1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

End of Empires - N3S III

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by North King, May 20, 2008.

  1. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,023
    Location:
    FOB Heathrow
    A Conspiracy of Soldiers

    I am nervous as the men begin to enter the tent. I don't show it, naturally, but I never have quite gotten used to these meetings. We have only the best interests of Gallat and Manin at heart, of course, but in these dark times that's a dangerous thing. In the wrong light it could look like treason, and even at the end of the world the oligarchs still care about treason. I tell myself not to worry. It's not as though the Lightprotectors know or care what their paid soldiers are doing, so long as we die when they ask, and no one comes to these meetings without vetting. They file in, hard-bitten sergeants and scarred veterans and competent Captains – though of course the incompetent Captains are mostly dead by now – not exactly men on speaking terms with the Servants.

    The tent is almost full and I am almost ready to begin, when one final figure enters the tent. I nod in acknowledgment, then do a double take as my heart skips a beat. It's him. I've only seen him a couple of times, but there's no mistaking him. All the soldiers know him, speak of him in reverent terms: the Ward who understands what's happening, the one who speaks to the soldiers and the Faithful who have taken up arms, not to the merchants. He's also deep in the Faith's hierarchy and doubtless on first name terms with half the Lightholders in the League; not, let's put it bluntly, the kind of man you'd invite to gathering you're trying to keep secret.

    Yarin enters last, and I furtively wave him over. “What is he doing here,” I demand in a hoarse whisper.

    “I don't know,” Yarin replies. “He found me as I was coming here and said he was coming along. He already knew, I didn't tell him, and I couldn't stop him without a scene.”

    “All right, I suppose we can't do anything. This could be a turning point. Get them ready.” As Yarin goes to quiet the room, I reflect that if the Lightprotectors wanted to arrest us they would hardly send a lone Ward. He must, I tell myself, be here to lend his support; and what a great thing that would be. Yarin has gotten the audience seated; it's time to begin. The Ward is in a corner, his face utterly blank. For all the animation he displays as I begin to speak he might be watching a particularly dull paint dry; beige, perhaps, or maybe grey.

    I start on an apocalyptic note. We are at the end of our time, I say, and there are no more second chances, nowhere left to retreat. They nod grimly; no one here has any illusions about the odds facing us. But, I tell them, hope is not yet lost, for the Accans are coming from across the sea, riding to the rescue again. Now I come to the heart of it: we have a chance, but not if the League squanders it. And the League will squander it. I speak disparagingly of the effete mincing oligarchs of the Council, crying out again to the Redeemer to save them. I remind them that Gallat was better than this once, that our fathers brought down Ferman and contested with Evyni. It is our shame, I say passionately, that the Lightholders and Lightprotectors we have allowed to rule us can do nothing but lead us to failure and ruin and then pray that salvation will come from across the Kern, where they built upon the strength of old, rather than resting on it.

    It isn't my best performance, I'll admit. They're listening, I can see; they want to agree, but they're wary, not on the hook yet. That's all right; the substance isn't the reason they've come, after all. The speech over, they talk amongst themselves. The discussion turns to the failures at the Sundown Moors; one of them, a big one with facial scars, is loudly convinced that we were sold out by our Lightprotectors. I sit back, no longer participating in the discussion. Patience is crucial now. Speaking unprovoked might ruin everything. So I tell myself, anyway, but even so as the night drags on I find myself beginning to worry. I have just decided to signal Yarin to speak up – we've never yet had to use it, but we did consider the possibility - but then at last someone asks the question, as someone always does in the end: how did you get out of Gallasa? I smile a little half smile of relief despite myself, and reluctantly – still mustn't be eager – launch into the story.

    I give a much better account of myself in this second oration. It's not all that difficult, I suppose; the events around the Immolation are so tragically dramatic, and still so raw to all of us, that a pantomime skit might have much the same effect. Still, though I'm not a boastful man, I must say I've honed the story to a cutting edge by this point. So I start with the panicked flight from Hallandata. Most of them were there, of course, and some of them nod along; we all remember it only too well. I tell them how I sent my company away as the Aitahists approached Gallasa and the city dissolved into panic; I tell them how I stayed, tell them about the chaos and the slaughter, tell them about running into the dockyard warehouses after the High Ward burned and dodging looters for three days. I relate my epiphany, my resolution to escape, to live long enough to make the easterners pay. I talk about the ruined grandeur of the city and the savage glee of the heathens as it burned, and I see their eyes alight with pride and rage and determination. I describe, in thrilling detail, killing a sentry and passing through the Aitahist camp in his clothes, being discovered, fighting my way out, stealing a horse, and riding for three days and nights with the pursuit never more than minutes behind. I tell them about days in the wilderness, eating berries and drinking streamwater, and the joy and elation I felt when I came upon a party of Faithful, marching to the defense of Sirasona.

    It's all really good stuff, though I say so myself, and it goes down terrifically with this crowd. It's even mostly true.

    I don't feel guilty about massaging events; my father always taught me that you should never be so selfish as to let a little thing like honesty get in the way of a good Truth. And for these men this Truth would not be improved if they knew that, after I sent my men away, I proceeded to head to the nearest pub with the intention of getting so drunk I wouldn't notice when the Aitahists killed me; or that I blacked out, missed most of the sack, and only woke up three days later in a pigsty in a secluded corner of a ruined city; or that the sentry was dead before I found him, and my discovery in the camp was more a case of being caught in a drunken soldier's brawl. A Captain stumbling around a deserted ruin, hung-over and reeking of pig; well, it just doesn't look properly heroic. And that's why they're all here, of course. Not to listen to a condemnation of the Servants, or to hear about how the feckless oligarchs have to be rescued again by Satar, where they are still led by real men; no, they all know that, they all agree. They're here to see if the stories are true; they're here to see if I'm a man they could side with. It's one thing to know that things should be changed; it's another thing entirely to believe that you're dealing with someone who can make them change. By the time I finish they have made up their minds, for the most part. Hands are shaken, agreements spoken, pledges signed, and our little conspiracy is that much larger. As they file out, one by one, I can see on their faces enthusiasm, fierce determination, and even a brief spark of hope.

