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Sermon: Integrity

Mother Bianca gives a sermon within the halls of the great Cathedral on the topic of "Integrity." All welcome.

((Just a little thrown together Faith of the Pantheon thematic event since nothing else seemed scheduled for tonight! Hopefully it's fun! Run-time should be about an hour. :D))

Date

Oct. 22, 2018, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Bianca

Participants

Harlex Cirroch Orvyn Roran Ingrid Tabitha Lisebet Neilda

Organizations

Faith of the Pantheon

Location

Arx - Ward of the Compact - The Great Cathedral of the Pantheon

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


Harlex inclines his head to both women. He looks to Bianca with a bit of a smile. "Good to see you both. Well, I figured I wouldn't burst into flames. What's the harm." He moves to find a seat and slides into a pew up front. He puts up his sword against the front barrier at a lean.

Bianca also bowed her head to Ingrid in greeting, though pale eyes drifted outward. "It truly is a testament to Jayus' inspiration and the capacity of man." She said in regards to the Cathedral itself. "Oh, if you all will excuse me." And she backed up a bit into the side aisle.

The Cathedral choir indicated the beginning of the service as their voices lifted to fill the belly of the Cathedral in a cacophony of music and urging those who filled the pews to take note and quiet their chatter, and those who still lingered to find a seat. The selection today was a hymn written by Princess Sorrel Thrax and hymnal books were provided in the pews for those that chose to sing along:



“Honor your vows with great fidelity

Follow the laws true and set yourself free

Unbroken trust is the greatest of these

Love in your heart: the best reality.”



Heimlin, the Scholar, 5 Harthall house guards, Kestrel, the Scholar arrive, following Orvyn.

In comes Cirroch, followed as always by his rag tag band of misfits that someone could guess are guards, all of their axes tied to the sheaths that hang on their backs. He comes in just as before it begins, hurrying his way to a seat as the singing starts, grabbing a hymnal book and sings along after a clearing of his throat.

Cirroch has joined the Noble Pews.

Harlex has joined the Commoner Pews.

Tabitha checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Orvyn Harthall arrives in robes and leathers of his house and office. The champagne silver cog is worn and the man looks around the cathedral as he moves towards the pews designated for the nobles, quiet in his motions, almost reflective.

Roran totally sings along. But who knows how well he sounds considering he's just adding his voice to the others.

Ingrid bows her head as the voices raise to sing. She waits for a few moments before she turns her head toward the ceiling, lifting her voice to join in the song. She nods to Cirroch as he passes her, scooting so he can get to a seat without a problem.

Orvyn has joined the Noble Pews.

As the choir hushed and musicians stilled, the Legate of Creation proceeded from her seat along the side alcove to move to the pulpit beside the altar. “Welcome, children of the Faith.” Bianca’s warm smile was shared with those gathered. “Welcome. Thank you all for joining me today. I am always overjoyed to see such a gathering of light.”



And she got right into it!:



“In the social sphere of modern times, often the question of oaths and vows play a prominent role in our society. One's word is the foundation in which we look to an individual's worth. The topic of oaths and its impact on society as we know it today is mentioned prominently in Dominus Tin's works ('A Recollection of the Forging of the Compact') in that even the birth of the Compact itself is based upon this premise, "'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.' And thusly, the Compact was born and the five kingdoms made one. For the four had made oaths before the gods, and to break that was unthinkable."



But... today we are not only here to discuss oaths, vows or the subsequent penalties for breaching such promises. Today we are here to speak of integrity. Today we speak of lies and the burden to the soul a lie impresses upon its wielder.



To lie according to 'Alinor's Lexicon of Commonly Practiced Vernacular' is split. The more commonly known definition being, "to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive," but there is a second entry. "To create a false or misleading impression."”



Taking advantage of the choir song that soon fills the Cathedral, Tabitha slips into a pew and quietly takes a seat. Without any fuss, a hymnal book is soon in her hands and opened to the right page. She raises her voice, though not too loudly, lending to the music a sweet, simple soprano.

Then Tabitha shuts up and listens quietly, the book in her lap and her hands folding utop it.

