Dedication: Altar of Vellichor
Sept. 29, 2019, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Shrine of Vellichor
Comments and Log
Tyrus arrives alone, just one among the other faithful drawn by the news of a dedication. The prince looks around, taking in the changes, the Knights of the Library in full armour, along with those already gathered. He moves off to the side, lest he be stuck in the crowd, to have a better view of the proceedings. It's only when he does so that he notices he stands, in fact, in the vicinity of Juniper. "Sister Juniper." he greets, offering a polite smile but without insisting further, leaving the woman to her watch if she so wishes, while the event begins.
Dame Marra, a limping fennec fox, Disciple Ismay, Disciple Fulgence, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Ailith.
Sir Bhandn came underdressed, which is to say he did not opt for armor. He is in multiple layers of woolens on account of the weather. This is a matter for those in service to Vellichor, not Gild; he's here to show support and observe. He'll come in silence, save for his footfalls, intending mostly to lurk in the back parts of the pews as he waits for the service to begin, resting his hand on Vigil's peacebound hilt.
Flicking a long lock of ebon hair over one shoulder, Korka enters the shrine and quickly steps to the side of the door where she can also help to hold up the wall like Juniper is currently doing. She folds her arms and leans back, a self-satisfied smile on her lips as her emerald eyes take in the crowd, noting who is coming in, where they go, and who they sit or talk with.
Lisebet has come to show her support, quietly there, even though she's not godsworn nor disciple. She finds a spot with a reasonable view, and stays out of the way.
Enetering the Shrine quietly, unaccompanied save for her cat, Alessia smiles as she walks by Bhandn. "Sir." She stops by Tyrus and Sister Juniper. "Your highness. Sister. It's good to see you both." Then her attention is on the altar as she waits for the event to begin.
Merek has made a way into the shrine, with his caped black robe of Vellichor, the hood up while he has his scarf shifted about his features a bit. He is making a way to the place he will wait until he's called in to assist. He has with him a few packs.
Fairen would not miss this for the world. He finds a nice place to tuck himself into and quietly watches the proceedings, not wishing to get in the way.
Rysen drifts into the Shrine of Vellichor cloaked with a black mantle trimmed with fox fur. Lygeia enters beside him. His grey eyes come to rest first on the new altar of Vellichor, before noticing Tyrus and Juniper. The Crovane lord offers a bow to the Thaxian prince. "It's good to see you again, Your Highness, Sister Juniper." When Rysen notices Merek enter the shrine, he smiles and nods in greeting.
Evander is dressed in neat wool clothing, not particularly standing out for anything exotic. He arrived early, found a seat, and has been mostly still, only occasionally reaching for quill and notebook to make some notations as if having thought of something. He straightens and glances forward as the appointed hour arrives.
Vitalis is with other Disciples, dressed in muted monochrome tones, a narrow Disciple's stole in gray silk over his shoulders, trailing to his knees. He holds a bundle in his hands, also in gray silk.
Juniper tilts her head just so, the angle sufficient to frame Tyrus in a sidelong glance. Her own smile chases that look. "Prince Tyrus, always a pleasure. There's room enough, I think," she says and so it is, when she eases half a step to the side. A timely shift as others appear. She dips her head to Korka, to Alessia, Rysen, more and others, fingers twitching through a tiny blessing symbol as the crowd grows. "Squeeze in, this looks to be standing room only."
All down the length of the Shrine of Vellichor today, Knights of the Library stand, resplendent in their full regalia of armor, their tabards bearing the quill and tome of Vellichor in gilded threads, their faces solemn with the gravity of their duty. A golden runner has been rolled down the central aisle between the pews, which have all been polished to a shine, and draped in valances of golden silk. There is a celebratory air, but also a sense of solemnity, within the Shrine today. At the far end of the shrine, the new Altar of Vellichor stands upon three steps carved with the vows of Vellichor.
As the time for the ceremony approaches, a gentle music is played. Scholars carrying thirteen candles file into the Shrine. Each Scholar places a candle upon one of the gilded stands surrounding the new Altar of Vellichor, which has now been revealed. The candle stands are kept far back from the altar, but surrounding it in a semicircle. Each candle represents an unknown truth, which only the Scholar carrying the candle knows. Once the candles have been placed, more Scholars file in, taking up positions along the walls, adding their voices to join in the gentle music being played, hymns to Vellichor.
Dianara Whisper arrives dressed in a muted dove gray dress with her dark hair gathered elegantly at the nape of her neck. As her eyes take in the decor, the knights, aand the new altar, a small smile curves her lips and her cerulean eyes light from within with an expression that can only be described as pleasure. As the ceremony begins, the Whisper slips into the nearest seat.
1 Pravosi Knights arrives, following Drusila.
Drusila arrives, following Ras.
One of the many Scholars, Helena steps in, eyes widening a little at the Knights flanking the length of the shrine. She smiles up at the first closest to the door, before making her way inside. Her dark-blue gaze darts around the shrine to see those she knows as well as those she doesn't, a smile or nod for those who meet that gaze. She holds a book in her hands for the dedication. Her expression is solemn, her eyes curious and bright.
"Lady Alessia." Tyrus greets with a polite nod, and then when Rysen arrives, he does the same again. "Lord Rysen. A pleasure to see you both as well. I hope you've been well." he asks. "The question goes for you as well, Sister Juniper." he says while standing with her, just as the ceremony seems set to approach, the music as fine a clue as any. He lapses into silence then, the prince saying little lest he trouble the hymn. Or perhaps it's to properly enjoy it.