    Well, on all faces save one. His face is just as blank and impassive as when he entered; indeed, throughout the whole night he has barely moved and said not a word. I suppress a brief surge of disappointment that I couldn't convince him, then follow them out. It's late and as the adrenaline wears off I begin to really feel my exhaustion. I am in a hurry to to reach my tent and leave the world for a few hours. Yarin starts to follow, but I wave him off. “I'm fine,” I tell him. “Go get some sleep and we'll talk in the morning.” He nods and heads in the other direction.

    As I walk I think about our group, about what we can do for Gallat and the Way. I have no illusions, of course; we are likely all dead, but it would not be right to submit meekly to our fate, as some of the Servants have openly proposed. As I reach my tent I am so engrossed by my bleak thoughts that I don't notice a darker patch of shadow on the side of my tent, and I nearly leap out of my skin when it steps forward and speaks. “That was an excellent performance,” the shadow says, and as it steps forward I recognize with another shock that it's him. “That was no performance, Ward, merely the honest truth,” I reply, quickly recovering the appearance of composure.

    “Do not take me for one of these blunt soldiers, Captain. We are taught to see through veils to the truth of things, we men of the Faith.” He laughs softly, a wildly disconcerting sound. “And some few of us even learn. Oh, don't worry. I meant it truly as a compliment. Only the very foolish would deny that appearances matter, and they matter trebly so when it comes to leading men.”

    I am at a loss for words momentarily. This is an almost entirely novel sensation. “It's good to meet a man who recognizes that truth,” I – well, I wouldn't call it a splutter, but it wasn't far off either. “In my experience you men of the Faith tend to disapprove of such things.”

    “But, as we are learning now to our great detriment,” he continues, and now his voice is cold and hard, “appearances count for less than nothing if they hide an essential core that is rotten. Aitah is a marvellous leader of men, but she leads them to ruin.”

    “And you think that I am the same? You want to know my core, Ward Risadri?” Now I've recovered, and now I understand. I should have known sooner: this Ward is not one to side with speeches or heroes. This Ward cares only about the Faith, and I decide to level with him. “I shall tell you, then. It is this: I believe in the Faith to my bones. I believe that ruin awaits if we should fall. And I believe that the Way needs protection, and guidance, and our men, those puffed up, impious Servants and mincing Lightholders, cannot provide it.”

    He is silent for a long moment, and I wonder if I have gone too far; too late I remember that a Ward, even this Ward, will have many friends among those Servants. Then he speaks. “We have been searching for one another, I think. We have a great deal to discuss, Captain Javan.”
     
  2. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    12,666
    Location:
    Breadbasket of USA
    Beautiful. I have so many stories to read. Hopefully I will be able to contribute in some way to the narrative :)
     
  3. North King

    North King blech

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    18,145
    Remember to send orders in the next week. :)
     
  4. Optical

    Optical The Fall of the Eleventh

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,734
    Location:
    Help me. I don't know where I am.
    Won't be able to send orders until Saturday. If you need to, feel free to NPC me. :)
     
  5. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,573
    Location:
    In the desert
    Blood and Earth

    "We have conquered the empty lands, and once again become men of blood and earth."

    -Arastephas the Redeemer

    ---

    Part Two: Heaven, Earth, Air, and Sea

    Fate-seekers look to the skies
    With the dusk shall fade the light
    In blood bathed heaven now dies
    Our sun to mark dawn of night


    -Araen, Ytauzi mystic c. 415 RM, executed for his prophecies

    ---

    Taexi stared out across the shadowed plain. It was covered in half-buried bodies. Skewed limbs and cracked bones were sticking haphazardly out of the fallow soil. Tentacles of mist swirled just above the ground, as his breath fogged the cool, wet air. Cracked stones, shattered monuments, and headless, armless statues lay strewn amongst the corpses as far as the eye could see.

    How had he come here?

    He stepped forward, and the ground squelched wetly. He looked down at his boots, which were sinking into the earth. Mud again? No, something darker and more viscous, was welling up and pooling around his feet.

    Blood.

    A torn, dead body heaved itself from the earth, dirt and stones crumbling down its armored shoulders as it rose. It was broad shouldered and muscular, and it carried a broken spear.

    “Help me, brother prince,” said Ephasir, his body pincushioned with arrows.

    The mist running through Taexi’s hands turned into a battle axe, the curved edge bright as dawn.

    The dead man walked slowly towards him, his arm outstretched. “Help me…help me find…”

    Taexi swung the axe blade savagely at Ephasir’s bone mask, and it shattered, and with it the dead prince’s skull.

    “Help me find…” said Ephasir, the axe lodged in his face.


    ---

    The Redeemer woke in a sweat.

    ---

    It was a clear morning in the northern foothills of the Rahevat, in the highlands far above the Rhon.

    A flock of harried sheep crested the round hill like a white wave, driven by the shepherd and his two lean dogs. His straight, light brown hair marked him as Avaimi, not the dark brown of a Vedai or the curly ringlets of an Accan. The shepherd’s thoughts were on the early end of the spring rains, and on the necessity of driving his flock to the Rhon valley before the summer droughts set in.

