Sermon: Holy War - A Light of Hope
Hear proverbs from each of the gods, learn the names of new heroes.
The sermon concludes with attendees saying a communal prayer and simple promise to the gods as each attendee lights a votive candle for the promise, prayer and support of another who goes to fight the Marin forces. Lit candles will be placed on the gold candle rack by the grand altar.
Let the light of hope and faith shine brightly.
Feb. 13, 2018, 8:30 p.m.
Victus Alistair Alarissa Moira Calypso Reese Costas Duarte Waldemai Bianca Derovai Merek Madeleine Mailys Valdemar Fairen Driskell Lucita Felicia Isabetta Artorius Vayne Jeffeth Tovell Silvio Alban Seymour Behtuk
Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Great Cathedral of the Pantheon
Comments and Log
A choir sings the latest song by Lady Lucita Igniseri called "To Arms, Came the Rallying Call" as their voices lift high in the ceilings as the afternoon sunlight shines brightly through the large stained glass windows casting the faithful gathered here in multiple colors. A figure in black robes move to the pulpit, gloved hands grasping the sides as brother Driskell looks down at the gathered with golden eyes. There's silence for many a moment as he observes the faithful, when from the side a group of children come quickly and set out what appear to be four thrones circling a fifth larger one before they scramble away back to their families in the benches as faithful are gathering to their seats.
But one can hear it, the sound of marching. The rhythmic distinct beat of the drums of war and booted feet, of armored soldiers. But where is it coming from?
Alban arrives early before the Sermon is set to begin in order to get himself a good place to join. He glances around however, looking at the Cathedral with open reverence in his expression and some wide eyed awe there but, he manages to keep his composure. Moving through to the nobles pews, he finds himself a space offering a respectful bow to the others present then takes his seat.
12 Thrax Elite Guards, Crow - Thraxian Steward, Lilybelle - Fluffy Maine Coon arrive, following Victus.
Victus has joined the Side Alcove.
Alban has joined the Noble Pews.
6 Malvici Guards, Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici arrive, following Calypso.
Duarte has joined the Quiet Alcove.
Calypso has joined the Noble Pews.
Isabetta has joined the Noble Pews.
Seymour has joined the Commoner Pews.
Seymour slips in a little late. Not as late as he was last time, but late.
The doors of the Cathedral open in the rear and a small army of children begin marching solemnly to the front. There are four little knights, their armor clanging as they hold five very old banners of the Valardin, Redrain, Lyceum, Grayson and Thrax who make their way to stand beside one of the thrones and small drummers whom can only be about six years of age if that banging their drums loudly with great gusto. Behind them march three older children dressed up as queens and a king, and each of them sit upon their thrones as they wear their crowns. For those who know history, they might just recognize them as ancient Queens and Kings of history. And finally, there are some children dressed in the Faith's white with three interlocked rings who begin singing "To Arms, Came the Rallying Call" while one regally dressed boy has a crown of crowns upon his head and sits at the tall throne while the children in white robes stand behind him.
Philomel, the Nightingale, Micana, the efficient amanuensis, Golden, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Lucita.
Silvio slides into the cathedral and casts dark eyes about the place to join in one of alcoves another dark shape.
Artorius has joined the Noble Pews.
Count Artorius Magnotta arrives at the Cathedral, slipping into his seat as he watches on, the children earning a small smile from the Count.
Madeleine awwws in pure delight at the dressed up children. Oh goodness. She looks as if she might melt at the display.
Calypso settles in just as things are starting to begin. She makes her way quietly over to the Nobles Pews, nodding to those she knows.
Lucita slips into the Cathedral almost on the heels of Silvio, glances around and quietlyheads toward the Noble pews.
Lucita has joined the Noble Pews.
Bianca slipped in shortly behind the army of children, moving along the side toward the Quiet Alcove only to find it at capacity. She instead voted to remain standing, leaning in to murmur to the pair already inhabiting it.
Isabetta happens to be just on the heels of Calypso by chance and follows her to the same pews.