Dressed in the humble robes of a Scholar, Sparte carries the folded bundle showing the sigil of Vellichor in his hands reverantly. When called upon by Sina to do so, he steps forward and sets it upon the altar. Carefully unfolded, it is revealed inch by inch to be a patchwork honoring not only Vellichor but the houses of the Compact. Those current, past, and future. He lingers only long enough to smooth out the aeterna that rests upon the altar before stepping away to allow the next to step forward.
Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding arrive, following Brigida.
Merek looks up when it's time to do his piece of the ceremony. He takes a moment to lift up two lanterns that he shifts a device upon them to place both upon the table in a line perfectly practiced a bit orderly. They are obviously the sparklegas lanterns spoken of from many folk, while he shifts back to his place again as well.
Sparte puts Altar Cloth of Histories in The Altar of Vellichor.
Drusila has joined the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
These ladies arrive together, the taller of the pair sporting perfectly coiffed bright red hair and exquisitely tailored seasilks, yet still managing to pale in comparison to her companion. Vega Thrax glances towards Alarissa and smiles softly, leaning in to murmur towards her. Straightening, she offers an arm towards the Princess-Consort, apparently acting as her escort tonight in lieu of the High Lord. Keeping her chin up and her eyes straight, Vega moves with Alarissa, letting her companion choose their seating arrangement.
Ras has joined the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
At Vega's side, Alarissa makes her way in, lacking that grace of movement that she normally has, though her chin is lifted high and gleaming in slate blue brocade and dusky grey pearls, looking every inch the wife of a High Lord even if he's not present at the moment. Pellinor remains behind her and in more formal garb as well and as the music starts and scholars filter in, she finds an out of the way play to take a seat, leaning on Vega as she does for balance.
Alarissa has joined the Diligent Teaching Bench Seating.
Alessia has joined the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
Vega has joined the Diligent Teaching Bench Seating.
"I have, Your Highness. Thank you," says Rysen, likewise falling silent as the music and ceremony begins. He watches as Sparte and Sina unfold the patchwork. Helena's entrance catches his eye, and Rysen bows his head respectfully as she passes.
From where he's seated, Evander can't quite see all the items being placed on the altar, though he does straighten, with enough height to almost peer over those in front of him. For now, he's mostly interested in those approaching the altar, watching them carefully.
Taking a seat on one of the benches, Alessia inclines her head to Ras and Drusila, a friendly smile on her lips.
Bhandn remains lurking in the back, though he's taken up a /slightly/ more formal stance: feet shoulder-width apart, one hand on the sword on his left, and his right hand held behind his back. He does note the arrivals, but neither calls out or stares at them, simply observes the faces while keeping his attention otherwise focused on the ceremony.
Brigida clacks her way in, her feared staff leading the way as she barges her way through to a good position to witness the ceremony.
Ras had slipped in very quietly to watch the ceremony. He lifts his head from muttering to Drusila and offers Alessia a nod back, pulling an awkward smile.
Once the Altar Cloth of Histories has been placed, and once the sparklegas lamps have been placed, there is another stirring at the rear of the Shrine, as the Godsworn Scholars enter next. The Godsworn Scholars flank the Archscholar herself, who carries within her hands a beautifully gilded tome: The Canticle of Vellichor. They join in the singing and the hymns, and then take places in a semi-circle around the front side of the altar, opposite the candles representing the unknown truths. One Godsworn Scholar for each candle, with Sina in the center. She is wearing her formal aeterna robes of the Archscholar, embroidered with gilded threads over armor adorned with the three interlocking circles of the Faith of the Pantheon. The blade Brixeur'Ame is sheathed at her side, and she wears a small sundial, inscribed with words from the Canticle of Vellichor. Her long black hair is braided, twined with delicate brass chains down her back, past her waist. Once the hymns come to a close, Sina steps forward, and places the Canticle of Vellichor upon the new altar. Once it is there, she bows her head for a moment in silent, reverent prayer. And then, she turns, her mercurial gaze scanning the faces of those in attendance. Her lips curve into a soft smile, and then she glances toward Ailith, giving a gentle nod of her head.
Sina puts THE CANTICLE OF VELLICHOR in The Altar of Vellichor.
Once a suitable place is found to keep himself out of the way, Fairen smiles to those whom he knows. Hands are clasped over a small book and attention fixed on the altar and the activity going on around it.
Traveling not far behind the assembled is the Legate of Concepts. A small censor, hung by a chain, gently swings from her hands. Incense of musk, a hint to stir memories of ancient tomes, delicately wafts. Ailith strides with purpose before bowing before the altar. Murmured prayers, then she hands the censor to a disciple and turns to face the assembly. Her voice raises, calm and warm, to be heard to the far reaches of the shrine. "Thank you, one and all, for being here on this auspicious day -- a day that's come to be by the dedication and contributions, not only of the Scholars, the discipleship of Vellichor and Godsworn, but by every person in the Compact. Every journal, poem, song, written piece of history, an illustration of a symbol or discovery, or even a wise old woman's tale fills the Great Archives with an assortment of knowledge -- freely accessed by our Faithful. Thanks to you." The Legate smiles gently. "As a Faithful, we use this knowledge in hand with experience and listening to others who have greater experience to gain understanding and context that builds our wisdom. I thank Archscholar Sina for her tireless leadership and I thank her Voices, Godsworn, and the discipleship for their determination and hard work. Tonight, let our minds be full and focused, our ears be willing to listen, and our hearts open to learn as we thank our God of Histories, Lord Vellichor." Ailith bows and steps aside to welcome Sina to the altar.
