WA Delegate: The Mad King of Hell of The Stalker (elected )
Last WA Update:
Embassies: Underworld, the Rejected Realms, the West Pacific, the South Pacific, Lazarus, The Bar on the corner of every region, Antarctic Oasis, Mordor, Philosophy 115, Middle Earth, Hippy Haven, The Atheist Empire, Zombieland, Heaven, Exodus, A Liberal Haven, and 23 others.Glass Gallows, Solid Kingdom, The Satanic Cathedral, New York, The Red Empire of the Toad, Trav khar, The Order of the Grey Wardens, The Iceberg Lounge, Game of Thrones, Christmas, Citadel of Ricks, Warzone Asia, Warzone Europe, The Cuckoos Egg, Abydos, Avadam Inn, Fort Triumph, ravana, Japan, LGBT University, Atlantis, Thaecia, and The NewsStand.
Regional Power: High
Today's World Census Report
The Most Authoritarian in Hell
World Census staff loitered innocuously in various public areas and recorded the length of time that passed before they were approached by dark-suited officials.
As a region, Hell is ranked 4,896th in the world for Most Authoritarian.
|1.||The Oppressed Peoples of Altmoras DCLXVI||Psychotic Dictatorship||“Safety, Security, Unity”|
|2.||The Anti-Harry Potter Prison of Eta Carinae||Psychotic Dictatorship||“Anyone caught with Harry Potter will be EXECUTED!”|
|3.||The Hellhouse of Krot||Psychotic Dictatorship||“Break out!”|
|4.||The Anarchy That I Run of Doctor Horrible||Corrupt Dictatorship||“The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.”|
|5.||The Slow Loud Breathers of Donkervader||Iron Fist Consumerists||“All your planets are belong to us!”|
|6.||The Demonic Incarnation of Warchief Mordok||Corrupt Dictatorship||“Strawberry Fields Forever”|
|7.||The Devil in training of Vogan||Corrupt Dictatorship||“Vogan Forward!”|
|8.||The Beating Heart of Davey Jones||Father Knows Best State||“Aye, captain!”|
|9.||The Evil Mad Scientists of Freddland||Iron Fist Consumerists||“Hmmm...That wasn't supposed to happen.”|
|10.||The Demon of Yellow Eyes||Corporate Police State||“It's very unseemly, making deals with devils.”|
- : The People's Republic of Ekathva of the region Sacred Island of Nevarea proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Queendom of Bounce Back of the region League of Christian Nations aborted construction of embassies with Hell.
- : The Mad King of Hell of The Stalker agreed to construct embassies with League of Christian Nations.
- : The Holy Empire of Southern Riota of the region League of Christian Nations proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Constitutional Monarchy of Nelson Wilbury of the region Traveling Wilburys proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Empire of Japanese Ronald Mc Donald of the region The Great Universe proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Imperial Republic of Farlandiay of the region Ravana cancelled the closure of its embassy in Hell.
- : The Commonwealth of Empathetica of the region Ravana ordered the closure of its embassy in Hell.
- : The 𝔊𝔯𝔞𝔫𝔡 ℑ𝔪𝔭𝔢𝔯𝔦𝔲𝔪 of Altmoras updated the World Factbook entry.
- : Buthool ceased to exist.
Hell Regional Message Board
Yo people! So TRT recently wrote an article about Thalassia's constitution and Thalassia didn't like it. Because of that, they asked a bunch of people to downvote the dispatch of TRT's latest issue. But two can play that game! So to offset their pettiness, I'm asking you to upvote the dispatch. Don't let a dictatorial government masquerading as a democracy that can't take a little criticism punish this time-honored institution of The Rejected Realms for daring to speak our minds!
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: N-Vince
Thalassia Analysis: Sho Got Lucky This Time - Agalaesia
The Great NationStates Flag Contest - The Church of Satan
Democracy or Not? Thalassia's New Constiution - Toerana
Arroz Con Frejol - a Family Recipe - Kraljevstvo Rata
Thalassia Analyisis: Sho Got Lucky This Time
Just mere months after becoming a constitutional monarchy, the founder (Sho) announced that the Thalassian constitution would be overturned by a council of players appointed by the founder, as it strove to draft a more permanent constitution.
