Oct. 6, 2019, 5 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Shrine of the First Choice
Comments and Log
3 Thrax Guards, 2 Thrax Elite Guards, Lady Teonia Redreef, Aryka Wyrmfang, Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog arrive, following Sorrel.
Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 3 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Sophie.
"At sea, for sure, having to row all day then be crammed together to sleep at night with nothing but a scratchy blanket to keep you warm against the cold of the ocean?" He explains to Catalana.
When people start coming in he rises from the pew, stepping to the front of the shrine to greet them. "Welcome! If you come here for counseling, let me know and give me your name, I'll call on you when it's your turn. If you want confidential counseling, let me know."
Ras walks in through the archway and a few more steps under the trees, then glances back outside. He seems tense, and doesn't say anything at first, waiting - for something. During this wait, he stands rigidly, surveying the shrine and those within. Once in a while he mutes a cough into one sleeve.
Sophie enters quietly, her guards moving to one side of the door as she enters the shrine proper. One hand is buried deeply in the pocket of her white Robes of Mercy and her other hand is holding a lantern that's glowing warmly. She smiles warmly at anyone who catches her gaze, and makes her way to a bench to slide onto it. She's quite curious about these 'Liberators' who have been making such a name for themselves, and though it doesn't seem like she needs counseling - she's watching the activities with interest.
"I'm just here to support the First Choice," Sorrel says reassuringly as she makes her way in and looks around at those already present within the shrine. She sidles over to Sophie with a smile and settles beside her.
Wash has joined the pews nearest the front.
Catalana gives a smile to Sorrel and Sophie as they join them. "Your Highness. Sister Sophie. A pleasure to see you here."
Catalana has joined the pews nearest the front.
Wash is seated up close with a book in hand, perhaps taking notes on the meeting.
Caspian greets each one as they enter, smiling their way. To Sorrel he nods, telling her, "Thank you. I prepared some drinks and snacks if anyone wants to partake in them. Feel free to chat with each other, I'm here if you change your mind."
Sophie smiles brightly as Sorrel joins her and she slides an arm around her waist while giving her a little side hug. "Cousin!" She nods toward the Liberators running the event. "I'll admit, I know very little about these Liberators, but it seems that if they seek to help those newly freed from thralldom they could use prayers to Lagoma as well. After all, what greater transition is there in life?" Then Catalana is approaching and she smiles warmly, "Lady Catalana, how pleased I am to see you again. Lagoma has certainly been assuring that we're in the same place quite often of late. I wonder the reason..."
Wash is overheard praising Liberators.
Wash is overheard praising Caspian.
Wash is overheard praising Catalana.
"It is worthwhile to remember that many thralls are that because they are criminals -- particularly now that the taking of child thralls is banned," Sorrel remarks to Sophie thoughtfully. "And when they are freed, it is somewhat difficult to reintegrate them in society. Still, Thrax has managed to succeed in adding quite a few to its navy as free persons, even if some have chosen to turn pirate and bite the hand that feeds."
"That is only part of what we do," informs Caspian to Sophie with a smile her way. "We help those who feel that they are bound by circumstance, those returning to freed life from being a slave or thrall, and those who are unsure of their path in life."
Elisha shouts from the Out <O>, "Hello! Um, hi in there! I guess the first thing I'm wondering, if anyone can hear me, is ... what do you, um, Liberators think about someone who's not free to make the choice to step into your shrine?"
There's a cagey nod in response to Caspian's routine greeting towards anyone who enters the shrine, but otherwise Ras just stands there. Until - there it is - the yelled question from the Sanctum of the Lost, outside. He points back through the arch dramatically, and looks towards the altar. "What do you um Liberators think about someone who's not free to make the choice to step into your shrine?!" he repeats, loudly and swiftly verbatim, and scowls darkly as if he expects to be challenged for some reason.
Catalana listens to Caspian, her head slightly tilted. "I can't even begin to imagine the mental shift from slave to free." Listening to Sorrel, she asks, "Do you entirely blame them? We've enslaved them for generations. Some are bitter and will want to seek some form of vengence. All we can hope is they see the error in their ways."
"Excuse me, I'm going to go talk to them," says Caspian, looking to Ras as he tells him, "If you are interested in that answer, follow me."
Wash has left the pews nearest the front.
Jayne, Burly Sailor leaves, following Wash.
Catalana has left the pews nearest the front.
2 Kennex corsairs, Jane leave, following Catalana.
Anya, the cool as an ice cube Champion apprentice, Renn, the mousy, scholarly brunette, Wash, Catalana leave, following Caspian.