1 Velenosa House Guards arrives, following Alistair.
Driskell leans forward and gives a gesture of a gloved hand towards the children kings and queens, knights and faithful, his flat-toned voice speaking up across the pews, "Look back in history today, friends, and remember. How the four mighty queens and kings knelt to King Alar of House Grayson during the time of the Reckoning, when darkness desired to cover the world and see the Abyss rule it all, but the gods came to Humanity and sought to give it tools and blessings if Humanity would choose to unify. Queen Sugan of the West kneeling first. Queen Valeria Redrain of the North kneeling second. Grand Duchess Procella Pravus kneeling third. King Aposyr Thrax of the Mourning Isles kneeling last. Look, listen and remember the echoes of the past!"
There's a jingle of bells somewhere in the Cathedral, and one by one, the Queens and Kings move from their throne and kneel before the one older boy dressed as King Alar and each say to him as their sole voice shouts out "Before the gods, I swear my life, my house and my sacred honor to our Compact. I swear that when the Compact calls me to war, I will answer. I name Alar of House Grayson my king and swear my leal service to him." The children all say Hail Hail King Alar after the last royal swears fealty to the child Alar, their cries and cheers echoing.
The sound of chimes are heard, and at that moment the children freeze where they are in mid-cheer to the King Alar. Frozen shades of the past.
Driskell lets their little cheers echo in the vaulted ceilings die out, he doesn't rushes to speak but when he does, again that flat voice says, "And so the Compact was born and the five separate kingdoms that had fought one another united as a new kingdom to face the horde of evil that surrounded this very city after it had swallowed up realms beyond. For what the five had made were oaths before the gods and to break these oaths was unthinkable. Thus did Dominus Tin write in the recollection of the forging of the Compact. We have heard our good King Alaric, fourth of his name, send a call to all in his realm and reminded them of their sacred oaths. We have heard each highlord repeat the call to their bannermen, and both great house and minor from every point of the Compact have answered that call with a resounding "Yes" as oaths are honored and promises fulfilled."
Derovai's neck cracks at Duarte's arrival in his space, and he steps out of the alcove, shaking his head, a bit annoyed. He motions to Silvio, a quick little gesture, as he draws closer to the Velenosan prince amidst the children's choir, barely giving the latter a glance. He whispers something to the man he's neared.
Derovai has left the Quiet Alcove.
Madeleine wants to start clapping. She almost starts to clap. It's so precious. But this is a solemn moment so she instead clasps her hands over her bosom and holds them there. "Very nice," she mouths to the children in silence, giving reassuring nods of approval.
Bianca has joined the Quiet Alcove.
Duarte remains unbothered and welcomes Bianca, pleasantly motioning for her to sit.
Grandt, House Leary man-at-arms arrives, following Fairen.
Fairen has joined the Noble Pews.
Alistair arrives quietly, and though dressed in his Inquisition colors, he is only accompanied by a lone guard in Velenosian colors. The man stands at the back of the massive cathedral, easy to hide due to the sheer size of the structure. He clasps his hands behind his back and watches in silence.
The priest looks at a few faces in the benches below, gold eyes staring as if he's seeing their souls. "It is known by all that the Marin King is moving his forces like a dark storm on the horizon to try and destroy the unity which binds us together under Faith and King. He has kept the title king in mockery to Limerace, Gloria and Petrichor for he has no honor and no king would lead his people to tasks that bring dishonor. We have heard of his treachery, of how this fiend of dishonor is a man enslaved and lost to his pride and selfishness. You have heard the words from the Faith to pity the man and pray for his soul so that he might be redeemed in the eyes of the gods if that is his choice, that his heart be opened to receive the correction of the most holy and turn aside his wickedness that enslaves all those who follow his banner. With such....evil.....we have heard the Faith declare this a holy war and those protectors of the Faith called the Templars once more will be used to defend the faithful with the support of each and every fealty in the Compact. But not all are like our mighty Templars, strong of conviction, resoundingly strong in their faith. Many are simple farmers, bakers, hard working fishmongers, traders and craftsmen."