    A glint in his peripheral vision made him turn – A flash of reflected sunlight on metal; a distant mask. He saw the rider, two hills distant, coming down from the mountains. Darkened balance – the mountains? Even from a distance, the rider looked ragged, like he had made the crossing in winter. A deadly thing to do, if you were not the Firelight.

    He wore a bronze mask – it was a warrior. The shepherd was suddenly very conscious of the long knife strapped to his thigh that he used to slaughter sick lambs.

    “Aklam, sartasha,” cried the shepherd in Satar. [1] He covered the naked side of his face not covered by his half mask, in a gesture of obeisance.

    “May the Shield protect you,” the warrior called back in Avaimi. The tension went out of the shepherd’s shoulders upon hearing the local greeting. He was not a raider from another princedom.

    “And guard the Law,” responded the shepherd. “Where do you ride?”

    “Alusille. Is it near?”

    The shepherd shrugged. “Ride downhill to the Rhon. She will take you to the Maiden City.”

    “Does Itarephas still rule?”

    “In his forty-eighth year of life, grace the balance.”

    The warrior laughed, and tossed a silver coin high in the air for the shepherd to catch, which he did, astounded. “If you tire of tending sheep, follow me now to Alusille. I will require a tarkan.”

    At this, the humble shepherd felt true terror for his life, and fell on his face. His dogs yipped in confusion.

    “Please lord, pass me by. I will not.”

    He heard the warrior dismount, and felt the pressure of a hand on his shoulder. “What is your name, shepherd?”

    "I am Loech,” he whispered in anguish. “Eighth son of Jaeryn. You ask me to wear a false mask, but the punishment…” his voice now rising from a whisper to a shriek, “Do you know what you ask?”

    The voice of the warrior was rich and kind, filled with compassion and amusement. “I can grant you the red mask.”

    He looked up astonished, sweaty palm still covering the naked side of his face. “Are you a prince in truth, to give such?”

    “No. But I will be.”

    This man is crazy, thought the shepherd. This man is crazy and you are going to die.

    “But…why me?”

    “What does a shepherd do most, Loech?”

    “He watches his sheep.”

    “And I am in need of a watcher.”

    Loech groaned. “Give me enough of your silver coins for my wife to marry a better man when I die, and I will follow.”

    “If it comforts you, Loech, if we fail I will die before you.”

    The shepherd sighed in resignation. “And what is the name of my executioner?”

    “Talephas.”

    ---

    Sartasion was filled with thousands of fluttering strips of cloth. They hung off of bronze spikes, from square, jet-black columns and archways guarded by latakar bound in stone. Down each one ran Satar runes, painted in the blood of an oracle-sacrificed animal. They carried wards, prayers, and exhortations, quotations from the Kaphaiavai and maledictions for the followers of demons and spirits. There was no city holier than Sartasion, because it had covered itself in holiness, all at Taexi’s command.

    Two such prayer scrolls streamed from poles at the end of the Redeemer’s own pier, fluttering out towards the sluggish immensity of the Einan.

    The Redeemer stood at the end of the dock, accompanied by his retinue, watching an approaching river barge glide slowly to a halt. Two young monastic novices leapt from the boat, tying it up and lowering a ramp. “She awaits, Scion,” said one of them, a young girl.

    He stepped aboard, leaving his guards behind, and immediately saw her staring away across the waters, her hands on the railing. The perfect stillness with which she held her body, and the way in which she turned her head and moved her torso with no unnecessary movement, spoke to someone who had perfected the forms of Ardavan. An Aspect Master.

    When her voice came, it was filled with compassion, sorrow, and understanding. “He is dead, then,” she said.

    “It was necessary.”

    She shook her head, smiling sadly underneath her mask. “Our paths are so different, Taexi. But you are necessary, as am I. As was Ephasir, in his way.”

    “Eshat,” he cut in, “my visions…”

    “Will you come with me, Redeemer?” she said, not waiting for an answer, already vaulting lightly over the railing and climbing down a rope ladder to a small boat.

    “Come…where?”

    “Healing is a journey, Scion. Will you take it?”

    "I don't know about this," said Karal. "She might murder you and impersonate you. The little tics are hard to master, I will admit, but it's not that hard if they're familiar with you. 'Kill the Aitahists!' See?"

    He disregarded the advice, and followed.

    ---

    His party came ashore five miles east of the city in small boats. He knew they wouldn’t be expecting that. They would be watching to see a fleet of ships on the horizon, pennants blazing the wolf rampant. The rats would expect to have hours and days to prepare. To clear away the evidence of their crimes and hide their messes behind locked doors.

    He would not give it to them.

    The walls of Glynt loomed ahead of the cart track like dirty gray piles of snow. Their northern gates, thick timbers studded with brass, had been thrown open, as Cyve was at peace. All the lords of the island except the Lemdekt had bent the knee. But there should have at least been at least two guards, and more in the watchtower above the gate.

    There were none. They had arranged it. His men walked through the gate unopposed, throwing off their hoods.

    He had fifty men. The garrison of Lexevh numbered two thousand, but the majority would never leave their barracks on this day, if Zelarri had done her work well. Convincing the Redeemer not to kill her had proven wise.

    On the other side of the city, by the docks, his captain Tecco and thirty picked men dressed as Accan sailors would be swarming down the gangplanks of a merchant ship, casting off cloaks, forming ranks, and drawing swords. They would surround the customs house and storm it, seizing the ledgers and trade records before they could be hidden away or burned. All who had given aid to the Abomination would be found, and they would be taken.

