When the First Consul and his entourage came before the Basileus and Basileusa of Constancia they were much feasted. This went on for seven nights, with six days of rest and recuperation afforded to the honoured guests, representatives of His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of the Alexandrians.
As the sun set each evening the Alexandrian guests left the quarters where they were staying and crossed the gateway to the palace gardens. This gateway was very broad and high, beautifully decorated with blue and gold tiles. It was guarded by many gatekeepers of the Basileusan Private Guard holding maces. Even though many people congregated there each night to watch the spectacle of the visiting First Consul, none of them dared approach the gate. When the First Consul entered he encountered six of the so-called 'Woolly Giants' who were a gift from the Port Felix Wool Markets
. Each of these giants had wooden castles mounted on their backs, each of which had two banners and carried men who made the giants perform tricks for people.
The woolly giants and their antics were situated at the entrance of the garden, at the centre of which was a splendid palace, known as the Megálo Paláti tou Vey, built in the shape of a cross, which is sumptuously decorated. In the middle of the palace there were three alcoves, suitable for a bed or a dais, while the floors were covered in a mosaic of glazed tiles. The largest of these alcoves contained a silver-plated screen, as high as a man and three metres across.
The First Consul was ushered behind this screen to where the Basileus and Basileusa were seated in the porch before the entrance to several fine residences of the palace complex. There was a platform on the floor, and in front of it a fountain which spurted water very high and in which were some red apples. The Basileus and his consort were resting on small round cushions embroidered with silk, and would greet the First Consul and his interpreter warmly before inviting him to sit with them and converse amicably and informally about all manner of things. The talk frequently turned to matters of trade, the proposal that Constancia should apply for membership of the MTO and the desirability of a permanent and wide-ranging nuclear non-proliferation and test ban treaty.
Each evening at least forty-five minutes was given over to these amiable discussions, until the chill of the nighttime began to make itself felt and the Basileusa would announce that it was time to retire indoors for what she would invariably term a "modest supper".
At the Basileusa's suggestion the First Consul would extend his complements to the sovereign couple and retire to rejoin the rest of his retinue, who had by now entered into the gardens with the other invited guests, ambassadors and notables of Vey who had thronged through the gateway of the garden under the escort of a torch-lit procession of the Private Guards of the Palace.
The dining halls, as they entered into it was vast chamber with high vaulted ceilings, the walls of which were decorated with hangings of purple silk, and these hangings were in turn ornamented with gold and silver-gilt leaf, beautifully set with emeralds, pearls and other precious stones. Above these decorations, there were hung down strips of silk, thirty centimetres wide, which had a similar ornamentation to the hangings. From these strips of silk were hung silk tassels in several colours and whenever even the gentlest draught of breeze came into the chamber, the effect of the tassels swinging from side to side was both beautiful and mesmeric.
On the floor there were finely woven Euran carpets and sprinkled scented rose petals. In the middle of the chamber, before a raised dais, were two gold tables, each with four legs, and each all as a single piece. They were one and half metres long and on them were stood seven golden phials, two of which were set with large pearls, emeralds and turquoises, while each had a giant ruby set near the mouth. In addition, there were six round cups, one of which was set with a large round clear pearl rim along the outside, and in the centre it has a ruby, two fingers' breadth across and of a fine natural colour.
It was explained to the First Consul that all this wealth had come from the encampment of the Jingdaoese Marshal Xi and the traitor Prince Alexius
, which had been overrun by the Home Guard at the end of Euran War. The previous wealth of the Constancian royal family having been sacrificed to help pay for arms shipments from foreign contractors.
After Primo de Aguilar and his suite had been seated in their places of honour, to the right hand of the Basileus and Basileusa on a raised dais, the servants brought quantities of mutton, boiled, dressed and roasted, and of roast camel, a delicacy learned from the nomad tribes of the Euran interior. As soon as the Basileus called for meat, numerous men would bring it to him, bringing it forth on vast silver platters, such were the great quantities of steaming cooked flesh placed on each. When they were within twenty paces of the Basileus and his wife, carvers came to cut up the meat, the trays of which were placed on a raised stand in the full view of all present at the feast. The carvers wore aprons and had leather over-sleeves so as not to get grease upon themselves.
They took hold of the meat and cut it up, placing it in bowls, some of gold or silver, some even of glazed pottery and others of porcelain imported from Passio-Corum and very valuable and expensive. The most prized cut was a haunch of the camel, with the lion but without the leg. They cut into pieces, sufficient for ten gold and silver dishes; on them they also placed the loin of the sheep, with the leg but not the hock. On the dishes they also placed pieces of horse's tripe, as large and round as a fist, and whole sheep's heads. Around the sheep's head was set mutton & feta skewers with a brown rice salad as garnish.
In this way they filled many dishes and they arranged them in rows. Men came with bowls of broth and crumbled salt into them. They poured a little of the broth over each dish as sauce, and took some thin pieces of bread, which they folded four times and placed on the meat in the dishes.