Lisebet inclines her head and smiles quietly at those she recognizes, including but not necessarily limited to Rysen, Fairen, Alarissa. her gaze lingers there for a long moment, a slight frown marring her face for a moment, before she consciously clears it, continuing to watch quietly, reflectively.
Korka watches the procession, gaze moving over each person as they enter and then to the front with the placement of the Canticle. When Brigida enters, she takes the opportunity to fall in step behind the charging woman, innocently following her as she parts the crowd to get a better view.
2 Redrain Guards, Lucien, a bright-eyed pine marten leave, following Helena.
Jaerith sneaks in after a few well-dressed nobs, being himself a relatively commonly dressed nob, and moves to find himself a place to stand. When he sees Korka he steps in beside her, giving her the ol' elbow to the side to nudge her a bit to the left. "Oi now, down in front."
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes arrives, following Thea.
Rysen smiles warmly at Lisebet, and bows his head in greeting. His attention is then drawn by the movements of Ailith. He nods at the words of the Shield of the Faith, and watches as she comes to stand beside Sina.
The presentation of artifacts and offerings are trumped with the Canticle, and Juniper's breath is caught at the sight of it. Her straying attention returns there, snared by its gleam. When Ailith speaks next, and Sina is welcomed, she bows her forward and reclasps the hands she'd allowed to fall to her sides.
Bowing her head to Ailith, Sina offers her a gentle smile, and then steps before the altar once more, gazing across the shrine. "We gather here today," Sina begins in a calm voice that carries easily throughout the shrine, "to give honor to Vellichor, God of Histories. This shrine," she says, gesturing with one hand, the sleeve of her aeterna robes floating gracefully with the movement, "marks remembrance. Here, we remember the value of knowledge, and the many sacrifices we have made over the centuries to preserve it. We remember the Great Fire of Arx," she goes on, her expression solemn, silvery eyes gazing about over those gathered. "The story is important, though it is yet incomplete. We have not yet learned all there is to learn of what happened in those days. But what we do know is that the Great Fire is a part of what shaped all the events leading up to now, where we find Cardians and representatives of Jadairal, and even Eurus on our doorstep."
"On that day," she goes on, lifting her gaze to the outer walls of the shrine, "the Great Archive went up in flames. Terrible flames hot enough to melt stone destroyed almost all of the knowledge from before the Reckoning that was stored here." Her gaze passees over faces in the assembled once more. "Yet, Vellichor decreed... this would not be the final chapter of our story. What sacrifice he made to ensure we might go on, we may never know," she says quietly. "But this shrine, newly built and dedicated after that fateful day... stands as a testament to that story. To /our/ story. Now, we give it a new altar; a symbol of our hope, a tribute to Vellichor and his sacrifice, and a promise to fulfill our duty to record, preserve, and guard knowledge." She pauses, giving time for her words to settle, her eyes drifting from face to face.
Vitalis stands quietly, tipping up on toes to see the offerings as they are made, gray eyes alight with curiosity, his own hands clasped around his offering awaiting his turn.
Thea silently steps into the shrine, as not to interrupt anything. She's late she knows, so she's quiet and goes to stand with the others, hands clasped.
Evander listens intently, only a brief tightening of fingers at Sina's mention of the Great Fire. He looks solemn, almost mournful for a moment.
Brigida listens carefully, bobbing her head occassionally in silent agreement with what is said, her staff resting in the crook of her arm as she watches her fellow priests perform.
Bhandn doesn't have a great opinion of the Great Fire either. His mouth thins, his own hand tightening on the sword at his left waist, but he holds his peace, grey eyes focused on the Archscholar as the dedication continues.
As her gaze passes over the gathering of faithful, Sina's expression is solemn. "Slowly, we do what we can to piece together the past. To recover the knowledge we have lost. But it is a life-long dedication. And we Scholars have taken sacred vows to ensure that such destruction will never happen again. That is our sole duty, as it is the duty of everyone in the Compact, to ensure that our history is recorded and preserved. It is why the Knights of the Library and the Scholars of Vellichor have fought to preserve knowledge. During the Crusade of Shattered Mirrors, Knights of the Library defended the works of Marach the Apostate, to ensure they would not be destroyed. For though there are some things we may not agree with, it was still knowledge, and to be preserved. When Darius Thrax stormed the Great Archive during the Crownbreaker Wars, seeking to extinguish any knowledge that shone a contrary light on his actions, the Scholars of Vellichor fought to preserve it."
The Archscholar pauses, letting her gaze finally drift downward as she allows a moment of silence for these words to sink in. Finally, she lifts her gaze once more, and says, "Today, we honor the many sacrifices made, to preserve and guard knowledge. The diligent work of those who have sought to recover what was lost. The blessings that Vellichor has granted us. Let us not squander what we have been given. Let us always remember the Great Fire, and what it cost us. If you do not know the full tale, I encourage you to seek it. In this, in seeking knowledge, we honor Vellichor, and those who gave their lives. I cannot tell you the full story, because I do not yet know it all. We strive, however, to understand." She glances around, her expression shifting to one of determination. "History oft seems to repeat itself. We stand now upon the edge of what some - not us - would call Arvums Twilight. But it does not have to be." Her voice is solemn, her expression grave as she pauses once more.
Ras focuses intently on Sina, not whispering in the pews as the archscholar speaks or doing anything else except fidgeting with a sleeve.
