid of the Houses of Waffel-Paine, of Ayreon-Kalirion, and of the Descendants of Freyja 
Earla of Anglia 
Earla of Nådens Havn
A part of him was wondering if he was underdressed, even if he was clad in a formal business suit. Then again, Seydlitz thought, the Storish would likely understand that their host nation had just emerged from a very uncivil Civil War, and designating what proper Court dress was the least of their new Queen's problems, what with the nation still in ruins.

This was definitely High Tea, if there was such a thing, and it was also something of an educational experience. There was much ceremony, as was to be expected, but on the whole, it was very pleasant.

The meal commenced, and he rendered the appropriate exclamations at the appropriat times, none of which were false. Seydlitz, for example, had not tasted cream in his homeland since before the war, and it was a treat that he had last sampled during his studies in Alexandria, and he told the princess so. The tea was excellent, as could be expected, and the entrepreneur in him was already wondering if a small cafe might just make it, here in Zalae.

What was he supposed to say now? Of course there were the usual preliminaries, safe topics of conversation. He had to remind himself that he also represented Her Caputian Majesty's Government, and had to be on his best behavior.

"We greatly appreciate the High Realm's friendship and assistance given our recent troubles. What does the High Realm consider its strongest industries, one that Micras nations might, in your opinion, do well to emulate?"
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With delight did the Princess Esther of Anglia watch her honoured guest - His Excellency Gerhardt Eugen Seydlitz, Her Caputian Majesty's Minister of Reconstruction and Infrastructure - relish his meal.

From early on entertaining guests had been one of Her Imperial and Royal Highness' favourite activities; when playing as a little girl she hosted parties for her dolls and by her early teens she already was an accomplished and appreciated hostess.

The opulent courts where she grew up - the Court of the Womb of the Lady Esther in Elwynn, the Court of the Three Ladies Divine in Stormark, and the Court of Hathora's Bosom in Uppland - all were, of course, ideal enviroments to master the art of royla hospitality.

One of the things Princess Esther  had also been taught was to prepare herself well for any such event of hospitality, especially topics of conversation. There came a smile on her face similar to that of her Lady Ancestor the Storjarla Björka Hnossdóttir - in other words: so bright that it could light up the entire planet -  when Minister Seydlitz came up with his first query.

"Your Excellency, the Twenty-Six Jarldoms regards as its strongest industries its energy sector, its construction sector, its agriculture and fisheries sector, its technology sector, and its luxury goods. What other countries on Micras could emulate from those Storish industries is their passion for sustainable development, their focus on renewables, and their apprenticeship system. There also is  their nurturing of entrepreneurial spirit from early on, as it serves innovation and encourages demand from the public for innovative goods and services."
Esther Fatima Gudrid of the Houses of Waffel-Paine, of Ayreon-Kalirion, and of the Descendants of Freyja 
Earla of Anglia 
Earla of Nådens Havn
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The Princess Esther of Anglia sipped her tea while wondereing if her honoured guest - His Excellency Gerhardt Eugen Seydlitz, Her Caputian Majesty's Minister of Reconstruction and Infrastructure - would have anymore questions for her.
Esther Fatima Gudrid of the Houses of Waffel-Paine, of Ayreon-Kalirion, and of the Descendants of Freyja 
Earla of Anglia 
Earla of Nådens Havn
He'd taken a sip, and then another, the pregnant pauses wearing heavy upon him as he contemplated his next move. 

Would his question unwittingly reveal national security secrets that would require the most strenuous of official denials and state repressions, or would he be seen as a patriot? He was certainly here in his official capacity, and by his lonesome, represented not only Her Majesty's Government, but also the Kingdom and its people. He was new to this diplomacy business.

"Your Imperial and Royal Highness is no doubt aware that this Kingdom has recently emerged from a most uncivil conflict that has left our country in ruins, which is the primary reason for the existence of the Ministry which I now head," said Seydlitz with a careful sip, "...and in the interim, we will require all the help that we can possibly get." 

Another sip.

"Your SEKEF, no doubt, is also aware that while we are not able to produce, or at the very least transport internally, sufficient foodstuffs, the High Realm has been gracious enough to sell, at reasonable rates, from its surplus. We may even develop a taste for the favorites of Normandie," said Seydlitz with a smile.

"Rebuilding will require a lot of effort, and a significant amount of electricity, and energy."

"We observe that the Duchy of Normandie has natural gas resources, as well as a School of Petroleum Engineering, which may prove useful. Perhaps SEKEF could assist in funding and installing the pipeline, or if you have a nearby powerplant, an insulated underground cable?"