    His spies had confirmed three Aitahist places of worship in the city: One temple near the docks, where southern sailors were likely to pray, and at least two houses of local magnates in which many had gathered discreetly for the same purpose. The official temple had already been closed, but that would not even be close to enough for the Redeemer. Or for him.

    He split his forces, sending half his men to deal with the first house and personally leading the remainder to the second. It was a rich, spacious mansion, surrounded by a garden and a spiked chest-high wall, guarded by two men with stout clubs. His men laid down a quick volley of arrows which left one guard gurgling in the gutter and the other running for his life.

    “Burn it down,” he ordered. “Spread out around the building and cut down anyone who flees. Do not let the fire spread.” His men saluted in unison and moved forward, scaling the fence and smashing the gate.

    The fire attracted surprisingly little attention for being so close to the center of the city; even the beggars and vagabonds he had seen in the streets quickly vanished at the sight of armed men. He looked up towards the Palace on the Rock, looming over the harbor in the distance. There was no sign of movement there, either. Well done, Zelarri.

    The wealthy Cyvekt merchant whose home he had burned soon came storming down the street with several harried-looking clerks in tow, and a naked blade in his hands. He was younger than he had expected, with an impressive beard.

    “I will have Prince Fulwarc GUT you, you swine - ” the merchant roared.

    He cut him off. “I am Sianai-ta-Xul, honorless tarkan of the Redeemer and Satrap of the Northern Isles. Your life is mine.”

    He smiled at the man’s dawning comprehension and horror. His reputation preceded him.

    “Stretch out your sword, Aitahist. I have a gift for you.”

    ---

    1. “Hail, high/honored prince.” Traditional respectful greeting usable for all Satar, not just princes.
     
  6. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,183
    To: the Sarafaio of the Farubaida o Caroha
    From: Aisen Ujjayasir, Grand Patriarch of the Church of Iralliam, High Priest of Opporia.


    -

    Our emissary it is clear was wroth at the Sarafaio, with his wroth resulting in diplomatic errors on his behalf. Yet reading your reply unto us directly, we have concluded that his wroth, ill advised though it is, was utterly justified. Indeed we fear (although we hope it is not true) that the Sarafaio of the Farubaida has descended into the darkness of the enemy deeper than we had originally imagined.

    In the letter we sent with our emissary, we accused you of reprehensibly marginalising the Church of Iralliam which proclaimeth the true religion, and scoffing at the name of Opporia. We accused you of favouring the aggrandisement of the Cult of the Aitah over Iralliam, and failing to engage in the proportionality one would expect from a federal entity which professes respect for both religions. In your response you, after stating the self-evident reality that the Sarafaio funds many religious and cultural institutions, blankly denied our accusation without rebutting it, professed ignorance of your own populations religious preferences not even denying that there was an absence of proportionality and equal respsect, and then falsely claimed we slandered the martyrs of your lands, and threatened you with the Satar, when we simply stated the fact that without the assistance of the Holy Moti Empire, Holy due to its association with the Church and with our Lord Opporia, the Farubaida would not exist today. (not to mention it is self-evident that we have no control over the Satar, and thus saying we are threatening you with them is patently absurd to begin with) No reasonable person could deny that without the armies of the Ayasi the War of Three Gods would not have ended in the manner it did and it was disingenuous of the Sarafaio, and below the dignity of its estate, for it to do so.

    Observing as such your response, it seems that the supposedly “levelheaded” Sarafaio devolved in this discourse into a chorus of sentimental and hysterical adolescents, resorting to the national myths it uses to legitimise itself to confront the realities we brought before you in a way which opposed our reasonable request for redress with regards to the imbalance of support within the Farubaida that has, even at the level of the Helsian government, been granted to Aitahism. Your response degenerated into even greater extremes of absurdity when you protested at our accusation that you scoff at the name of Opporia, when you stated that we were accusing you of blasphemy against your own faith. Yet how not was our accusation, that you scoff at the name of Opporia not true? For indeed in your response you have used his name but twice, once when quoting our words and once when referring to the ancient practice of the Liealb. Not once did you refer to Opporia as your God, or with reverence, acting with reverence and piety instead to the name of Haiao, the sun, ignoring it seems that the sun is NOT Opporia the divine Lord of Light, but merely a pale reflection in nature of his glory. We understand of course that the name has become synonymous with Opporia, but from the context of your words and descriptions of your faith, it appears to us that the faith of the governing class of the Farubaida is most definitely not Iralliam, but rather a syncretic and blasphemous fusion of your regions ancient pagan sun worship (worship of Haiao) and Aitahism, the principles of which were clearly expounded by Piralayei Maeridula in her reply to our emissary regarding our letter (insodoing lecturing US on the religion we govern, insulting us and acting in such a way as to reject our divinely ordained authority over the faith), incorporating certain doctrines of the Church and residing parasitically within its one, united, body, if at all. The Haiao of the Sarafaio it seems is not Opporia.

    To assess your reply therefore, it seems you have denounced our accusations as false, yet has done precisely nothing to prove them as such, and indeed your own statements condemn you in truth and prove as valid our fears, confirming that the outrage exhibited by our emissary was well founded and justifiable, even if not prudent. Indeed to our mind the belligerent anger exhibited by our emissary in the exchange, which proceeded after Pralayei’s response to our letter is quite understandable considering the enormity of her insult to us and the Church, and it is admirable that he was so restrained as he was when hearing her blasphemies to his face, and hearing from her that the Sarafaio seems to be directly sponsoring the subversion of the Faith of Iralliam through active promotion of syncretism, and support of heretical practice, within the body of the Church in Helsia and the Farubaida more generally. (what pious man can not be outraged at an insult against his faith?)

