King Robert I (Robert Ben Madison, born 2 July 1965), also known as King Ben, is Talossa's founder and first monarch. He is responsible for many of the key cultural artifacts and historical events in Talossa, such as the creation of the Talossan language and the design of the national flag and national coat of arms.
The leader of the country for most of its existence, Ben's support of a political party almost guaranteed its success in every election. His Progressive Conservatives won, year after year, until he switched his support to La Mhà Nheagrâ, and they began to win. Indeed, throughout Ben's time in Talossa, his party won every election that they seriously contested.
Ben's political dominance was due to a combination of factors, ranging from the benign to the sinister:
- As founder and monarch, as well as a surprisingly persuasive man, Ben had enormous prestige and could personally sway the opinions of most citizens.
- For many years, the government of Talossa was structured in such a way as to offer huge power both to the monarch as well as the Secretary of State - a position Ben also held for considerable time.
- It was also frequently alleged that Ben utilized pocket votes to sustain his political positions.
Because of Ben's example, King John has vowed to refrain from interfering in politics, an oath to which he has adhered since he took office.
Time in Talossa
Ben founded Talossa in 1979/I, and soon enlisted his family and friends in the country. He built it around his political and linguistic interests, and the country would frequently change dramatically depending on the momentary whims of its teenaged leader. He maintained a central and controlling presence in the country for almost the whole of his time in Talossa, and was responsible for most major evolutions of the country, including the introduction of democracy, its suppression, and the introduction of Cybercitizenry that transformed Talossa into its current world-ranging form.
Ben resigned his offices and departed the monarchy in the Great Abdication of 16 Aug 2005/XXVI, conflict with members of the CLP, led by Fritz von Buchholtz. While this conflict took the form of disputes over many individual subjects, including the territorial manner in which Ben was guarding Talossan language materials, his presence as Secretary of State, and the refusal of the CLP to publicize their member list, the ultimate cause was a deep-seated disagreement over Ben's dominance of the political scene.
Ultimately and after months of argument, Ben posted a thread entitled "I renounce my Talossan citizenship":
Fritz, you win.
P.S. The archives and all that remain my personal property. The language materials as well, and the updated vocabulary files. You may purchase the trademark rights from me, at cost (approximately $400 plus whatever the cost is to transfer the rights to the new owners.)
Queen Amy also renounced, followed by several other prominent Talossans.
The next day, after his renunciation had taken effect following a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, Ben abdicated the throne and departed the monarchy, writing a lengthy speech in which he ceded the way for King Louis and blamed Penguinea and the CLP for his departure.
The CLP boasts about being "the future" of Talossa. I have no doubt that they are right.
Shortly after his departure, Ben filed an ex parte motion in the Cort Pü Inalt through Wes Erni, charging that Fritz von Bucholtz had illegally admitted numerous citizens. A week later, Justice Danihel Laurieir rendered a verdict in Erni v Talossa vindicating Bucholtz and the CLP, a ruling that an embittered Ben would regard as Laurieir's message to "let the childhood dream die and to get on with his life."
Subsequently, Ben decided that Talossa had ended, regardless of the continued presence of dozens of (very happy!) Talossans. The 2005/XXVI edition of his history of the country, Ár Päts, was subtitled "The Rise and Fall of the Kingdom of Talossa," and in its pages Ben declared that "[t]he Kingdom of Talossa, born of a boyhood dream in 1979, died in the fall of 2005 at the end of a two-year explosion of acrimony and vitriol. ... After twenty-five years their story, the story of Talossa, this story, had run its course." He also stated in the final paragraph, however, that "Talossans and their friends can take some solace in knowing that if anyone really wants to put Talossa back together, all the pieces are safe in storage, waiting for the dawn."
In 2006, Ben appeared to have decided he no longer wanted even those pieces; saying that he was moving and "won't have nearly as much storage space," he stated that "[my] first impulse is simply to throw it away. My second is to sell it to the highest bidder." His price would eventually settle at $6,000 USD, or 4000¤0, making any purchase difficult, given the limited finances of Talossa - if the offer had indeed been genuine.  So far as is known, these Lost Archives remain in Ben's possession, which he confirmed in his 2019 reimmigration attempt.
