The Holy Empire of Echyan
These were trying times for the Empire. On her borders, an army of Barbarians swelled, ravaging her neighbors and threatening at any moment to pour over the borders and bring death and destruction to the nation. Though fortifications were under construction, most had little faith the Echyan army could hold against such a threat, superior in both quality and quantity. The Echyan army consisted of little more than unorganized militias; poorly trained and equipped with muskets from antiquity. Efforts were being made to modernize their forces, but it was little too late after decades of neglect. The Echyan navy, the pride of the nation, both large and strong, would help little to hold back the barbarians from sweeping through their lands. The arrival of other European powers would provide the only hope Echyan could have in defending its land.
In was in these uncertain times that the old Basileus, John VIII Palaiologos, chose to take his final breath, leaving the nation alone in these trying times. It was therefore paramount that a new Basileus was decreed with due haste. The deceased's eldest son, Dragases Constantine Palaiologos, was quickly crowned after a rushed and uninspiring funeral. It was not the romantic event the young king had hoped he crowning would be, the grim weight of reality resting on his shoulders and the death of his father tearing at his heartstrings. But there was little time for mourning, he had a nation to lead.
In his crowning address to his Lords and his people, he swore to drive back the barbarian hordes from European lands. Their army, disrespected and forgotten, would be revitalized and whipped into a proper defensive force. A powerful navy alone would not protect their people or their interests from those who would seek to hinder and harm them. The loss by Aontas was a grim warning of what could come if another power developed an eye for Echyan land. He vowed to continue the economic and industrial pursuits of his father, spurring forward as a continued leader in the embracement of the new industrial age. Promised was also the expansion of the Echyan colonies, well developed and on good terms with the natives, they would in time be integrated in their society as equals, purified through God and Blood (this refers to mixing of their bloodlines through marriages rather than slaughter). Echya would of course, maintain he neutrality- but never again to the point that other nations could brush them asside.
The first action of newly crowned Basileus Dragases would be to extend a much needed olive branch to the nation of Attolia. The Redcliff bastards had denied their army transit through their lands, giving the Barbarian hordes free-reign to rape and pillage and leaving Echya without help. The Attollian army needed transport- and Echya would provide. The nations SLoops and a large fleet of Third_Rates were sent out to pick up the Attollian army and deliver it to Echya herself. Hopefully they would arrive in time to fend off the Barbarian hordes...
With relations rising with Atollia, who had historically not been much of a friend, the Basileus quickly moved on to alliance building. The people of Echya were highly devout. Though they had not always seen eye to eye with the Viponists and the pope, they held much respect for their brothers in faith. Their assistance in the crusade was already pledged.
Further more, Echya found herself with few allies. The Basileus would see to it that this would not remain. Aggressors were about Europe... Echya would need friends to aid in her defense and in the defense of others. The Empire had long stood for peace and trade among nations, and it seemed important now more than ever that she made her stand for it. It was for these reasons, that Echya would send a petition to the members of the Continental Alliance, requesting entrance on the basis of mutual defense, open trade and mutual benefit and to maintain balance and peace in the European continent. The Basileus understands that the Pope and her allies may have reservations about letting a nation devout to outside denomination join, but the Basileus of Echya has shown respect for the Pope and shall continue to do so, acknowledging his place under God and the authority that comes with it. Echya will make no attempt to undermine Viponism- nor has it ever, and nor shall it desire to. Echya wishes nothing more but the spread of the True Faith and peace in Europe. Echya sees the goals of herself and the Continental Alliance as quite the same, and so Echya's inclusion in it would only be natural. If it is peace in Europe they want, then there should be no reason why a peaceful nation focused on but trade should not be allowed within the Alliance ranks.