To get started and access the messaging/chat system, click on the button in the bottom left of your screen that resembles a speech-bubble:
Once you have clicked the button, you'll find yourself looking at a menu such as this:
When you have a new message, the chat in question will gain a red triangle at the right hand side with a white "!" in it:
Now we will look at the icons that you can see on the left hand side of the expanded chat menu. I will list them from top to bottom:
Player Search: This allows you to search out players on the server to message. Typing in "Augustus" would bring up that name in the search box. From there, you can go directly to his profile or click the "+" to add him as a friend.
Friend List: This menu will contain two sections. At the top, it'll have people who you are friends with (you have added to your friends list) and then further down there is a section called "Pending Friends", for people who have either added you and not been accepted, or for people you have added but have not accepted yet. If you don't have any pending, then the section may not appear. You will get a notification on the right side of your screen when you login about new friend requests though!
Kingdom Chat: If you are part of a kingdom then you will be able to communicate with the king or the governors of the kingdom via this menu. There will be a link to a group chat, a "Newsletter" (think ally or "alliance mass message" for updates) and then the individual members of the kingdom will be listed so you can add them to your contacts, go to their profile pages or send them messages directly (and privately) from here. You will also (depending on their preferences) see whether someone is online or how long it has been since they last logged on. The colors you will see range from blue for active and green for online within last 24 hours. You could also see yellow for 3 days since last login, red for 5 days and grey for seven days or more (aka Inactive).
Alliance Chat: If you are part of a kingdom and the king (if not yourself) joins or founds an alliance then every governor in their kingdom automatically joins the same alliance. You cannot join an alliance unless you are part of a kingdom.
From the “Alliance Chat” menu, you will see two options: “Alliance chat” (like the “Kingdom chat”) which allows you to chat directly in a group chat with the entire alliance and the "Newsletter" feature I mentioned above: from there you can also write a message to the alliance that is unsuitable for the general chat. You can also choose to make the message only visible to the alliance leader, perfect for long reports. From the “Alliance Chat” menu you can also see the list of alliance members, which will include members of the kingdom you're part of allowing you to chat directly, add them as friends or go to their profiles as you wish.
Secret Societies Chat: Like how Alliances used to be in Travian 3 and 4, anyone can join these "Secret Societies", managed via the Embassy. The chat menu will show you any secret societies that you are part of as a drop down menu at the top of the box. You can select the Society from the menu and be taken to the options (Newsletter, Group Chat, and Membership Lists) for that society.
Recent Chats: This tab will show recent conversations that you've had. Clicking on their names will open them up on the grey bar at the bottom of the page.
From there, only the Toggle Chat button is left (Speech-bubble). I linked to this above when I mentioned how to get started.
That's not all though: The Chat boxes can also be unlocked by clicking on the square in the top line of the box and moved to a different part of the screen. You can even edit the size of the box once it is unlocked by clicking and dragging from the bottom right hand corner once it has been unlocked.
Alliance chat locked:
Alliance chat unlocked:
Note: Clicking the "square" in the chat box automatically resizes it and locks it back to the bottom bar.