Korka tilts her head curiously at the grave turn the Archlector's speech takes there at the end then gets a bit jostled by Jaerith's elbow to the side, giving him a wink as she puts her finger to her lips to shush him.
Lisebet's gaze goes over all the people here quietly, noting Korka and Jaerith as some she's not yet met. An opportunity may yet present itself. She stays quietly where she is, continuing to soberly listen, learn and to pray all on her own.
After allowing a pause, Sina's silvery eyes pass over the faces before her once more, and her grave expression melts into a smile. "To that effect, I offer up this prayer, and welcome you to join me in it, for hope is not lost, so long as we tend to our most solemn duty of seeking knowledge." She closes her eyes, and begins to speak in a reverent voice.
Vellichor, God of Histories,
We come before you, seeking
the light of your wisdom.
Let it shine forth into the
You are the God of Histories.
We honor your truth with
the work of our hands and
the diligence of our minds.
Let your truth always be
a light unto us.
We are the seekers of lost knowledge.
You are the candle that burns through the night.
We are the lorekeepers.
You are the hand that guides us.
We knock upon the doors of wisdom.
You are the key that opens those doors.
We are the guardians of knowledge.
We know that you will remember us,
Even as we remember.
As Arx endures, we will remember.
Once she has finished the prayer, Sina's head remains bowed for a moment, and then she lifts her gaze once more. "If any have offerings to place upon the altar, I invite you to come forward and do so now. Once all offerings have been placed, I will begin the dedication." She offers a soft smile, and then turns her gaze to Vitalis, giving him a nod of the head.
Vitalis's expression is solemn as the Archscholar gives her sermon, underscoring the importance of what has gone before, remembering it, uncovering it. Rediscovering what is lost and learning what was never known before. At the mention of twilight, his chin lifts, a challenge sprung into gray eyes.
Vitalis lifts his voice to speak the words of the prayer, his voice carrying, a bright tenor alloyed by dark undertones, resonant.
"As Arx endures, we will remember."
When bid to make offerings, he approaches the altar with head bowed. He removes a length of silvery chain from the cloth wapping - it makes no sound whatsoever as he piles it carefully - it is made of steelsilk, grim and gleaming. One link, forged of metal, forged broken, faces outward showing an enamelled disc depicting the symbol of Vellichor. He steps back one step, bowing his head to offer silent prayers and praise, before turning to rejoin the rest gathered.
Merek finds something that looks a bit simple to place upon that altar.
Evander's head is bowed during the prayer, and when invited to make offerings, he rises. He carries a quill, the end still marked with fresh ink, and he places it on the altar carefully. It's not made of any precious material, and yet he treats it just as reverently as if it was. "Let the preservation of knowledge continue, that we may grow wiser under Vellichor's auspice," he murmurs, nodding respectfully to the mingled Godsworn before moving back towards his seat.
Ras gets a charcoal-and-chalk sketch of two dragons fighting from a battered backpack.
Ras shifts his backpack around on the bench, and pulls out a little rumpled scroll of parchment. Unrolling it, he smooths it over his knees - inadvertently smudging some chalk - and then rises to trot over to the altar. There's a quick nod to Sina and he's back to his seat.
Ras puts a charcoal-and-chalk sketch of two dragons fighting in The Altar of Vellichor.
Silently, Tyrus leaves his place near the wall and approaches the altar silently, waiting for his time. When it comes, it is a few sheets of paper all rolled up into one scroll. A series of letters, perhaps, though they are sealed. He hesitates, when the time comes to place it on the altar. But ultimately, he does, placing it down carefully. He says nothing, only returning to his place without looking back.
Ailith strides forth to slide a silver leather bound journal with an embossment of a shield with two coins -- not quite Gild and yet Gild. She kneels, her prayer quietly said, gratitude given, and she offers up her piece to the Vellichor, laying it upon the altar.
Ailith puts Ancient Symbol of Gild Entry in The Altar of Vellichor.
Juniper slips her hands behind herself, one curled about the opposite wrist. While the offerings are made, dark eyes track those who step forward and the gifts they lay on Vellichor's altar. Her smile is small, rather subdued, but that doesn't lessen the warmth of her regard.
Head reverently bowed, Fairen slides a hand into his cloak after the prayer and produces a small, crumbling leatherbound volume. Clearly the ravages of time have not been kind to it. He approaches the altar and silently whispers a prayer, then places the ancient tome upon it with care.
Bhandn might have given a very pronounced wince at talk of offerings. He remains in back, staring down at the floor and might just be a touch red in the cheeks at having forgotten to bring something appropriate.
As person after person comes forward to place an offering on or in the altar, Sina stands to the side, offering a smile of welcome, and an inclination of her head to each. She waits patiently for each offering to be placed, her demeanor patient and calm. No offering placed is looked upon askance. Offerings, after all, are meant to be personal, and all are welcomed with equal reverence and joy. With each offering though, Sina's eyes seem to glimmer a little more brightly with hope and pleasure at the thoughtful items given unto Vellichor.
When it seems the last offering has been placed for now, Sina speaks again. "Join us now, if you will," she says to the worshippers present, "as Scholar Rinel leads us in a reading from the Psalms of Vellichor." She gives the Scholar a nod of the head, and a soft smile.
It's just a moment, and Lisebet moves to the altar, kneeling briefly and gracefully, and then placing a note within, a small sealed piece of paper, nothing more. Quietly she moves out of the way, to allow others to place their own sacrifices, though she holds for a moment, looking at the altar, and then she returns to her seat.
