The Salon Debates III - Skald's Impact
Skald's Impact - A look at how rediscovering Skald changes the story of our pasts, our present, and our future.
This is part three in a five part series of debates being hosted by the Arvum Philosophical Society. The purpose of these debates are not to provide answers, but to help people find their own answers and ask new questions.
All are welcome who can honor the spirit of civil discource. This debate will be moderated by Archscholar Aleksei.
March 1, 2018, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Shrine of the First Choice
Comments and Log
Merek picks up a book on the way into the shrine, and settles into a seat to listen. He has on his cloak lined in umbra and hood up to mask all but his golden smouldering amber gaze, and his full beard, along with the scarf that is beneath it.
Ianna has joined the pews nearest the rear.
Merek has joined the pews nearest the rear.
2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, The Second arrive, following Margerie.
Margerie has joined the pews nearest the rear.
Sparte is nervously hovering off on the edge of the Shrine, watching people to make sure things are going well. He is as far from center stage this time as he can be without being somewhere else.
Felix settles in to his seat, giving a nod to those that have joined the same pews. Keeping quiet and waiting for everything to start, claiming one of the books and thumbing through it. Browsing until everything gets started.
Shard slips in and, not surprisingly, almost immediately picks out a seat near the back. She plunks herself down on the very end of one of the pews and slumps down, arms crossing over her chest, legs crossed at the ankles.
Silvio is here, though, it looks like he might sit this one out as far as the main table. But, far be it for Silvio to miss out on any of the drama! So, his flounciness is here, settled into a pew with one leg over the other.
Shard has joined the pews nearest the rear.
Lethe looks around with little expression. She then finds a place to sit.
Aleksei sips at his coffee some more, glancing over at Sparte like maybe he's not sure if he's supposed to be the one starting things off. And then he looks back out at the gathered crowd. "Okay! Well. Guardsman Sparte asked me to host this little -- um, what do you call it. Salon? Debate? So -- thanks to everyone for coming! Skald was forgotten from the Pantheon for quite a good while, which I guess has all sorts of implications for -- you know, life and history and whatnot. I certainly have had lots of thoughts about what his absence meant and all of that. I understand that I'm, uh, not supposed to be lecturing or preaching or whatever, but instead -- tossing out questions? And letting folks chew over them. Just -- out loud, you know. So! I guess the first thing I'd wonder about is -- what do people think would've been different about our history if we hadn't forgotten him? Or -- you know, what would be different now?"
Merek has joined the line.
Turn in line: Merek
Leta has joined the pews nearest the front.
Lethe has joined the pews nearest the front.
Merek lifts up his hand a bit, "I think we'd understand that our Choices matter more! I think before the revelation of his doctrine, even though pre-destiny wasn't a thing we really folllowed, I feel like a lot of people didn't know that our actions are completely our own, and we can shape the world by them. I think that the doctrine of Aion which was lost goes in hand with that. Choices shape the world, and the Dream, they effect change, and while we choose to follow the gods, it is also up to our own paths I think we've learned, to decide courses of history and change."
Waldemai has joined the pews nearest the rear.
Gia the peregrine falcon, 3 Rubino and Zaffria guards arrive, following Grazia.
Waldemai slips in quietly and takes a seat in the back.
Grazia has joined the pews nearest the rear.
Leta steps lightly into the shrine, looking about, then saunters along towards the discussion, taking a seat off to the side near the front. She arranges her hat, tugs here and there on her clothes, then leans one elbow on her thigh and settles in to listen. She looks thoughtful, glancing from Aleksei to Merek to the altar.
Silvio has joined the pews nearest the front.
Rinel has joined the line.
Leta has joined the line.
Turn in line: Rinel
Grazia slips in quietly, a little late but interested nonetheless. She silently takes a seat at one of the benches, folding her hands neatly into her lap and sitting with rigid perfect posture.
"Yeah, certainly having a firm sort of -- doctrinal lack of predestination or whatever makes a bit of a difference," Aleksei agrees with a crooked smile before he looks to Rinel.
Margerie has left the pews nearest the rear.
2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, The Second leave, following Margerie.
Rinel looks up from where she is inspecting the tree. There's a small bug on her finger. She stares at it carefully before gently putting it back on the bark. "Oh. Yes. Well. I think it would have had an impact on the economy of the eastern islands. Lord Skald seems not to look favorably on various forms of indenture. So thralls probably wouldn't have existed as a phenomenon for quite so long." She cocks her head to the side. "I wonder what He thinks about Silent Reflections? They're sort of like slaves." The scholar goes back to looking at the tree.
Wynna strolls in quietly, lingering towards the back near the entrance.
Aleksei looks up at the ceiling. Presumably the line continues.
Turn in line: Leta
Merek seems to think about Rinel's words after Aleksei's words to him, and he looks as though he expected someone to bring that up. Either way he wathces on, as he fiddles with his sword and a duskstone, measuring them idly while he listens.
