A Debate on Foreign Goods
Feb. 23, 2020, 2 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Vellichorian Academy - Hall of Tutelage
Comments and Log
Apollo slips in with Svana, just in time, murmuring something quiet to her something that sounds like 'see it through, I guess'. They find seats.
With a gentle nod to the Archscholar, Dianna turns to Bhandn and Ornella, regarding the scabbard. "Interesting..." she considers, then introduces herself to Ornella, "Pardon, I don't believe we've met. I'm Sister Dianna Godsworn, priestess and Third Reflection to Tehom."
Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel, Princess Muffin, the fluffiest white mountain dog arrive, following Kenna.
In with crisp autumn night air strides a curvy redhead dressed in fitted dark leathers and a hint of a smile. Acacia pauses at the door to give the room a little look over and smoothly steps inside with an slight upnod to those she might know.
Svana is all too happy to follow behind Apollo, looking somehow excited to hear the talk - nodding her head when Apollo murmurs to her. She sits down beside him and tries to be as ladylike as possible.
Merek walks into the place with his red and black longcoat pulled about his dark attire, an alchemist's belt wrapped about it as the beltcape shifts about. He notices Dianna and inclines to her, while he blinks a bit to Ornella, and bows, then he lifts his gaze to Bhandn, while he finds a place to settle in. He does pull a scholar's pendant to wear.
Archimedes, the Grim Face of Owlish Judgement, Sir Alren, Scholar Duran, a perpetually put-upon assistant, 3 Templar Knight guards, Clementine arrive, following Bianca.
Apollo has joined the an Aion starlight table.
Mirk has left the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Svana has joined the couches embroidered with an ivory rose.
Svana has left the couches embroidered with an ivory rose.
Kenna has joined the Student Desks.
Balian, a Templar squire, Guy, a hunting kestrel, 1 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Preston.
Svana has joined the an Aion starlight table.
Bianca has joined the an Aion starlight table.
Merek has joined the an Aion starlight table.
Ornella twirls around to smile at Dianna just as she curtseys. "You wouldn't normally curtsey to the shadows would you?" She winks and turns to Bhandn, "Trade is a bloodied art. I imagine a sword is a proper representative of trade's interests in the debate." She sways her way forward towards Dianna and bows, "We haven't! Though, it's not often you meet the shadows. I'm rarely outside of my books and I only just arrived. Ornella Velenosa, Princess. It's my greatest pleasure to meet the Archlector of Vellichor, Sister Dianna."
Shard slips in; quiet, dour, maybe a little skeptical. She spends a moment or two glancing over the room before dropping into an unoccupied seat. There's a certain ever-present tension about her, but no more than her usual.
Emele too steps into the Hall; on spotting Apollo, she waves and heads in his direction.
Emele has joined the an Aion starlight table.
Niklas has joined the couches embroidered with an ivory rose.
Smiling to Bhandn, Sina inclines her head. When the time approaches for Bhandn to speak, she turns toward the people who have arrived, offering a warm smile. She is wearing her armor, and her aeterna robes over it, black hair woven an intricate braid down her back. "Good day," she greets everyone. "Today, the Vellichorian Academy hosts Sir Bhandn Yvar, who would like to speak on a matter of some importance to the Compact of late, given our foreign guests. The subject of trading in foreign goods, and what that means, precisely. The usual rules apply - be respectful to one another, and to our guest speaker today. Weapons are to remain peace-tied of course, and we offer all the courtesties of Guest Right to all who have come here today. May Vellichor look upon these proceedings with approval, and may all find today's debate to be educational. Sir Bhandn will explain in more detail the purpose for today's event," she says, and looks to Bhandn with a warm smile, before stepping close to murmur something to him, before she steps back to find herself a place to sit as well.
A light and soft chuckle draws from Dianna's lips as Ornella suggests curtseying to shadows, the priestess' eyes twinkling. "Perhaps one would... and I am more apt to do so than most, I suppose - being dedicated in most part to Tehom. I am glad to meet you, Princess Velenosa; I'm sure I know some of your relations. Sina, though, is wonderful," Dianna gestures to the Archscholar, "and, if you enjoy study, you might enjoy spending some time with her. But, let me away to my seat... you're welcome to join me." The priestess steps away and sits at the starlight table.
Niklas wanders in, followed by an assistant carrying a few sheets of blank parchment and some pencils, just in case Prince Niklas, Minister of Income for the greatest of houses, gets bored while people talk about _numbers_ and _commodities_ or whatever. He finds the most comfortable looking seat and drops into it, followed by a nice slouch.
The twice former Mercier Kenna Acheron slips into the room. She doesn't approach anyone but slips her way into a seat and leans back in the chair with her legs stretched out. Debate and Knowledge go.
Sina has joined the an Aion starlight table.
Shard has joined the an Aion starlight table.
Her arrival into the familiar sights of the Hall of Tutelage an unceremonious thing, Bianca Wyrmguard unceremoniously navigates her way through the gathering of people, bright silver eyes intent and possessed of a subdued sense of interest as the talks begin; there is the smallest smiles for Sina's introductions, before the legate makes her way towards the nearest table to settle in, a calm, attentive, but unobtrusive thing.
As the time to commence matters arrives, there's a moment where Sir Bhandn Yvar directs his eyes to the object laying on the desk he set up nearby. He approaches Sina after her introduction, offering a soft murmur after he gives her a look that's a combination between grimace and smile, and then, with a visible breath, he's turning and starts to speak.
"Thank you for coming," Bhandn's deep voice says to the room, turning his head and meeting eyes as he surveys the occupied seats. "To begin, I'd like to start by asking a question of each of you. Of those present, do any here possess any items of steelsilk, pyreweave, alaricite, or possibly even shadowmeld? Among those of you who do, consider this question: Were your liege or the Faith to institute a ban from possessing such, and to relinquish your ownership of it, what would you do? Many of these, steelsilk in particular, are very costly now.
"Nearly two hundred years ago, those of you in attendance who have sworn to the Gods, would have been required to do exactly that. The then Dominus, Cyprien Telmar, decreed that no Godsworn would possess goods of Cardian or Northern origin. While this decree was repealed seven years later, we are approaching that time again in the present. So I ask you, given the Faith's recent ban on trade with Eurus, would you divest yourselves of everything associated with it that you may own?"
