Sermon: The Stranger That Is You
Jan. 8, 2018, 5:50 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Great Cathedral of the Pantheon
Comments and Log
a black robed Silent Reflection arrives, following Driskell.
4 Kennex corsairs, Serena, the charming Stormward lady-in-waiting arrive, following Vanora.
6 Thrax Guards, Olenna, Pellinor arrive, following Alarissa.
3 Fidante House Guards, Alejandro arrive, following Calista.
Isolde strolls into the cathedral, tailed by her guards and absorbed in quiet conversation with her hired champion. The princess seems to be praising Driskell already--joking about his future sermon at her wedding and expressing delight in dragging poor Jaxon to watch. She's quick to take a seat at one of the pews near the front.
Daemon has left the Noble Pews.
12 Thrax Elite Guards, Crow - Thraxian Steward, Lilybelle - Fluffy Maine Coon arrive, following Victus.
Alarissa has joined the Noble Pews.
Victus has joined the Noble Pews.
2 Velenosa House Guards, Oleander, the tarantula, Jiacomo arrive, following Eleyna.
Hiss, the Lenosian viper, Sybilla, the Lenosian courtier, 2 Velenosa House Guards, Eleyna arrive, following Talen.
Evening has come to Arx, the city resting from the toils and labors that its people go through during the days and while most are heading to home for family or inns for friends, there are some that arrive in the cathedral. The cathedral itself is illuminated on the inside by beeswax candles that have a light yet sweet sent as they burn, and a small choir is singing a hymn to the Pantheon as their voices echo across the vaulted ceiling.
From the side, a small procession of robed figures move and leading them is Driskell, a gloved hand holding an iron chained thurible that is slowly swung to release the incense around the path to the front, the smoke dancing with each swing like spirits escaping.
There's a few Kennex guards following another woman clad mostly in clinging umbra, a pale creature with red-gold hair and searching green eyes. Those rest on Isolde Velenosa, as if they'd been searching for none other, and Vanora follows her cousin to the pews at the front after gesturing to her guards to remain behind and out of the way.
Leta may be half-dressed for combat, or just dressed for cool weather. It's a padded gambeson, and it's warm, and it's clean and brightly colored to go with the rest of her. And she barely clinks and jingles at all. She struts in, a hand on the pommel of her sword, largely to maneuver it as she sidles off into the commoner section of the pews.
Leta has joined the Commoner Pews.
Vanora has joined the Noble Pews.
Isolde has joined the Noble Pews.
Orathy has joined the Commoner Pews.
Entering on the heels of his wife is Victus. His head is bowed low, as are those of this entourage. For a man in a place of the Faith, he doesn't look the happiest he's ever been. But then again, who would be really with everything going on? Though he's dressed for war rather than a sermon, he still takes the time to flash Driskell with a nod of recognition. Then takes his seat. Along with the feline that jumps up beside him.
Talen has joined the Noble Pews.
Eleyna has joined the Noble Pews.
Cambria has joined the Noble Pews.
Calypso is standing off to the side with Estaban, engaging in some quiet conversation. When Driskell approaches through the pathway with incense though, she turns her attention towards the front.
Driskell reaches the front and hands the thurible to an altar server before kneeling to the symbol of the Faith. Turning, he looks to those gathered in silence with gold eyes before he raises gloved hands, "Thank you for coming tonight to hear the lesson on knowing our inner self. Lift your heads, open your hearts, and let us pray in silence for a moment."
Lethe has joined the Noble Pews.
Alarissa holds back a step to slide her arm into Victus' and make their way to those noble pews, dark velvet sliding over the floor as they go and eventually taking up a seat on the pews set for nobility.
Orathy's eyes wander to all the people who've come in, especially those in high silks, scoffing something underneath his breath before he joins the common folk.
Cambria enters the Great Cathedral and, without making much in the way of fanfare about it, finds herself a place to sit amongst the pews delegated for the nobility.
Lethe arrives by herself and makes her way to the noble pews. She gives a nod to Alarissa and Victus and smiles as she sits down.
Estaban turns to look at Driskell and turns his attention to him as she starts to speak.
Aerandir has joined the Commoner Pews.