Harlex didn't sing, as one might guess, but he did lower his head and sit once the hymnal is finished. He brings his arms to a fold over his chest, over in the commoner pews. Like a dirty commoner. His sharp, bright eyes focused on the Legate. He is a master of sitting quietly and listening after all.

Cirroch gives a friendly smile over to Ignrid, from ear to ear, a nod given her way as he sits himself down at the pew after everyone is done their hymnin'. He listens to Bianca speak, giving the woman's words a few nods in confirmation at her definition of lies.

Tabitha has joined the Noble Pews.

Ingrid's eyes get wide as Bianca starts her sermon, sitting back in the pew, listening quietly. She nods to Tabitha, wiggling her fingers in her direction.

Orvyn singing would shatter glass and thusly the man makes the correct decision in staying in revered silence whilst listening to the choir perform their pieces. When the after silence is filled with the first portion of the sermon, Orvyn opens his eyes and watches Bianca through the first portion. His head tilting every so often, sometimes in agreement, and others in reflective quiet.

Bianca gave a brief pause, giving her words an opportunity to settle in the ears of the congregation before she proceeded. “It is difficult enough to consider those times when we have said something that wasn’t true, but to then have to think about those times when we created a misleading impression by perhaps, not saying anything, or by being intentionally vague... that adds quite heavily to our failings, doesn't it?



Our society is built on a framework of lies when looking at the definition of the word in this light, leading one to wonder whether our social structure would survive if everyone were forced to speak the truth for even one day. Arguably, one can not survive in our world if they must stick to the most pure expression of truth. Do /you/ believe that's true?



Do you think that is the typical belief of our world today?”



As Bianca begins to speak about crumbling societies and lies as accepted, his eyes widen slightly, though he does peer at her with rapt attention, giving her the benefit of the doubt, though the Oathlander can be seen making a glance towards the exit once or twice.

Harlex maintains his quiet posture. The inscrutable attention on the sermon earns some thoughtful looks aside, pinged by other thoughts. He does lift a hand, slowly running it over his coarse black beard.

Another pause and space to breath filled the room with a subtle quiet before Bianca proceeded to answer her latter question from her own point of view.



“I believe it is.



A year ago I had several conversations with a man who was lonely and afraid. He felt like his life was conflicted and he began to feel that the Gods might be the answer to his problems. I had multiple conversations with him and shared the fact that Gods provide us with a divine example in which to mold our lives after. He was interested, but ultimately, what kept him from making any firm commitment to the Gods was the fact that he believed he couldn’t function in society if he had to be completely honest. He felt like he couldn’t compete with everyone else if he didn’t lie. To his credit he knew that a serious commitment to the Gods meant that his life would change, but he wasn’t willing to entrust that change to Lagoma. For many people lying is a way of life. It is a necessary skill. But the question is why do people feel the need to lie?



One of the most prominent reasons is: people lie because they’re afraid.”



There are a few quiet words with Tabitha before Ingrid sits up straight, directing her attention back at Bianca and her words. She folds her hands in her lap, brows furrowed slightly at the subject.

Sitting at the noble pews near to Ingrid, Tabitha's face is one of consideration, with just the faintest ripple of thoughtfulness making itself manifest in her expression. A slight frown, a slight pursing of lips, but nothing overt is all that indicates her musings. It would be noticed that she curves a glowing warm smile to Ingrid at some point soon afterwards, however, coupled with a little nod of her head. Attention goes back to Bianca at the talk of honesty, Gods and wayward souls, the artist's head tilting in consideration at these thoughts.

With the singing, Lisebet also sang, with only a brief look of apology to Ingrid. Orvyn's arrival is noted, and Lisebet offers a brief smile to the Harthall. However, for the most part, she listens to Bianca quietly.

Bianca’s arm swept outward, accentuating her words as she spoke in passionate articulation and animated motions continued to occur as she continued on with the sermon. It seemed almost conversational. “We’re motivated by fear and we want to protect ourselves and our loved ones.” A finger was held up for each point as she went through the following list, “We’re afraid that we’re going to get in trouble, or that we’ll be rejected, or that we’ll be in the middle of a confrontation, or we will hurt someone’s feelings, or we’ll lose our vocation or lose public respect.” Her hands fell back to the pulpit’s surface. “We lie because we’re afraid.”