Shard crosses her arms over her chest and leans back, legs also crossing at the ankles. She doesn't say anything, but her jaw is set her eyebrows lift a little, and she /is/ wearing steelsilk, however unadorned. And alaricite besides.
Merek checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.
Scout Rowenova shows up a bit late. She does not seem to have Sir Floppington with her, and her neck has a fresh bandage about its entire circumference, but not tight enough that she cannot breathe, of course. She is currently wearing her fancy coat under the long drape of her wolfy headdress and hustles inside!
Ornella has joined the Student Desks.
Sina settles in at the table where Dianna, Bianca, and others are seated. The Archscholar is wearing Brixeur'Ame at her side, the slim alaricite blade currently peace-tied. She gives Bianca a warm smile, then turns her gaze back to Bhandn. Her expression is unsurprised at the subject, but she does tilt her head curiously as she glances around at the people around her, checking to see if they are wearing any of the items mentioned, perhaps.
Peri tilts her head at Sir Var's telling of history. If she has a question she keeps it to herself for now.
Niklas isn't wearing any steelsilk or pyreweave, much less carrying an alaricite boarspear or what have you, but he still waves a hand and asks, "I was under the impression that most steelsilk you see in the markets these days is repurposed steelsilk that has been passed around Arvani hands for years. So if we refuse to buy it in the market aren't we just arrowing our own trade in the foot?"
2 Faith of the Pantheon trained guards, 2 Faith of the Pantheon novice guards arrive, following Orazio.
The curvy Culler doesn't seem overly fussed by the question. More keenly intrigued as to what others might say. She does however cough softly and ask for clarification, "Aye, do you mean giving up what is rightfully purchased, paid for and in possession before this band or what might come available after it?"
Acacia claims that
Hands folding comfortably in her lap, Bianca sweeps the room as Bhandn speaks, as if curiously weighing any potential reactions to his hypothetical. A little frown of thought tugs at her lips, but for now she says nothing, seeming more curious in what others have to say - or do - in this discussion.
Micana, 1 Saik Guard arrive, following Lucita.
Apollo pauses introducing Svana at his table to listen to Bhandn; he is clearly quite interested in this line of inquiry. Of /course/ he is. Even without comment, that much is plain.
Lucita quietly makes her way into the area and glances around for a spot to sit.
Nova spots Lucita and then moves to join her, quietly following along after the Baroness.
Lucita has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Rowenova has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Preston lifts aneyebrow at Bhandn's statement and he gently coughs "Sir Bhandn, I do have one item of alaricite - but I can certainly say its origins are not Northern or Cardian." Preston adds from the edge of the hall, having come in with the other Templars to protect a Faith event. His hand drops to tap the crossguard of the plain sword at his belt "Though, if it was two hundred years ago, the blade was lost at the time I believe."
Apollo glances sidelong to Niklas. "That may have been true, at some point, your highness," he says, "but when I released Oakhide, Cardia rather tipped their hand, and showed that they are both willing to introduce goods into our economy and capable of it. They flooded they market with snakeskin that very day. I would not trust the provenance of goods you didn't expressly see the origins of yourself - they could as easily flood the market with steelsilk scrap as that."
It was with little pomp and circumstance in which the Dominus arrived, his guardsman opening the doors for the Holy of Holies as slow and measured steps led the aged leader into the Hall of Tutelage. Orazio took a moment upon entry to assess the locations of those gathered and available seating. An empty area was located and his hands came to fold as he gradually made his way to the simple sturdy pine bench and he lowered himself to a comfortable position. Dark eyes drifted between speakers, for the time remaining silent as he mentally assessed the conversation at hand.
Orazio has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.
It's Niklas's voice that first speaks up, and it's to Niklas that Bhandn turns his attention. "You /could/ say that, but my response is simple: Where did it originally come from? Unless you mean to say that someone in Arvum has been making steelsilk and simply hoarding it?" There's a slight edge of sarcasm in Sir Bhandn's voice, making it clear he himself doesn't particularly believe that notion.
"And yes, I mean exactly that," which he replies to Acacia. "No Godsworn may possess any goods of Cardian origin is a rather clear message, I would think. It's entirely possible the Faith could choose to outright ban goods of Eurusi origin now. So, is that what you would do? Tell the Dominus that you can't be bothered because they're /yours/? Not only that, but what makes you so certain that they are /safe to own/?"
He pauses a moment, turning as Preston speaks up, and it's to the Grandmaster of the Templar Order that he directs his further words.
"I used to believe that items marked by the gods were safe. Then I saw someone try to kill themselves with one after being overcome by some sort of fit. It was made of diamondplate, which to my understanding is perfectly reasonable and not of foreign make, something we are capable of producing here in Arvum without 'extra' steps getting involved."
With few proffering their opinions, the priestess to Tehom lifts her voice. "Naturally, if it was banned by the Faith, I would divest myself of all materials in question - though I would caution in arguing that we should move forth in such a manner. As Prince Niklas mentions: That steelsilk on the market now is presumably repurposed and would not affect Cardia, whatsoever, at this point. We also might wish to consider the reasons /why/ we would like to divest ourselves of an opportunity for common trade - should we, perhaps, create a good or have something that other nations may wish, we have ended an opportunity for peace. My question is this: Would the Gods disdain our wearing such materials, if they might protect us? And, how much better is it to have those we consider in opposition to us protecting /us/ with what they give? Unless it is found that such materials will or may cause us harm, I suggest we leave the borders open to all. Of course, if we have the capacity to create something within Arvum that will be of equal quality, we might wish to encourage it - but there is a matter of /choice/ - is there not? In allowing citizens to decide what is fit."
Ornella smiles mischievously at Sina as they move to find seats. The Archlector's table is unsurprisingly popular and full, which leads Ornella to the back where the student desks are. She slides into one just past that Kenna Woman and leans back, hands placed on the back of her head.
From the back the forceful voice of Ornella, "This is a simple question. Yes. I serve the faith. We serve the faith. What is a few materials in comparison?"
Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.
Shard says flatly, "A sword isn't safe to own. And if you're unarmed, and your enemy's sword is on the table, is the time to start wondering what terrible things your enemy has done with his sword before or /after/ you stab him with it?"