Before I embark upon this article, I would like to state the following: this article is not about the benefits of democracy versus meritocracy, or the merits of its interim constitution. This article is about how founders should be more cautious when exercising their powers in a democracy, especially as players may become disgruntled and quit the region if and when they see their founder radically change things in a way they didn’t agree to.
Firstly, mechanical founder supremacy is something that no-one can dispute. Founders, ultimately, hold the power in the User Created Region, and no-one can do anything about it, unless there is some major mechanical change to the game. This means that they can technically do anything with their region, and no-one can stop them. This is a huge benefit for regional security, as founders can ensure that their region is kept safe, however, if a founder takes an action that people who reside were not prepared for and do not like, then the motives of the founder wouldn’t be aligned with the motives of the residents.
The population of the region and what impact your actions will have on the overall population and residents. If residents dislike the actions of the founders, or the fact that they aren’t bound by the law, they will simply pack their bags and leave. The population of the region and what impact your actions will have on the overall population and residents. If residents dislike the actions of the founders, or the fact that they aren’t bound by the law, they will simply pack their bags and leave. This was particularly notable in Thalassia’s early incarnation, Pacifica, which was founded by Topid. The residents didn’t like Topid’s unpredictability, so therefore they just packed their bags and refounded into Thalassia. [EDITOR'S NOTE: TRT staff were later notified that this wasn't entirely accurate, and that there were many other problems with Topid's foundership, not necessarily limited to the problems outlined above.]
The people who join a region expect to participate in what is on the can without any unexpected major changes that could change the region entirely - the player joins for regional continuity and certainty, even if that contains elements of instability (such as political debates, frequent change in leadership etc.). To put it simply, a new player joins a region for its niche. If a new player joins a region that prides itself on being meritocratic, then the user will expect that region not to turn into a democracy, unless a lot of discussion goes into it first, and the leaders determine that it is what the players want. Likewise, the repealing of a constitution without any notice given to the citizenship is a bad look, both for stability and for the predictability of the government. It effectively plays a part in destroying Thalassia’s niche - it seemed to pride itself in democracy, however, the likely unconstitutional repeal of the constitution suggests that it isn’t as democratic as it once made itself out to be (at one point, it’s WFE stated that “We're a seafaring bastion of liberty, democracy, and solidarity”).
Major regional changes and the destruction of niches without notice can also destroy certain foreign affairs relationships. When I asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the South Pacific, Qvait, about the situation in Thalassia, he said:
“Yes, I would say that the situation in Thalassia is concerning to say the least. Thalassia is a region with which we share embassies and ambassadors with, so what's happening there will be observed by the South Pacific. One issue I noticed in all of this is that the dispatch containing the original constitution was deleted by the founder nation account. We'll be monitoring the situation and watching closely to see what comes out of it.”
When I asked him what he hoped would happen with Thalassia, he stated the following:
“Well, I hope that Thalassia will have a democratic, inclusive government — one that is stable and trustworthy. We'll see.”
Although some may not agree with him on the advocacy for democracy, it is clear from his comments that the South Pacific was taken aback by these events. If a region behaves unpredictably, other regions won’t know what they’re aligned with, and therefore they will close embassies with the region. If one wants to build long term foreign affairs relations, one has to remain consistent, and ensure other regions that they will remain consistent. Although this is largely the rule, other regions seem to support Thalassia in the hope that it will become more stable in the future. When I asked Qvait’s Former Lazarene counterpart, the Director of Foreign Affairs at the time of writing this article, Ryccia - about his thoughts on the Thalassian situation, he stated:
“As I have said to our allies in private, Lazarus has offered its support and legal recognition to the Interim Council. Lazarus recognizes the Interim Council as the official transitional government of Thalassia, and thus hopes that Thalassia's regional reorganization proceeds without any major negative issues and proves beneficial for their community. We hope these efforts bear fruit so Thalassia can prosper under a new Constitution.
We stand by our allies in their efforts of regional reorganization so that the issues that concern them (mainly, by their own admission, inactivity) may be resolved. It is our hope that they are successful in the task they have embarked upon so their community may prosper.”