Shard listens silently, eyes narrowing a little more as each speaker talks.
Sparte has joined the line.
Leta raises her hand, then lets it drop as she listens to Rinel speak, and instead just fidgets with a ring before briefly raising her very common voice, "Pardon. I'm - Archlector Aleksei knows I'm no scholar. I was going to say I didn't know if history would've changed much 'cause I don't think I decided anything different because of knowing about Skald, not as such. But I hadn't thought of the Thralls, so don't mind me, I'm sure folk in the Faith and Lords and such might've decided things different. Sorry."
Turn in line: Sparte
Lou has joined the line.
Sparte comes out from where he is lingering on the edge of things, giving a nervous smile to Aleksei and a small wave to those in attendance before beginning to speak. "First, thank you all for being here and participating." He gestures around the room at the trees. "This shrine is full of trees and stones that seem unstructured. Unhewn. Raw. Yet they come together to form something beautiful. People are a lot like that at times. Some think a person need be refined to do something meaningful or serve a certain purpose. I think... We've grown into a sort of careless disregard for what the unrefined means and is capable of, in much of the compact." Sparte pauses. "What potential there is in people, and their choices. Both good ones and poor ones." He shakes his head. "I'm sorry, I don't know if that made sense or not. I just have a hard time making sense of what Skald's existance being known is still changing."
Shard has joined the line.
Turn in line: Lou
Grazia has left the pews nearest the rear.
Gia the peregrine falcon have been dismissed.
3 Rubino and Zaffria guards have been dismissed.
Lou raises from her seat to address everyone. "Having been part of a number of expeditions, patrols and such, I imagine if Skald had been around, there would be less shav'arvani tribes affected by by the abyss and pressed into their service, unable to act for themselves any longer." The words are softly spoken, and she pauses a moment as she adds, "Or, at least, I would hope that would have been so, and that perhaps we would have forged a peaceful way of living between us over time rather than forgetting that they were once part of our society and lands." With that, the explorer who loves to find out anything about history takes a seat.
Kit, the grey fox, a tiny man with a BIG unpronounceable name arrive, following Monique.
Aleksei cants his head, considering Lou's words. "That's an interesting idea," he says. "Are you thinking that maybe people would know to value their freedom more than they did? That they'd be less likely to agree to service?" He looks back out to the line.
Turn in line: Shard
"I would hope so. Or, that they'd at least put more thought into what they might have been giving up." Lou responds to Aleksei, since he asked her a question.
Monique has joined the pews nearest the rear.
Shard sits up straight and puts her feet flat on the floor, but she doesn't actually stand. She looks at Lou for a long moment, then looks at no one in particular. "I don't think much would have changed at all in the Compact," she says, simply. Flatly. "Some things, sure. But not much. Skald's thing? Choice? It's /inconvenient/. That's how I see it being treated now, anyway. Inconvenient. Uncomfortable. Something to write a bunch of meaningless paragraphs about and maybe meander around over how consequences are something to think /real hard/ about before you do something, and then give lip service to now and then. What Lou says sounds nice. That would be great. But would that have happened? Really? Is it happening /now/? Have you seen any great proclamations from the Faith or the Crown since the rediscovery of Skald about anything like that?"
Monique slips in the the shrine, quick and stealthy, careful not to interrupt commentary and conversation. There's a pause and she glances with sharp eyes to the pews, spotting several familiar faces and turning her steps that way.
Wynna murmurs aside to Rinel after listening.
Grazia has joined the pews nearest the rear.
"I think there's a pretty big difference in a world where he was never forgotten and a world where he's been remembered for -- what, all of a year or two?" Aleksei points out to Shard, lips tugging into a crooked frown.
"All I know is that in this world where he's been remembered for a year or two," Shard says, "is that a lot of people are really happy to forget him whenever possible, except as an 'oh yeah, and then there's Skald. Choices are great. Next.'" She shrugs, and slumps back again.
"Probably because I've heard he doesn't like attention," Merek mentions aside, while he runs a hand under his hood along his beard. He takes his time to read a book he has, while he takes notes as he listens to the others.
"I think the habits of humans and their regular failings have more to do with it than whether or not Skald likes attention," Aleksei says a touch dryly.
Shard rubs at her jaw for a moment. "How's this for an example of inconvenience? In a world where Skald isn't forgotten, and people /do/ take him into account? There aren't any crusades."
"Well, that's because we're on the defensive," Rinel chirps from where she stands next to Wynna. "Right?"
Wynna keeps her thoughts to herself, frowning in contemplation.
Sparte looks thoughtful, frowning a bit to himself as he considers the conversation. "She isn't wrong that some people are... Selective in which gods they follow. Almost like they think there were only twelve."
Rinel checked composure + etiquette at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Rinel opens her mouth to speak but says nothing.
Merek seems to be writing in his book for the time being. He doesn't have much to voice on the matter, just listening to others.