Niklas tilts his head toward Bhandn. "Are we abandoning the notion of good faith already? No, sir. However if someone paid Cardia for it already then that means Cardia has already used that money to buy murder-whips and what have you. So by buying and selling it now only Arvani are profiting." Then he takes on an intentionally, and exceptionally, sarcastic tone, "Or are you suggesting, good sir, that the Skylords take a cut of all steelsilk sales in perpetuity?"
"Cardia doesn't have to profit from steelsilk in perpetuity to insult the gods with it," Apollo says in reply to Niklas; though he reins it somewhat, the tone is marked with disgust.
"All things have a purpose, Sir Bhandn. Not all purposes are clear, and many objects can be put to other purposes than that intended. Perhaps the wish to avoid others from pursuing such ores is why the blade initially appeared as dull iron in legends, until its truth was revealed? Perhaps the blade you speak of unleashed something in someone, an interaction never intended? But the Dominus is the voice of the Gods. Except in certain circumstances, his command must be obeyed where it is a command." Preston's eyes follow Orazio across the room as Preston speaks, and he makes a move to slip to the table of the Dominus, notionally one of the man's guards "One should be careful." Preston offers to Niklas "For not all prices are paid in silver and tithe. Some items bear a cost to possess. Though that is in specifics, not in generalities."
Preston has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.
Question clarified for her, Acacia drifts back to listen to the exchange, a long, leather-clad leg lifting to lightly cross the other. A slight flicker in her eyes glides her gaze to Apollo and Dianna then to Ornella, Shard and Niklas, gliding by Orazio and falling back on Bhandn as he facilitates the discussion.
Sina glances toward the entrance occasionally as others arrive, and so it is that she notices Orazio's arrival. She dips her head toward the Dominus respectfully, but she then turns her attention back to Bhandn and those who have given answers to his question. "If it was deemed that such materials are not to be used, then of course, I would abide, but I would wish to know the reasons why," she says in reply to Bhandn's question. "I would think that the reasons would need to be very good reasons, to risk potentially throwing away the trade agreements that have helped sustain the Compact in the past. If this was decreed in the past by another Dominus, and then it was repealed, there must have been a good reason for the decree in the first place, and then also for it to be repealed."
Orazio's attention drifted between, attentive with the subtle hints of his consideration displayed in a slight knit of his brow from time to time. As the Grandmaster approached he dipped his head in gracious greeting to both his arrival and choice to re-position amidst the debate. Otherwise the Dominus simply listened to the discussion at hand, instead voting to remain silent in the wake of the replies of the other Godsworn partaking. Sina's greeting was also met with a bow of his head.
With a gentle nod to Sina as she speaks similarly to the Third Reflection, Dianna notes, aside, the presence of the Dominus and dips her head in reverent respect to him. She returns her attention to Bhandn and awaits a rebuttal.
There's a gleam of interest in Bhandn's grey eyes at something Dianna has to say, but he doesn't immediately speak, instead turning his attention from one speaker to the next as the points are raised. His initial response is again to Niklas:
"This isn't simply a matter of trade. While I make no claims as to how steelsilk in particular is made, what certainty can you give that these things are actually safe to use? There's some stories and myths about shadowmeld in particular being made of demons' skin, of all things, which hardly strikes me as virtuous.
"Sister Dianna, was it? -- she makes the point I truly wish to raise," Bhandn continues with a gesture in the Godsworn woman's direction. "Exactly /what/ is known about any of it? So far as I'm aware, no one in the Compact is capable of producing steelsilk or any of the others, and Master Oakwood here has thus far become the only person I know of to actually goad Cardia or anyone else into action on the matter of superior goods, by making something of his own. /I/ also feel more comfortable trusting something that we ourselves wrought with our own hands."
And then Bhandn turns his attention to Shard, and the woman he gives the suggestion of a small, maybe even conspiratorial smile. "Swords only harm if you make them, or if you're dead clumsy and trip on the blade at which point there wasn't much hope for you in the first place. A /spoon/ can kill a man, if not used properly, but that doesn't mean it was /made to do so/. So it is with a pillow, for that matter, or a thousand other things. We might know how and why they were made, but they can still be used for harm. Here, I speak of what we /don't/ know, and I question why one would use it without that certainty."
Niklas grimaces at Apollo's question. "Were I selling a more expensive replacement for alaricite I would likely question the effect of it on people's souls, too." To Preston he says, "I know many fine people who wear steelsilk and wield alaricite. Prince Laric, whose service to the Compact is undeniable. Princess Reese, a veritable hero to those in the Gray Forest. One of the finest men I know, Sir Jeffeth Bayweather. I have a hard time believing that any of them are suffering from a stain on their souls or bearing the contempt of the gods. But I suppose I haven't asked them recently." He looks over to Shard, eyebrows raised, "How do you feel?"
Vitalis is here because this topic is Of Great Interest, though he isnt able to sit with Apollo, the man with whom he stands shoulder to shoulder with in turning over particular apple cart. “Prism made her own steelsilk. It is possible. Though beyond our grasp at present. And shadowmeld...” he gives his head a shake. He snorts at Niklas. “A danger doesnt have to be obvious or known or particularly understood to be real.”
"I do know how steelsilk is made - at least the stuff made in Cardia," Apollo offers. "Not in the sense that I can make it myself, but rather, about the nature of the process. It's made by slaves - the process seems to require it, and Praetor Sulla himself confirmed substantial details about that in open conversation, laying to waste any idea that their process might have changed in some important way so that it doesn't have to be made by slaves anymore. As for Shadowmeld," he glances at Vitalis, nods, and then says: "I believe the rumors of those origins to be true." He looks at Niklas. "Which you can call self-interested all you like, but I've had at least thirty-million silver in requests to craft armor from it in the last year, which I have declined since reaching that conclusion, in favor of pouring my time, silver, and effort into an alternative that I haven't yet reached. My interest is in materials that can be trusted with lives, your highness."
Merek pulls his longcoat about him, while he listens to people and nods along, not looking like he has a lot of input himself.
Shard's eyebrows arch toward Niklas in turn, though her attention returns to Bhandn fairly quickly. "...I feel like 'we don't know everything' isn't a good reason to be afraid of something. Study it. Learn about it. That's always a good idea. But fearmongering because something is /unknown/ only leads to worse problems down the road. ...And has led to plenty of terrible things in the past. I have never seen one single scrap of evidence to suggest that steelsilk or alaricite are dangerous. Shadowmeld? I know the rumors, but again, I've not encountered /any/ evidence that it harms people who are around it." She glances toward Apollo. "And I feel that where something comes from isn't as important as what that something is used /for/. No amount of banning of Cardian goods is going to convince Cardia to stop using slaves. Banning or destroying what's already here does not help those people in any way whatsoever. All it does is make us feel better because we're not...what...dirtying ourselves with it, I guess."
