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Action Id: 3769 Crisis: Participants: Astrid, Gaston, Aleksei, Holden, Jeffeth, Zara, Talwyn, Raya, Hamish and Anisha
Status: Resolved Submitted: Feb. 3, 2020, 6:51 a.m. Public: True GM: Tenebry

Silver: 100000
Economic Resources: 2006
Military Resources: 1000
Social Resources: 2750

Action by Astrid

Astrid, asked by Father Aureth to help the Liberators expand their focus to include more than just slavery, has taken this task to heart. The staunchest holdouts on accepting the First Choice in his proper Pantheonic place are those of the Oathlands. So that's where she's traveling first!

Astrid is recruiting Liberators, protectors, and other story-tellers to come with her.

The group will gather in Arx when it's time to leave and take a boat to the border of the Oathlands. There, it's Astrid's plan that they'll borrow some horses from the local Knights of Solace post and begin to ride across the Oathlands delivering sermons, telling stories, and convincing people that not only is Skald an important god to know, but that his message holds application to their everyday lives. She seeks to spread the doctrine of Freedom, and the understanding that the importance of a choice is in understanding there will be consequences and accepting whatever those might be.

Astrid will preach it! Whether through a quiet story around a shared campfire, after buying drinks at a roadside inn for everyone, or from a pulpit with a local seraph's permission; Astrid will be extolling Skald's doctrine and how it underpins the Compact and has influenced their culture from the start.

And, if along the way they manage to convince the Orthodoxy to accept the Lost Gods, then that's a bonus.


Action by Gaston

As one of the few Oathlanders openly devoted to Skald already, Marquis Gaston Blackram will be joining Sister Astrid's pilgrimage to spread the Good Word of Freedom. He'll share personal tales of Skald's influence on his life and House, as well as why he feels -- especially in these troubled times, with rumors of cultists of Skald's Reflection and slavers popping up everywhere -- that Choice is so important an ideal to fight for on every level; even Orthodoxy itself is a Choice, after all, and so every true Oathlander should be proud to stand for that freedom, and he'll do his best to exhort his fellows to the cause.


Action by Aleksei

This isn't Aleksei's first rodeo in the Oathlands. Beyond just having grown up in Sanctum and knowing How Things Are there, he also traveled back to his home city with Aureth back in the day to first open the conversation about the Lost Gods with the Pure Faith crew. So he takes all of that experience and tries to incorporate it into his approach. He knows that Oathlanders love their theology, so he starts with that foundation, making sure to make it just clear enough that he knows what he's talking about, that he's not just some RADICAL from OFF THE STREET, but with the common people he gives it all a more personable touch than he did with the Seraph of Sanctum. He wants this all to feel /real/ to the people. Practical. He wants to share his enthusiasm for Skald and all he stands for, and impart his love and passion for freedom to those they meet. He talks of the history of the Compact, how humanity came to Arvum fleeing slavery, how Queen Triscali banished it from the Compact some centuries later. How foreign nations like Cardia and Eurus put people in chains.

But not us. Not the Compact. And just because they forgot who Skald was doesn't mean they forgot what he stands for. They're all of them, all of humanity, Children of Skald. And they were born to be free.


Action by Zara

Zara's here to make sure that everyone plays nice, with an emphasis particularly on helping the Oathlands -- those stubborn, change-resistant Oathlands Orthodox -- accept the change. She is Valardin. She is a Disciple of Gild, a god beloved by the commons. She apprenticed under the Seraph of Sanctum. She has those Oathlands Orthodox bonafides to help ease the change. She's adept at translating the scary and the new into bite-sized chunks, and she's here to smooth the way with a touch of diplomacy to ensure that Astrid's message is well-received.


Action by Talwyn

As the group of pilgrims make their way across the Oathlands and make their conversations, their conversions and praise the First Choice - Prince Talwyn Valardin will be back in Sanctium organising a party.

It will be a liberal affair as far as the Orthodoxy would see it, white and red wine from the Oathlands as well as fresh farm foods. Hearty bread and cheese - salads and beans, fine music and the special guest - Archlector Astrid. Members of the Orthodoxy will be invited to attend and see the dedication, hear the stories, from the Archlector and the other pilgrims. All in the Great Hall within the House of Valardin within the city.

Music will be put on from several artists sponsored by Prince Talwyn, as well accommodation provided in the House for those who have made the whole trip.

Who said pilgrims don't get to finish in comfort?


Action by Raya

Raya isn't an Oathlander by birth, or Orthodox, but she's very adept at walking the Oathlander walk and talking the Oathlander talk due to her years of service and training in a seraphy in those parts. She'll enthusiastically put this to use to spread the good word about Skald. Searching for ways to spin theological dogma and traditional beliefs in ways that integrate Skald more smoothly into Orthodox practices. She'll flatter their theological purity and righteousness, charm them with songs and sermons, and try to make it seem like really this doctrine makes them EVEN MORE right about everything and reinforces their beliefs rather than being something new and untraditional.


Action by Jeffeth

What's a rodeo?!!? The Grandmaster of the Solace is here, with a contingent of Solace knights to express the Silver Order's approval and investment in this project. Jeffeth personally will be doing what he normally does: Pushups. Also, generally protecting the group as well as perhaps impressing people with muscle tricks enough that they may let Hamish talk at them for a while.


