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Written By Cordelia

Jan. 18, 2017, 11:09 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Dear Diary,

    As I'm sure Father will learn anyway, I recently got into a sort of conflict with Prince Abbas, Reaver of Thrax. Clearly, I'm fated to make enemies of my childhood idols. So, back to the conflict. Asking Abbas for a favor, one thing lead to another, and he challenged me to a duel between longships. Muleheaded as I am, I not only accepted, but decided to oh so wisely decline my own champion. Long story short, I of course lost. Silver lining? Apparently some people believe I'm not only valorous, but I've got 'mettle.' Shockingly, one of these peoples happens to be a man of Thrax. I would have never thought I'd hear someone like him praise me for fighting. Perhaps there's still hope for Thrax yet.

Written By Cordelia

Jan. 18, 2017, 11:09 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Dear Diary,

    So you know how I sometimes let my emotions and impulses get the better of me? Well. I'm sure Donella hates me now. While out touring the market, I found her trying on clothes at...oh where was it now? Anyway, the place doesn't matter. What matters is I may have spoken poorly to some Grayson Prince or other in her presence, and I've been so busy lately with Voice matters and everything else that I haven't had a chance to speak with her. I feel like there's now a sort of divide between us, and it's all my fault.

Written By Calandra

Jan. 18, 2017, 10:16 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Ferrando

I sort of feel sorry for him, guarding me is going to be intense at times.

Written By Calandra

Jan. 18, 2017, 10:01 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Rymarr

Sir Rymarr donated a Silver Fox cloak as a prize for the Festival.

Written By Calandra

Jan. 18, 2017, 9:56 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Juliet

The lovely lady Juliet donated a great sum of silver the Festival of Commons. There will be ale and food for everyone. Thanks to her and Ms. Bethany.

Written By Calandra

Jan. 18, 2017, 9:55 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Bethany

Bethany is quite the resourceful woman. She is helping to provide food and drink for my event.

Written By Ida

Jan. 18, 2017, 9:24 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Joscelin

You so often give me reason to pause and consider, Joscelin, which are actually some of my favorite reasons for taking a break from my work.

Though I am not from the Lycene and make no judgments in that regard, I think I could kill my enemies with flowers, even as an Oathlander. I could just hold them in my fists. It seems a dreadful waste or something so pretty, but certainly doable I suppose. Maybe that's not /technically/ killing someone /with/ the flowers, but...close enough?

Written By Joscelin

Jan. 18, 2017, 9:12 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Ida

Yes, Ida, but can you-

Well. I was going to say 'can you kill your enemies with flowers' but my father was Lycene. I know better than to say that out loud. Or write it down. Anywhere.

Written By Ida

Jan. 18, 2017, 9 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

First, I am moved and charmed by the unfolding romance of one of my dearest, most trusted friends in Arx. Joscelin more than deserves someone who would make such a personal and heartfelt attempt to claim her heart. The gesture is one that leads me to think Master Felix need not be given the, 'If you hurt her, I will kill you,' talk.

However (while noting that I suspect this will not be an issue but better to be safe than sorry), no spears in my shop doorframe. Throwing a spear at the doorway of my room at the Valardin Manor will likely keep said thrower from leaving the manor or, really, breathing much longer in this life. Refraining from putting any sort of weaponry into doors I work or reside behind would be best. Should one feel the need to mark some sort of affectionate inclination, flowers would be perfectly acceptable.

Written By Jeremiah

Jan. 18, 2017, 8:16 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

An Accompanying Short Few Paragraphs Regarding The Common Council and Suitability: As before, my words are my own. For those both interested in the Common Council and unwilling to read through my pages and pages, I have produced something shorter.

Simply: The Common Council must be organized by three Maxims. If the positions themselves are not appropriately representative? The Common Council will be worthless. If those holding the positions are not appropriately capable? The Common Council will be worthless. If the Common Council itself has neither rights nor powers? It will be worthless.

I write of Suitability most recently. The Council's members must be representative of specific people and organizations, for multiple reasons. It will be readily apparent if they are not--a silk-clad, jangling merchant had best not represent the Lower Burough. It will be obvious if the position is ill-suited.

The positions suggested are the Councilors of: the Lower Buroughs, the Upper Buroughs, the Lycene, the Oathlanders, the Northerners, the Crownlanders, the Islanders, and the Prodigals, as well as three permanent positions for the Faith, the Iron Guard, and the Crafter's Guild, filled by appropriate representatives(I have suggested the Archlector of Sentinel, the Lord Commander, and the Guildmaster). Yes, they already have a voice, each of these--but not a specific one.