Upon the desk surface, Nova lays out her writing supplies: bleedthrough template, beige paper, ink wells of one black and one blue, and a crow-feather quill, too. Once set up, she leans back and looks up and speaks up. "Rather than divest of purchases of the past which have protected those who protect us on the battlefield, a registry could be set up where those who already own something could report that they have it, and this registry would come with agreements from the Faith -- in the name of Gild -- which say that these particular items are not to be taken from those who own them. Each individual would get to keep their own copies, and another could be kept at the House of Solace. Then, anything new could be forbade if it were deemed to come from labor markets which were promoting slavery or other such terrible stuff. Then, if something new shows up after the registry period, and it is not in the registry, then it could be called into question, since now it is finally known that..." She nods over toward Apollo then looks back to Bhandn, "...that there are slaves involved. New steelsilk should be off Arvum markets. Anything old is 'too late now' and should be registered and protected."
Apollo listens to Shard with a study, but offers his response in quiet at the table.
"I wish to present an opposing idea, of course, Sir Bhandn. Not that I suspect, in the least, that Messere Apollo is creating anything dangerous to the Compact... but it is no secret that there /are/ those within the Compact who are on the side of the Abyss. That said... how would we know - until it is too late - that one /within/ our own borders does not create something equally dangerous to us? So... I present, again, a suggestion for caution in such suppositions. Shadowmeld - by its very nature - seems rather... completely dangerous - to me. But I know others - a Templar, in fact - who wears shadowmeld. Choices, always, must be respected, until such a time as we are certain. No?" Dianna posits, then turns to Apollo and speaks to him.
"I, too, know how steelsilk is crafted; and I choose to wear it. It has already saved my life once; I expect it will, over and again - until such a time as I am either not wearing it out of choice or by direction. I choose to think that I am honoring those who gave their minds and lives to wear it, by making something good of their sacrifice - whether their lives were given freely or not, I feel I free them in my own choice for them."
"I'm not going to defend shadowmeld. It's obviously bad. I've never met anyone who wasn't at least a little sketchy who wore it. Have you ever met Mistress Adora? She was head to toe in the stuff and once called me a very rude name." Niklas sniffs, like, can you believe that? "If we accept that the majority of steelsilk worn today has seen Arvani use for some decades, then that means much of it has seen the blood of men and women of the Compact who used it in service of the Compact, in defense of their loved ones and ours, who wore it while laying down their lives for Arvum. Surely if there was some dire cost to its wearing that has been washed away by the blood of heroes uncounted." He pauses, then adds, "That said, I will admit that the use of steelsilk as a fashion accessory is gauche as shit."
Apollo fixes Dianna with a rather flat look. "I think we have a name for when choices are made for us, sister."
Owen, a meticulous Seraceni scholar arrives, following Dio.
"I love the gods as any god-fearing seafarer and Lowers lass should, but people have put out good money for these items. They aren't cheap. Some families have gone hungry to put a bit of yer banned materials on their loved one's back or their hand. Some of them have been passed down through families. With war coming, they'll be loath to part with something that will keep them and theirs safe from harm and weapons to best our enemies, never mind the sentimental value," Acacia muses quietly. "But what if these rumors are a way to get us to stand down and set aside some of the most protective and powerful materials in Arx? Great way to get an army to disarm without volleying arrows over the bow seems to me. Any wise warrior is gonna question the source and the truth of such rumors rather than give up what will protect them and theirs. "
Svana is listening carefully to the opinions and knowledge flying around the room, but her face looks somewhat troubled. She wraps her arms around herself as if to stave off a sudden chill in the air.
Emele too is mostly quiet, though she is fidgeting a little.
"There are different names. If the Dominus makes a decision that restricts my choice, it is quite different than if - say - I am taken as a slave. I have made a choice to serve the gods; I accept what decisions come with that, Messere," Dianna replies to Apollo with gentle honesty.
After what Niklas and Acacia say, Nova nods. "I feel like the purchases of the past should be registered and protected and not taken. Anything new..." She looks Peri's way, "Unless made by Prism..." She looks back to Bhandn, now. "Could be forbade." She shrugs slightly. After giving those two cents, she shuts up.
Though largely content to listen, Bianca's brows furrow as she listens on. Her gaze shifts to Shard as the woman speaks, and that stare turns back on Bhandn a moment later. "We lose much more in lashing out at the unknown than trying to understand it," she agrees with Shard, simply, pale fingers lacing together in her lap. "And we do no one any benefit by shutting off any attempts at understanding with vague fears."
"Freedom to choose does not mean freedom from others choices. We always have the choice to reject, but commands can be given. And we must obey or reject, at times, everything. And I am sure Prima Shard will inform that the illusion that the Abandoned are carefree and do not suffer from others choices is also simplistic." Preston observes from the wooden benches, one leg folding over the other "Though I am mildly curious which Templar wears Shadowmeld? I know it isn't me, I wear no armour beyond Rubicund, nothing padded with Snakeskin. And I hope no-one would accuse Crusader of being foreign."
Dio and Owen enter the Hall of Tutelage as conversation moves back and forth. He raises an eyebrow, and then scans the hall in search safe harbor. Owen is already reaching for a large leather-bound tome, as he follows Dio to find a seat.
Dio has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Kalani has joined the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Ornella has been quiet in the back of the room with her feet on a desk and hands behind her head, not very princess-y at all, but she never pulled the princess theme in at any point anyways. Everyone is throwing around their defense of materials made from slaves and the abyss. That forceful voice from the back returns.
"You know, we have this concept, where benefiting from a crime with knowledge of the crime happening is just as bad as performing the crime yourself. Roughly translated, knowing that your aunt is going to kill the next in line ahead of you but not stopping it, is roughly equivalent to you having killed the next in line. Everyone is throwing around reasons for these materials to exist, but if you ask me, they sound like excuses to me. At the end of the day, you're benefiting from slavery and abyssal summonings."
With a curled smile for Preston, Dianna turns her gaze to the Grandmaster. "Perhaps we should speak afterwards?" She nods to Dio aside and returns her attention to those speaking.