Sophie nods her head to Sorrel and she says, "Surely in every situation there is an instance of people.. biting the hand that feeds them, but surely those criminals, or at least some of them, could have been rehabilitated in some other way, rather than a lifetime of forced servitude. I worry that perhaps the punishment might not have always fit the crime, but then.. I wasn't there, and I can't speak for any of that." She looks up at Caspian and she says, "Difficult choices.. two paths.. what greater change is that, to leave the path one is on and embark upon a new one." Sophie smiles warmly to Caspian and she says, "If there's anything I can do to be of assistance, I'm here." Though her head then turns toward the entrance, and one eyebrow lifts.
Jayne, Burly Sailor arrives, following Wash.
"There are many who certainly did not deserve a life of servitude, but more traditional Islanders will be happy to point out that we have also freed murderers and others who might have been executed for their crimes but were given the option to serve instead," Sorrel notes to Sophie with almost academic detachment. "I have found it valuable to understand people's perspectives when dealing with them diplomatically. Nonetheless, it is valuable for people to be able to choose their own paths, and the legacy of thralldom is absolutely a problem."
2 Kennex corsairs, Jane arrive, following Catalana.
Catalana has joined the pews nearest the front.
Wash has joined the pews nearest the front.
Wash says, "Is it a legacy though? It seems more like thralldom is the current problem, not its legacy." Wash points out."
"Thralldom is a problem, and what thralldom leaves behind is a problem. But in time, both of these problems will sort themselves out, and we will be in a much better position. Or, I suppose, our children will be," Sorrel observes.
"The issue is far from black and white, I know, and my personal feelings on thralldom are not important. What is important is preparing both the Compact and those freed for life as it is now, and life how it will be in the future. Some of those being freed will undoubtedly rise to the top of society as great statesmen, healers, knights.. I prefer to look forward to that and work toward giving them the tools necessary to get there. That's where I focus my energies, I think. Thralldom is as wrong now as it was a hundred years ago. We just looked past it because it was always done that way. Now we have the opportunity to change the world for the better."
Catalana agrees with Sophie, "I think High Lord Victus summed up the overall impact well. It's not just freeing people, but also providing the economic stability and growth to support all these people."
"If we are extrapolating to the future. Then we have opened a larger question here. By indicating that there are some limits on the authority of Lords over those that reside in their domain, then what entity exists to determine and enforce those limits needs to be established. While I applaud the direction of the Liberators so far, I have to ask, are they intended to be an authority in this regard?"
"Did you realize that, in general, people in the Mourning Isles are more concerned about civil impact and lawlessness due to freed thralls than they are the economic factors that may personally affect them?" Sorrel says thoughtfully. "That is something else we must address when freeing thralls, which we certainly wish to do. It's not just the thralls who need support but also the people they're integrating with." She considers Wash's question. "I believe the Liberators are a discipleship of the Faith of the Pantheon devoted to Skald. As such, they speak with the authority of the Faith, but I don't believe they are intended to attempt to overrule a liege lord."
Ugarte arrives, following Fortunato.
Anya, the cool as an ice cube Champion apprentice, Renn, the mousy, scholarly brunette arrive, following Caspian.
Caspian walks back in with a sigh given his way, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Well, I regret doing that." He says as he heads over to the pews to sit down, asking, "Did anyone decide if they want too talk to me? The offer is still there. If not, please enjoy the drink and talk about things related to Skald, freedom, and choice."
Catalana curiously asks Caspian, "What happened? Are we privy to know?"
Fortunato sets himself down, a small man in a mess of umbra and gold and duskstone. "Saw you talking to a couple folk outside as I passed. If you'd caught me a couple months ago, I'd still be divided on whether or not I was Whispering or not. But I'm decided now. Made the choice."
"Indeed. I have heard some of that man's ramblings and would regret any encounter of such a sort myself." Wash says with a beaming smile. "We were just discussing whether the Liberators would morph into some other form once the practice of Thralldom ended in ten years." Wash tells Caspian. "Have you heard any discussion on that grounds being a member Master Wild?"
Sophie smiles and follows the conversation for a time before rising. She kisses Sorrel on the cheek as she does. "I hope that we can get together soon and catch up, cousin." She gives Caspian a comforting smile and nods politely to Fortunato as she passes, stopping to say, "Ahh, Master Fortunato. I've been meaning to talk to you. Come for tea soon, won't you?"