The next two papers will be within the coming weeks, and will be upon the problems of Powers(and Rights) and Capability.

Jeremiah Arvani

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 8:16 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

Where do people go when they want to yell? Other than their bedrooms?

Written By Jeremiah

Jan. 18, 2017, 8:15 p.m.(9/13/1005 AR)

['On The Subject Of The Common Council: Suitability.' This paper is some fifteen pages--concise, readable, and educatory. It is written with a precise, flowing, almost delicate hand. It begins with a (short) history of the previous Low Council, the proposed Common Council, and historical temporary Councils formed by previous Monarchs. It then turns to an explanation of the unique problems in forming a commoner-exclusive Council.]

'Today--today, I discuss the first of our problems--my words are my own, and only my own. Let me begin with two quotes:

'Any Council that is restricted to the commons of your society will be, by its very nature, a placebo. Something that you think has efficacy, but does not. Without some inherent way to interact with the higher levels of your government, it will be nothing more than a place your complaints go to die.'
Elsewhere, the Common Council has been compared to 'a Great Lord walking into a forge or a masonry and seeking to advise the artisan on their craft.'
Skepticism is indeed warranted. I myself share it. I stand in opposition to the potential uselessness of this organ of the government, and will do all in my power and ability to form something stronger and better. If I do not or cannot--I will resign. I will find another battle if I am found unfit for this one.

From these two quotes come three problems--I will pick them apart and engage them, one-by-one. If the positions themselves are not appropriately representative? The Common Council will be worthless. If those holding the positions are not appropriately capable? The Common Council will be worthless. If the Common Council itself has neither rights nor powers? It will be worthless. These are the three problems I wrestle with as regards the Common Council.

Let us discuss then suitability: a High Lord walking into a forge. To put many commoners in a position of authority would be to do likewise--we are groomed neither for command nor a great education in many cases. These are not jobs your average baker is meant for. How, then, do we find councilors of skill, ability, relevance, and will?

[The paper takes some time to explain both representation and sortition--elections and random lots as a means of drawing willing participants. Both are dismissed rather quickly.]

While various philosophers have suggested either as a means of solving political problems, neither fits here--no. As the Common Councilors already selected were appointed, I suspect that most Councilors should be appointed--for their expertise. I will leave it to the Crown to determine an individual Councilor's capability--save that they should.

Crownlanders, Oathlanders, Northerners, Lycenes, and Islanders--also, potentially Prodigals. These core groups ought to be represented among the Common Council--for problems far afield and those representing commoners inside Arx itself, and representing those of their wards, as well. Additionally, the Buroughs(Lower and Upper, I would suggest) should be represented. These should be the permanent seats to the Council--plus three. The Iron Guard, the Faith, and the Crafters' Guild are all well-represented, and have a voice--but I believe they should be represented on the Common Council. Eleven seats to be filled(a high number, yet four are already filled, essentially. I believe the Archlector of the Sentinel should represent the Faith--making five. This leaves six seats to be filled(one for each of Arvum's regions/Arx's major wards, and additionally a representative from the Upper Buroughs--making Julea Sanguine and myself Councilors from the Lower Buroughs and Prodigals respectively).

Is this too many? Perhaps. But I return to my Maxim--if the positions are not appropriately representative, then the Common Council will be useless. These positions are appropriately representative--perhaps we can remove the Great Houses/regional wards. But it is better to begin grand and trim back, I believe.

I do not think it wise to budge or move from having each Councilor representative of a region/social group--this is one of the outward tests of competence. It will be readily evident when a man misrepresentative of the Lower Buroughs--whatever his capability--is appointed of the position. Likewise with any other area. Misuse and misappointment in the Common Council should be obvious, and being more than simply a Councilor--being, instead, a Councilor tied to a specific duty and purpose?

This is essential.

More will be done--more will be said. But that is all for now.

[It ends signed 'Jeremiah Arvani,' and nothing more.]

Written By Percephon

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:58 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

While I do not speak for House Telmar, I wish to be clear on my own personal judgement on these thoughts that have been bandied about. I will leave the theological debate to those who feel religious differences is the most pressing matter upon us. For me, it is a matter of who in our midst is working towards solutions, whose heart and soul is put fourth to the betterment of our land and people. And unequivocally I would let others know the Greenmarch family have been instrumental in helping to push forward our progress in saving the lands from the Blight. So too do I know those from fine Houses such as Halfshav and Redrain whose sole focus has been on assisting us in this monumental task of fixing what is wrong. To these Stalwart Allies whose beliefs just so happen to be different than my own, I offer you my thanks and continued support.

