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Malto was the smallest of the three Mardierian settlements on Isla de Medio and the one least visited by the upper classes. The negligence and arrogance of the Mardierian elite early on resulted in enmity and some degree of silent unrest from the main populace. During the recent war with Eslandola, Malto has suffered heavy shelling from both field artillery, mortars, and warships, as well as some Garveyan bomb vessels, which has left many of the buildings scarred and damaged. Additionally, as the Mardierian army evacuated, many buildings and stores were set ablaze to avoid anything of value falling into the hands of the enemy. This scorched earth policy served to sow further discontent from the populace, main parts of which were both unable and unwilling to flee to other Mardierian colonies. While the smallest and most plebeian of the cities, its strategic location has made it the main harbour of the Mardierian colony. Fearing reprisals from their new Eslandolan overlords, and the natives who the Mardierian forces are said to have savagely repressed, former Maltoan citizens and refugees from the other settlements have gathered in the ruins of Malto on the north of the Island. Their homes and crops burned, they are left with no where else to go. Former Mardierian Captain Giovanni Lorenzini, foreseeing the plight of his fellow countrymen before the Mardieran withdrawal, has deserted the Mardierian army and now attempts to safeguard his people. Feeling abandoned by Mardier, and fearful of Eslandola, he has turned to the Empire of Corrington for help. Much concerned about the civil rights and safety of the refugees, the crown of Corrington has set in motion Operation Pax Corlandia. This operation aims to establish an independent neutral zone on Isla de Medio in which those disowned by their former masters can seek safety from political prosecution, starvation, looting, and the elements, and establish a peaceful existence. Established on the ruins of Malto, it will be known as Nova Malto. To secure the status of the settlement, significant forces have been committed, both naval and army, most notably a full regiment of the Queen's Mardierian Legion, who has been selected as suitable to protect a populace mainly consisting of former Mardierian citizens. Marching in by Christian West Passing two damaged buildings a section of Corlander troops is being celebrated by the locals and refugees as liberators on their way towards the main square, where the following statement will be read out: "People of Malto, Her Royal Majesty, Queen Anetta of Corrington, hereby declares the settlement of Nova Malto and the surrounding territories neutral ground and extends the full protection of her armed forces, navy and army, to its continuing existence. However, putting aside narrow gains, Nova Malto shall remain independent of the Crown and under its own governance, by the office of a locally elected governor, answering only to the citizens. The governor will be required to act within the stipulations set down in this statement and its accompanying treaties to secure continued neutrality and perpetual attendance to the civil rights of the populace. Nova Malto will remain open for any refugee or settler of any nation, unless explicitly deemed a threat to the neutrality and safety of the settlement. Refugees will be offered the same security and convenience as existing citizens. Until elections can be held, Captain Giovanni Lorenzini will hold the office of governor, his most important task being organising the relief efforts in cooperation with Corlander forces, and consequentially to hold proper and fair elections to either affirm his mandate or find a successor. Her Majesty will be watching developments carefully to ensure all obligations are fulfilled to her satisfaction. To ascertain it so neutrality, Nova Malto shall refrain from raising any military forces, including, but not limited to, militia, irregular forces, or naval assets. A reasonable constabulary force is excepted from these rules. Security will be ensured by the continued presence of a permanent Corlander garrison, currently commanded by Major William Bradley, as well as the additional naval and army assets necessary at any point in time. As a neutral protectorate of Corrington, the port of Nova Malto will be perpetually open to vessels of all nations. Visiting warships will be moored under the guns of Nova Malto to safeguard against any hostility, and shore leave will be strictly regulated to ensure a minimum of trouble. The Governor, the commandant, and the Crown of Corrington each reserves the right to, at any given time and without explanation, to deny any vessel or person access to the port, or any communications with shore, should it be deemed necessary to uphold the neutrality and safety of the territory and its citizens, and to take any measures consistent with its charter to ensure its continued existence. Her Royal Majesty grants her best wishes for the safety and well-being of the citizens of Nova Malto and trusts that you will hold the ideal and principles on which it has been established in the highest regard, serving as an example for others to follow. To relieve you of your immediate troubles, vessels are, as we speak, unloading provisions and medical supplies, offered directly from her Majesty's Royal stores. Long live Nova Malto. Long live the Queen." However, words are not sufficient to alleviate the hardships of war. Elsewhere in Nova Malto, Corlander troops are already hard at work. The Mardierian army left almost nothing intact when they withdrew the Isla de Medio, burning settlements and crops, destroying all critical infrastructure and taking anything of value they could carry. One of the most immediate tasks for the Corlander troops deployed on Operation Pax Corlandia is the provision of basic necessities to the remaining population. They have started on two of the most pressing priorities for the fledgling refugee camp at Nova Malto; access to clean drinking water and food security. Repairing the Well by Ayrlego Drinking water for the settlement of Malto had been serviced by a series of wells that draw uncontaminated water from deep aquifers underground. Mardierian troops had smashed these wells and attempted to foul them by dumping debris in them. Here a section of Royal Marines clears and repairs one of the larger wells. Ploughing the Fields by Ayrlego Re-establishing crops will take longer, but work has already began on ploughing and planting fields that had been allowed to go fallow due to the conflict. Here Royal Marines are assisting a farmer and his young son plough and plant a field with corn. BurnedOut3 by SilentWolf Legos In addition to water and food, shelter was another necessity for those left behind. The destruction by fire had been severe in some parts of the town and countryside. BurnedOut1 by SilentWolf Legos However, some of the building had not suffered structural damage. Boarding up a few windows and roofs would enable some of the scorched houses to be used as temporary residences even if a bit smoky. BurnedOut2 by SilentWolf Legos The troops are busy getting houses prepared for temporary residences as well as aiding in bringing the belongings of the refugees to their new abodes. More buildings will need to be constructed soon...