When this was done, the courtiers of the Basileus, and the leading notables present, took hold of the dishes, which needed two, or even three, men to lift them, for one man alone did not suffice. These men would always take the finest cuts of haunch of roast camel and place them on dishes set before the Basileus and Basileusa and always on each night the Basileus would clap his hands and generously command that the choice cuts be taken and set before the First Consul as their honoured guest, and every night this continued until at last, on the final night, Primo was heard to mutter that he was exceedingly weary of camel flesh and could do with a salad instead. However the Zinjibari wine had been flowing in great quantities by this point, so no-one minded and a light Veylieon salad was provided.
When the boiled and roast meat was removed, they brought mutton, meatballs and rice prepared in a variety of ways. These were followed by quantities of fruit: melons, grapes and peaches, and from gold and silver bowls and basins they were given sherbets and yogurts to drink. All of which was accompanied by more wine, this time sourced from Luthoria, in honour of the guests.
On the final night the Mesazōn, having finally overcome his electoral travails and successfully formed a new governing coalition capable of holding the confidence of their Majesties, was invited to join the feasting. As the night drew to a close with the customary rounds of reciprocal toasting amongst the guests, the Mesazōn was invited forward to the raised Dais, where he was finally accorded permission to present unto their Majesties and the First Consul the proposed treaty between the two realms to receive their signature:
Pact of Perpetual Friendship between the Kingdom of Constancia and the Empire of the Alexandrians.
Their Majesties the Basileus and Basileusa of Constancia and His Majesty the Emperor of the Alexandrians, equally desirous to bring the relationship between their States closer to each other, have respectively appointed as their Plenipotentiaries, for Their Majesties the Basileus and Basileusa of Constancia, His Excellency Andreas Metaxas, Mesazōn of Constancia, and for His Majesty the Emperor of the Alexandrians, His Excellency Jaime Augusto Joaquin Primo de Aguilar, Third Consul of the Empire of the Alexandrians, who after having exchanged their full powers, and after full and mature discussion of the respective interests, have agreed as follows:
ARTICLE ONE: MUTUAL DEFENCE
1. The Kingdom of Constancia and the Empire of the Alexandrians agree that an armed attack against one of them shall be considered an attack against both of them and consequently they agree that, if such an attack occurs, both of them will assist the State so attacked by taking such actions as it seems necessary, including the use of armed force, so to restore and maintain the security and to restore peace.
2. This article shall not be interpreted to include attacks on a State stemming from that State’s decision to go into war or logistical support of a warring party in any conflict.
ARTICLE TWO: MARITIME BORDERS
1. The maritime borders between the States shall be governed with the provisions of the Micras Treaty Organization's Convention on the Laws of the Seas.
ARTICLE THREE: FREE TRADE AND TRANSIT
1. No systems of burdensome tariffs, taxes, searches, or regulations will be applied to goods or services produced or bought in one State and exported or sold in the other State.
2. Internal laws regarding prohibition of certain goods or products are not affected by this treaty and the States retain the right to refuse banned goods and products.
3. Transit passage is permitted only for private and commercial vessels registered to the States through the reserve zones and territorial waters solely for the purpose of continuous and expeditious travel between one part of the international waters or reserve zone and another.
4. Military vessels from one State are barred from the other State’s reserve zones and territorial waters without prior authorization.
ARTICLE FOUR: FREE MOVEMENT OF CITIZENS
1. Each State shall in its own territory allow the citizens of the other State the right to take on residency, work and study without let or hindrance in accordance with their respective laws.
2. Each State may deport a citizen of the other State only if such person has been found guilty in a native court of law of a crime, if such person is by a court of law deemed a reasonable threat to the peace, or if such person is deemed by the Executive to be an agent of the government of the other State and has engaged in espionage.
3. In criminal proceedings, a court of law in one State may request to a court of law in the other to extradite any person resident in or citizen of that first State if that resident or citizen has been indicted for a crime. Such request shall be granted unless it is obvious that the alleged crime is political in nature.
4. In criminal proceedings, a court of law in one State may request to a court of law in the other to extradite any person resident in that second State if that person has been indicted for a crime. Such request shall be granted only if agreed by the governments of the two State.
ARTICLE FIVE: INFRASTRUCTURE COOPERATION
The two States undertake to cooperate on all questions of infrastructure and movement which may affect both of them. They will consult with one another on all matters of infrastructural importance.
ARTICLE SIX: FULL FAITH AND CREDIT
Each State gives to the other full faith and credit to all public acts, records, contracts and judicial proceedings in the field of civil law, including records and documents on marriage, property, titles, death and inheritance, in as much as any act, record, document, contract, proceeding is done according to the law. Executive agreement between the governments of the States may provide for the manner that any act, record, document, contract or proceeding from one contracting party may be validated in the other.
ARTICLE SEVEN: OTHER TREATIES
1. This Pact does not absolve either State of any of its obligations under any other treaty.
2. Each State solemnly affirm that none of its current treaty obligations with other States and Powers are in conflict with this Pact.
ARTICLE EIGHT: FINAL PROVISIONS
This Pact enters force upon the exchange of ratifications which shall occur in the city of Vey as soon as possible.