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Good afternoon. This weekend marked the ninth year since the founding of Schloss Eggenberg on Digiterra, the tiny Alpine domain which hides the Schattenmann, its enigmatic and long-lived protector, body-swapping observer of time. Over the past nine years, my star on Planet Bob has pulsated, burning high when passions rose, and dimming alternatively. Since 2013, I have receded from the public stage, so many of you will not know me, and it is not my intention to type out my history again. Below this post, I will quote myself from the past for those who are interested in history. Despite my increasing inactivity, I still receive many letters asking for advice or help. It pains me every time that I have little to say in the way of specifics, anymore. What I think about the state of things is that the solution to the atrophied nature of the political scene, the silence across IRC and this OWF, the solution to breaking this gridlock of apathy is to at last discover the nature of your alliances and follow your hearts. What we have is not peace or order, as some believe or claim, but walking death. An alliance is the sum of its constituent nations regardless of the political nature of its form, whether it takes the form of a democratic autocracy (as Pacifica and Polaris) or democracy, or whatever else, the entity is the nations acting in unison. You control your alliance by your association with it. You must examine your own values, and you must examine the values of your alliance. Every alliance exists for the same reason: mutual protection, mutual growth, but every alliance differs out from that. Find the alliance whose character aligns with your own, or work to build a consensus within your alliance around the character you want it to have. Is techraiding wrong or not? Are compulsory (M-level) treaties acceptable or not? How should team Senators be used? The answers to questions like these are the character of your alliance. Once an alliance understands its identity, it must understand that to sign military treaties with alliances whose character are opposed to its own ideals is to betray itself. Would you deny your values and embrace hypocrisy for, not peace, but false truce? War is not the inevitable result or even desired result of drawing a line between yourselves and those who do not share your values. This is not a call for chaos but for fidelity. And where conflict arises between alliances of differing values, are your ideals, your character, your values not worth war? Passion stirs activity. Alliances must work to create a global situation which draws their individual members into this world and enthralls their passions to better the alliance, to better their nations, to stand apart in the world and if necessary stand opposed to the world. This mewling stagnation born of political self-betrayal is the death of interest. This has been my message since Vox Populi overthrew the global order and showed that rulers do matter, that rulers of nations are the foundation of political play, and that when rulers associate and act based upon their shared values they are powerful. It is my message to you still on the event of my ninth anniversary. The idealist can only battle the world for so long. I am sorry that I have left you all. I regret that my growing disillusion across the years made me so acerbic as to be ineffectual in the twilight of my influential years. I am so glad that Van Hoo and Doitzel have returned lately, and I hope you will stick around, and make sparks. When no one else would touch me after Vox, Van Hoo put his fledgling alliance on the line, and invested in my ideas, and made Cult of Justitia and everything that flowed from it possible; anyone who insults him insults me. I miss my old friends, I was never good at keeping in touch from one alliance to the next. I am grateful to anyone who ever read my essays, tirades, and declarations and took some part of them to heart. Writing for all of you gave me joy, and I am glad that you were entertained or moved. I am proud of the things I accomplished, though so many were in the shadows, or seemed very small in the wider world—I always prided myself on making a big bang with a small charge. Yours, Schattenmann
First off, let's give credit where credit is due: Happy 8th anniversary of the Great Greenlight to Farkistan. On this day 8 years ago--a boring Wednesday--the Greenlight ushered in over 800 nations, Schloss Eggenberg was one of them. Ironically enough, I remained unaligned for 6 months, then joined GOONS just in time for ModGate, the Moldavi Rebellion/Affair, and the UnJust War. As an unaligned, I was completely ignorant of world events, ho ho. In November, the remaining gov, Sarafina and Alastor, told us to either really surrender and get on with our lives, or fake surrender and sign up for Hidden GOONS. So, I planted one on IRON's behind and got to work as a sleeper for the next 7 months. As a Hidden Goon, I first went to RoFL, a GOLD diaspora AA, where I was made MoD because I had a copy of that expletive-filled war guide by Arcades. We merged into Purge, another GOLD diaspora AA, where the MoD resigned because RoFL sucked, so