"I was having tea the other night and one that I spoke with had seen a horror beyond their understanding that suddenly revealed itself and they fell in shock." says Driskell from the pulpit to the gathered. "They spoke about how helpless they felt that they could do anything when the uncountable armies of darkness marched proudly and boldly against the Compact, how the path of wickedness and rejection of the gods seems to have given these fiends a power that seems foolish to try and stand against. What could she do that would provide any meaningful defense or attack against such awesome un-contained powers? My response was that inside her heart was something that not one single fiend in the dark armies had; for within her was the sacred light of hope and coupling that with unwavering faith in the gods and her lieges that have ancient oaths to fulfill in protecting all the people of the Compact from all threats, what matter of demonic gifts or Abyssal corrupted power could withstand the miracles and mysteries of the gods and the holy army that rises only in response to such vile threats to Humanity?"
"What other people could undertake this monumental task to save the world from the nightmare that desires to enslave all things and all people in chaos and darkness? There is no doubt, only those strong and courage can do this. We must remain united and be led by those chosen by the gods and filled with their spirit. We have to look deep inside ourselves and find those courageous elements who demonstrate the exact opposite of the materialistic, violence loving, blindly hateful bestial followers of the Marin King." says the priest, letting a moment of silence come.
Just a few paces behind Alistair comes Fairen, clad in green and brown colored silks as he makes his way silently towards the Noble Pews, his guardsmen breaking off and moveing to the Commoner Pews.
Arriving just as the spectacle is beginning Costas lingers in the entryway of the cathedral for a few long moments before moving further inward. His dark gaze had been arrested by the theatre playing out in the front, but at it's conclusion and the beginning of Driskell's sermon the swordsman quietly moves a take a seat at the end of a row. Silent, grave, and seemingly uninterested in socializing as he occupies as remote a position as possible.
Costas has joined the Commoner Pews.
Vayne watches the procession with interest, brown eyes flitting here and there. His gaze returns to Driskell and the Archlector smiles as he listens to the bold and grave words. He looks... proud.
"I do not lie, the number of those who are against us is not small and their capabilities are as large as their leader's ego and pride. We have heard of their innumerable ships that sail this way. Their numbers are like the grains of the sand as there are those who hate us or are envious that we take our responsibilities as caretakers of the world and desire to bring the light of the Faith to all peoples and all corners of the world. We should not be surprised if others also join in, their souls taken over by their dark passions as they doggedly pursue their vices in the misplaced thought that such nefarious and selfish desires should bring them contentment, purpose and happiness. But where they call out the names of the archfiends in chaotic cacophony, let us instead lift our voices in unity for the Compact and the Faith. Let us sing the song To Arms, Came the Rallying Call as a hymn to the gods and our defiance against those who serve not the gods. For the Faith is what sustains our souls, it is the bread and meat that our spirit can be nourished through these troubling days. But as no man can sustain himself purely on food, let your prayers and assistance to one another be like water when your soul is thirsty." says Driskell, pausing a moment.
The priest speaks further, "If we did not have justice and a clear conscience on our side, if we didn't feel the implicit presence of the gods which the three rings of the Faith's flag uniting the banners of the Compact and which leads our Highlords and King to take up their swords and call for a crusade and holy war, then shouldn't we be all trembling with timidity and fear on the threats the Marin King gives us? But now, now we will boldly give a defiant answer to him who has broken all his oaths, who has cast aside all his honor, who has forsaken his own people in the pursuit of his pride, selfishness and wickedness. We will give our bold answer which is most human of all: We of the Compact fear the Gods, and nothing else in the world!"
"These forces, this unholy Black Tide, practice complete imbalance as they act like beasts. They wantonly slaughter those they capture in false worship and sacrifice to their Marin King. They enslave the minds and hearts of those they conquer. They profess adoration not for the gods, but instead to false words and heresy. They destroy that which should be protected, they take rather than give, they are in all essence, abominations upon the world and they are moving to take your homes and to destroy your families completely. What can you do!?"
Madeleine leans over to her fellow Archlector and makes a quiet comment, beaming with her own kind of pride at Vayne.
Merek has been settled about a bit, listening!