Thalassia still has a lot of promise in the gameplaying and roleplaying world, however, the founder must be anticipatory and ensure that the regional political system remains stable so that it retains both players and alliances. Although the founder does hold mechanical powers, politically, founder supremacy is by no means sacrosanct. The actions of the founder directly impact foreign relations, and the satisfaction of their residents. The Thalassian founder must learn to be more calculable to avoid a mass exodus from their region.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Three members of the Interim Council (Sho, Wymondham and Arenado) were contacted to comment on the Thalassian re-organization. All of them declined to comment. All Thalassian citizens contacted either didn't respond or declined to comment.]
The Great NationStates Flag Contest
Right under the nose of countless people a vast flag contest has been on-going since May 1, tucked away in Forum 7. Hosted by The Cosmic Mainframe, the NationStates Flag Bracket II started at 128 flags submitted by 49 players. The Cosmic Mainframe had previously hosted another flag contest on February 25th. The difference this time is that the contest has nearly double the number of flags submitted and an additional 19 participants. I however had not been aware of the contest until May 4th, just three days into the competition when The Cosmic Mainframe posted on The East Pacific’s RMB inquiring about who had made their region’s flag. Subsequently he was directed to me and had sent a telegram to most courteously ask if I was okay with one of their participants, Newark Aristocracy submitting The East Pacific’s flag into the contest. At this point not only was I fine with it and content to leave the prize to Newark Aristocracy if he had won with my design but I was also excited about such a large contest. I have been following it ever since. So, I decided to inquire about the competition myself, with a few questions to The Cosmic Mainframe:
CoS: What gave you the idea to start it at all?
The Cosmic Mainframe: At the time I started the first bracket I was really into Forum 7, and I made it a policy to post on every page of the "Two Nations Above You: Which one has the better flag?" thread. That thread was the closest analogue to my flag bracket. Then there was a discussion in the RMB of the Pacific in which a few people were casually debating whose flag was better, and I made a remark that was something along the lines of "there should be a flag competition, so we can settle it objectively!" The more I thought about it, the more I thought it'd actually be a great idea, albeit for Forum 7.
CoS: How large was the first bracket?
The Cosmic Mainframe: On day one I received 56 flags. Since there were some free spots, and I didn't like to turn people down, I let a few people sign up late, and two days in, the bracket had 64 flags, or half the size of the current bracket. I was actually fortunate enough to get the thread archived, if anyone is interested: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=481322
CoS: What have been your favourite flags so far?
The Cosmic Mainframe: In the first bracket, I considered Valentine Z to be the strongest submitter, particularly between his beautiful animated flag and the one he made for Victoriaans Nederlands. He's got some great flags this time around also, and Alanis Star's flag is a particular standout. This time, I'm really liking the flags that Paradeavenlisian States have submitted, particularly Esceanian Union's flag. I also really like The Albali Republic's flags, particularly The Albalian Kingdom's flag.
CoS: Worst flags so far?
The Cosmic Mainframe: This question is difficult to answer because I don't want to throw shade at people online. But I'll answer anyway: there have been submitters in both iterations of the bracket who submitted images which were not really flags. My policy in those cases has been that you can submit those if you want, but don't expect to win. And, well, they didn't win.
At the same time, I found one of the participants to vote after a very in-depth analysis of each submission. So, I asked Paradeavenlisian States to walk us through their process.
Paradeavenlisian States: “Well, this isn't the first time that I've used this sort of category before there are 5 categories that I consider when analysing flags. They are simplicity, originality, colour scheme, design and realism.
For simplicity, I analyse how easy it would be for, say, a 7-year-old child to draw the features of both flags. However, if the features of both flags are, as a whole, equally easy for a child of that age to draw, then I would have to consider simply how much the flag has going on in terms of the number of colours, features, symbols and, sometimes, the presence of certain effects on some flags. The harder it is for a child to draw and/or the more the number of aspects, the more complicated it is and vice versa.
For the second category, originality, I would analyse the amount of, and extent of, similarities that the two flags share with their real-world counterparts through the colours, features and composition. The more similarities and links there are with (a) real world flag(s), the less original they are and vice versa.
For the third category, the colour scheme which is a bit of a broad one, I would pretty much analyse the appeal, weight, strikeness, memorability, implementation, aesthetic, meaning and, sometimes, even the character that the colours bring as well as how well they fit together, with the nation they represent and with the design.