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:44 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Today I measured off the approximate area of the Great Cathedral with a ball of twine.

If the Pantheon intends to smite it, I think it's important to know the size of the fireball.

We should consider summering in Gemecitta.

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:34 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Eudence

She has bright sparks and tinder should be careful.

Written By Neve

Jan. 18, 2017, 7:12 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

United we stand.

Written By Silas

Jan. 18, 2017, 6:46 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

I'm not angry at anyone since the Nox'alfar simply proved to be what I thought they were: capricious blood magic practitioners who were here mostly for entertainment and have always intended to use us only as far as it benefited them, with little interest in keeping their end of the bargain or caring for us short-lived humans. I found it difficult to believe they would adhere to the same tenets of honor we do. Why would they?

The duel could have been honored - no one should make a threat they're incapable of carrying out - but it sounds more like it would just be a delayed execution more than a legitimate duel. I would not slaughter someone with a magical sword and feel like I've been avenged, but yeah, different standards I guess.

Written By Magden

Jan. 18, 2017, 6:27 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Words are so... wordy.

Written By Aislin

Jan. 18, 2017, 5:16 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

I could speak my mind on the actions of the Dominus, but I am not Godsworn to think I have the right to dictate the actions of the Faith; I am just an explorer, though I like to think that means I know something of the world beyond our walls.

I could claim I might have made different choices than the Regency Council has, but I was not there. And I am not a politician, to truly believe I would know better how to run the realm. But I am a student of history, and so I like to believe know something about alliances.

And one thing I know is that we do not have to agree with our allies. We do not even need to /like/ our allies. But we do need to treat them as allies, or else we lose them.

I imagine there are no few around the Compact who disagree vehemently with how the Thrax handle things. But alliances mean putting those differences aside in the face of common foe or greater threat.

And we broke one, an alliance that had stood since the time of Queen Alarice. An alliance that held back the Silence. The Nox'alfar, who are killed by the mere presence of the Bringers of Silence, asked our swords, in exchange for their magic to hold the Silence itself at bay.

Well, the Teind is paid. The enemy is locked away once more. The world will no longer end. And only the cleaning up remains, for this fight.

I like to think those who volunteered for the sacrifice would consider their lives well-spent; thirteen lives to save us all is a smaller cost than most armies ever pay to defend us, and from what I've found, the Silence is a threat that frightens even the other threats lurking in the darkness.

But gods and spirits alone know what will happen in thirteen by thirteen years, when the Teind comes due again and the Silence once again strains at its bonds. Hopefully, the Keepers will be willing to pay it once again.

And I could point fingers, or try to share the blame... but there's blame enough to go around, and trying to determine whose it is has little merit now. And doubtless I deserve some of it, though everything I've done, I'd do again. I hate the Teind. I hate the fact that it was even remotely necessary.

None of it changes the fact that our alliance is broken, the treaty gone. So for now, we stand alone.

We'll not have the weapons or metal to help with the Bringers that remain. Nor will we have their soldiers -- or their magic -- to help face any of the other threats out there. Distasteful as the Nox'alfar often are, they would've been a great aid.

And there are other threats. The world beyond the walls of Arx is a dark one, and there are threats stirring out there we don't even begin to understand. Perhaps even threats stirring within the walls, as well. Many of them are abyssal, and we'll need all the tools we can find against them.

But it isn't the end. We'll face this darkness together: Crownlander, Northerner, Lycene, Thrax... perhaps the Oathlands will join the fight against the Bringers as well, and the Compact will stand together. Perhaps we'll make common cause with the Abandoned as well, and all of humanity will stand our ground.

We will not fall. Whether we have alliance with elves, or any other creature of myth, we will hold.

But we've lost so much, forgotten so much, been manipulated and weakened for so long. So I'll renew my efforts to struggle our way out of ignorance. To claw back any bits of forgotten knowledge, any tools we can reasonably use.

Otherwise, the fights still ahead will be far worse than this.

Written By Bethany

Jan. 18, 2017, 4:53 p.m.(9/12/1005 AR)

Oh, Joscelin -

Congratulations. And, a party -

( This is by no means an encouragement, Silas. Lazarus. If you do I will singe off my eyebrows in an unfortunate 'alchemy accident' - I swear. The manor will smell like burnt hair for weeks. )

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