Orazio says, "If I may interject." It was Shard's commentary that roused Orazio from his silence, though after his initial statement silence hung a bit to insure attention was drawn before he proceeded. "It seems the conversation has steered more toward economic support implications as well as the the more philosophical implications of potentially dangerous materials utilized in positive ways. My question is, and I hope to hear all commentary and insights of those present..." His weighty gaze scanned those present, "Are we as a people willing to accept and even continue trade of items that were made by the hands of the enslaved? All other implications aside, morally as a people should we be willing to turn a blind eye to the struggle of those chained? Are we not endorsing that practice now because those objects and materials may currently benefit us?" He nodded to Ornella, already answering his question before it was even asked."
Apollo leans back in his chair after the brief exchange at his table, and nods at what Orazio says. "I don't actually have any desire for a general ban on foreign goods. I don't have a personal stake in what other people decide they want to wear, save if I'm the one crafting it, which is why I've made the decisions I have. I don't want to enrich slavers, or dress people in slave-wrought goods, or put demon-stuff on peoples' backs, and so I don't."
"In the Lyceum isn't knowing that your aunt is going to kill the next in line ahead of you called prudent politics," drawls Niklas before he sits himself back down when the Dominus speaks. He waves to his assistant to give him some parchment and sets to writing.
There's a sound that comes from Bhandn's mouth as though suppressing something ('gauche as shit' got to him), but right after comes the point of a finger in Shard's direction when she speaks of studying and learning, before Bhandn's hand goes to indicate Dianna right after. "Which is what we should be doing with what we /already have/," he says, to each. "I ask you both: /have you/? With what you already have?" Then he goes quiet as Orazio speaks up, those grey eyes locked on to the Dominus for every single word, with Bhandn almost standing at attention. "Oakhide is a start; I hear very little about building on that momentum. We can solve /both/ issues simply by endeavoring to make our own. There might not be a need for a ban, then," Bhandn adds with his eyes going to Acacia, "but rather an exchange for what is already possessed. I don't claim this idea to be /simple/ or /easy/. The Great Road was a massive labor, but not one without peril at times, yet the benefit of it is hardly trivial, would you not say? All the same, I don't think we should continue to rely on the unknown."
Nova tells Bhandn, "I think going after 'what is already possessed' is like peeing in the wind. I think it would be better for us to try to see if Prism would teach us how to make our own defenses and to stop the inlet of future steelsilk from sources of wrongdoing."
"Perhaps a fine compromise, Most Holy, is to smash the chains that hold the Slaves. If the goods can be made through knowledge, the slaves will have that. If only through slavery and the abyss, then so there will be no supply." Not that Preston has a bias on this subject or anything "And then we will neither see new goods of this type, or a need for them as the hostile empires will not be using it for their own armies." Bhandn's mention of the great road gets a small huff from the Templar "The Great Road was a fine endeavour, but one built on unintended hubris. We believed we were masters only to learn we are apprentices. And the price was paid in too much blood once more. I would hope Oakhide is a little more straight forwards to use it for lining metal armour."
Vitalis can hardly contain he weariness of the same tired arguments. “What you choose to wear and wield says something about what you stand for. That the slaves are centuries dead is little justification.” Vitalis looks at Shard. “That glory has been won is no justification either.” He levels a look at Dianna, “And the very joy of creation is stolen from these artisans you honor, Sister. No, not stolen. Prevented. It is abhorrent to me that men and women,” he waves off to the South, “Awake from their labors, no recollection of the work. hands and backs and eyes sore. The work taken from them. Taken.” He nods at Ornella’s suggestion. And to Acacia, “This is something I have been arguing for-“ his shoulders slump, “A long time. I have considered that. That it is a ploy to divide us in a time of great uncertainty.” He pauses, “And my answer is and has been very close to Seraph Prisms sentiment.” He looks at Dianna, intently, imploring maybe, “The fights we face will mean threats to our bodies, yes, but it is our Ideals that will give us true strength. Ideals that Cardia and others do not share.” He has said enough and winds down.
"Again, Dominus, with all due respect: I posit that we are making good with what we have. To strip my steelsilk and snakeskin armor from me will mean that the Faith will have to pay to replace it - with something that will certainly protect me less. And I - as well as others across the Compact, both godsworn and not - will be endangered unnecessarily. What is more valuable, at this time, when we do not have something to replace the steelsilk adequately? Our lives? Or an ideal which we hope to reach?" Dianna asks humbly.
Shard offers in response to Preston, without hesitation, "The Abandoned are people, people struggle. Choices the Compact makes affect them all the time, and, while not as often, it happens the other way around as well." She regards Orazio for a long moment, but it's Bhandn she responds to. "I'm pretty confident we won't be making something to replace steelsilk any time soon. It's not just...cloth. And I don't think you necessarily want to use the Great Road as an example. That road is paved with the blood of thousands and thousands of men, women, and children. Funnily enough, I don't hear talk about refusing to use it because of what it cost others. I heard lots of talk about progress and civilization instead, and all the money various domains are making from it."
"They won't have that knowledge," Apollo says to Preston. "Not even if you free them. The process requires their ignorance. Once they understand it, they can't do it any longer."
Dio inclines his head to Dianna, before settling in to one of the desks. Apollo's words bring a nod of agreement from the Seraceni leader, but something said by Lucita at the desks steals his attention.
Lucita says, "Steelsilk used to be made in the Lyceum back in 788 AR but a great fire in Rivincita destroyed the shops, the records of the technique, and people who knew how to make it."
"There is no ideal without those to uphold it - whether gods or humans, cousin," Dianna replies belatedly.
That is a pin drop moment for Vitalis. Lucitas almost aside. “Pardon. Baroness. What was that?” She has the whole of his attention now. A glance to Dianna, a flicker, they still have more to discuss it seems.
