Summer of '04
The Summer of 2004 was one of the most active periods in Shireroth's history. Politically liberal reformists headed by Philip Locke clashed with conservative traditionalists for an extended period of time, literally generating more activity than most people could comprehend.
The Stage and Players
Philip Locke, a well known and vocal political reformist, began rallying for sweeping changes in Shireroth. He managed to get the help and support of many individuals, most notably the Duke of Brookshire, Rakesh Ackbar. With the help of his allies, he began to push pro-democracy legislation in the Landsraad. He was a vocal advocate of rights and liberties for the Shirerothian people, though the citizens of Shireroth had traditionally been denied and sort of rights.
Conservative members of the government resisted, especially Erik Mortis and Gryphon Avocatio. Debates became commonplace as activity increased to higher and higher levels. Then, in a stunning move, Scott Alexander abdicated the throne of Hyperborea to become Kaiser Los II, leaving long-time Hyperborean citizen Philip Locke as his heir. This gave Locke direct access to the Landsraad. The Landsraad was suddenly filled with bills. There were so many that most Nobles became overwhelmed. During the time period in which most nations see their biggest lulls in activity, Shireroth was breaking posting records day after day on their message board.
Locke's strategy seemed to be to divide the nation into two camps, the Liberals and the Old Boys Club. The Liberals were the good guys, according to him, who came to liberate the oppressed citizens of Shireroth and give them the freedoms they deserved. He argued that the OBC was merely trying to keep the power between a certain select few and make it fun for only them while they squashed anybody who spoke out against them.
This polarization had a great effect on Shirerothian politics. Legislation from one side was almost always countered by legislation from the other. Few people stood as neutral. Locke was also known for being a hot-head who was not above making personal attacks against his opponents.
During the reign of Kaiser Raynor XI, James Raine, a citizen of Brookshire, became unhappy with Duke Rakesh's views and launched Brookshire's first-ever rebellion to have him removed. In his place he suggested that the more conservative Alexandra Decens (who was also the wife of the current Kaiser) be instated as duke. The Kaiser, being an opponent of the reformist movement, supported the rebellion and vowed that if they could receive a good amount of support he would allow for the ousting or Rakesh. However, his impatience came to a head and he removed Rakesh and proclaimed Alexandra Duke.
Both sides of the conflict were astonished. The Kaiser tried to correct his move, but the correction was generally regarded as symbolic and not of real substance. Rakesh was given a Barony and Alex was removed as Duke. From that point forward, though, Rakesh was no longer a real player in Shirerothian politics, and became inactive after having been removed from his position.
Without his closest ally, and feeling more oppressed and wronged than ever, Locke began to fade out of the spotlight. Activity soon returned to normal levels, but the face of Shirerothian Politics had been significantly changed. As a further result, many once active citizens, burned out by the extreme conflict and activity of the time period began to fade out of the nation.