Sina adds, "There are free prayer books in the baskets you will find at the sides of the pews. Feel free to take one, and follow along if you wish. It is yours to keep."
Rinel stands and limps toward the altar, the sound of her cane softly echoing off the stone walls of Vellichor's humble shrine. When she speaks, her voice is quiet, but it carries in the muted stillness of the holy ritual. "A hungry mind is an open mind." The scholar takes a sparklegas lantern in one hand, and, balancing its weight against her cane, respectfully places it upon the altar. The second one follows, more slowly, more laboriously.
She is quiet for a moment, breathing heavily, before she continues. "When the mind is closed and says, 'This cannot be', it will never learn."
"Yet when truth is held before the closed mind, it cannot allow truth to stand."
"The closed mind will act against truth to erase it from the world."
"The closed mind will seek to make the world in its own image."
"The open mind must be hungry; it must also accept what is no matter the form taken by truth."
"Truth wears many cloaks." With those final words, she returns slowly to her seat.
Vitalis takes Vellichor's Uncommon Prayer Book from a basket of free prayerbooks.
Thea takes Vellichor's Uncommon Prayer Book from a basket of free prayerbooks.
Brother Chester arrives, following Jeffeth.
Rysen listens to Rinel recite the prayer. His expression is solemn, and suggests that Rinel's words have brought him to some manner of thoughtful contemplation.
Fairen takes Vellichor's Uncommon Prayer Book from a basket of free prayerbooks.
Bhandn gets Vellichor's Uncommon Prayer Book from a basket of free prayerbooks.
Alarissa watches Rinel limp up to the front and read, listening to the words with a deep breath and a bowed head ofter.
Ras turns his head to study Rinel, brow knit while following her movement, and then he looks down and shifts slightly on the bench.
Once Rinel has recited the psalms, Sina inclines her head to the Scholar and turns then, facing the altar. She climbs the three steps to stand directly before it. She closes her eyes then, and bows her head, her hands outstretched, palms facing the altar in a pose meant to offer a blessing. "Vellichor," she prays, her demeanor calm, her mind focused in a meditative state, "God of Histories, we dedicate this altar in your name, and ask for your blessings upon it, that it might be a sacred vessel unto you. We do not ask you for knowledge, but rather, for your guidance in our search for it with open hearts and open minds. We ask for your wisdom, that we may use the knowledge we discover to build the Dream upon strong foundations. We ask that you remember us, as we remember you. As we guard the knowledge in our care in honor of your charge to us within these sacred pages," she rests her hand atop the Canticle of Vellichor, "let us be strengthened in the face of knowledge, no matter what form it takes." Her hand lingers there for a time upon the beautiful tome, and then she carefully lifts it from the cover, and opens the book to reveal the beautiful illuminations within. Then, with the greatest of care, the Disciples step forward again to light the thirteen candles that have been sitting unlit in gilded stands around the altar, each one representative of a truth unknown.
Once the candles around the altar have been lit, Sina turns back to those gathered. "Please join me, if you will, in the Canticle of Vellichor." Sina begins to lead then with singing verses from the Canticle of Vellichor, allowing her voice to ring clearly where normally the Archscholar is a fairly quiet person. The Canticle is sung, down to the final, familiar verses: "I am the god of histories, and this shall not be the final chapter of the history of your world. This has cost me more than I hope you shall ever learn, but I ask for but little in return. Let the most studious amongst you take sacred vow to forever guard the knowledge of the world, and allow all among you from the greatest to the least to chronicle their lives in journals so their knowledge may never be lost. Guard it well."
Once the Canticle of Vellichor has been recited, the Disciples step forward, and blow out the thirteen candles, causing the scent of spent candle wax and a faint hint of smoke to drift up into the air. Sina turns once again to look upon the gathering. "Any who would now wish to dedicate themselves in service to Vellichor as one of His Disciples, may step foward." She gestures to the steps, which are inscribed with the vows of Vellichors disciples.
Ugarte arrives, following Fortunato.
Fortunato has joined the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
Juniper doesn't sing but her lips move with the words of the Canticle-- most of them, at least, like someone who's memorized only half of a song, but knows the tune which supports it. She curls a hand around her pendant lantern as it finishes and tilts a look at the crowd, watching for movement.
Sparte remains where he moved after placing the altar cloth in position. He flickers up a glance every so often at who has come to put down an offering, though his eyes drop back down after each. When the psalms are spoken he nods slightly, closing his eyes as he listens. Then opens them again when Sina raises up the canticle. He joins Sina in the Canticle of Vellichor, falling silent once more when it is at an end.
Lisebet sings, letting her voice join those, singing loud and clear. She's had some musical training, as part of her unimortant noble youth, and it shows in the phrasing she chooses, as well as her reasonably in tune voice. She also has studied the words somewhat, at some point in time.
Singing is not Fairen's forte, so he follows along by speaking the Canticle in a quiet voice with a reverent care to each word intoned. His attention remains on Sina during it, showing his respect to the Archscholar.
Ailith lowers to a kneeler, as the prayer beads and thin chain dangling between her fingers. Her voice quietly joins the chorus of others, heart lifted by the Canticle of Vellichor.
Dianara raises her clear, sweet voice to join in the singing. After the Archscholar speaks, asking if any would like dedicate themselves as a Disciple, the Whisper stands and steps forward.
Rysen sings in a low accompaniment to those with strong, clear voices like Lisebet, Dianara and Sparte, adding resonating base tones to the collective Canticle.
Alarissa's voice lifts with others, though it remains soft, not striving to match others, but joins in none the less.
