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Written By Ida

Jan. 18, 2017, 9 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

First, I am moved and charmed by the unfolding romance of one of my dearest, most trusted friends in Arx. Joscelin more than deserves someone who would make such a personal and heartfelt attempt to claim her heart. The gesture is one that leads me to think Master Felix need not be given the, 'If you hurt her, I will kill you,' talk.

However (while noting that I suspect this will not be an issue but better to be safe than sorry), no spears in my shop doorframe. Throwing a spear at the doorway of my room at the Valardin Manor will likely keep said thrower from leaving the manor or, really, breathing much longer in this life. Refraining from putting any sort of weaponry into doors I work or reside behind would be best. Should one feel the need to mark some sort of affectionate inclination, flowers would be perfectly acceptable.

Written By Jeremiah

Jan. 18, 2017, 8:16 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

An Accompanying Short Few Paragraphs Regarding The Common Council and Suitability: As before, my words are my own. For those both interested in the Common Council and unwilling to read through my pages and pages, I have produced something shorter.

Simply: The Common Council must be organized by three Maxims. If the positions themselves are not appropriately representative? The Common Council will be worthless. If those holding the positions are not appropriately capable? The Common Council will be worthless. If the Common Council itself has neither rights nor powers? It will be worthless.

I write of Suitability most recently. The Council's members must be representative of specific people and organizations, for multiple reasons. It will be readily apparent if they are not--a silk-clad, jangling merchant had best not represent the Lower Burough. It will be obvious if the position is ill-suited.

The positions suggested are the Councilors of: the Lower Buroughs, the Upper Buroughs, the Lycene, the Oathlanders, the Northerners, the Crownlanders, the Islanders, and the Prodigals, as well as three permanent positions for the Faith, the Iron Guard, and the Crafter's Guild, filled by appropriate representatives(I have suggested the Archlector of Sentinel, the Lord Commander, and the Guildmaster). Yes, they already have a voice, each of these--but not a specific one.

The next two papers will be within the coming weeks, and will be upon the problems of Powers(and Rights) and Capability.

Jeremiah Arvani

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 8:16 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Where do people go when they want to yell? Other than their bedrooms?

Written By Jeremiah

Jan. 18, 2017, 8:15 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

['On The Subject Of The Common Council: Suitability.' This paper is some fifteen pages--concise, readable, and educatory. It is written with a precise, flowing, almost delicate hand. It begins with a (short) history of the previous Low Council, the proposed Common Council, and historical temporary Councils formed by previous Monarchs. It then turns to an explanation of the unique problems in forming a commoner-exclusive Council.]

'Today--today, I discuss the first of our problems--my words are my own, and only my own. Let me begin with two quotes:

'Any Council that is restricted to the commons of your society will be, by its very nature, a placebo. Something that you think has efficacy, but does not. Without some inherent way to interact with the higher levels of your government, it will be nothing more than a place your complaints go to die.'
Elsewhere, the Common Council has been compared to 'a Great Lord walking into a forge or a masonry and seeking to advise the artisan on their craft.'
Skepticism is indeed warranted. I myself share it. I stand in opposition to the potential uselessness of this organ of the government, and will do all in my power and ability to form something stronger and better. If I do not or cannot--I will resign. I will find another battle if I am found unfit for this one.

From these two quotes come three problems--I will pick them apart and engage them, one-by-one. If the positions themselves are not appropriately representative? The Common Council will be worthless. If those holding the positions are not appropriately capable? The Common Council will be worthless. If the Common Council itself has neither rights nor powers? It will be worthless. These are the three problems I wrestle with as regards the Common Council.

Let us discuss then suitability: a High Lord walking into a forge. To put many commoners in a position of authority would be to do likewise--we are groomed neither for command nor a great education in many cases. These are not jobs your average baker is meant for. How, then, do we find councilors of skill, ability, relevance, and will?

[The paper takes some time to explain both representation and sortition--elections and random lots as a means of drawing willing participants. Both are dismissed rather quickly.]

While various philosophers have suggested either as a means of solving political problems, neither fits here--no. As the Common Councilors already selected were appointed, I suspect that most Councilors should be appointed--for their expertise. I will leave it to the Crown to determine an individual Councilor's capability--save that they should.

Crownlanders, Oathlanders, Northerners, Lycenes, and Islanders--also, potentially Prodigals. These core groups ought to be represented among the Common Council--for problems far afield and those representing commoners inside Arx itself, and representing those of their wards, as well. Additionally, the Buroughs(Lower and Upper, I would suggest) should be represented. These should be the permanent seats to the Council--plus three. The Iron Guard, the Faith, and the Crafters' Guild are all well-represented, and have a voice--but I believe they should be represented on the Common Council. Eleven seats to be filled(a high number, yet four are already filled, essentially. I believe the Archlector of the Sentinel should represent the Faith--making five. This leaves six seats to be filled(one for each of Arvum's regions/Arx's major wards, and additionally a representative from the Upper Buroughs--making Julea Sanguine and myself Councilors from the Lower Buroughs and Prodigals respectively).