Calista arrives shortly after a few others have taken their place. Her gait is practiced and ever graceful despite being bound within the confines of her oversized fur cloak. She takes a quiet seat upon the noble pews. There's plenty of space available. A little nod is given to Isolde, Talen, and Eleyna as she settles in and crosses her long legs at the knees.
Calista has joined the Noble Pews.
An armoured figure makes his way leisurely within, Aerandir's path leading to the pews reserved for common folk, though he inclines his head to any and all who might glance in his way; those familiar and unknown to him alike.
Derovai scans the crowd from where he keeps leaning at the wall by the cathedral's entrance. A little lift of dark brows at something, but he stays silent thus far. Aerandir's entrance makes him nod back, and he disengages himself from the wall, murmuring something to the other man as he matches pace to stroll alongside him for the commoner pews.
After the moment of silence, the choir sits down behind the priest and Driskell raises his voice, a flat even tone with each word,
"The faithful have no doubt heard there is a large force that has risen from the depths of the sea led by a cursed and treacherous man who has forsaken the gods yet is not forsaken by them. A man so warped by his opportunism that he bent his knee to the fiends of the Abyss, betraying his people, his armies and even his family. His words of doom are whispered as the enemy seeks to bring fear in your hearts and shatter the power of hope."
"His story is one where he failed to know himself, that he rose passionately against the Abyss during the reckoning and would not yield to those that cared for him, would not accept any help or assistance, refused to listen to his allies. A man that lost himself to his dark passions and in not truly knowing himself, his heart turned to the Abyss and he became the monster that he is today."
Derovai has joined the Commoner Pews.
Leta glances at the others nearby, then lifts her head and looks first towards Driskell, then towards the ceiling. Praying in silence means frowning in thought and moving her jaw as if chewing over her inner words, expression shifting as theres's some actual conversation taking place.
There's a loud snort of disbelief from the commoner's pews.
Caspian has joined the Commoner Pews.
1 Grayson Guardsmen, Max, an emperor tamarin, Rosalee, The Champion arrive, following Ailys.
Cambria, having seated herself, folds her hands within her lap and pays careful attention when Driskell begins to speak.
Driskell pauses a moment before he continues, a snort echoes sharply in that moment as do the muted talks from the pews. "A frightening and harsh warning for us all is the fallen pirate king who sails this way with his doom as if he were Calamity from ancient times. But he is an echo of the challenge that exists within us, and we should take time to reflect on that. Many who rise up against him are fighting for righteousness, but righteousness is about truth, and truth is about reality and reality is simply about who you truly are. The gods teach us that we are what we repeatedly do, and so if you are someone who loses control to their darker passions and you deny it and hide it, try to cover it up, you are not living truthfully and righteousness cannot abide within falsehood. For righteousness and truth cannot be separated. You cannot know the gods unless you know yourself. So we should pray and carefully look inwards at what compels us to act and master our darker passions, for they are a tool and an opportunity given to us that we might become stronger than our baser selves."
"And so I urge you all just as I do myself with this challenge. We must take off the false self, remove the mask of dishonesty and gird ourselves with the visage of our true selves. Embrace all that is you, from the good to the bad. This doesn't mean you are to stop doing things like lusting, being drunk and fighting...doing simply the right things all your life can still drive you further into your false self and leave you open for the corruption of the Abyss to take root.
"The gods accept you for who you are and desire you to rise up and become the heroes of the day that you can be. Be true to one another by saying yes and meaning it instead of saying yes when you mean no. Discard your false self. Let us speak on a few examples."
Leta is probably not the author of the snort of disbelief. While she is frowning at the start of Driskell's sermon, it's not so much a 'nah' as an 'uh?'
Vanora was briefly focusing her attention on the pews just before the sermon began, but now that Driskell's words are washing over them all she has her eyes focused on the Brother. Her expression is difficult to read, a mask of pale features that betray little, but her green eyes express 'rapt' even if it is the only discernible emotion.
Having entered the Cathedral promptly as the sermon began, Darrow was likely easy to miss given his silence, but his stony expressiongives the statues a run for their intensity as he sits, in reflection, at the nobles' pews.
Darrow has joined the Noble Pews.
Ailys has joined the Noble Pews.
In the beginning her attention is torn. Isolde's half listening to the nobles around her, half taking in Driskell's words. But as time goes on, she finds herself lost in the sermon--dark eyes fixed on Brother Driskell and hands folded in respectful prayer. Everything else is fades away, slipping into the background.