It was quite the ask.
Rt. Hon. Lt. Gerhardt Eugen Seydlitz PC MP RCAR
Minister of Reconstruction and Infrastructure
Lord Great Chamberlain
NUP MP for Gotfriedplatz, Isles of Caputia
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Ah, Normandie!
The mere thought of the Twin Peninsula Jarldom brought a radiant smile on Princess Esther of Anglia’s face, big enough to light up the whole of the Melusine Kingdom. Her Imperial and Royal Highness closed her eyes and dreamt away.
That beautiful land of rugged hills and rolling plains, of misty vales and craggy coastlines, of blue lakes and sparkling rivers and fertile fields, of vast forests that teem with game of every sort, where half-hidden doors in the sides of wooded hills open onto labyrinthine caves that wend their way through darkness to reveal unimaginable wonders and vast treasures deep beneath the earth, was the place where her parents - the late Kaiseress Noor of Shireroth and King Noah of Elwynn - had spent a long family holiday with the mutual children of their bodies: her and Prince Vilhjálm of Amokolia. Lasting a couple of months, the family holiday had been a very happy affair. Sadly it had also been the last time that would enjoy each other’s company in such a manner before the Kaiseress Noor’s death in the year 1650. However, the good memories prevailed.
Kaiseress Noor had long resisted her husband’s desire to go on a long family holiday, because Her Imperial Magnificence and Radiant Majesty was not the woman to travel somewhere just for reasons of leisure. She had finally given in on the condition that such holiday would occur after a State Visit to the High Realm of Stormark with all the pomp, pageantry and opulence that goes with it. King Noah was overjoyed and managed to persuade his grandfather High King Harald of Stormark to organise such State Visit.

It was agreed by the couple that the family holiday was to take place in the Twin Peninsula Jarldom. Throughout her years of marriage with King Noah the Kaiseress Noor had studied Storish history and culture and had developed a taste for Norman culture, especially the ways of the Leopard Brothers, the founders of the Duchy of Normandie.
In the year 1649 AN the State Visit of Kaiseress Noor to the High Realm of Stormark took place and it was a smashing success. From the very instance that she landed in the Imperial City of Haraldsborg, Her Imperial Magnificence and Radiant Majesty awed everyone in the Lands of the Longships Throne with her regality, sophistication, intelligence, elegance, knowledge and charm, and soon she rivalled the late Lady Esther Ayreon-Kalirion in popularity.  
The Imperial and Royal Couple was in very good spirits when they departed from the Jarldom of the Longships Islands, where the State Visit had ended (the Kaiseress Noor was the Jarla of the Longships Islands), for the Duchy of Normandie. Having arrived there, one of the happiest periods of their lives commenced.
People would be hard pressed to find a couple deeper in love than Princess Esther’s parents. She fondly remembers seeing the Kaiseress Noor and King Noah of Elwynn spend extensive time together, something which they in their daily lives would not get round to because they both were ruling vast territories spread all over the globe. Long hand-in-hand walks on the Norman beaches, trying outrace each other on horseback on Normandie’s plains, and picnics in the Duchy’s many forests were among the many romantic activities the Imperial and Royal Couple undertook in the Twin Peninsula Jarldom.
One of the things that the Kaiseress Noor liked about this family holiday in Stormark was that she could take a break of the sternness and aloofness she had to display when governing the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, and indulge herself in her more mischievous side, with her husband being often at the receiving end. She was a mysterious woman of secrets and wonder who could even surprise people who had known her for a long time.
So did the Kaiseress Noor once during their Norman family holiday take - without her husband’s knowledge (she had told him that she was out shopping) - part in a local tournament held in a sleepy small town called Lyons-la-Forêt, entering the lists as a mystery knight. She won the tournament, letting a string of Norman knights bite the dust. When she reined up at the Imperial Box she - still incognito - shocked those present by presenting the laurel of pink and white desert roses to King Noah, placing it in his lap with the tip of her lance. King Noah’s jaw nearly dropped to the Floor when the Kaiseress Noor took off her helmet, causing her to say with a big fat wink: "Hey boy, have you lost your tongue?!". This all to the Olympian amusement of those within earshot.
There was also the instance that the Kaiseress Noor - after she taken her leave, telling her husband that she was going to the Imperial Ladies' Room of the Théâtre National de Normandie to powder her nose - walked onto the theater platform during the fired up staging of a musical about the life of High Queen Hervör called 'The Einherja Queen', dressed in the Royal Bunad of Normandie and played an important solo on Norman bagpipes and then saluted the audience by performing the Révérence Ibelinois. Her amazing performance stunned King Noah and their children and made the crowd go wild. 
Those were just a few of the countless occurrences in which the Kaiseress Noor displayed her awesomeness. Good times...
With a start the Princess Esther woke up from her daydream, wondering for how long she had been in that state. Her Imperial and Royal Highness quickly composed herself and replied.
"Your Excellency, the Sameinaða Erlendur Kaupsýsla Einokun Félagið would be delighted to assist the Kingdom of the Union of Caputia with all aspects of its reconstruction! We know about the ambition of Her Caputian Majesty's Government to bring the prosperity of the Lands of the Melusine Throne back to their pre-Civil War levels and the SEKEF will help you to reach that goal."

"To that end the SEKEF is very much willing assist with the funding and installing of both anatural gas pipeline and an insulated underground cable. The same goes for other projects, infrastuctural or otherwise, to help the Kingdom of the Union of Caputia to get on its feet again."
Esther Fatima Gudrid of the Houses of Waffel-Paine, of Ayreon-Kalirion, and of the Descendants of Freyja 
Earla of Anglia 
Earla of Nådens Havn

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