Speaking of which, the fourth and, perhaps, the broadest category, the design, I would consider the same aspects as the colour scheme with a few additional aspects such as the composition, cleanness, crispness, symbolism and incorporation.
And for the last category, realism, I would analyse it by considering how well the two flags would fit as a real-world flag. Generally, I would consider the cleanness and crispness of the design for any flag.
Other than that, the aspects required to determine which is more plausible, would have to depend since it might not be fair for certain flags if we were to consider the exact same aspects. For traditionalist flags (i.e. those that evoke a sense of traditionalism, tribalism or historicity), I would consider how much detail they have in their symbols, how that detail is incorporated, how symbol-oriented the design is (depending on the precise aesthetic that the flags give off) and how the sense of traditionalism is evoked through their use of symbolism. For FT flags (those that evoke a sense of technological advancement, a space aesthetic or just anything that evokes a futuristic sort of aesthetic), I would try and consider the layout, the simplicity (especially the symbols), and just how well they evoke the sense of futurism or progressivism. For a FanT flag (those that, or their nations, evoke a sense of fantasy), this would be a little more difficult to consider, although I would likely consider similar aspects to a MT flag (modern tech) for most cases even though it could well depend on the flag itself. If neither of these aspects draw out a conclusion to which is more realistic, then I'd consider how well they would work for a nation of a similar aesthetic or lore to that of the nation that the flags represent.
Then, there is the verdict which takes into account all of the above categories. If it is a three-way match, then I'd consider which one ranks first in the most categories. If that doesn't work, which can often happen in these sorts of matches, then I'd consider which flag, on average, scores the highest ranking amongst all five categories as a whole which I'd do the same for the remaining two.
So, yeah, those are the five categories that I tend to consider and how I would go about approaching, analysing and determining them. However, I may or may not be considering changing how I analyse them by adding some other categories and, perhaps, replacing the design category (since it seems to be the broader of the five categories) with others such as appeal, memorability, meaning, composition and symbolism.”
And lastly, some words on the contest so far from Paradeavenlisian States:
“Well, so far, it has been quite a competitive and, in some cases, unpredictable flag bracket, arguably even more so than the first through the emergence of hugely talented users and their gorgeous, sometimes extremely meaningful, flags. And through such competitiveness has come many surprises with many flags either reaching further or eliminated sooner than many of us had anticipated at the start through fortune or misfortune. Personally, I'm hoping that these series of flag brackets do continue to gain more popularity and awareness amongst the NS community (especially those who are passionate about their flag-making skills) to help inspire them to truly tap into their imaginations delve deep into their inner flag talents that they possess and bring out their creativity. I'm feeling especially optimistic that, if there is a 3rd Nationstates Flag Bracket (or even more), more NS users do have the passion to create more enticing, unique flags, as has already been shown in the 1st and, currently ongoing, 2nd Nationstates Flag Bracket.”
I’d like to thank The Cosmic Mainframe and Paradeavenlisian States for their time as well as their insight on the contest. It is currently in the second match of its top 8, with the conclusion not far off. I’m hoping there will be a third NationStates Flag Bracket. There’s a lot of flags out there and more being made all the time. I’m sure there’s enough flags for at least one more contest. Maybe a third one would have even more participants! For those interested, you can find the current NationStates Flag Bracket here.
A Democracy or Not? Thalassia's New Constitution
Thalassia, a self described bastion of democracy recently went through a radical change in government. The region’s constitution, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thalassia, was abolished by the Interim Council, a previously unknown organisation within Thalassia originally consisting of just three members: the founder, Sho (also known as Mars), alongside Arenado, the former Prime Minister, and Wymondham, who is a Vizier in Osiris.
Despite the constitution, which has since been deleted by the Founder, not permitting any entity to single handedly abolish the constitution, and the region’s government by extent, it was done and an “Interim Constitution” was put in place.
This, to an external observer, should have been the first red flag about events in Thalassia. Instead of working on a new constitution, or amending the current one, while the democratically elected government was still in office, the Founder chose to abolish the entire system, before having a replacement ready to be proposed; they instead chose to waste time writing an interim constitution, which gave them absolute power over the region.
The constitution, which was proposed over a week after the government takeover, was written by the now expanded Interim council, which consists of seven members, including the Prime Minister of the overthrown government, despite the fact the government was overthrown for inactivity.