    Now the Sarafaio and the Farubaida, to its credit has committed (as far as we have been informed) to proportionate funding into the future. We applaud you for that and hope that it is a sign that Prayalei was merely uttering her own errors and not the collectives. Indeed if this is so the entire series of tensions is a result of unfortunate misunderstandings and a failure of prudential speech from both parties. This measure of yours indeed, if consummated in action is a first step on your part to proving that the ultimate conclusion we fear has been reached is indeed incorrect, and that our fears are misplaced. Through sustained actions, advancing from this first step, the Sarafaio and the administrative classes of Helsia in particular can show that they truly do not not favour unduly Aitahism (in violation of the supposed equality of Iralliam and Aitahism) through the propagation of syncretic practice, or seek through this or other means to attack the Church. Indeed should this occcur we see no reason that a pacific and serene relationship cannot be re-established. Indeed this outcome we sincerely hope comes to pass in Opporias name, for we wish only peace and good upon the people of the Farubaida whom we look upon as a father upon his beloved children. However our concerns remain, and in your letter, all you have shown is outrage and bluster, addressing not one iota of our underlying theoretical concerns (of which the matter of funding is but a peripheral manifestation), nor even rebutting them. In response to our emissaries primordial request on the matter of temple building you likewise didn’t even attempt to engage in dialogue, something that admitting for his wrath is not something that fills us with good thoughts regarding the Sarafaio's intentions.

    Should nothing change, it would seem to us that the problems evident in your response and in Prayalei’s words are not merely personal in nature to Prayalei, or a product of misunderstanding, but are reflections of a deeply problematic moral consensus within the Sarafaio itself. The consequence of this would be that the Sarafaio and the governing forces of the Farubaida as institutions will have descended to far greater depths of depravity than merely radical aitahist influence, as was our original fear. Indeed radical Aitahists, to their credit, would not be so blasphemous to their false-god as to engage in the syncretic religious perversion favoured by Prayalei and elucidated in her insulting response to our letter, a response which I can not help but repeat was an utterly blasphemous, abominable impiety of the lowest form, an insult that it seems to us that it sparked this entire crisis to begin with considering the degradation of talks only occurred after her blasphemies. No, although we are concerned at the radical aitahists, and condemn them for the arbitrary murder of the High Ward, the leader of the maninists whose faith, save their failure to comprehend the duality of good and evil and the personhood of Opporia as the incarnation of Light, of what they call the Manin, is close to the Church, the root source of an institutional program of blasphemous and anti-Iralliam practices can only have as its origin the diabolical enemy, who’s name we will not utter. Such a program, which by Opporia we pray is not present in your state in general or the Sarafaio in particular, ultimately would see come to pass the perversion of all religion towards an inevitable apostasy which denies the immanence and sublime majesty of the divine, and would see all religion as equivalent, working to remove the very concept of the sacred, making as such all things profane and insodoing seeing a closing of the way to human enlightenment. This would be an abomination the Church could not idly watch come to pass.

    To conclude this letter, we will repeat that the Church cannot, and will not, bring or call for violence towards the Farubaida both out of paternal love for its people and its fidelity to the prophet as of the current state of play. Nor will it have the temerity under our watch to call upon the Ayasi to jettison his association with your state (for indeed despite any errors on the part of the Sarafaio, its people cannot be culpable for its sins, and we would not see them left to the wolves to the north). Nor will it proceed any further down the path of political interchange in requesting justice for the faithful and the sustainment of the founding religious principle of equal respect between Iralliam and Aitahism that underpins the foundation of the Farubaida. No, the Church instead will awaken from the lethargy that until so recently afflicted it and will as it did of old bring the fire of Opporia, the light of true doctrine and true religion to those, be it by your institutional hand or by the hands of diabolical agents in your midst, who have been led astray. We shall teach the faithful and show them what has been stolen from them, show them the treasures of faith that have been denied them, so that they may never again be so deceived, and may never again fall victim to the errors that were conveyed in your response and by the person of the apostate blasphemer Prayalei. We see that the house of the Church in the Farubaida is in dire need of being brought to order, and with the order of faith, zeal, and the grace of Opporia, we will see not only the lost sheep of the Church brought to light, but all of the Farubaida, even those who persecuted us delivered from their sins and brought to truth. In short we will follow the will of Opporia, and let the chips fall where they may no matter the tribulations that may come.

    Look to your sins lest you be found wanting, for the great battle of our time has been foreseen and prophesised, its advent is near and shall fall upon the righteous and unrighteous alike.

    ~ The Grand Patriarch of the Church of Iralliam, gloriously reigning from the Sacred City in this the 600th year of the reckoning of the Seshweay.

    -

    ooc: kudo's to Iggy for committing to keeping things proportional to now on (as he noted in a message to me). But in the absence of will to resolve the discussion that occurred, the time has come to conclude this whole debacle via the reply above to your original letter to the Grand Patriarch in response to his emissary's faux pas' and diplomatic failures in his name. Afterall, I cannot leave the Church's response unknown no?

    I do not expect, nor will I initiate further discussion on the matter of the Sarafaio's expenditures on religion. That discussion is over. If Lord Iggy wishes to re-initiate a discussion between the Church and the Farubaida that is entirely up to him.
     
  7. Nivyi

    Nivyi Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    a house
    because JustokreNES is going very slow right now, i'm interested in joining.
     
  8. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,518
    Location:
    Osaka
    #3896 is by the most stupid post I've seen in N3S thus far and is so bad that I don't even know where to start.
     