Waiting, Driskell looks at those gathered, studying their faces again. "Those who have given them, remember your oaths to your liege and fulfill your duties responsibly. For all others, serve and conduct yourselves in your daily lives as though the Sentinel himself was standing behind you ready to bring down holy judgment on you. Seek not to gain at the expense of another's misfortune. Lead not your fellow man into disaster and lose themselves in their dark passions, but instead uplift, correct and forgive. Mothers and fathers, lead your families and protect their spiritual wellbeing, make your home wherever it is a bastion of the faith so that your children see you as the heroes of ancient story and follow your holy example of humility, service and muted zeal. Those who have no home, no family, bring yourself before the Faith so that you might find purpose as the armies of the Compact marshal. Above all, may you each keep that light of hope lit in your hearts and where you see it falter in another, help them as a brother and sister in this family of the Faith.
"Think upon a new set of heroes that are rising up around you, no longer must you look to the past to see examples of godly traits for your brothers and sisters in the Faith are here even now. Princess Reese with her selfless focus on ensuring our soldiers are trained and able to protect you and to fight honorably. Goodman Sparte how he sharpens the wills and focus of the commoners into being a weapon to protect civilization, how he uplifts his fellow of the faith and serves with his whole heart faithfully. General Calypso as she seeks out wisdom not just from the war council but how she goes out to see the farmers in their fields, the dockworkers, the bakers and ironworkers to see their concerns and just what she is leading our forces to fight for, that she leads with humility and responsibility, that she desires a just and honorable fight." says the priest from the pulpit, his gaze looking at those he names before continuing, "Think of the mother who fervently prays to the gods for her child to return from war and then when they come home to embrace her. Think of the moment a person who is homeless shares what little bread they have to another, showing Gild's compassion and love as they selflessly give their all. Think of how a father leaves early in the morning and says goodbye to his entire family as he toils with bent back over the fields to provide a meager meal for his family as well as to the Compact's armies, but still he prays at the table before the evening meal and guides his family with stern hand and love. Find your heroes, faithful, find your heroes by choosing to become them."
There are priests that now begin to file down the aisles, some passing out candles while others near the altar hold a small gold lamp ready to light any candles that the faithful desire to light and place on the stand by the altar once it is time.
Reese listens to the sermon with close attention. When her name is mentioned, she looks upon the priest with her somber blue eyes, giving him a gentle smile. There is a touch of pink in her cheeks. Reese then looks over to Calypso, having a smile for her as well.
Lucita continues to quietly listen to what is being said and her eyes widen, lips part and she gives a soft gasp on recognizing the title of the song as Driskell speaks.
Alistair unclasps a single hand as one of the clergy approaches him with the offering of a candle. The High Inquisitor claims the simple wax item, staring at it for a moment.
Alban reaches to take a candle when they reach his place amongst the congregation. A slight frown touches his face but it is one of thought, not consternation, as if the words of the sermon weigh heavily upon some personal matter within the man's heart.
Valdemar is quiet, listening keenly to the priest's words. When he names heroes among them, the Grimhall heir seeks them out, glancing respectfully at each of them in turn. When offered a candle, he takes one as well, turning it over briefly in his hands, examining it.
Vayne takes a candle, of course, and takes a moment to notice the responses from others in the room. He still looks proud, and has that sort of fidgety energy of the motivated.
Driskell lifts his gloved hands upwards as he says, "Beloveds of the gods, faithful children, stand up with me and lift your hands and your voices as we pray. Repeat the following as we lift our voices to the gods and show them our hearts are open for receiving their commands, gifts and corrections. Afterwards, light your candle as you promise to be a champion of the gods in your daily lives....."
And here the priests continue to distribute the white votive candles to the faithful in the benches and where those who have no place to sit and are forced to stand.
"To the Tetrad of Creation, we pray that we might be responsible. May we protect this gift of life that has been given to all creatures, things and persons, that we fulfill our obligations to be caretakers of this world rather than users. We ask that we be reminded of these blessings and abundance in difficult times."
"To the Tetrad of Arts and Science, we pray for wisdom. Gird us with honor, let us fight this Crusade of the Black Tides not to destroy our enemy or by doing any and all things which could lead us to victory in the battle. Let us instead be champions of honor, let us withhold destruction where mercy is the just response. Let us sing the hymns of the gods when our hearts falter and inspire each other to battle on against the darkness. We ask that Love, Truth and Civilization be granted so that we remember why we fight."
