Peace at hand
KERKYRA - A peace treaty between Illyrian and Westphalia was confirmed on a today's press-conference at Illyrian Regional HQ in Kerkyra by the local media militia chieftain. As he said, the agreement is a result of long and difficult negotiations. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank our merciful gods - and I am sure each and every one of us will thank those supreme power, whatever we conceive those powers to be - that peace is at hand. Both our and Westphalian troops are standing down and, in the following days, will position themselves on their respective sides of a demarcation zone agreed by our diplomats."
As the media chieftain said, the demarcation line on Illyrian side will be adjusted according to the earlier agreement with Metis, meaning that the Illyrian Chiefdom is now effectively at peace with all of its neighbours, while securing an "acceptable patch of land for the growth of our nation".
Replying to the question about the Metis military units spotted in the Long Valley area, chieftain said that, so far, those units are well within the Metis sphere of influence and do not represent a threat. "However, we will monitor the situation carefully and, if our estimate changes, we will be ready for a swift reply. However, we do not believe this will happen. We may still live in a Stone Age, but we are not barbarians. We will definitely ask before throwing spears."
This does not mean that the Illyrian military will be demobilising. There are new cities that are being founded daily which will need military protection, but there is also a situation developing in the west, where Illyrian allies, the Etruscians, have encountered hostile resistance to their exploration and settling endeavours. "We will act in accordance with our allies, which may mean that we will send a limited defensive contingent to help them contain the menace, if it turns out that it can't be contained diplomatically."
When asked if the short conflict with Westphalia can be considered a victory or a defeat, the chieftain was resolute: "For us it is definitely a victory. In any skirmish there is an unclear outcome unless the enemy was totally annihilated. However, in this case, we have to consider the goals of each side. On our side, we aimed to protect our cities and repel the enemy away from our land. That goal was fully reached leaving no room for doubt, and also some of our tactical goals got confirmed and strengthened. We can only wonder what were Westphalian goals. If they were to disrupt our peacetime production and slow down our expansion, they definitely failed because in the next few cycles we will increase the number of our cities twofold. If the goal was to decrease mutual trust, that, however, succeeded, but we hope that this treaty will be a step toward renewing this trust."
The press conference was disrupted by an incident when an unknown female civilian unrolled a sign that said "Never Forgive the Butchers!" and, while the security was dragging her away, shouted slogans that asked for justice for the civilians slain during the Westphalian aggression. After the order in the press hut was restored, the media chieftain briefly commented: "All victims will be dearly remembered, but we must consider the well-being of our whole nation and make sure not to succumb to hate and vengeance, but to ensure that such crimes are never commited again. Because if we fail in that, we can protest all we want, it will not return our dead."
As the conference closed, the journalists leaving the building noticed a group of Illyrian Shamans and Mystic Workers Association representatives holding a small picket line in the main streat of Kerkyra, protesting against the authorities' evocation of "gods", "deities" and "supreme powers". "As we all know, no thing as superior beings exist", said one of the ISAMWA representatives. "There are some scholars who are toying with the idea of something called Politheism, but mentioning those non-existing entities in an official communique is an insult to the forest and other nature spirits who govern our lives and whom we consider our equals. This kind of behaviour may have serious repercussions on the spiritual balance of our nation and environment and for that we ask that the Illyrian HQ asks for forgiveness by offering sacrifice at our central shrines." As the press conference was over, the HQ representatives weren't available for comment regarding this issue.