Characters and Settlements can form relationships, but the mechanics they use are very distinct. Settlements have Standings, a numeric representation of their relationship, that is separate from but linked to their Diplomatic status. You can see that even though my official relations with Opher Thyre are Neutral, the current standings are quite low (indicated by the red text). Mousing over reveals that Discordia's standings with Opher Thyre are -2255! This would be sufficient to launch a full conquest war, but we would have to stage up toward that level of conflict. This isn't modern warfare, after all, the speed of military logistics was rather slower in the pre-Napoleonic days. These Standing are affected by things like Duels, Forum Votes, Denunciations, Praises, and other diplomatic actions. You'll need positive standings to initiate things like Trade Treaties or Defense Pacts, and negative standings to begin Wars or Embargoes. This means that the Citizens of a Settlement can prevent their Sovereigns from taking diplomatic paths they don't support.
The relations between Settlements have a huge effect on the commercial interaction between Citizens of those settlements, as well as determining the military actions that are available between them.
Each Relation Category has an Escalation and De-escalation action which can be performed by the Sovereign or a suitable higher-ranking Minister. These Relations can only change once per 24 hour period, meaning that an Alliance represents not only military protection, but a several day long buffer against aggression. The prices in Platinum are split evenly between participants in friendly Relations, while the price of War is borne by the aggressor alone. The military mechanics of Alliance are complex enough to warrant their own post, but among the benefits of higher-level friendship is Tourism, and full Allies can participate in one another's wars of Aggression, while members of a Friendship or Defensive pact will only be able to fight in defensive conflicts.
Like most of the more advanced actions, Diplomatic Actions can only be accessed from the 'Diplomatic Council'. This expenditure of AP represents the effort taken in such bureaucratic events as treaty signings, and rewards players who can organize their Character's activities effectively.
Next time I'll discuss some Game Objectives, and what sort of goals you might find to pursue in a world as complex as the Mythic Renaissance. Thanks for reading and please remember to invite your friends to play at BruneGame.com