Sina glances toward the Dominus as he speaks up, listening to him rather intently as the Holiest of Holies raises the moral question. "Personally, I wouldn't wear Steelsilk or Fireweave, knowing that both are crafted from the work of slaves," she says quietly. "Yet, I think an outright ban would infringe upon the personal choice of each individual. It must be a moral decision that each person makes for themselves." She glances to Bhandn then, as he speaks of the possibility of making Steelsilk, and she shakes her head slightly. "The Compact does not have the knowledge or the means to make it," she says plainly. "It is made through what our foreign guests have called the 'Art'. We do not have the ability to make it, at this time. So, the possibility of creating our own Steelsilk, or an equal alternative, is, at this time, closed to us." She then gives another nod in agreement with Apollo - apparently his words are not news to her. "Prism has asked us to champion the cause of Choice. This, in turn, empowers her to act when the time comes for her to do so. For that reason, I am against a ban... and also, I am against personally wearing these items, but that is my choice. Others may choose differently. Until I learn that Alaricite is crafted by slaves or through other horrific means, however," she says, with a wry smile, "I will continue to carry Brixeur'Ame." She rests a hand on the hilt of the sword at her side. "There are many things in this world we do not know. But once we are no longer ignorant, that is when we must choose to take a stand, I feel."
"You'll pardon me saying, but that pretty high talk for a country that has just only started to deal with it's own slavery issue. I'm gonna suggest that more than a few have benefited from our own form of slavery and repression. The Thralls of Thrax. The poor and the vulnerable in the Lowers," Acacia shrugs noncommittally as she rolls a shoulder and eases back. "I'm not saying slavery is right or good. But we have our own torn dress to mend still. But I digress," she nods to Bhandn with a slight smile. "We're talking foreign slavery here."
"If I am instructed to lay down my armor - I will," the priestess to Tehom assures Orazio, specifically. "But, I will assure you that my knowledge of the gods and all I have learned in my time as godsworn is that they will not necessarily protect me, should I do this. There are repercussions to all things - and surely a repercussion to my setting aside what now protects me. As well, I have been told, time and again, that concessions must be made, lest the Reflections gain strength and power. Is this not so? A small concession - for lives kept and held until, as Baroness Lucita suggests, we may make steelsilk of our own, and of our own choice."
Lucita says, "Some research showed up that the Lyceum March of Rivincita had a gifted tailor, one of the most gifted in the Lyceum and he was able to weave fabric with the protection of steel that was much in demand at the time. Then a fire, that burned nearly a third of the city destroyed the workshop and records. I can share the copy of that information if wished."
Shard says, flat again, "My moral decision is to use it to kill slavers."
Vitalis looks pointedly at Acacia, “Yes. And when you see. And understand - you Choose differently.” He looks to the Dominus, “I do not support a ban either, Holiness. But I do look to the Faith to have a stance aligned with our principles.”
Orazio first turned his attention to Preson, listening intently and murmuring something to the Grandmaster before his eyes again began following the speakers who offered their views. A nod to Bhand's mention of oakhide, Vitalis was regarded and then he considered Dianna a lasting moment, but his response was a simple grateful nod to her honesty in her opinion and he did not directly reply. Sina's words garnered another quiet nod, but Acacia's insight caused an extended thoughtfulness. With Dianna's addition, his right hand lifted to indicate his understanding of her points, though he still refrained from confirming his own personal opinions on the topic either way for the time. Vitalis' addition also gained further acknowledgment by way of a bow of his head.
"I was under the impression Legate Aureth found no fault with the use of Steelsilk by the warriors of the Compact," says Dio. His dark eyes shift from Vitalis to Orazio. "Taking from our enemies in order to overthrow them is a very effective strategy."
Apollo glances up at Dio, leaning back in his chair. "Legate Aureth explained his practical and political purposes for his findings at some length in his whites, if you care to look." The words 'practical' and 'political' have a slight emphasis on them.
"I don't seem much understanding from where I'm sitting," Acacia grins over to Vitalis with a sparkle of amusement. "The reality is ugly. We want to hold that golden truth to heart, then we have to walk the walk. If you look at how we have built this realm, then city, we cannot turn from our past and smile pretty at others and tell them how wicked they are when we are sill benefiting from ages of such things ourselves. But what the honest route forward is? Fucked if I know. I'm a sailor, trader and a damn fine fucking rogue. Solving past political choices, not sure my voice carries much weight with all you fine folk," she winks and produces a small silver flask, raising it and taking a small sip.
Sina gives a nod to Shard, as if to acknowledge the Prima's point. Her features remain serene, despite the touchy argument, her moonshine eyes traveling toward Bhandn to see how he responds to all of these comments.
Vitalis studies the materials on Arvani steelsik, passing them along, “Note as you read that this information was recovered in searching for information on Cardia.”
Svana has left the an Aion starlight table.
Kenna has left the Student Desks.
Princess Sally Acorn, an acorn toting red squirrel have been dismissed.
Princess Muffin, the fluffiest white mountain dog have been dismissed.
Vitalis has joined the an Aion starlight table.
"And what would you say should your moral decision to use it put you in a circumstance that caused that same weapon to turn against you, by your own hand?" It's to Shard that Sir Bhandn speaks, and to Shard alone. He does not address the other points raised, focusing on the Prima with his eyebrows raised. "We've talked a little about things we've seen in our years, what say you to that one, because rest assured I /have/ seen the unknown - thought benevolent - turn against the wielder. I don't ask this question simply out of some simple interest in Arvum relying upon Arvum for things produced afar. There /is/ a danger here, a point that I have yet to hear fully addressed."
Ornella sits in the back of the room as everyone shares their opinion of the topic and Lycene politics. She smiles brightly at Acacia and Niklas, her attention mostly taken up by the continuation of the debate on usage of foreign goods of questionable origin. As the argument seems to stall slightly, the voice echos out again.
"Yes, there have been books written about Lycene Politics that would double as a fever dream. You could say that any book exploring the history of the compact would likely double as a fever dream. If all we do is keep returning to what happened in the past we're going to paralyze ourselves. We're here now and the question concerns what happens in the future. If my homeland had kept ourselves firmly situated in the past we would have never been approach the slavery problem. We didn't. We did. So Sir Bhandn asks you today, going forward: These materials born of questionable means, what is your intention? How do we handle this? It's a fair quesiton."
"General statements are interesting, though....would we turn to Gargantuans if we could? Chain them to our will? Would you listen to the whispers of power that dark blades offer? Convinced you are righteous and cannot be turned? Certainly, I don't even risk that. But others may be more pious and pure hearted." At whatever is whispered, Preston gives the Most Holy a quiet nod of understanding, though his eyes remain on the others "We each have our own honour. We each can hold it as high or as low as we wish, we can each set our own limits, we can each come to our own conclusions. In anger, Dame Emilia felt it right to take action against slavers - to kill them on the ground. Many I am sure agree with her, and yet she is Dame no more, Templar no more. Because the Godsworn must hold to higher standards, Gloria's chosen must hold to absolute honour. And yet. Others take different paths and they are as noble. I am even told the Most Holy is from the Lyceum and not the Oathlands." Preston adds in mock scandel, his warm smile appearing "There is no need to grow angry, providing we can all agree that you must listen to your heart, and to the Gods. Each step along their path, even if we each might pick a different fork along that path."