  9. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,183
    No need insult the moderator, he was just asking your opinion on a timelapse map.
     
  10. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,518
    Location:
    Osaka
    Congratulations, you have managed to butcher the canon, ruin immersion and turn Iralliam into a pseudo-Catholicism with a smile.
     
  11. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,183
    The "pseudo Catholicism" question has been settled already, that's an old accusation and I see no need to beat a dead horse, particularly with you considering neither one of us evidently has a positive opinion of the other. As to butchering the canon you are free to state how you think I did so, just as you are free to mind your business and focus on whatever inane meaningless things you do when your not interacting with me, and just as you are free to not interact with me at all. Your immersion (and that of anyone else seeking communion with the game-world) I would say is ruined not so much by my in-context letter, but by your insistence on arguing with me out-of-context.

    At any rate my post does no such thing as your sudden outburst attests, and indeed acts upon the assumption that everything in the discussion that occurred between myself and iggy was IC in its effect (something asserted by yourself and the consensus, and which I accept). Ergo the Grand Patriarch sent a letter with an emissary, the Sarafaio replied via Piralayei Maeridula, things went downhill from there, Sarafaio sends a letter back and presumably the emissary returns, Grand patriarch replies from what he knows from both accounts. Hardly a disruption in the canon there.

    Either way, since I am so obviously beneath you its a testament to your magnanimity and benevolence that you deigned to descend from your hermetically sealed eyrie to bring your pearls of wisdom to my attention. Considering however that I am so obviously incapable, please excuse me if I don't bother to listen to a word you have to say from this point henceforth as the fancy takes me.
     
  12. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,518
    Location:
    Osaka
    It hasn't been settled at all, a few of us just decided that while we were correct, it wasn't worth pushing the point because we naively asked ourselves: "how much harm can one poster possibly do?" The answer is a hell of a lot and the really worrying thing is that you just don't give a toss about the harm your causing.
     
  13. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,183
    Well if you are correct (which almost certainly you are since the moderator agrees with you and everything it refers to was placed in context by Iggy anyway), you shouldn't have a problem, since my most recent in context post was entirely canonical (still waiting for your enlightening worlds of wisdom on where and how I warped the canon) and entirely reasonable (the Patriarch has just a) responded to the accusations of the Sarafaio b) noted that religiously questionable stuff is going on with Aitahist/Iralliam syncretism, and false understanding of what Opporia is, with his concern remaining despite a positive development and c) noted he will not pursue the original matter at all from now on with the Church sticking to ordinary ecclesiastical tasks. Cleaning his hands of dealing with the Sarafaio at all).

    Ergo, aside from this entire debacle being irritating to all involved, It, or myself, have hardly trashed North Kings estate and caused some grave harm to the game world. Although I admit your delicate sensibilities and aesthetics may have been harmed by the incident, although the negativity of that is highly questionable and I must note that this particular kind of harm is at best only being exacerbated by your continued insistence on descending from your high mountain to impart words of wisdom to my uncomprehending self (actually talking to an inferior is so taxing is it not?), something which pushes me to respond (something about hearing how terrible I am just gives me the itch to reply).

    As to me giving a toss (or not) about ostensible harm, considering you (and your confreres) haven't even mentioned what this so-called harm is (if said harm is pissing you off, and making people uncomfortable I don't particularly care, life will go on [even if you have an apoplectic fit because a fictional Church actually is doing something other than decaying and rolling over to every ayasi and his dog that pokes a stick at it] and perhaps controversy will get people more actively involved besides, if its ruining your immersion, well that is caused by the fact you insist on arguing with me, not because I have the temerity to reply to Lord Iggy's letter). If this discussion is causing you distress, and if you haven't got any substantive rationale to say anything other than mindless slogans, the rational conclusion would be that it would be better for your mental health and the eyes of everyone else who may be reading this thread or will be reading it in the future for you to cease your inane jabbering, or if you insist on continuing, that you do it somewhere else (my inbox is available to both the idiotic and the non-idiotic alike, as is my visitor page [if you want a public discussion] or, if you really want you could create a whole thread dedicated to the art of condemning me for ostensible wrongs I have done to you, your dog, and your ancestors to the seventh generation).

    Ergo, If you want your peace and desire to reattune yourself to the mystical experience of immersion, just refrain from typing any further (I know I wouldn't be typing if you hadn't insisted on noting my supposed stupidity) and continuing this little discussion and get on with talking with your nameless associates about how you hate the Satar and hope to see their antics foiled. Its as simple as that. Perhaps if you take that piece of advice this game will go on for five more years and only after that time has elapsed will we have to deal with each-other, depending of course if I've gotten as far as to be within reach of the possibility of crushing Aitahism by book or sword and relegating it to the waste-paper basket of game-history.
     
  14. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Messages:
    18,351
    Location:
    Get Back
    Concordantly.

     
  15. North King

    North King blech

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    18,145
    General reminder that orders are due sometime tomorrow. :)
     
  16. SamSniped

    SamSniped DJ Goodboye

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    5,413
    Location:
    playing some funky jams
    Orders will be in tomorrow morning CST.
     
  17. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,023
    Location:
    FOB Heathrow
    OOC: Hooray sleepless night stories!

    The Last Man Standing

    He calls himself Flamebearer, this lord of heathens, proclaiming to all who would listen his intent to spread the fires of his false god to the far corners of the world. A more apt description it is impossible to imagine. For fire does indeed shed light; a pale, flickering imitation of the true Light, but light all the same. But unlike the true Light of Manin, this light of the heathens comes at a price. For fire burns, fire destroys, fire consumes, and when it has consumed all that it may it disappears, leaving only ashes and the memory of a fleeting warmth. And that is all their false god will deliver those poor men who, seduced by its fires, embraced it: a cold, dark, dead world.

