An embassy from one nation to another is much more than a matter of showing up at court. Ambassadors must be formally received and their credentials accepted before the embassy can be begun. In the Great Kingdom and now in its chiefmost successor state - Ahlissa - ambassadorial receptions are grand affairs, unlike anything found anywhere else.
The Reception of Ambassadors
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, GVDammerung
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Date: Patchwall 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 22nd and 25th
Location: Kalstrand (formerly Rauxes)
In the old Great Kingdom, much fanfare, pomp and circumstance accompanied an annual reception of ambassadors by the Overking. Each year the Overking would receive the ambassadors to his court in ceremonies affirming of the Great Kingdom’s importance upon the world stage. With the Fall of Rauxes and the disintegration of the last vestiges of the Great Kingdom, the traditional Reception of the Ambassadors has been taken up in Kalstrand, capital of Ahlissa, and would-be imperial successor to the former glory of the Great Kingdom of the Aerdi. Its form is virtually unchanged from the former practice in Rauxes. The Reception of the Ambassadors plays out over nearly a month.
A Formal Reception of all ambassadors occurs on the 10th of Patchwall. Each and every ambassador to the court in Kalstrand must present themselves before the Overking of Ahlissa, where their papers as duly sworn representatives of their home governments are accepted, their right to have an embassy is reaffirmed or established, any special claims may be presented to the Overking, any special demands may be made by the Overking and mutual greetings and understandings are exchanged. All of the courtiers attendant upon the Overking and each of the ambassadors are present and particular notables within an ambassadorial entourage or honored guests may be formally presented to the Overking. The Formal Reception is a nearly day long affair with a hold on the proceedings only for luncheon.
On the 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th and 22nt of Patchwall, the six most prominent embassies will hold ambassadorial receptions for the Overking and his court at their embassy. No expense in spared playing host to His Imperial Majesty. These receptions are afternoon affairs that conclude with a ball and feast. By tradition, the Furyondian embassy hosts the first ambassadorial reception and ball on the 12th, recognizing and honoring the position of the ancient Viceroyalty of Ferrond in the precedence.
Nyrond, always out of step with the former Great Kingdom, when it had an ambassador at all, traditionally hosts the last ambassadorial reception and ball on the 22nd. In between, embassies vie for the privilege of playing host to the Overking at their embassy, the order of which is not fixed and is another source of competition.
The Duchy and County of Urnst are generally accorded the privilege, although they sometimes host a single, joint affair. This leaves but two dates open. The competition for these dates is often fierce. Keoland holds a natural advantage because of its size and regional importance but this is diminished somewhat by its distance. Without much effort, however, Keoland can secure one of the two remaining dates. That leaves finally but a single, reliable opportunity for lesser nations to establish themselves as at least the social equals of the more prominent states of the Flanaess. Invariably, a different embassy plays host upon this date each year.
The Reception of the Ambassadors concludes on the 25th of Patchwall with a Grand Ambassadorial Ball hosted by the Overking in the Imperial Palace. This is among the grandest social events of the year and invitations are hotly sought after. It is, by unstated tradition, the time many young women and men make their entrance into noble society. So-called “coming out” balls are often held for these young debutantes and gentlemen on the day before the Grand Ambassadorial Ball. The reason for this additional attention is obvious. The Ambassadorial Ball offers a unique opportunity to arrange good marriages both within and outside the kingdom. Eligible young people may be seen and assessed. Love, or even mere physical attraction, are often secondary to a good political or economic match.