Is this too many? Perhaps. But I return to my Maxim--if the positions are not appropriately representative, then the Common Council will be useless. These positions are appropriately representative--perhaps we can remove the Great Houses/regional wards. But it is better to begin grand and trim back, I believe.

I do not think it wise to budge or move from having each Councilor representative of a region/social group--this is one of the outward tests of competence. It will be readily evident when a man misrepresentative of the Lower Buroughs--whatever his capability--is appointed of the position. Likewise with any other area. Misuse and misappointment in the Common Council should be obvious, and being more than simply a Councilor--being, instead, a Councilor tied to a specific duty and purpose?

This is essential.

More will be done--more will be said. But that is all for now.

[It ends signed 'Jeremiah Arvani,' and nothing more.]

Written By Percephon

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:58 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

While I do not speak for House Telmar, I wish to be clear on my own personal judgement on these thoughts that have been bandied about. I will leave the theological debate to those who feel religious differences is the most pressing matter upon us. For me, it is a matter of who in our midst is working towards solutions, whose heart and soul is put fourth to the betterment of our land and people. And unequivocally I would let others know the Greenmarch family have been instrumental in helping to push forward our progress in saving the lands from the Blight. So too do I know those from fine Houses such as Halfshav and Redrain whose sole focus has been on assisting us in this monumental task of fixing what is wrong. To these Stalwart Allies whose beliefs just so happen to be different than my own, I offer you my thanks and continued support.

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:44 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Today I measured off the approximate area of the Great Cathedral with a ball of twine.

If the Pantheon intends to smite it, I think it's important to know the size of the fireball.

We should consider summering in Gemecitta.

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:34 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Eudence

She has bright sparks and tinder should be careful.

Written By Neve

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:12 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

United we stand.

Written By Silas

Jan. 18, 2017, 6:46 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

I'm not angry at anyone since the Nox'alfar simply proved to be what I thought they were: capricious blood magic practitioners who were here mostly for entertainment and have always intended to use us only as far as it benefited them, with little interest in keeping their end of the bargain or caring for us short-lived humans. I found it difficult to believe they would adhere to the same tenets of honor we do. Why would they?

The duel could have been honored - no one should make a threat they're incapable of carrying out - but it sounds more like it would just be a delayed execution more than a legitimate duel. I would not slaughter someone with a magical sword and feel like I've been avenged, but yeah, different standards I guess.

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 6:27 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Words are so... wordy.

Written By Aislin

Jan. 18, 2017, 5:16 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

I could speak my mind on the actions of the Dominus, but I am not Godsworn to think I have the right to dictate the actions of the Faith; I am just an explorer, though I like to think that means I know something of the world beyond our walls.

I could claim I might have made different choices than the Regency Council has, but I was not there. And I am not a politician, to truly believe I would know better how to run the realm. But I am a student of history, and so I like to believe know something about alliances.

And one thing I know is that we do not have to agree with our allies. We do not even need to /like/ our allies. But we do need to treat them as allies, or else we lose them.

I imagine there are no few around the Compact who disagree vehemently with how the Thrax handle things. But alliances mean putting those differences aside in the face of common foe or greater threat.

And we broke one, an alliance that had stood since the time of Queen Alarice. An alliance that held back the Silence. The Nox'alfar, who are killed by the mere presence of the Bringers of Silence, asked our swords, in exchange for their magic to hold the Silence itself at bay.

Well, the Teind is paid. The enemy is locked away once more. The world will no longer end. And only the cleaning up remains, for this fight.

I like to think those who volunteered for the sacrifice would consider their lives well-spent; thirteen lives to save us all is a smaller cost than most armies ever pay to defend us, and from what I've found, the Silence is a threat that frightens even the other threats lurking in the darkness.

But gods and spirits alone know what will happen in thirteen by thirteen years, when the Teind comes due again and the Silence once again strains at its bonds. Hopefully, the Keepers will be willing to pay it once again.

And I could point fingers, or try to share the blame... but there's blame enough to go around, and trying to determine whose it is has little merit now. And doubtless I deserve some of it, though everything I've done, I'd do again. I hate the Teind. I hate the fact that it was even remotely necessary.

None of it changes the fact that our alliance is broken, the treaty gone. So for now, we stand alone.

We'll not have the weapons or metal to help with the Bringers that remain. Nor will we have their soldiers -- or their magic -- to help face any of the other threats out there. Distasteful as the Nox'alfar often are, they would've been a great aid.