Ailys is seated amongst the congregation of the Great Cathedral, her bejeweled hands clasped in prayer. Her dark, curls are braided, and the Grayson princess looks an image of dedication and gregariousness -- the princess is not superficial, for the way she smiles even when her eyes are closed in prayer indicates that the true self is, in fact, present in the Cathedral.
Maylis slips in quietly, or at least as quietly as she can manage, and hovers near the back of the pews as she looks for an open spot to sit.
From the commoner pews again and with a certain Lowers accent comes a voice, "Ain't no dishonesty here, give us silver and we fight!"
Kiano enters into the room. He looks about not wishing to be in the way he'll move over towards the others though listening while he moves trying to be respectful while he makes his way to a seat and slides in to listen to what's being said.
Calypso leaves the quiet alcove after a moment and joins the others at the noble bench. She nods to those beside her but her gaze stays fixed on the speaker at the front.
Calypso has left the Quiet Alcove.
Calypso has joined the Noble Pews.
Driskell continues, his eyes gazing across the various faces that are gathered and even giving a tilt of his head to those coming in slightly late. "Do not be one to always be silent simply to not fight. We've all heard men say "Happy wife, happy life" as a husband who simply does what his wife demands or the wife that feels it is her role to be the peacekeeper in the family and when anger or rage fill the household and wives simply stand back and are silent. The false self remains silent and says they are a peacekeeper but it is at the core a lie, the false self cannot handle disagreements of any kind due to fear and insecurity. Lift up your voice and concerns, air them with the other so that whatever arguments are there, you are addressing it immediately and in the open rather than brooding in your heart. For within each of us exist a soul, and no matter we are highborn or low, we each should recognize we all have something in common."
"Embrace your mistakes and uplift and support those who make mistakes. Challenges are not meant to all be successful, and failure is a tremendous teacher should we have an open heart to accept it. The false self is harsh with you, ego drives you to always desire to be on top and superior and ignore your faults and lie about your failures. Recognize the false self and do not be afraid of failure. Let others take risks and instead of being there to reprimand or take advantage of the situation, be there to uplift them and be honest with one another."
There's a bit of heckling heard, and Driskell nods to it. "Indeed, good friends. We are all compelled to make choices, and while it can be said that there's purity in doing something for money, we should take precautions that greed does not take over our hearts and we begin to lose track of what we are. There are far too many lessons and stories where greed has consumed a man's soul. You might gain the world but in the end, you lose your soul."
"Never feel as though you should have the answers for everything or that if you don't, you'll appear weak or foolish. Not one man can wrap their arms around the tree of knowledge for it is vast. The false self pushes you to perform to drive the ego and impress, but this is deceit. The feelings of weakness and insecurity push and drive many to use knowledge and competence to cover their false self's feelings of inadequacy."
"Avoid feeling that you are unable to be a hero of the moment unless you do something exceptional. The false self within you desires to keep your heart and mind occupied so you don't realize how shallow it is. Let us talk about this false self, this corruption of the truth."
Cambria leans back within the pew, crossing one leg over the other as she watches Driskell give his sermon. The corner of her mouth curves upwards ever so slightly.
The sermon is riveting and there is no doubt it has taken Calista's attention from any chatter around her.
Ailys brings her hand to her heart and bobs her heads at the wise words of Brother Driskell. Then, keeping her voice at just the right level in the situation and her distanc to Calypso, she speaks, "My lady. I hear there is a rather taxing situation at hand." Her eyes droop. "My condolences. Princess Ailys Grayson, a pleasure." She adds that last introduction briskly, but still with her delightful aura of perpetual happiness.
From the commoner pews again, "It ain't greed!" Then another bark, " Pay the people in the Boroughs! Arm them! Help 'em prepare to defend their own! Feed 'em, train 'em! And we will fight with you!"
Calypso leans over to Ailys when she hears the woman's words in her direction.
Ailys gives a small, bittersweet smile and inclines her head slowly.
The continued critique from nearby makes Derovai glance towards the altar thoughtfully. Though he doesn't seem to have been the one to have said it, he does seem rather interested in the response, before glancing away at something amongst the commoner pews.