I was made MoD there. Our "protector" TPF dissolved our triumvirate and installed a viceroy one day because they were planning to merge with a Starfox startup and get a new protector, so I was made Emperor of Purge. I pissed on DarkMistress's boots on the night IRON declared on GPA, and Purge was shortlisted for a good stomping, so we disbanded. I went to Browncoats, because ChairmanHal was Prime Minister and I had a huge crush on his brain. While there, I disrupted the attempts of a bunch of crappy Polaris toadie AAs, the Dark Confederate bloc—whose graves I piss on—to kick WarriorConcept and Sarafina, the remaining 2 GOONS Senators out of the Senate, which of course resulted in a lot of threats and a court martial for me, from which I emerged victorious. A few weeks later, most of the active members poached off to form a new AA under the protection of our duplicitous ally IAA, and Hal left for Valhalla, so I ran for MoFA. There I instigated the Bubblegum War along with BDC President Zzzptm to prevent half of Black from getting drawn into the war through our treaty chains. The plot was discovered when an idiot Browncoat (probably Han Fei Zi) posted logs in an attempt to save our honor, but any moron ought to have known that he was just going to get them killed, and that's just what happened because their is no honor on Digiterra, not now or ever and especially not then. The outcome was rough, but the plan was beautiful. Whatever your opinion, it did transition me from notable OWF loudmouth to international infamy. I fought Browncoats/Polaris/Dark Confederate PZI for a few weeks, then joined TOP, where my anti-Pacifican politics made me the most popular member behind Revolution XYZ. While there, GOONS finally disbanded for real in June 2008. I got in hot water at TOP, they kicked me out and converted my rebuilding aid debt to 1,600 tech and proposed to hold me in limbo until it was repaid, and I didn't much give a rat's ass post-GOONS, so I killed myself on Manic Monday along with several other luminaries who were also fed up with the Continuum-ruled world. Fortunately, as a body-snatching time observer, I am immortal. A couple weeks later, the noCB War began and Starfox and Doitzel asked me to join them and 8 others in forming a super group to verbally thrash the evil Continuum. It was supposed to last a couple weeks and then we'd be gone again, but within 2 or 3 days over 200 nations joined our AA, and Vox Populi was thus transformed from a troll party into a real live movement that went on for 9 months and laid much of the climate change needed for Karma to take down Continuum. In Vox, my niche was a weekly publication, This Week in Pacifica, which took spy reports and made them public sport. It was a blast. Post-Vox, I founded Cult of Justitia to continue- and expand on some of the serious philosophical ideals of Vox. The seriousness of our ideals, rigorous application standards, and opposition status in the world ensured on one hand that we were never going to be very big, but on the other that what nations we had were dedicated. Those who weren't serious were shown the door, as I famously expunged half our membership on the eve our optional entry into the Doomhouse-NPO War in defense of NPO. To this day I am still extremely proud that Justitia's Cult attracted the caliber of members that it did. I also owe them all a debt of gratitude, especially Don Chele. By the end of the Equilibrium War, Justitia's Cult had run its course, and for that matter so had I, so we shut the doors on the Justitian Mystery, which I assure you is quite serious and real, and archived in only two places on this planet. Since CoJ, I have been in Polaris. Given my early history, many have been puzzled and some hostile about it, but the answer is simple and has guided me since Vox: Honor truth, not men. I do not reduce allegiance to petty friendship, but align to ideals. Polaris today is not the Polaris that PZIed me and dozens of others, it is one of very few alliances that both took Justitia's Cult and its ideals seriously, and was not afraid to be seen with us. I have mostly kept to myself since joining Polaris aside from a few months as Deputy MoFA. I set pen to paper tonight with it in mind that I was going to write just a few sentences, and here we are. Well, you all always loved me for my essays, anyway. Frankly, the last time I made an anniversary thread it was criticized as too egotistical, so by comparison I have kept this simple. I'm hesitant to make a list for fear of leaving people out, but I do want to say that there are a lot of players past and present who've been good friends or allies, and I appreciate you all. ChairmanHal has always been a voice of reason and a good friend to bounce things off of; Don Chele and Biff Webster did a lot of heavy lifting in CoJ; however depraved we were, long hours in #goonrush were a lot of fun with some funny and mostly good people; Sigrun, Van Hoo III, Dajobo, BloodFury, Yawoo and Daggarz were invaluable allies; and the entire Vox crew (there were 200-300 of you and I'm sorry I don't know you when you query me nowadays). That's it. I guess if you want to get interactive I'll answer any questions or return any barbs.