Raise a glass
Nicole sat down next to her big brother and waited for him to finish work on the plate he was painting. It didn't do to interrupt him or he'd have to start over. They worked you hard at the Little Mother orphanage - but it was a lot better than being on the street.
"What do you think she's like?"
"The Empress dummy. The new one. What do you think she's like?"
"I dunno. She's from the League aint she. Bet she's dressed like a merchant prince. Temeschwari - I think. "
"I reckon she's got golden skin. Like the one in the picture."
"You know. The picture. The one of the Empress with the golden skin that Goaty keeps behind his bar."
"That's an eternal you flaming idiot."
"Oh... Do you reckon the Empress is an eternal then?"
It is the dawn of a new Throne, and the citizens of the Empire are preparing to celebrate the coronation. Holberg, Tassato, and Temeschwar in particular are abuzz with preparations for festivities to follow the coronation, but there is excitement everywhere. Weavers and crafters and victuallers are hard at work creating swathes of bunting, plates marked with the Empress's likeness, and deep stocks of food and drink for the week-long street parties planned. Even Sarvos, wounded Sarvos, has weathered the storm of its occupation and now looks forward to the coronation eagerly.
Of course, much of the coin to pay for all this entertainment is coming from the pockets of prosperous citizens. So far, enough has been raised for some minor festivities - but many are hoping for something more grand. Proud citizens of the League are being encouraged to dig deep to celebrate the elevation of one of her own, while others urge their fellows to prepare revelries to rival the League and remind the Empress that she is Imperial now. Whisper it quietly but no-one wants another Giselle.
Despite countless acts of prosperity from individual citizens, it is clear that to create something truly memorable, something momentous, will require spending on a grand scale. And the burden for anything on that scale is likely to fall on the Senate - or at least require their support.
Estimations have been drawn up for the costs of funding increasingly extensive and elaborate celebrations across the Empire. If the Senate wish to ensure that the celebrations are effectively organized then someone will have to take responsibility for it. A single Senate motion would identify the individual the civil service needed to liaise with - and it could also authorize the disbursement of Imperial funds if the senators saw fit. That individual could then receive any donations from wealthy individuals attending the Anvil who wishes to supplement the Senate's bounty with a show of Pride and Prosperity as well as anything the Imperial Synod saw fit to allocate from the Virtue fund.
Whenever a new Throne is elected, if is almost invariably a time of difficulty for the Empire so there are always critics and misers arguing that now is just not the right time, and that the money could be better spent elsewhere. However, while the true purpose of the celebrations is raise the morale of the citizens of the Empire and celebrate this important moment, canny occupants of the Throne have been able to use the opportunity to urge citizens to unite behind their vision of the Empire's destiny and use the unity of purpose that results to reap certain benefits. If the Empire does see fit to orchestrate suitable celebrations then the new Empress and her advisers will need to think carefully what to say in the traditional celebratory message.
If the Senate passes a motion to approve grand celebrations and is able to find at least 80 thrones to pay for them, the Empire will benefit from the resulting surge in morale and Virtue. The scale of the benefits is dependent on the scale of the celebrations; the nature of them will be determined by the wording of the short celebratory message dictated by The Throne. The Throne may choose any message they like for the citizens of the Empire - this is entirely a matter for The Throne and her advisers - but they must ensure that a copy of their message is provided to the civil servants at Anvil so that it can be reproduced and spread across the Empire.
Grand celebrations can be arranged for 80 thrones. This will pay for parades, street entertainment, decorations and food across the Empire, including the hiring of a great number of entertainers, musicians and artists for the duration. It will significantly improve the morale of the Empire.
When Britta took the Throne she sent a message that was to loyal citizens at every celebration urging them to support her efforts to rebuild the military strength of the Empire. The surge of Imperial Pride and Vigilance that resulted saw citizens signing up to aid many of the Imperial armies or donating much-needed resources to the war effort, giving those armies not engaged in campaign additional resupply worth equivalent 5 wains each. When Emperor James ascended the resulting celebrations set the tone for his rule - with citizens urged to provide what they could to help strengthen the fortifications of the Empire. The resulting donations went much of the way to repair the badly damaged Tower of the Dawn in the Barrens.
Breath-taking celebrations can be arranged for 250 thrones.
This will pay for feasts to fill the bellies of all who attend glorious banquets; there will be amazing works of artifice and troupe upon troupe of musicians and actors to entertain those who attend with plays, operas, masquerades, fireworks, and displays of magical lights imported from Urizen. Grand magical auras and rituals will be created to entertain and delight the population, heralds of the Realms and foreign dignitaries invited, and visitors will gather from across the Empire to partake.
While Emperor Nicovar is rarely spoken of these days, he was considered a brilliant ruler in the early years of his reign. While his message to the citizens was a little dry, it was still sufficient to move minds and much of the expansion of the Lyceum was paid for with the grateful support of citizens urged by the Emperor to support his plans to expand the academic and civic infrastructure of the Empire.
Wondrous celebrations can be arranged for 500 thrones.
This will pay for such festivities as can barely be imagined. The cities of the League will be transformed into wonderlands for a week, places where the revelry never ceases even as the reveller stumbles upon sight after sight that they never would have expected. Bridges of magical glass will be conjured to link the spires of Urizen so that the celebrations may travel from mountain to mountain. There will be a grand tourney for the Dawnish citizens - every nation of the Empire will create unforgettable celebrations; exotic imports and bizarre foreign beasts will be put on show; the skies will light up with endless fireworks and magical displays. The Realms and foreign powers will be even more impressed, and even Sumaah will have to admit the Empire's Prosperity.
This will be a celebration greater than any in living memory, rivalling the fabled glories of the celebrations that accompanied the coronations of Empress Richilde and Emperor Giovanni. When Empress Teleri was crowned, her message of celebration to the Empire stressed the vital place of Prosperity even in the most difficult times - but reminded the citizens of the need to follow all the virtues. The resulting fervour saw great investment in churches and congregations the length and breadth of the land and as a result the civil servants supporting the Synod were able to permanently increase the amount of true liao they produced.
The Celebratory Message
Regardless of how the Senate chooses to fund the celebrations, a key element will be The Throne's message to the people of the Empire. The celebration is an opportunity for the new Throne to address the whole Empire with a concise message laying out what they intend their reign to achieve.
There are many historical examples the new Throne might look to for inspiration, but the choice made by each Empress is unique. It is impossible for the civil service to say what effects the message will have - that is dependent on what the Empress chooses to say, but experience shows that the most effective messages are those that are concise and elucidate a clear vision or agenda. The most successful messages are those that seek to inspire the citizens of the Empire.
The historical examples listed are purely examples - the outcome of the celebratory message will be determined after the event by the campaign team based on the wording chosen and the level of Pride and Prosperity inspired by the festivities.
The Senate agreed to disburse 40 thrones towards the celebrations, and appointed Cesare Sanguineo Rezia Di Tassato (senator for Tassato) to oversee preparations. You can learn more about these celebrations here.