"Sir Bhandn, I would suggest that, if there is some danger posed that some may know, research is done rather immediately," Dianna posits, gesturing to Bianca and Sina, specifically. "To ask /if/ we should research? Seems rather... beside the point. To be quite honest."
"I would say I'd be very surprised if my clothes decided to strangle me," Shard responds, with faintly narrowed eyes, "But that it hasn't happened yet, and in the meantime, I'm still alive. I would say that it's a good thing to know if your weapon is double-edged, but that it's also idiotic to throw it away if that's the only weapon you have, particularly if you only /suspect/ it might be. I've encountered things that are dangerous just to be around. Powerful things, tempting things. Things that should be buried in a deep hole and never, ever unearthed again." She glances briefly toward Preston. "Steelsilk? I've never seen anything to suggest steelsilk is like /that/. And insinuating it is without any evidence seems fucking irresponsible."
"I don't think he was specific about which material he was addressing with that comment," Apollo offers to Shard.
"Do we have any evidence, any stories, that any of the materials he's addressing come with that kind of danger?" Shard asks in turn. "I can't personally speak to Shadowmeld. I don't have any."
Niklas looks up from his drawing to make a face at Preston. "No, I wouldn't suggest we take to enslaving people or dark magic. Or beseeching the Archfiends or looking to become heralds or whatever other superlatives you might wish to conjure. I feel like there's a few orders of magnitude between wearing the steelsilk your great great grandfather wore when he killed Warchief Gugnar in defense of House Foreblard and summoning mirrorborn in the hope that they'll go kill a Eurusi prince or two."
Lucita listens quietly to the progressing debate and turns to give a little bow of the head and a grin toward Orazio and Preston when it was spoken of the Dominus having come from the Lyceum.
Rather than respond to the question that Shard raises about evidence and stories, Sir Bhandn instead abruptly changes direction, in that he's walking over towards Sina to address the Archscholar is a soft voice, expression a touch grim.
"I like me a nice tight corset, but that's not how I'd prefer to go," Acacia winks Shard's way with a smirk. "Let's hope it doesn't come to that." Turning back to the others her expression seems to become more serious. "If this is what the Faith wants to do, I would humbly suggest they take to heart some of the concerns raised here. Verifiable evidence that these materials are actually dangerous, might start something. People don't always care where their items come from, but they do care if they're corset is gonna strangle them in the night," she suggests with a slight shrug.
Apollo shifts in his seat, considers briefly, then says. "When I spoke with a member of the Faith some months ago, I was told there are stories about Shadowmeld being wrought from demon-stuff; but more, that when it is made from the raw material into what comes to market as Shadowmeld, something new and alive is born. And that - with time, wearing - it might in fact turn on the wearer. Or influence them." A pause, then he adds: "I only consider part of that supported fully by evidence, but I consider the rest not above reasonable suspicion."
Sina tilts her head slightly, and listens to Bhandn's whispered words. There's a slightly troubled expression on her features as she whispers something back to him in reply.
Vitalis looks to Dianna. “That work- the research is already begun in earnest. If we want better-“ he flares a hand, “-we have to make things better.” He is talking in broader terms. “It will take time. To shadowmeld-“ he adds to Apollo, “-someone Ive trusted with my life on numerous ocasions has seen a taint on it. It is transient, and uncertain. Mysterious certainly, but undeniable. I have not had the heart to ask this person to look at steelsilk, for reasons that now seem poor.” He looks levelly at Niklas, “Yes. A very insidious difference, Highness.”
Shifting uncomfortably in her seat as Apollo speaks on the nature of Shadowmeld, Dianna mutters, "Gods, I hate it." She lifts her voice louder, "If there is one thing we should start with banning, it should be Shadowmeld. For that... is ..." The priestess to Tehom just exhales.
Again Orazio indicated his attentiveness via a nod, and also a confirmation to Preston's words of his origin of birth. For a moment he sought to catch Lucita's gaze in silent acknowledgement of their relations, but otherwise he continued to quietly listen and absorb the varied words and opinions of those present.
Niklas smiles to Vitalis. "Have you ever considered theater, my lord? You have a flare for dramatics."
Nurie slips into the Hall quietly, but remains standing at the back, listening quietly for now.
Dianna checked composure + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.
Vitalis grins, “It runs in the family.”
"I was referencing the Marquis." Preston gestures across to Dio, his smile still there "That taking from our enemies in order to overthrow them is effective. My point is not everything will ever be covered in the simplicity of general bans or general permission. That whatever is law or holy writ, it will be down to each to monitor their own observance, ro choose whether they will adhere to those values, to take the consequences of doing so or not doing so. TO find their own place, informed by the Gods." Preston pauses for a moment "Did you expect any lesson other than looking to the Gods, learning more of them, and praying deeply with guidance of the clergy? And I suppose if one reallymust, a mirrormask or two." An eyebrow lifts, and Preston leans a little back in his chair "Helpfully this is not something I need to worry about."
Nova nods to Niklas and then has to bite her lower lip after what Acacia says, and it is a few twitches before she finally returns to the ' here and now ' with a slight blink Vitalis's way. "I always knew it... well, not consciously, but have always been ' creeped out ' by shadowmeld and never wanted any!"
Dianna simply smiles and attends the speakers.
Acacia gives a little smirk and throws a roguish wink someone's way before resettling in her seat and turning back to the conversation with a slight look of amusement.
Niklas has left the couches embroidered with an ivory rose.
It's a faint grimace that Bhandn gives to Sina at her response, but he nods, and returns back to where he was last standing. There's a moment where he slumps, eyeing what he brought, keeping quiet aside from a sudden exhalation that comes from his lips.