Talossa is a hard habit to quit, however, and so it is not surprising that in 2007/XXVIII, Ben and three other former Talossans (Marcus Cantalour, Gary Cone, and Geoff Tomasüt) met at Ben's home and declared Talossa to be, once more, alive in this four-person incarnation known as the Talossan Émigré Community. Their numbers would eventually expand to thirteen, governed by a newly-written Constituziun and declaring King Louis as their monarch. The Kingdom of Talossa, Ben would write, was a group of "neo-Nazi thugs."
The Community persisted until the 4th of July, 2011/XXXII, when they voted to dissolve.
Ben applied to immigrate back to Talossa in June of 2019/XL. He wrote, in part:
As Talossa’s original founder, I want to belong to Talossa again for the pure joy of belonging. I do have some ideas for revitalizing provincial politics, but to be honest, I will not be a terribly active citizen.
... It took me forever to understand the fact that once Talossa made the decision in 1996 to embrace online citizenships, the outcome – your success, my failure – was inevitable. No Talossan government could ever truly “govern” the owners of privately owned websites, servers, and domain names. Someone had to have the final say, and it wasn’t me. But I was the one who blew up the system. As long as both sides voted for the same monopolistic Progressive Conservative Party, all was well; but I thought that Talossa was ‘boring’, and I drove a wedge between those two communities. That was my fault and my mistake, to my eternal shame, and I’m sorry. ... Looking at your websites actually gives me a profound sense of pride and happiness at how well you’ve taken care of the place, as well as surprise as to how little it’s changed, as if parts of the Talossa I grew up in had been frozen in amber. (I need to get one of those coins; and are those Chinese-made Talossan flags on eBay any good?)
I have a number of things to share with the Kingdom. Most importantly, I own the National Archives: thousands of pages of documents from the first 26 years of Talossan history. I would love to see them scanned and shared with everyone for study and entertainment. I have a box of oval RT nationality car stickers, which I’ll be happy to dole out free of charge to citizens willing to send me an old-fashioned SASE. They are attractively decorated with the RT coat of arms.
I also read on the website that King John has yet to be formally “coronated on Talossan soil.” I would love to assist at such a coronation, as the profoundest gesture of unity and reconciliation imaginable, and in doing so surrender the original, actual Crown of Talossa first worn in 1979 (by myself, and later by King Florence and King Louis), without which no Talossan King is truly connected to our common history. I am in touch with the owners of Vuode Palace, and I’m sure a coronation could take place there if desired. True countries embrace their past as well as the future. (I guess at heart I’m still a Progressive Conservative.)
Reception was mixed, with many Talossans either cautiously welcoming or open to the idea, while others -- most particularly those with whom Ben had fought in the past -- were upset by the news. Some in particular were offended by Ben's claim that he was never dishonest or by an attitude they thought was insufficiently repentant. After a day and a half of spirited discussion, Miestrâ Schivâ, Marti-Pair Furxheir, E.S. Bornatfiglheu, and C. Carlüs Xheraltescù filed an E.8 petition that ended the immigration process. Ben's re-admittance may now only occur if the Ziu passes a law specifically to permit it.
|King of Talossa
27 Feb 1988/IX - 16 Aug 2005/XXVI
|King of Talossa
26 Dec 1979/I - 10 Feb 1987/VIII
Martì Páir Furxhéir
|Secretary of State
1 Jun 2004/XXV - 16 Aug 2005/XXVI
Ian von Metairia
|Secretary of State
1 Dec 1990/XI - 1 Jul 1991/XII
Ian von Metairia
|Member of Cosa||1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10|
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
- Ár Päts, 2005. p.102
- ibid, p.102
- ibid, p.103
- http://talossa.proboards.com/thread/3057/request-archives-university-library (Original post has now been deleted)
- Ár Päts, 2008. p.124-5
- ibid, p.127