Runtystiltskin, the runted war elk arrives, delivering a message to Caspian before departing.
Driskell continues, "The false self is a prison of our own making, chains of unseen iron that we willingly place on our souls because something happened to us that hurt us and was painful and we weren't understanding how to deal with those dark passions and how to bear it, so the waiting and menacing reflection inside us took over, placing a layer of falsehood with the lie that it would protect us from experiencing it again. How many of us willingly believed that lie? Most, if not all, for as brilliant and amazing is our souls, we are but fragile souls that stumble in the dark of life."
"Peel away the layers of your false self and shrug them off. Embrace that which you truly are, and support those who are near you to do the same. We have been created with the spark of the gods in each of us, to be capable of not only receiving good but giving it too. We are made not to hide as our false selfs desire to tell us. Seek solitude and silence as you meditate on the gods and look deep within yourself. Explore the feelings and emotions that are in you and ask what the gods might be saying to you in these emotions. Write in your journals not that you're angry or upset, but instead what those emotions might be saying to you and if you're struggling, note it. "
As a bit more heckling is heard, Driskell again nods as if expecting the voices to speak and lifts a gloved hand, leveling a priestly finger towards everyone in a slow arch. "You must stop passing by each other as strangers and do to others as you would seek done to you, cease perpetuating the falsehoods among you all. Feed the flame of hope that is in every heart, do acts to encourage and uplift rather than giving in to your baser false self by using someone's misfortune for your own gain. Unify! For your enemy is out there looking to take over, they're probing your hearts to see who is weak and where they can gain a foothold without even having to reach our gates. And where they sow seeds of distrust, corruption will twist you into being like the monster that sails towards Arx now."
"Cherished souls, we simply cannot fight for righteousness and the light if we are all wearing masks of falsehood and perpetuating deceit. How can we stand for the gods that represent the best of our ideals if we simply do not know what we truly are? How can we make the world a better place and restore balance when inside us is imbalanced? By carefully exploring and challenging our false self, we can begin knowing just who we are. Accepting one another as brilliant souls that face constant battles in our hearts between our true self and false self, we can stop perpetuating deceit and step once more in the light. By embracing truth, you will steel yourself from the temptation of the Abyss. And through knowing our selves, we come closer to the gods and their blessings and gifts which they desire to give. As the gods say, we are what we repeatedly do. Thus ends the evening's lesson, may we thank the gods for each challenge and pray that our hearts remain open to receiving their words."
Ailys smiles and bows her head momentarily as she reflects once more on the Brother's wise words.
Beyond the rattle of plate and chain, Dorian enters quietly enough, the Champion moving to take a seat in the back of the Great Cathedral before glancing about a moment. Driskell's words come soon enough, and his attention is cast up that way.
The Lighthouse Keeper slips in unannounced, looking for all the world like he'd tried to make it on time. Slipping into the commoners pews, Aaron Blackburn turns his attention around him before turning it to the front and Driskell's wise words.
Dorian has joined the Commoner Pews.
Aaron has joined the Commoner Pews.
Orathy has left the Commoner Pews.
Victus is overheard praising Driskell for: Thrax is proud of what he's done and become.
A keen eye might notice Vanora leaning in towards Isolde to murmur something quietly, yet it is nothing like the heckling. She nods at whatever the princess murmurs back and then fixes green eyes back to Driskell, inclining her head as if to indicate that she has taken in the words and mulls them over.
Vanora is overheard praising Driskell for: He was my priest and remains so, Mirrormask or not. Always.
Isolde is overheard praising Driskell for: The Mirrormasks will always miss him. A good friend and an excellent preacher.
Calista has left the Noble Pews.
Orathy doesn't slip from the pews. He just gets up and walks out.
3 Fidante House Guards, Alejandro leave, following Calista.
Calypso is overheard praising Driskell for: Wise words from a man who sees balance.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Derovai before departing.
Cambria is overheard praising Driskell for: A true priest of the Thirteenth, and with a message few could find fault in.
Vanora has left the Noble Pews.
Lethe has left the Noble Pews.
Slowly once it is clear the sermon is complete, Vanora makes her way towards Driskell himself, whispering quietly.
Eleyna is overheard praising Driskell.
Alarissa is overheard praising Driskell.
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