"That's definitely -- an idea," Aleksei says in careful quasi-maybe-sort-of-not-really-agreement with Shard. "I mean, they at least might have looked a bit -- different." He's quiet a moment, considering. "In the earliest days of the Compact after the Reckoning, for at least several generations, slavery was still common in the Compact. It wasn't until Queen Triscali's rule that it was actually outlawed. I wish I knew exactly how quickly Skald was actually forgotten, because I didn't really imagine it was so early."
Wynna perks up at the mention of Triscali, but her enthusiasm visibly curbs when she stops short and seems to remember that this is a debate, not a history lesson.
Lou rises from her seat quietly and makes her way from the temple.
Lou has left the pews nearest the front.
Willen leaves, following Lou.
Margret has left the pews nearest the rear.
"Maybe they never listened to him in the first place," Shard suggests, with a faint shrug. "Or it was always just...when convenient." A pause. "...Or when he turned up and released all their slaves and it didn't matter."
Ianna has left the pews nearest the rear.
Arlo, an impossibly fluffy dog with an impossibly grumpy face leaves, following Ianna.
Monique has left the pews nearest the rear.
Kit, the grey fox, a tiny man with a BIG unpronounceable name leave, following Monique.
Rinel says, "...it mattered for the slaves, I expect."
Shard's mouth twitches. "Yes, it did."
"He turned up and released the Rex'alfar's slaves," Aleksei says in minor correction to Shard. "Some time before then. Before the Reckoning. I don't imagine it was easy or convenient for Queen Triscali to renounce the practice, though."
Wynna can't quite contain herself. "Particularly with how power was distributed back then."
"No," Shard says. "But that's my point. That kind of thing is very, /very/ inconvenient, at best, for the very people who hold all the power to make those decisions. Isn't that one of the reasons she's remembered? Because she's actually the one who stopped it? There were a bunch of rulers before her who didn't."
"The right thing to do is often inconvenient," Aleksei says agreeably. "Even /usually/ inconvenient."
Sparte nods in agreement. He considers a moment before speaking again. "I feel we don't really have a Tehom's Advocate for this conversation. I expect... People who don't agree with freedom used their own to opt out of attending."
Lethe has left the pews nearest the front.
Rinel mutters unhappily and makes a warding sign with her fingers.
Felix offers a gentle clearing of his throat. "Why would we not have crusades, had Skald been more prominent, or never forgotten? Would some have chosen to stand against the Pantheon? I think there would always be those who chose, and are tempted, by power outside of what the bounds of law and the Faith allows. And making that choice, gather others who seek power to them, which draws conflict. And when it involves the Faith, would there not be a crusade to fight them?"
Waldemai has left the pews nearest the rear.
Merek looks like he has listened to enough for his book, and also looks a bit tired. He stands up and inclines, and makes his way on.
Shard looks distinctly irritable and opens her mouth. And then, rather than say something, she glances toward Aleksei and shuts it instead.
Aleksei clears his throat a bit carefully. "I think the implication was," he says, "that if Skald had been more present in the Pantheon, there might not have been so distinct an effort to convert non-believers to worship of the Pantheon."
"Ah, my apologies, and that makes sense, too. I lost some of the conversation there." Holding up the book of Doctrine, Felix offers a light smile. "Thank you." with an incline of the head both to Shard and to Aleksei.
Merek has left the pews nearest the rear.
Aneka, 3 Iron Guardsmen, Meeka leave, following Merek.
Leta remains silent as the conversation continues. If she has thoughts other than the uncertainty mirrored on her face, she keeps it to herself, idle fingers walking up and down her buttons. She turns her head, glancing towards the pews in the back where Shard sits, then back towards Aleksei in front.
Shard tips her head very slightly, and very stiffly, toward Felix, although she remains silent now, settling a little further down into her seat.
"I can probably pull up more, but -- are there any questions anyone here would like to pose generally to the -- forum?" Aleksei asks, looking out among the gathered crowd.
Felix shakes his head, moving to stand, and offering a short bow. "Thank you, Archlector, for hosting this gathering." turning to give Shard a bow as well, before he straightens and makes his way to wards the exit.
Sparte is quiet for the moment, looking around at the others present hopefully.
Wynna shakes her head with a smallish smile.
Aleksei offers Felix a quick smile of farewell before looking back to everyone else. "One question /I/ definitely get asked a whole lot is variations on the theme of 'Where does my freedom end and another person's begin.' Which, you know, I've always thought is probably somewhere in between my fist and someone's nose or whatever, but. It's a worthwhile question to consider."
Silvio remains in his seat, reclined slightly, and his dark eyes settle on Aleksei and linger there, pensive.
Felix has left the pews nearest the front.
"Message received!" Aleksei eventually says with a laugh. "Okay. Thanks to everyone for coming, and thanks for those of you who shared your thoughts. And to everyone for, um. Staying civil! And all of that. I'll be hanging around if anyone has any questions or anything like that."
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