“Another reason people lie is because they benefit from their lies. They lie because they are acting in a selfish or self-centered fashion. We might get recognition, or a promotion, or a job, or sympathy because of a lie. Along similar lines, people lie because of their pride. Somehow the lies of this kind feed our self-importance. Either we lie to save face, or to cover our mistakes, or to be liked, or to appear more important, or more successful than we really are.”



Neilda Saik is come to the Cathedral alone. The relic-huntress is known for also loving some of the glamour of the city, and clearly appreciates a spot of prayer: and a moment to reflect upon herself. Seated amongst faces mostly unknown, she joins along in song with some small passion. As the sermon continues, she bites a lip, clearly lost in thought.

Orvyn respectfully nods to Lisebet in response to her greeting and acknowledgement. As Bianca continues, Orvyn's eyes narrow and then his head tilts ever so slightly, lips quirking to show a barely contained amusement at something that Bianca has shared.

Bianca continued: “We have all kinds of reasons to lie. We may lie because of fear or selfishness, or pride, but the truth is, we lie because it is the easiest thing to do.



The Gods don’t call us to be a people interested in the 'easy way.' By Gloria and Limerence they call us to be interested in the way of honor and integrity. Our effectiveness as people of the Faith /demands/ that we be a people of integrity. To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible, we must be truthful. You and I will only be a pervasive light for the Gods if we are truthful. So in that we need to be radically different from the social expectation on this issue of truthfulness. We must let our "yes" mean yes; Our "no" mean no, lest we become examples not of the Gods' virtues, but instead we become examples of the vices of their Reflections.”



A glance at someone in the noble pews before Orvyn's attention is drawn back to Bianca and there is something mumbled. Something about Oathlanders and the rest of the compact.

“As a people we may stumble as the matter of lying is so deeply ingrained into our society on the whole, but alas we are human. The Gods know we are fallible. We know we are fallible… but there is a difference between accepting our fallibility or striving beyond it. The First Choice granted us a great gift in his sacrifice. He gave us a Choice.”



Bianca’s hand lifted to rest in a fist over her heart, the following three sentences each emphasized with a soft thud of her fist to her chest:



“I /choose/ to go forward thoughtful of my words and my integrity. I /choose/ to mirror my life to the tenets of the Gods. I /choose/ to be more.”



The hand at her chest then unfurled outward, gesturing in a broad arc across the gathering of citizens in the pews.



“What will /you/ choose?”



And then her other arm extended, palms turned skyward. “Let us pray.”



Ingrid listens to the questions, her brow furrowed as she thinks to herself. When Bianca's arm sweeps out, and she calls for prayer, automatically her head bows and she takes a deep breath. Her hands fold under her chin, ready to speak along with the woman up front.

Harlex has been statue like during the sermon. At the call for prayer, he inclines his head and lowers his arms from their cross over his chest. He closes his eyes.

At the prompt to pray, Cirroch lowers his head and closes his eyes, praying internally to the gods.

“Limerance, Lord of Fidelity, we pray to you for the grace to remain true and loving; for the fortitude and conviction to persevere in our commitments; for the resolve and dedication to remain true to our word. We pray you share the strength in your own ideal heart, that ours may grow in strength and be an example for others. So let it be.” As the prayer reached fruition, Bianca’s eyes opened and another warm smile was offered to the gathering. “Thank you all for joining me this day.” On cue, the choir above took to song and a beautiful rendition of ‘Paean Of The Faithful’ filled the hallowed halls as the Legate stepped down to rejoin the masses in greetings and farewells as the congregation began to disperse.

Much like Ingrid, Tabitha's face is of a thoughtful mian in the wake of Bianca's words. When prayers are called for, the artist dips her head, eyes closing, and her hands fold around each other as she lifts them to the base of her throat. She sits in reverent silence until the prayer is done.

Lisebet is overheard praising Bianca: For a beautiful and thought provoking sermon!

Roran is overheard praising Faith of the pantheon.

Roran is overheard praising Bianca.