    -Risadri, Second Sermon on the Enemy

    ------

    It dawns cold and wet and foggy, the day of decision. I would rather have waited, prepared a little longer, gathered a little more strength, but the Aitahists are at Alkryth and there's no more time. It's just as well that they're forcing our hand, I suppose; however confident and implacable an appearance I make sure to project, I still mentally flinch at what we're about to do. There will be no turning back after today; just as well that the Aitahists have made sure we have no other way forward.

    Since last night's meeting dispersed, Risadri and Nuvor and Yarin and the rest going off to ready their men, I haven't slept a wink. Too anxious to sleep, I've spent the night pacing back and forth, worrying that I've missed something important. I wish for a moment that Risadri were still here. He's gone into the city, though, gone to rally his friends among the Acolytes. He understands; with him, alone of all our faction, I can take off the mask for a while. Even Yarin, who ought to know better, sees me as some sort of immovable archetype these days, and far beyond such weaknesses as fear or trepidation. They need that, of course, need someone solid to believe in, here at our last extremity as everything crumbles, but being that someone is an increasingly heavy burden.

    I am halfway through another circuit when in the distance the bells of the city begin to toll; time to go. I turn to the table at the center of the room. It's covered with maps and papers and the detritus of last night's meeting, and one extremely important sheet of parchment that I pick up and put in my pocket. There are dozens of signatures on that parchment: mine at the top, Nuvor, Allarin, Ilunat and the rest – the Captains of our conspiracy and our first weapon. Nine out of ten in the army follow names on that page, but even so for a moment it seems a terribly frail weapon. The Houses in Sirasona likely wouldn't recognize any of the names, let alone understand their significance. Of course, unless something's gone terribly wrong it won't be our only weapon; I intend to have something more concrete to focus their attention. I take a moment to compose myself, to make sure the mask isn't slipping, and then I step outside.

    ------

    Nehvad Tehab is not happy. He is rarely happy these days, but today he is particularly miffed. How dare the Servants have him sleep outside the city walls; no room in their mansions, they say, and so he has to bed down in this putrid inn. He wishes they'd picked Jedim for their council, so that he could have slept in House Tehab's mansion and made those oh-so-superior Sirasonans sleep in the muck. He consoles himself with the thought that the mansions of those Sirasonans will shortly burn in the fires of Aitahism, hopefully with their occupants still inside. He has no intention of burning along with them; a ship of House Tehab is due to dock in Sirasona within a couple of weeks, and when it leaves he will be on it. Lightbearer's a pretty title, and proved very useful in outmaneuvering House Tehab's opponents, but it's not worth dying over. No, he's going to ride out the war with his Airani relations, and then come back when the dust settles. The Savirai went back to their deserts before, and they'll do it again, and if by some chance they don't, why he can just convert to the worship of their goddess and be welcomed with open arms. Flexibility has always been House Tehab's watchword, ever since they bought their way into Gallatene high society, and flexibility will see them and Nehvad through this crisis.

    Nehvad stomps bad-temperedly downstairs to the common room, and calls for beer. There's no response, so he goes looking for the inn-keeper. The lazy oaf is asleep in the back, and Nehvad kicks him in the ribs, hard, and shouts at him to fetch some booze. The innkeep stumbles blearily away, and Nehvad goes back into the common room to wait. There are now half a dozen men waiting for him, soldiers going by their arms and armor. Nehvad has little use for soldiers at the best of times – nasty, dirty disrespectful country bumpkins, most of them – but he recognizes the man at the front. 'Strange to see you here, Nuvor' he says gruffly, and sits down. 'What can I do for you this fine morning?'

    The man smirks and Nehvad suppresses the impulse to jump up and stab him. He's always hated Araldi Nuvor. Nuvor was an oily bastard and too clever by half even when they were young in Jedim; he's become much worse since he chose to disregard his station and Captain a regiment like some common thug. House Nuvor might be a House of fools and cheats, but even so it should have been better than that. 'Why, I've come to thank you, Nehvad', Nuvor says brightly. 'Seems unlikely, I know, but you've really opened my eyes.'

    Nehvad barks a laugh. 'Finally realized that you're an idiot, eh? I've been telling you for long enough.'

    'Something like that. Do you ever wonder, Nehvad, why it is that Gallat has suffered catastrophe after catastrophe these last decades?' Distracted by the arrival of his beer, Nehvad only grunts in reply, but Araldi sits opposite Nehvad and continues. 'I wondered. I wondered for years. I thought it might be that our people had lost their strength, but after spending years with soldiers I know that to be untrue.'

    'Araldi,' Nehvad says, 'either say what you're here to say or let me drink this swill in peace.'

    Araldi smiles, a bright, cold smile. 'What you have shown me, Nehvad, what I should have known all along, is this: it's you. You and all the rest of the degraded, corrupt scions of once-great Houses, merrily playing at intrigue while the world crumbles; you're the reason for our failures.'

    Nehvad's been only half-listening, but now he's paying attention. He jumps to his feet and shouts at Araldi. 'How dare you sit there and insult me, you upjumped little insect. You were always at home in the filth; of course you're happy to be surrounded by pigs.' He draws his sword, the symbol of office of a Lightbearer, and points it at Araldi. 'Stand up and we'll see how brave you are.'