And there are other threats. The world beyond the walls of Arx is a dark one, and there are threats stirring out there we don't even begin to understand. Perhaps even threats stirring within the walls, as well. Many of them are abyssal, and we'll need all the tools we can find against them.

But it isn't the end. We'll face this darkness together: Crownlander, Northerner, Lycene, Thrax... perhaps the Oathlands will join the fight against the Bringers as well, and the Compact will stand together. Perhaps we'll make common cause with the Abandoned as well, and all of humanity will stand our ground.

We will not fall. Whether we have alliance with elves, or any other creature of myth, we will hold.

But we've lost so much, forgotten so much, been manipulated and weakened for so long. So I'll renew my efforts to struggle our way out of ignorance. To claw back any bits of forgotten knowledge, any tools we can reasonably use.

Otherwise, the fights still ahead will be far worse than this.

Written By Bethany

Jan. 18, 2017, 4:53 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Oh, Joscelin -

Congratulations. And, a party -



( This is by no means an encouragement, Silas. Lazarus. If you do I will singe off my eyebrows in an unfortunate 'alchemy accident' - I swear. The manor will smell like burnt hair for weeks. )

Written By Joscelin

Jan. 18, 2017, 4:44 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

...an engagement what?

Written By Belladonna

Jan. 18, 2017, 4:24 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

With so much terrible going on right now, I admit to more pleasure than I should perhaps take in hearing about a certain spear and a certain doorframe.

I wish congratulations to Master Felix Meadson of Pravus and Guildmaster Joscelin Arterius for their betrothal.

House Pravus will be announcing the date of their engagement party soon.

Written By Rowan

Jan. 18, 2017, 4:14 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

I wonder if the Crown will be providing for the salve that will be needed for the thorugh fucking the Nox'alfar have given the Compact after turning up skirt to them and asking nicely.

Now that the Compact has saved the Nox'alfar, perhaps now is a good time to see about saving ourselves. The Bringers of the Silence are still there. There is no reason I have been shown in the evasive half-answers given in the arguments in support of the Teind that says that their protection extends in anyway to us, that the Silence is not still a threat. Don't assume that we are safe from it. Keep looking for answers.

Written By Joscelin

Jan. 18, 2017, 3:57 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Felix

So one night many months ago I told a tall, strapping blacksmith about some of the traditions of my mother's people, primarily the courting customs. It was late, we were drinking at the Traders, it was funny to remember all these things I hadn't thought of in -years-.

When I told him about how a man might proclaim his designs to court a woman, I've never seen a man that burly -giggle- as he did, and he did giggle.

'No no,' I insisted. 'It's true, he has to chuck a spear at her home, at the doorframe, so all can see that he has staked his place in line. If there is one. Usually their isn't and it's just a formality, it's usually a way to proclaim to a village that a couple is bethrothed-'

And this morning, I woke to find a spear. In the door of my Atelier.

I realize my mistake. The traditions for the wedding day are -hilarious-.

Written By Rowan

Jan. 18, 2017, 3:54 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Fawkuhl

Tend to your flock, Dominus, before you dare to turn a judgemental eye on mine.

You speak of heathens serving the Oathlands, but know that not one of the Greenmarch heathens stood for the Teind, that as one voice Greenmarch spoke out against it, called for answers as to other ways, and even more gravely stood against the Compact condoning and being implicated in the practice. They have put the good of our world, our people, at the fore, and walked unafraid to take a difficult and right path ahead of an easy and wrong one. That is the legacy of House Greenmarch.

I do not believe that you can say the same for your own house, where so many were more eager to put their faith in another people's goddess and blood magic before looking to their own.

Written By Felix

Jan. 18, 2017, 3:52 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Joscelin

With all that has come about, I've stayed away from making my personal life very public.

Today I threw a spear at Joscelin's door. This morning, anyways. Let's just say that the Saffron Chain has fun courting and betrothal rituals. Why aren't more doors being pelted with spears? Probably the repairs. I split her door frame pretty good, so I'm going to have to fix that.

I love this woman, at any rate. We've been through quite a bit and I am proud to be taking her name around the Spring Equinox. It's very important to her, her family line and her name. One also has to admit that Felix Arterius does sound pretty dashing.

Written By Bethany

Jan. 18, 2017, 3:43 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

An observation I made today. When you ask them the question: 'what do you think of __" How an expression changes - the features shift - the body language softens and the eyes go distant. Perhaps wistful. Perhaps pensive. When someone speaks about someone that they find interesting. Someone they like.

There is overwhelming poetry in that.

Try it. You'll see.

Written By Ainsley

Jan. 18, 2017, 3:32 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

It was /not/ an entire bushel. But please, if there is an entire bushel of these apples out there, please, please send them to the Iron Guard. They are menace to Arx and must be dealt with.

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