Bhandn remains in very quiet, embarrassed discussion in the back with Mother Ailith's disciple Fulgence, keeping his grey eyes still directed down at his own feet. Bhandn himself does not speak during the song, but he also does not quickly regain his red-faced composure either. There's a moment where Bhandn gives the older man a suggestion of a grin, though it's a discomforted one, as he continues to answer the inquiries, especially when a finger gets pointed in his direction by the Legate's aide.
Thea quietly sings along with the others, her voice clear and strong.
Merek joins with the singing.
Tyrus remains silent. While others sing, and when those interested to join are called forward. He does glance to Dianara when she steps forward, however, and the man can be seen smiling.
Korka sings along with the voices, although her attention is less on the words than it is on the rest of the crowd. Who sings, who doesn't, and who might be trying to be louder than the rest.
Vitalis lifts his bright and raspy untrained tenor with the rest.
Evander's voice is soft, almost inaudible. He does know the words: his singing just isn't the best, so he keeps his tone low so as not to disrupt those better able to keep the tone of the song.
Octavian, a silken spaniel arrives, delivering a message to Evander before departing.
Whatever Fulgence had to say to Sir Bhandn, has the latter man go even more crimson than before, and not reply.
Brigida quietly sings along as well, the Archlector of Petrichor offering her support and faith to the collective effort.
Fulgence is a gruffy old nobleman whose voice in song would likely cause ears to bleed and cats to cry. He opts to hum quietly along with everyone else. Oblivious to any Knight of Solace turning red.
Evander falls silent, distracted, as a messenger arrives. He glances at it, brow flickering up for a moment, before he notes a response. Soon after, he rises quietly, slipping out just as the singing continues.
2 Kennex corsairs, Jaq, a solemn looking assistant leave, following Evander.
The sound of singing, of voices raised in praise of Vellichor, fill the shrine with beauty in verse and the words of Vellichor. She offers a soft smile once the Canticle concludes, and then she bows her head once more, kneeling alongside Ailith at the Altar in one final prayer.
"Vellichor, in your enlightened name we pray:
Enlarge our understanding of this world;
Let us see it.
Steady us when we stand before the unknown;
Let us know it.
Edify our minds, our hearts, our wits;
Let us remember it.
We bend our knee and receive your truth,
We open our ears and receive your counsel,
We open our eyes and receive your words.
We open our hearts and receive your wisdom."
She allows time for others to offer up their prayers as well, before rising to her feet, and turning once more to face the gathered worshippers. "Thank you all for coming. She gestures with one graceful hand to the Canticle of Vellichor, now placed upon the altar. "One such contribution is this beautiful copy of the Canticle of Vellichor, created out of love for Vellichor in beautiful illumination by Sister Gisele Aurum. It is a singular piece of work. Now, it has a new home." She smiles softly then, glancing around. "The altar is more than an altar, however, as you can see. It is a bookcase, as well. Do you have knowledge you wish to share with the Compact? Place it here. While the bookcase could be chained, it will not be. Let it be a symbol of our dedication to sharing knowledge with one another, and trusting that the knowledge will be shared respectfully, and responsibly. You will find that the book drops have been removed. Instead, this altar will be a sacred vessel in which to share your works, your discoveries, your re-discoveries. Whether you wish to offer up books, or more symbolic items, it is up to you. Only do so in the spirit of preserving knowledge." She bows her head to them then. "May your paths always be illuminated with Vellichor's wisdom." She lifts her head after a solemn moment of gratitude toward those who have come, and smiles around. "This concludes our ceremony. But please, feel free to linger if you wish."
Ailith is overheard praising Sina.
Ailith is overheard praising Merek.
Ailith is overheard praising Rinel.
Ailith is overheard praising Sparte.
Vitalis is overheard praising Scholars: As Arx Endures, We Will Remember.
Thea slips out just as quiet as she slips in, unnoticed.
Finn the large Northern hunting dog with icy blue eyes leaves, following Thea.
Juniper is overheard praising Scholars: Sometimes remembering requires reminders and they are graceful in their service.
Yvon stands in the back, leaning on his stick, watching in disgust as the singing ends.
Lisebet is overheard praising Scholars: As Arx Endures, we will remember.
With Sina's final benediction, the Godsworn Scholars and the various Disciples begin to file their way out. After they leave, so too do the Knights of the Library, most of them, the ones who were able to come and not assigned to their duties. They file out in two rows, save for those who normally guard the Shrine, and the Archscholar. Sina descends the steps from the altar, and lingers for a time to answer any questions or converse.
As the ceremony concludes, Korka flashes a smile Ras' way that might just get lost in the crowd and then she turns to disappear into it herself.
Vitalis is overheard praising Sina: The first of the Scholars, she leads us well.
Sparte is overheard praising Sina.
Sparte is overheard praising Merek.
Sparte is overheard praising Rinel.
Sparte is overheard praising Ailith.
Dianara is overheard praising Scholars.
Sparte is overheard praising Scholars.
Ras starts to get up, and replies to Korka's smile with a faintly uncertain one of his own. He glances at Drusila and mumbles something under his breath.
Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing leave, following Lisebet.
Vitalis stays to pray for a moment, kneeling near the front, out of the way where others might congregate as the service ends and conversation begins. He is not long there, in truth, rising after a short while and moving to offer thanks to Sina and the other Godsworn for a fine service.
Fortunato is overheard praising Sina.