    'I want you to know,' Araldi says, as he rises calmly to his feet, 'that I made sure I'd be the one to deal with you. I want you to know how much I'm enjoying this.' He gestures, and as the other five men move in Nehvad is suddenly aware that he's outnumbered and may have misinterpreted the situation. He back up, and Araldi follows. His feet hit the wall, and in a sudden panic he shouts for his aides. Araldi chuckles. 'They're not coming, Nehvad. They're either with us, or they're far too busy.'

    Nehvad swallows hard, but doesn't drop his sword. 'What do you want then, Araldi? Not my blood I take it.'

    'It's very simple. We want you gone. All of your kind, but you in particular. On the authority of the Council of Captains of the Army of Gallat, I am here to remove you from command, confiscate your symbols of office, and place you under watch until this,' Araldi laughs softly, 'transitional period is complete.'

    'Transition?' Nehvad asks, trying hard to keep his voice from shaking. 'And what happens after your transition?'

    'We have a chance. Oh, I'm sorry, did you mean what happens to you? Always small-minded, Nehvad. Well, that depends. You might continue in public life, or focus on making your House rich.' Araldi leans in and whispers conspiratorially, 'But if I were you, I would go as far away from Jedim and Gallat as I could. Because if you stay, though Javan might not care, I will find you.'

    Araldi stands back and gestures. 'Now,' he says as his men, weapons drawn, close in on Nehvad, 'Javan wants to avoid bloodshed as much as possible. He isn't here, though, and I assure you that nothing would please me more than than to see your blood on the floor, so I suggest you consider your next actions very carefully.'

    Nehvad considers for a moment, but only a moment. Not a title worth dying for. He drops his sword.

    ------

    We know how narrow the Way can prove, and the danger that awaits should we depart from it. But we forgot that out in the dark there lurk enemies of Light and Virtue, and that from time to time they might place obstacles in our path, might even assail the Way. Such an Ordeal overcame our ancestors, and destroyed the perfection of the world. Now we are confronted by our own Great Ordeal, but this time we shall prove equal to it. We must prove equal to it.

    -Third Sermon on the Enemy
     
  18. SamSniped

    SamSniped DJ Goodboye

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    5,413
    Location:
    playing some funky jams
    The Dawn of a New Nation​


    Despite the hut at the center of Stato'i'astu being the largest in the capital, it was strikingly similar to every single other building in the capital. One story high, with a conical roof that was sloped to direct water off of it. Simple, yet efficient-the Castani way of life. As Hiajo Fo'otai walked to the building that he spent so many years as a priest, however, he knew that this appearance was deceiving. As soon as he stepped inside, he saw the massive, carved statues of the gods, tables decorated with sacred items, and the work of priests long dead. A five foot circle at the center was void of everything but a small raised circle that acted as a speaking stand, and in this instance, the ten Pa'esati'i - the High Priests of Stato'i - sitting in a ring around the speaking platform. The four men assigned as Hiajo's guards turned and stood at the door to keep out any of the people not in the theocracy, hiding the sacred ceremony that was about to occur from the city.

    Hiajo calmly walked up to the platform, trying to not show his nervousness. Only the High Priests themselves had witnessed this ceremony, as they were the only ones who named new high priests. The oldest of the Pa'esati'i stood to greet him. The Casta'lai words rolled off his tongue as he said, "Greetings, Hiajo Stardreamer. Are you ready to begin your next journey in life?"

    Hiajo nodded, "Yes, High Priest Vapasu. I am ready"

    Vapasu glanced at two of the seated priests, who immediately stood up, and lit the candles around the circle. The scent of herbs infused in the candles filled the room, and seemed to calm Hiajo's nerves, though not by much. The two priests returned to their seats.

    Vapasu looked into Hiajo's eyes. "Do you, Hiajo Stardreamer, promise to bring peace to the lands, help the Castani in whatever way they need, and spread Ca'anoi to wherever you travel?"

    Hiajo nodded again, too afraid to speak.

    Vapasu took a skin of water from his belt, dabbed his finger with it, and ran the finger from Hiajo's forehead to the tip of his nose, and then did the same from his ears tot he same ending location. He then followed this motion again with a yellowish paste infused with sand, and a white paste made from a local plant sacred to the godess of the sky. "Then I bless you with the water of Makai's realm, the sand of Tasa'i's creation, and the air of Pawali that surrounds us all, and name you Pa'esati Hiajo Fa'anoi."

    Hiajo bowed before the man. "I thank you greatly for this honor."

    Vapasu bowed as well, and then returned to his seat. "Come, sit, Hiajo. we have urgent matters to discuss."

    Hiajo took an empty seat between two High Priests. Vapasu then began, "As you know, the area of land that we inhabit is very small, with the jungle occupying most of it, and the city continues to grow. We have enough to survive, but if the city continues at this rate, there won't be enough land. We must start expanding."
    Hiajo immediately stated, "I know what we can do."

    One of the High Priests replied, "Then tell us, Hiajo. Unlike most of us, you are young, and know more about the people."

    Hiajo continued, "I suggest we send out some of the soldiers to explore around us, and meanwhile make more space for the expanding city. A couple good roads wouldn't hurt."

    Vapasu nodded, smirking. "Finally, some intelligence from one of my students. If there are no objections, I think we should carry out with this plan."

    The group generally agreed with this plan, and it was so.

    Simple, yet efficient. The Castani way of life.
     
  19. Golden1Knight

    Golden1Knight Emperor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,268
    Location:
    Behind you
    Orders will be in some hours.
     
  20. Cannae

    Cannae Philosophy of Poverty

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,241
    Location:
    Johto
    I'm still waiting a response from somebody before I'll be able to send in my orders.
     

Share This Page