Action by Holden

While he's along mostly as escort and guard -- both for the party as a whole, and Princess Zara in particular -- Holden is in a somewhat unique position. He's a knight of the Oathlands in every traditional sense of the word, and yet his younger brother was the former archlector of Skald -- indeed, one who helped return Skald's worship to Arx; he's been exposed to the philosophy of the Liberators at some length. He is, in a sense, a bridge between the two: the honor and tradition of the Oathlands, and the focus on freedom and choice that the Liberators espouse. And if this is something important to his brother... well, then he'll do this

And so he chimes in, occasionally. He explains the importance of choice in honor: after all, having honor means /choosing/ to do the honorable thing, even when it's not the easy thing. If you have no /choice/, then there's not really any honor to be had either, is there? Freedom, too, is important; if there's no honor to be had without being able to choose it, then what honor is there in taking away all of another's choices?

Perhaps his words won't carry that much weight, but then again... perhaps some fellow knights will listen, as well.


Action by Hamish

Everyone else can party and evangelize and have nice events and tell people the history or what have you. Hamish is going along to find the most irascible brothers and sisters and seraphs that he can and then arguing them into the ground until they agree that the Lost are great and yes they're going to start preaching about them. He might even use charts. Because he CAN.


Action by Anisha

Anisha takes care not to wear her mask in public while on this journey. But the task of the Mirrormask is the same, whether masked or not. Encourage thought and reflection. Encourage active choice. And isn't that a lovely thing, when one's trying to speak up the First Choice and his place in the Pantheon among his Lost siblings.

While she has some skill in addressing the masses, Anisha is far more interested in penetration - as a Whisper she can usually gain access to Seraphs and nobility, and sit down to have a careful, thought out discussion. With her love for words and playing, she entangles them, and presents the ideals of the Lost. She's careful to only speak truly, and more interested in having the arguments her fellows present become arguments for her case.


Result

Roll Result: 299

It's not that Astrid and her team are not persuasive, it is not that they are not dedicated, and it is not that they can't present the doctrine in its complexity. It's more that the Oathland holdouts are so stiffly wary of anything new, no matter how "old", that for every seraph they can convince that Skald's doctrine is a forgotten tradition and a valuable part of dogma, they worry that at least one finds some perceived conflict to pounce on and obsesses over it and will not be persuaded.

That isn't . . . quite what happens.

For example.

One seraph allows Astrid to preach to her congregation and quietly supports and extols the virtues of choosing virtue, actively, passionately. Another, neighboring seraph seems initially convinced that should the doctrine spread the commonfolk, one and all, will all go crownsworn and abandon the fields. But as word spreads of crusade, he softens. He becomes excited. Yes, yes, the commonpeople love Skald. The common people will be ready to fight.

Gaston impresses one seraph with his title and background. He seems struck by the notion of Orthodox dogmatism being a choice, of not being a filthy cultist as being a choice. But another seraph seems initially argumentative about being a filthy cultist also being a choice -- until crusade comes up. Yes, being a crusader is a wonderful, shining choice, oh, gods, he always wanted to be a crusader.

Aleksei has somewhat heartening luck with the people, especially the lowest of the common folk, for whom the least idea of slavery is especially frightening and unpopular. Some of them seem ready to arm themselves with rocks and sharpened sticks against Eurus, far away as it is now. This at first spooks the seraph, and then -- inspires him. Look how eager the commonfolk are to arm against the darkness. Crusade!

Zara's status as disciple of Gild helps one seraph make the connection between choice and trade, choice and charity, while another seraph tries with great and infuriating patience, to help Zara recognize that clearly Skald isn't a separate ideal from real and well-observed ideals like Gild and Lagoma. Why add more complexity to simplicity? Except that if it leads to crusade, of course. Yes, the sigil of the broken chain does look very stark and inspiring. Crusade! Holden's tie of freedom and honor is especially popular. Freedom to march, freedom to fulfill grand obligations, obligations to the gods and to the nation. Crusade!

Talwyn organizes a gathering, a mingling, and soon enough, soon enough, the conversation turns from theology to shining armor and shining swords, to fervor, to marches. Raya's new songs are beautiful and when performed by some of those present, seem to take on the tenor of an anthem. Jeffeth's muscle tricks garner scattered applause and the occasional stare. Some of the knights muscle back at him.

Hamish finds that the most irascible brothers and sisters love to argue and take harder and harder line positions against his barrage, but the sheer weight of his arguments and his skill and deploying them combine with the rhythms of excitement for the upcoming conflict. They begin reinforcing his arguments. What was lost can again be found. Especially in the service of a crusade.

Anisha's skill with words and charm is absolutely and stunningly exceptional, but enough of the Oathlands folk are likely to see freedom as too close to doubt that this might normally work against her as a mirrormask. But no one is thinking of freedom and doubt now. Freedom is clarity, freedom is godly, freedom is the beautiful contrast to the heretic dark.

In sum, they are successful, they are more successful than they would have been in a different atmosphere, but the tone of their success is a bit more martial and excited, more hyperfocused as the blade of freedom against the darkness of slavery, than they may have intended.