A Review of the Proposed Thalassian Constitution
All references can be found at the end of the article.
Article I covers the rights of citizens and residents.
A key change from the previous constitution is that citizens now have to be approved by the “relevant authorities.” However, despite the introduction of a forum and an offsite forum, and a citizenship application that would likely be conducted on the forum, a citizen is still required to hold World Assembly Membership in the region to vote.
(More details on the voting process can be found in Article VI)
Article II covers the Monarch, the Founder and their powers.
They will head the “Curia Regis,” which has a shocking resemblance to Interim Council, as it will consist of no less than 3 members, exactly like the Interim Council, with the founder having the ability to add more.
The Founder also has the ability to declare someone “Persona Non Grata,” effectively banning them from the region. The clause does not include any restrictions on the power, allowing them to ban anyone from the region, for any reason.
Article III covers the Curia Regis.
What is most worrying about this article is it legalises and makes permanent a system of elitism that ensures a select few - the Founder and their friends - can keep a monopoly on power in the region. This is especially true as any constitutional amendment requires the support of not only the new regional legislature, but two thirds of the Curia Regis as well.
This will make it near impossible to amend the constitution in a way that may remove power from this unelected council, as it would be near impossible to get two thirds of the council to agree to dissolve their positions. Despite this, the Constitution does allow for the Regional Assembly to overrule the Curia Regis with a 3/4ths majority, making it impossible to do so without unanimous agreement if the Regional Assembly is at its minimum size of 3 members.
Recent actions of the Founder show us that she will prioritise what she thinks is right for the region, instead of respecting the democratic process that is already in place. There is nothing preventing her from appointing and removing members of her council at her will, with the exception of the constitutionally mandated positions, making it impossible for anyone to seriously disagree with the founder without risking their position and political power.
Article IV is the article that outlines the position of World Assembly Delegate, the only position in government that is directly elected by the citizenry of Thalassia. It is close to the original position in its makeup, making some question whether the previous constitution was abolished due to an inactivity plague, or whether as a power grab by the Thalassian founder.
Article V outlines the Regional Assembly, the region’s elected legislature. An elected legislature works incredibly well in real life, where there is a very large voter base which makes it incredibly impractical to have the citizenry vote on each individual bill. However, when scaled down for NationStates, it is simply a tool to strip citizens of their direct say and breed a culture of political apathy as day to day citizens do not have to take an interest in regional legislature, as they will likely never get a chance to vote on the legislature.
The article allows for a simple majority to drastically downsize the size of the legislature to only three people, making it significantly easier for a tiny percentage of the region to have complete control over its legislative future, requiring they have the agreement of the Curia Regis, Thalassia’s elites.
The Legislature elects its own speaker, the Chancellor, however to remove a speaker, it requires unanimous agreement between all members of the Legislature. The Chancellor can be removed, but it requires a 3/4ths majority, once again letting a single person veto the Chancellor’s removal if the Assembly is at its minimum size.
Article VI, the final meaningful article in the constitution outlines the procedure for elections. One notable aspect, which could be argued as an improvement is the addition of secret ballots in citizen referendums. However, since citizen referendums are non binding, it makes the citizen’s vote effectively an opinion poll, meaningless. The only other ability the citizenry has in terms of elections is to vote for the regional assembly.
These non binding referendums are incredibly hard to start, requiring a petition to have 25 citizen signatures within 7 days for it to be moved to a vote. That is 12% of the region’s current population. For comparison, if the same percentage of the regional population was required for a petition in the Rejected Realms, it would require the signature of 550 citizens, nearly five times the number of citizens the region has.
Articles VII & VIII cover Out of Character Administration and Constitutional amendments.
Overall, the new Thalassian Constitution strips residents of Thalassia of their right to vote, requiring them to be approved by a currently unidentified body. This takes residents out of the day to day running of Thalassia, making further changes that downgrade Thalassian democracy significantly easier.
We can only wait to see whether the Thalassians will approve of this new change, or whether they will be lured into a sense of false security by an endless number of government endorsements.
Article I - “2. A Citizen of Thalassia shall be defined as an individual who has filled out an appropriate citizenship application which has been approved by the relevant authorities.”
Article V - “16. The Chancellor shall be required to serve as a member of the Curia Regis.”