Rysen rises at the end of the ceremony, and makes his way towards the exit, offering a bow to Alarissa when he notices her. "It's been a while, Your Highness. I hope you have been well." Lygeia is a step behind Rysen, as the pair move off toward the Sanctum of Genesis.
Jaerith is overheard praising Scholars.
It is a solemn Juniper who gathers herself up and assesses the crowd. Being smaller, slighter, she waits until the fullness thins out somewhat, murmuring something about the hospice to those nearest to her.
Layne, the withered veteran leaves, following Juniper.
Dame Marra, a limping fennec fox, Disciple Ismay, Disciple Fulgence, 3 Templar Knight guards leave, following Ailith.
Jaerith nudges Korka one more time, then turns to head out.
Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist leaves, following Rysen.
Fairen loiters around in the crowd, approaching Sina to give her some quiet words of heartfelt thanks. He slips into the benches to take a seat afterwards.
Fairen has joined the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
ALarissa's getting assistance to rise when Rysen stops by. She looks over to him, dipping her head faintly. "Thank you Lord Rysen. Give my regards to your wife." She murmurs.
Fortunato has left the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
With a gently murmured word to Alarissa, Vega rises up and waits for Alarissa and Rysen to speak, offering a polite smile and a dip of her head towards him. She offers her arm towards the Princess-Consort and escorts her from the room.
Ras smiles at Drusila, and heads for the exit, spotting Yvon. There's a wider grin directed towards the man with the disgusted expression. "Hey," he says quietly on the way past. "Hope you're doin okay."
3 Thrax Guards leaves, following Tyrus.
When Sina calls a conclusion to the dedication, Bhandn will finally raise his head. There's still a bit of red present there, but he's slowly started to compose himself, especially once Fulgence has left with the Legate of Concepts. A loud breath comes out of the knight's lips as he starts to slowly make his way toward the Archscholar, slowly in that he waits for those departing before making the walk towards the altar.
Yvon offers a stiff bow to Ras. "Yes, I am always soothed, even renewed, by rituals of smug self-congratulation. And you? I'm sorry, I've forgotten your name, though I still have your drawing."
Vega has left the Diligent Teaching Bench Seating.
Alarissa has left the Diligent Teaching Bench Seating.
Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Elegance, a Velenosian Greyhound, Pellinor, 3 Thrax Guards, Honey Snuggle, a Velenosian Angora cat, 2 Thrax Elite Guards leave, following Alarissa.
3 Thrax Guards, Alarissa leave, following Vega.
"Ras," replies Ras, still smiling, but he's somewhat buffeted by the departing crowd as he lingers there. "I'm good, yeah..." Another bump, and he seems to decide it'd be better to just keep moving. "See ya round, Yvon."
Ras has left the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
Drusila has left the Disciplined Learning Bench Seating.
1 Pravosi Knights leaves, following Drusila.
Drusila leaves, following Ras.
Sina lingers near the front, dipping her head to Ailith as she makes her depature. She greets those who come to greet her, and offers a familiar smile and a nod to those she knows. She dips her head to Fairen, and toward Alarissa as well as the Princess departs. She speaks up after a moment and adds, "If anyone has any questions they would like to ask me... any questions at all, feel free to do so. I will do my best to answer any question." She dips her head in greeting to Bhandn.
Yvon struggles, among the people leaving, to remain standing, but managed to keep his balance and then calls to Sina, "If the Scholars honor Vellichor's truth, should they not publicly oppose lies?"
"I think that's the Sentinel," Merek muses, while he finds a place to listen.
Bhandn's words to the Archscholar are brief, and quiet, ones he concludes with a bow afterward as he is going to depart right after.
Sina turns her attention toward Yvon as he calls out, and tilts her head slightly at his question. "When it is possible to do so, we do," she says after a moment. "However, it would be unrealistic, I think, to be aware of every lie spoken. Is there a particular lie you are referring to?" she asks, seeking clarification.
Brigida pipes up from her position, "You should just rap the knuckles of those spreading lies and be done with it."
Sina exchanges those whispered words with Bhandn, then turns her gaze back to Yvon expectantly.
"There are many," Yvon says to Sina, wincing at some internal discomfort. "Most recently, perhaps, claims made about a mysterious shadow cast across the city. You know the public explanation for that is a lie, I should imagine, or at least strongly suspect. Yet despite your prayer of honoring truth and recording history, you let both be obscured in the first, arguably most important, chronicle of the event."
Sina listens thoughtfully as Yvon speaks of the particular lie he is thinking of, and lifts a hand. "Ahh, you refer to Prince Laric's most recent proclamations concerning the shadow that passed over the city, and the noise complaints," she says with a little nod of her head. "As for the noises, I do not have any knowledge of what caused them, so I cannot speak to those. As for the rest, I am still considering and weighing the situation, learning more of it. While we value truth, we must ensure that we have the full truth, before we can speak to a situation fully and with confidence."
1 Templar Initiates, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Cassandra.
"Willful ignorance is a kind of lie," Yvon says, shifting his weight to his other leg. "As well as being a betrayal of history. And waiting until one has the 'full truth' is a vapid excuse that shall never fail to serve. In your own speech, you just said that though we haven't the full tale, still we must strive to understand. Strive, I should think, with inevitably imperfect knowledge. Leave aside the shadow; when last did this Shrine publicly correct the ... misstatements of the authorities?"
Merek's brow lifts, while he stares at Yvon.
"Two years ago," rasps Rinel weakly from where she sits, "a man named Esra sought to unveil all the truths hidden beneath this city. In doing so, he let loose horrors. We are tasked to safeguard knowledge, Goodman--not to distribute it freely. You may not read the Blacks. You may not read works restricted by the Censor Librorum."