Cirroch is overheard praising Bianca: A wise and thought provoking sermon

As the sermon comes to an end, Orvyn shakes his head and prayer fervently with Bianca's words. Once it is complete and the songs start and finish, he rises and sighs. More mutterings of compact and Oathlands and something about the former plausibly the reason for such sermons. Still He does look at the others in passing, though Bianca's words have left him doubting in others clearly as he makes no mention to stop and talk to anyone, if anything he steps further around people to actively dissuade such happenings.

Ingrid has left the Noble Pews.

Leta, the student scholar leaves, following Ingrid.

Orvyn is overheard praising Bianca: For a sermon about the corrupt minds of non-Oathlanders.

"That was a good sermon," says Cirroch to those seated at the pews with him, giving them a friendly smile. "What do you think of it? Is there any reason that one might have to lie at all?"

At the conclusion of the prayers, he rises from his seat. He tucks his sword back onto his belt and adjusts his jacket. Harlex moves from the commoners pews and starts making his way out toward the door.

Bianca returned to her former place in the side aisle, tucking her notes back into her ledger as she approached Harlex's side. A brief aside was spoken to him--- goddamnit Harlex.

Harlex pauses in his departure so she doesn't shoot him in the spine or something ABSURD. He stops and gives her his ear as she speaks quietly.

Lisebet inclines her head for the prayer, and then joins in singing the final song. She rises to her feet, Oathlander that she is! and offers a genuflection towards the altar. Hey, the Lycene have their moments. Especially their fashion.

A faint crease between Tabitha's eyebrows comes soon after Cirroch's question, and she smiles a wince of a smile at him. "I've lied before so as not to hurt someone's feeling, but I do wonder if it was because I was afraid of the guilt I might have felt for telling the truth."

Orvyn has left the Noble Pews.

Heimlin, the Scholar, 5 Harthall house guards, Kestrel, the Scholar leave, following Orvyn.

Seeing that Bianca is busy, Lisebet raises a hand in fairwell, and then turns to make her way out, still with that thoughtful look on her face.

Bianca shook her head to the ever so kind Harlex for not face handing her - "A difficult topic was all I was going to say, Harlex. Don't let me keep you." She smiled.

Really subtly, Tabitha glances over to Bianca and Harlex. There's something distantly curious in her gaze before she turns her attention back to Cirroch, waving at all those who are leaving as well.

Bianca's hand lifted in return to Lisebet, that hand coming in a fist over her heart and a bow of her head for extra emphasis to her farewell!

Harlex seems to consider it for a moment. "I ain't a liar. Not a good one enough I've ever got away with it." Those appear to be his thoughts on the subject. "If people wanted the truth anyway, Bianca, the real truth--surely doubt the world would have two separated pew sections."

Cirroch gives Tabitha a small nod of his head to her, saying, "That is possible. Telling the truth that will hurt someone is always painful. I wonder, is trickery in war lying? And if so, is that wrong?"

"It takes only a ripple to begin the splash of a wave." Bianca urged lightly toward the black garbed man. "Who's to say that someday such divisions will be a thing of our past? Perhaps not within our lifetime... but there is hope for generations to come."

Harlex tongues his right canine tooth for a moment. He shakes his head. "House Swords are what say there's to be a division, among other things." He gives a little wry smile and inclines his head. "Look at you gettin' me to think about more than knockin' in heads. You work wonders, Bianca. I did enjoy the sermon though, mighty fine."

Lisebet has left the Noble Pews.

Ramona - A Farshaw House Guard, Bigsby leave, following Lisebet.

With a considering chew of her lower lip, Tabitha pauses to think of Cirroch's question. "That's a tough one, isn't it? If one must fight a war to protect those towards whom they hold a duty, then victory is the desired outcome. And if the only way to win is through tricks, then..." With a gentle shrug, "I'm not sure."

Bianca bowed her head to that, "Ah, I do appreciate that you made an effort to attend. I hadn't expected you to, but -- well, as I said. Very appreciated." There was a pause as the Templar usually in her orbit fell back in line about her. "And there is my cue. Duty never rests."

"And you have to consider that as a commander, you hold some measure of responsibility for the lives of your soldiers. Yes, it is their job to die if needed, but if you can spare some of their lives through tactics, even if dishonest, then do you have the moral imperative?" After a moment, he introduces himself to Tabitha, "I'm Marquis Cirroch, by the way."



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