"To the Tetrad of Concepts, let us remember that we will be judged by our thoughts, words and actions. Let nothing come from us that brings dismay and dishonor. Help us remember our oaths and pledges and that where our armies march in this holy war, that we are examples of the Faith to the world by all that we do and say, and for that we are judged. We pray that through our choices we make, that each choice helps protect those that we love and make the world far better than what was given to us."
"To the Thirteenth, we ask for help that we are able to turn our anger, hate, rage, sadness, jealousy and all other dark passions into a most constructive outlet as we fight against the Marin King and everything that he exemplifies. That when the crusade is over, that we can look back and see that we exhibited control over our darkest thoughts and passions and did not get led by them, but instead used them to make a positive change in the world."
"To all the gods, I ask that you bless each and every one of your faithful here today that stand and proclaim their adoration and service to you, who pledge their hearts and service to withstand the forces of darkness. May you bring peace into their hearts when the world is chaotic. May you bring a sense of belonging and community when they feel alone. May you inspire them to greatness as they all seek to become heroes in their own way."
Calypso gives an incline of her head over to Reese and then to Luctia, a slight smile. She reaches out to take a candle when they are offered.
When the priest comes by where he sits Costas eyes the collection of candles with some reticence but eventually lifts a heavy mitt to accept one, thereafter leaning back in the pew and staring at the wax length in uneasy rumination as the sermon continues.
Artorius remains silent.......just listening.
Bianca extended her hand from her place in the Alcove to receive an offered candle. A soft smile and murmured thanks given to the priest bearing it.
Tovell takes a candle and remains silent. The pious knight listening attentively.
As the candles are passed out, Alarissa smiles, taking one for her and for Victus, the two of them sitting side by side through the sermon. She passes off one to the High Lord of Thrax.
Lucita accepts one of the candles when they are distributed, still listening intently to what is said, to the prayers.
Behtuk takes a candle and lights it. He dwarfs the tiny flame as he stands, uncertain of what to say or do, just standing.
Seymour holds a candle when one comes his way, giving it an uneasy look as though he were unsure what it was even for.
Madeleine accepts a candle with a thank you and 'Gods be with us' as she is given hers.
Driskell concludes the prayer and the sermon by saying, "What shame there will be if such a despised king and his abominations which worship and commune with demons should conquer a people which have the faith of the gods and are made glorious with the name of a new age of heroes. With what reproach will the gods overwhelm us if we do not aid those of the Faith in their time of need? Let those who have itched for battle but have held their hand to not wage it against the faithful now go against the Black Tide and end with victory this war which has begun so many years ago. Let those who have been thieves rise up to become knights and show that redemption through service cleanses the soul and restores their honor. Let those who have been fighting against their brothers and sisters now be united to fight against the Black Tide. Let those who have been serving as mercenaries for a little silver now obtain the eternal reward of honor and glory. Let those who have been wearing themselves out in body and soul now work even more so that their toils are witnessed and rewarded by the gods. Let those who have been hurt, who have lost friends and family, who have been attacked and wronged by the evil which approaches, let their emotions be controlled and a holy rage be let loose upon the Marin King's forces like a torrential storm."
A gloved hand gestures as priests begin to file down the aisles handing out candles, lighting candles and directing folks towards the large ornate table to say their prayers and promises to the gods. "Come, beloved faithful, and light your candle and set it on the stand with your promises and prayers. Become champions of the light, become heroes of the Faith so that wherever you go, the aid of the Faith is given and those that desire to destroy the Faith are sent back to whence they came. The gods command it. Choose to rise up and fight so that when the future children look back on today, they can see that humanity as caretakers stood up once more against the darkness and said "Not now, not on my watch!". Let Arx shine brightly with your hope and weather against the darkness. The Crusade of Black Tides is upon us, will you answer the call? Rise up, faithful. Rise up new heroes....and fight!"
Driskell bows his head and the choir begins to sing once more the song "To Arms, Came the Rallying Call" loudly as their angelic voices lift up, folks moving to the front by the altar with lit candles to signify their pledges and prayers and as they do, the Cathedral interior by the altar may just become even more brighter.