Brigida hmmphs, "Well said Rinel. Not every bit of knowledge is right for every ear. There are some things that need to be recorded and stored... maybe never to be seen again."
"You knock upon the doors of wisdom, Tern," Yvon says, with a slight bow toward Rinel. "Yet Vellichor is the key that opens the lock. That is aptly said. And then, a discordant note: 'We are the guardians of knowledge.' Are you? Did we not just acknowledge that -Vellichor- holds the key that secures the door? One may be a champion of truth and history or a hoarder of them. To attempt both is to be a champion of your child by locking him safely in the cellar. I hope you are recovering apace. You do not look well."
Cassandra had meant to be here earlier, but one knows how busy a Legate's life can get. They can't be everywhere at once. But eventually, she manages to make an appearance, hanging in the back of the shrine, overseeing the proceedings. Like some kind quietly observing teacher in a class.
Yvon inclines his head to Brigida. "But this terrible knowledge is right for *some* ears? The ears of the pure, strong, knowledgable few, perhaps, whose light outshines their darkness so emphatically as to dispel any danger?"
Smiling at Yvon, Sina says, "Is that not the job of the Mirrormasks, to offer such challenges? If you feel an untruth has been spoken, challenge it yourself," she tells him plainly. She glances at Merek, and gives a slight shake of her head, and nods to Rinel, then looks back to Yvon. "It isn't my job to reveal knowledge, as I have told others many times. It is for others to seek it. Vellichor, too, does not simply provide answers if one prays to him. But he guides, and approves of our diligence in seeking answers. Our vows state that we are the guardians of knowledge and stories. Why do you think that is?"
"We serve humanity and the Gods by guarding knowledge, Goodman," Rinel says in a voice close to a whisper. "A door protects not only that which is contained within--the gaol of the Iron Guard is testament to that." She smiles weakly.
"We cleaned it, you know. Isn't have as dreary as it was." Says the one Iron Guardsman in the room. Sparte clears his throat, looking a bit embarassed. "Not that, you know, that lessens your point."
"What an interesting conversation." the Legate of the Arts opines lightly from her spot at the door. "I seemed to of arrived at quite an interesting moment." Cassandra, flanked by a pair of Templar looks almost amused at the continuing conversation. "But please, don't stop on my account. I'm curious to see where this goes."
Merek looks over to Rinel with her words, "Yes, a lot like that, not to mention there is knowledge too dangerous to share," he says.
Fairen rises from the seats to approach the Legate, bowing respectfully. "Legate Cassandra. A pleasure to see you here in all of your glory." However, it is the gathering near the altar that quickly takes his attention. "The Archscholar and Rinel are correct. We guard knowledge, we protect it. That does not mean we share it with the public when it is clearly dangerous to do so."
Yvon bows again, slightly more deeply, to Sina. "It is indeed the Mirrormasks's duty, and a shamefully poor job we've been doing of it. As to why you appoint yourselves guardians? I imagine partly out of an urge to protect, and largely out of an urge for self-aggrandizement. Witness the--quite moving, and undoubtedly elegant--orgy of self-congratulation that just occurred here." He pauses to catch his breath. "Let us be clear, when we say 'knowledge is too dangerous to share,' what we mean is 'knowledge is to dangerous to share with our inferiors.' Which is all very well, but leads one to wonder, why are we so assured of our superiority? Is that not, as the song went, the mark of a closed mind?"
1 Templar Initiates have been dismissed.
3 Templar Knight guards have been dismissed.
Rinel chuckles drily. It sounds like gravel. "Goodman, did I not tell you where these wounds arose? Should all who dwell within Arvum know that one can traverse the Mirror? Should we deliver our troop movements to the Immortal Empire in the interest of knowledge?"
Merek seems to be thoughtful within the hood of his robe, while he listens.
Sina turns as Cassandra speaks, and she bows her head. "Mother Cassandra," she greets with a light smile. "We have just finished the ceremony, and I offered to answer questions. Yvon has asked why we Scholars do not challenge certain statements that are made to ensure the safety of the public." She looks back to Yvon again, and listens to him calmly. "If you think it is superiority," she says quietly, "you are mistaken, and clearly drawing conclusions that are not, in themselves, accurate. If you truly wish to understand, be diligent yourself. Seek the answers, then. Study. Research. Make use of the Archives. Learn. Standing around telling us that we practice our solemn duty out of a sense of superiority is unproductive." She glances at Rinel, and lifts an eyebrow, then looks back to Yvon. "You may also feel free to visit me, if you wish, and have further questions. I will be happy to answer them in private."
"Am I arguing for the release of all knowledge?" Yvon asks Rinel. "Or is that a straw man, constructed for the burning? I could play the same game, but instead I shall thank the Archscholar for her hospitality and conversation, and offer you all the benediction of my absence. Perhaps you will there discover the limits of accuracy, and productivity." He gives a stiff bow, a grimace, and turns to leave.
Sparte starts to shift off out of view, now that Yvon is leaving. Already slipping the scholars robes off to reveal the iron guard kit he was still wearing underneath with a look of relief. That must have been toasty. Still, he stowed the large and clanky bits in an alcove. It'll take him a few minutes to get that all refastened.
The line has been dismissed by Sina.
Sina gives a nod of the head to Yvon, then to Sparte and Rinel. "I believe it is time for me to return to my office, and my piles of work. Good day." She glances around the Shrine, and smiles a little, then she turns and makes her way out too.
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