Article IV - “8. The WA Delegate shall serve as a member of the Curia Regis.”
Small footnote: The Chancellor is required to serve as a member of the Curia Regis, while it appears the WA delegate is not required to serve as a member. This could be a simple mistake or inconsistency in the proposal, or it could be an intended feature as the Founder is the sole legal authority on the constitution’s interpretation.
Article II - “12. The Monarch may declare a non-citizen Persona Non Grata in the region.”
Article IX - “1. Amendments to this constitution shall require a 2/3s majority vote of both the Curia Regis and the Regional Assembly to pass.”
Article V - “2. The Regional Assembly shall initially comprise of 7 Members of the Regional Assembly, however, the assembly may alter this number, by a 2/3s majority vote, to no less than 3 and no more 11 members.”
Article V - “17. The Chancellor may be removed from the Chancellory by a 3/4s majority vote from the Regional Assembly. The Chancellor may not vote on their own removal from office.”
Article VI - “14. Petitions for referendums must have 25 citizen signatures within 7 days from the public announcement of the petition to be accepted.”
Article VI - “12. With the exception of referendums relating to Article II Section 14, all referendums will be non-binding.”
An Interview with FiHami, The South Pacific's Ministry of Military Affairs
I sat down with FiHami, Minister of Military Affairs for The South Pacific for an interview. Here’s how it went.
Q: Alright, Phoe. Ready? Here's the first question: When did you first join NS?
A: I first joined NS in May 2019!
Q: How do you view your last year on the platform?
A: I have had a ton of fun! At the beginning, I was definitely not expecting to get involved in TSP government, I was just into roleplay, but then I did Chair of Assembly and now I'm Minister of Military Affairs lol. I met so many amazing people on this site, I look back and I'm continually astounded at how much there is to this game and how awesome everyone I've talked to is.
Q: Speaking of being Minister of Military Affairs, what do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far?
A: I don't really think I've accomplished too much yet as MoMA. But our current active numbers are amazing to see and I'm proud of how enthusiastic they are.
Q: Alright. What about the raid on South Pacific? What are your thoughts?
A:I did my best to recruit and liberate for it, and we did get the numbers for it thanks to the East Pacific, so grateful for them! But the updatebending killed that effort. We did our best, and we will overcome that update bending as defenders, so future liberations with much higher stakes will see successes when that tactic is used against us. Overall, I'm grateful that the raiders didn't intend on completely destroying the region and just wanted to bonk defenders. And grateful to Panther for not getting annoyed with us.
Q: Wonderful. I won't hold you for much longer, just three more questions. Are there any things you would like to improve relating to the SPSF?
A: Ah you're good! :p
I do want to improve our organizational culture with the rest of my term, doing stuff together to really feel like more than just a military org, but a group of close-knit friends. And really help define our theme as a military that reflects TSP's culture and values.
Q: The last two questions are a bit more fun: Ice Cream, or Cake? (any other dessert is fine)
A: Well, I do have a preference for ice cream :p
Q: Last one: Does pineapple belong on pizza?
A: I'm allergic to pineapple :< but yes, a barbeque and pineapple with cheese on a pizza bread thing sounds amazing and I can vibe with it.
Me: Well, Phoe, Thanks for your time!
FiHami: Thank you for the interview! ^-^
Recipe for Arroz con Frejol (rice and beans):
A Dutch Oven shaped pot. (if you don't have one, just use a stock pot)
A 3 quart saucepan.
2 8oz teacups of long grain white rice. (236 ml)
2 1/4 cups (530ml) of water
A pinch of salt.
1/2 can of red kidney beans
1 packet sazon (specifically Goya)
1 can tomato sauce (also goya)
Sliced Ham (optional)
1. Rinse rice until no starch is left. You'll notice the water getting less and less milky, which is the indicator for no starch.
2. Pour water into the dutch oven, and splash a little bit of oil into the pot. Add a pinch of salt, and turn the burner to HIGH.
3. Add rice into the pot, and let sit. When the water starts to evaporate, you'll see that small pockets start to form. Let the rice continue for another 15 seconds, then immediately cover the rice and set it to LOW, where it'll simmer. Be sure to move the rice, or it'll stick to the pot.