Derovai pulls out a single solitary silver, jiggling it in a gloved hand. He's standing with Silvio towards the back of the room. The candles take a minute or two to get there, but he takes one, passing one along to the man whose company he's keeping, with a little nod as something Silvio says very quietly to him during the lull in the sermon. And then h's listening again.
Alban catches Vayne's look, the nod, and he returns it in understanding and agreement. Taking his candle he rises to his feet at the beckoning gesture without hesitation and begins to move towards the lantern to light his candle with back straight and a clear expression of grim determination on his face.
Vayne is to his feet swiftly, moving to light his candle as well. He gives imploring looks to those around him, as if by will he might move them to join in.
Calypso is overheard praising Driskell for: To Arms! Wonderful sermon.
Bianca is overheard praising Driskell for: Beautiful and insightful sermon as always.
Madeleine follows alongside Vayne and raises her candle to light it, offering a prayer quietly with eyes shut in gentle grace.
Alistair is overheard praising Driskell.
Merek is overheard praising Driskell.
Lucita is overheard praising Driskell.
Vayne is overheard praising Driskell.
Waldemai carries his candle to the front, looking appropriately reverent.
Rising to his feet, Valdemar takes his candle to light it and carry it toward the front of the cathedral. Placing it on the altar, he bows his head in silent prayer for a moment, before moving on to allow others to do the same.
Felicia slips to her feet with the rest of the crowd, only to be intercepted by a runner and slips away.
Felicia has left the Noble Pews.
Seymour takes his turn in line, bringing his candle to the front, lighting it, placing it, and moving along.
Victus is overheard praising Driskell for: He says a lot of words.
The massive form of Sir Jeffeth Bayweather slowly raises from the pews. Going to accept a candle the Knight of Solace goes to stand in line, waiting his turun before lighting and laying his own candle with the others. The big man then starts moving towards the back of the cathedral.
Artorius accepts a candle and he walks up to the front....thoug hhe takes a moment as if contemplating his actions, a hidden meaning behind them. "Help us." because he knows they'll need the help, the Count finally lights his candle before moving right along with everyone else.
Reese is overheard praising Driskell for: Great Sermon
Silvio doesn't seem interested in the candle, though he's been listening for a while. Its possible he just doesn't want to get wax on his clothes.
Pulled from reverie by the rising voices of the choir Costas hauls up to his full height, moving to catch light to the end of the candle in his hand. As the swordsman approaches the alter a grimace of conviction briefly ghosts across his face before the leathery visage returns once more to dull illegibility, and then he bows his head to make his silent promises and appeals to the gods.
Alarissa is overheard praising Driskell for: All hail the elolquent Brother Driskell
Victus holds the candle close by as the sermon slowly comes to a close. He's not entirely sure what to do with it. Once things are starting to sort out he's quick to put it... somewhere. Anywhere it won't burn the place down.
Vayne is summoned, and so goes.
Vayne has left the Commoner Pews.
Soren leaves, following Vayne.
Moira gets to her feet and turns, exiting the Cathedral without a backwards glance.
Mailys rises slowly from the pews with a small candle in hand. She slips quietly with the queue towards the stand before lighting the wick of her own candle and laying it alongside the others. Her gaze flickers along with the candle at some quiet thought before she sweeps slowly away in a soft flutter of fur and silk.
Tovell lights his candle and joins the others in doing what is necessary. He sets it down and offers a quiet prayer.
Moira has left the Commoner Pews.
Tovell has left the Commoner Pews.
Calypso has left the Noble Pews.
6 Malvici Guards, Adjutant General Vincenzo di Malvici leave, following Calypso.
Derovai blinks at Silvio's reluctance. He motions Silvio to light his candle, with a little jab of his elbow towards the altar.
Reese has her candle is on her feet as she lingers quietly for the moment.
As a priest approaches Alistair to light his candle, the High Inquisitor holds up a hand to stop the clergy. "I'll be keeping the candle..." the man rumbles out, "And pay my respects to the gods in my own way." Those who know the man know he has a thing for candles. The House of Questions is /filled/ with them. Far to many. Far to many.
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