"It was Elisha, arguing that since there is a power difference in society, we're not really free," says Caspian as he sinks into the seat. Looking to Wash, he shakes his head, "No, no talks about that, but I imagine as we are able to travel and trade better, we'll likely see refugees from Cardia, The Undying Empire, and Eurasi that will need help. And there are of course writs as well."
"He has been excommunicated and is nothing. Of course he argues for something. He is worthless, as the Faith has decreed," Sorrel says with a little shake of her head.
Catalana knits her brow at Caspian, "He was arguing he isn't free, to a former thrall?"
"Arguments at trees." Wash says. "No one is free. Everyone has obligations, to family, to children, to the Gods. A fool asks for freedom."
"We are free, but we do also have obligations. There may be some areas where choice is restricted, but we still have choice. The importance is long as those obligations are in accordance with the teachings of Skald and Limerence."
"And one can be liberated from all sorts of bonds, not all of which are physical," Fortunato says, then turns his head toward Sophie. "Ah! Give me a date, good Mother Mercy and I will be there." He clears his throat and, more generally, "When I was younger and more isolated, I also liked to argue that one was not free to make choices. It was great fun. But as an argument, it is purely theoretical. We wake, we rise, we work or we do not, we discharge obligations, or we do not. We paint a landscape. We paint a bird. We paint nothing. We are constantly weaving decisions and we are the creation of our own accumulated choices."
Dame Rosario Nevarre of the Oathlands, Anouk Ardennes, Anais Ardennes, Triage, The white dove of Mercy, 3 Valardin Knights, 1 Templar Knight guards leave, following Sophie.
Catalana disagrees with Wash, "We have freedom in our choices. We can chose to fulfill the obligations of family or to chose our own path. It is more the wise man who choses their own way and can use it to aid their oaths."
"Same as a Thrall. Put a tool in one's hand, and they are free to use it to attempt their freedom. The consequences are clear. And the chances are slim, naturally." Wash point out. "But by the principle argument that anyone who is willing to accept the consequences is free, that makes us equally free."
"I don't know if accepting conquences makes you free, there is more to freedom then that," says Caspian back to Wash with a shake of his head. "I sure wasn't free when I was a Thrall, even if I had choices I could make. I think it's more being free to make choices in a reasonable manner, without someone claiming ownership over you."
Fortunato turns a small, tight smile on Wash. "A person may be deprived of any sort of ideal the gods represent. Deprived of air and heat, or water or law. A thrall has been deprived of freedom moreso than you have, my lord, and he is not so utterly deprived as the slaves bound by writ are. Even the most constrained slave, though, may be able to struggle toward that spark. To look up or to look downward. It is still a miserable state, though, just as we would want to relieve anyone choking for lack of air or weeping for lack of food."
"And I am not arguing that either of us is equal." Wash corrects Fortunato. "I am arguing that neither of us is free. Those that proclaim that any restriction of freedom is tyranny, are idiots who do not recognize the chains under which they themselves labor. Thralls chains happen to be more physical than moral."
Catalana counters, "No one is ever equal. There are certainly greater divides between noble and thrall, but I am not equal to a high Lord or even my Marquessa. Everyone is bound to someone else. Our freedoms are granted by another, and even then, those freedoms are not the same. Everyone is bound to another, even though we have limited freedoms."
Fortunato raises his hand. "No one is /entirely/ free, no. At least, I think it unlikely. Total freedom would court chaos. Your environment shifting at your will and desire, your relationships ephemeral, your very body, perhaps, changeable by the moment. Let alone society. But this does not make freedom a false principle, any more than the presence of injustice makes justice moot. I do agree with you that there is little point in objecting to /any/ constraint as tyranny. If nothing else, it's rather tiresome. We live in a world in which every concept is tangled, we live tangled. In obligations and whim, in society and the open road. The world will not simply bend to us. We choose all the same, even if our choice is to adhere to what we consider our chains."
"Well put," says Caspian to Fortunato with a few nods given their way, just content on listening to the others discuss the topic.
Catalana is conversing lowly with Wash, she asks Caspian after realizing how quiet it's gotten. "Caspian, if you could chose a direction for the liberators, where would you like them to go in the future?"
"If I could choose?" Asks Caspian back to Catalana, giving a soft hum as he strokes at his chin. "No different direction I would choose, though I would definitely hope that it grows. We're such a small discipleship compared to the other, older ones."
Caspian has joined the pews nearest the front.
"Best of luck to you in your expansion, Caspian," Fortunato says with a small bow, and quietly departs.
Ugarte leaves, following Fortunato.
Catalana apologizes to Caspian, "It seems we killed the conversation. I'm sorry."
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