Now, for the beans:
1. Pour a small amount of oil into the saucepan. Set burner to HIGH.
2. Cook ham over the oil. (If you don't eat ham, skip this and go to step 3)
3. Pour the can of beans into the saucepan.
4. Pour sazon into the saucepan. Mix the beans and sazon (and ham, if that's what you want in the beans)
5. Add a small bit of water, just enough to cover the beans.
6. Add tomato sauce. Stir the beans until it starts to boil, then bring the burner to low.
7. Simmer until you're ready to serve.
After you're done, serve however you want to! Ta-da, you just made Kral's family-recipe rice and beans
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Lady Vera opened her eyes that had become sore with tears. She had slid the blade across her neck, cursing the made up deities. She renounced her worldly titles, and asked no forgiveness for her many sins. She had been not only promiscuous, but a bloodsucking woman who drained life for an empty promise of beauty. Her vanity was notorious. She could now see her true demonic form in her reflection upon the waters of Styx. She was no longer the beautiful woman she once was but something horrifying with a gaping chasm across her throat bleeding black ooze. Her smile enlarged and she began to cry and laugh simultaneously. She was now in Hell.
Lady Vera spent her first day in Hell walking the bank of the river Styx. All the while she seemed to never really get anywhere. In the center of the river was an island. "This must be the Isle of the Dead", she thought to herself. So far, Hell had been a lonely place. She had not yet stumbled upon some hideous creature and the underworld was not brimming with the cries of multitudes of damned.
After a while she found a bar at the shore connected to a dock. It was the Iceburg Lounge. She had drank her fill of bitter liquor. The fluid seemed to have an astringent effect on her neck. The burning sensation felt good. The gash where she slit her own neck seemed to be healing on its own.
She was on the dock now, looking at the isle in the center of the river pondering how to get there. She didn't want to look at the water because she didn't want to see the reflection of the creature she'd become, but, she looked anyway wanting to see if at all her image changed back to the beautiful woman she knew in her vanity's mirror. Instead, beneath the water were dead. Dead men in military uniforms, medieval armor; Romans, Egyptians, US infantry, Nazis, Vikings; all with a drowning expression in their faces.
Lady Vera, startled, fell back on the dock and heard a rattle by a nearby post. A horn, made from a ram's horn hung about. She immediately remembered of the legend of Charon. She knew if she blew it then he'd come. [ ;) ] Luckily, in her dress was a gold coin sewn at the hemline which was the traditional Demonos traditional burial practice. She explored her dress and found the hard piece of coin in the hem of her neckline. She ripped out the coin causing the dress to show a bit of her cleavage. It was a gold Crux with the image of her on the coin. This was the last proof she had been beautiful once. As much as she hated parting with this coin she knew it was the only way to get to the isle. She seized the horn and blew...
Charon, within his boat, appeared as a mirage heading toward Lady Vera upon the dock. As he approached, the ambient temperature seemed to decay into cold. This is the first being that Lady Vera had encountered in Hell and she was eager for conversation.
"So, you must be Charon."
Charon, who looked exactly as expected, only nodded.
"I want to get to that island, can you take me there?"
He nodded again and held out his hand. The hand that beckoned for coin was entirely fleshed nor boney. It was a mix between exposed skeleton, maggots, and mangled flesh. Lady Vera gingerly placed her gold coin in the palm of his hand. The fingers grasped the coin and retreated to a hidden purse under his cloak. He motioned her to climb aboard.
With little difficulty, Lady Vera boarded the small ferry. Charon waited till it steadied and without having to push off, the boat seemed to begin a course toward the island.
"I have always wondered, Charon, what do you do with all those coins?"
"You must have a large fortune by now. Where do you put it all"
Only the small bumps of what may be bodies under the murky water could be heard upon the hull. "Do you know where one can find a sword, Charon?"
The boat stopped and Lady Vera could feel the gaze of the boatman piercing her. The boatman nodded. With his finger he pointed to the island and then continued.
Although Lady Vera wasn't satisfied with his answer, she was in no position to interrogate him further. She was going to need something to defend herself if she was going to enter Hell. The boatman reached the other side and landed on the shore of this island.
When Lady Vera disembarked she thanked Charon and as he nodded the boat began to retreat back to the waters of Styx. A fog engulfed the boatman and the shore where she had begun her crossing was unable to be seen.
She was now upon the Isle of the Dead...