"Thus far, I hear a consensus at least in regards to shadowmeld. Pardon, a general consensus. For the rest, I hear a touch of doubt regarding dangers over what remains. Disgust towards slavery, perhaps, but I believe I am correct in stating that steelsilk, fireweave, other rare and 'unmakeable' - is that a word?" he asks Sina in an aside "- that other materials we can't make are generally considered to be harmless, and harm... preventing. Do I have any of that wrong?" he asks of the room.
Shifting with a brightened smile on her lips as Preston speaks of Mirrormasks, Dianna volunteers, perhaps unnecessarily, "Oh, I can help you with that, of course, quite happily."
Dianna turns, then, to Bhandn, "Well... fireweave, while not barred from being owned, is - of course - utterly unavailable to /purchase/... aside from, perhaps, on the black market."
"Are we voting on this?" the curvy redhead quirks and eyebrow.
"The materials themselves," Shard says, with a shrug. "Harm preventing is a mild way to put it, too. I've taken blows that should have crushed me, and come away without anything broken. Considering what we have to fight, that's not a small thing, and it's certainly not a small thing to ask people to give up when it doesn't actually /help/ anyone to do so."
"The quest for something comparable to steelsilk is something that has been pursued by myself and many others together and independently long before it became fashionable to call for bans on all things Cardian," Nurie remarks, from her position at the back. "We will continue regardless of who bans what, and I have faith and confidentce that someone will succeed in time. It is not an easy process to research and learn and experiment, and that does not mean that there aren't sacrifices made in that either. I think that's something that people often forget. Very rare is anything that /doesn't/ require some sort of sacrifice to create something that preserves life or is very valuable. Banning the use of materials and things crafted from them also is sacrificing some people in the Compact as well. But perhaps that is worth the price of impeccability, for some."
"Are we voting on this?" the curvy redhead quirks an eyebrow glance to the others around her. "I thought this was more an exploratory discussion on the pros and cons and perhaps the how's we might do this, not coming to any particular conclusions. Cuz if that's so, I want more information, if it pleases," Acacia notes with slight shrug of a shoulder. "I suspect this is a topic with many more nuances than we could possibly discuss here in one night, with all respect," she nods Bhandn's way. [POSE CORRECTION]
"I had an entire support beam and a ceiling fall upon me, and I was spared any harm, due to my steelsilk," Dianna confirms Shard's point, nodding once in gratitude to Nurie, then acknowledging Acacia's position with a nod.
After scribing out a few notes, Nova pipes up, "Sir Bhandn, I think you are mostly right except there is..." Then, Acacia says it! "What she said." Nova motions over toward the Culler's direction, doing so with her quill feather. "More information, please. I know we can handle the truth."
Vitalis nods, acknowldging Shards point. And Diannas, “That is the trouble. And the most insidious bit of all by my reckoning.”
Shard's nose wrinkles at Vitalis's words, but she says nothing to that.
"Aye," says Dio in response to Shard. "Confiscating or destroying steelsilk does far less for those who'd been compelled to make it than using it in the cause of freedom. Would't you agree Grandmaster?" he says with a slight grin to Preston.
Dianna checked composure + performance at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
"Oh, cousin. Surely you can better explain yourself? For I am sure you do not mean that how it sounded," Dianna purrs to Vitalis.
Sina gives a little smile to Bhandn at his question. "Let us say... uncraftable?" Other than that, she seems content to let him run the show, seated there at that table with Bianca, Dianna, Shard and others. "I would not say that all other items should be put under a blanket statement as being 'safe'," she goes on to say. "There are ancient heirlooms and artifacts that we do not know the purpose or history of. What might appear to be an alaricite, or even diamondplate, blade may have other properties or history we are unaware of. But again, that comes down to research, and shedding the veil of ignorance. Only once we know the history of a thing, can we make an informed choice on whether or not it is 'morally safe' or honestly, just plain safe, to use it, I would say," she says after a time.
Niklas's nose wrinkles at Nurie's words. "I think calling someone standing up for something in which they believe to be being 'fashionable' is a bit reductive."
"If you would rather sacrifice your life than wear a certain type of armour, because long ago it was made by people in chains, then I consider that an fine and honorable thing," Nurie says gently. "And would never deny you that choice. However, I think that perhaps it should not be your choice to impose that upon others while there is little alternative. Especially when you do not ask for all the things that have been built by labor performed by people who did not have a choice to do so to be set aside as well. Which I do not think should be done, to be clear. When you decide to walk down a new path, then do so, preferably without constantly looking back over your shoulder! In the meantime, I would much rather people use what they have until we have better ones." The bastard bows her head to Niklas. "Pray forgive me, your highness, truly I spoke out of turn and am rightfully chastised."
"We sacrifice people in the name of what is right quite often." Comes Preston's observation "500 at Fournier Pickets. A few douzen at Maelstrom. Tens of thousands at Stormwall. That does not worry me - the Templars duty is to step forward when others waver, to be the bright line between the darkness and our people." Folding his arms, Preston offers Dio a small grin in response "Personally? I don't see the compelling reason for a ban on Steelsilk or such. And the Faith's boycott has only forbidden new trade. Never existing supplies, as you mention Father Aureth has written on this. Each person can take their own preference and view, and the Dominus and the Mothers and Fathers can act as they always have, to safeguard us all when there is need. For now I'll stick to my avoidance of such materials /as a personal choice/. And perhaps I am morally justifying there my unwillingness to spend such money on myself when it could save others."
Vitalis looks at Dianna, brows lofting, “I am not sure what you heard.” He looks between Nurie and Niklas, “You have a point, Highness, but to take only that away from her words is likewise reductive.”
"Well, once you've had a ceiling fall on you and walked off without a scratch," Apollo says to Dianna, "why would you ever want to wear anything else? Perhaps you might have walked off with bruises dressed in snakeskin. And a broken arm arm in rubicund. Died in high quality leather or steel. You can't really know, can you? You were wearing something that let you walk away without a scratch; you weren't wearing any of that other stuff. But why would you bother with it. You walked away without a scratch. That's insidious, isn't it? Because you don't know exactly how much better it is you fare in it; only that you fare very well."
"Insidious??" Dianna's eyes widen at Apollo, stunned, "That I should wear something that saves my life? How odd a perspective. Do go on."
"And yet, by bringing up the topic, it became abundantly clear that people would /not/ be ready, or in some cases would greatly disapprove. But suppose it's necessary?" That, Bhandn speaks to Nurie, his eyes going to her. "What then? This is all 'if', simply because we /don't know/, and we -- correct me if I err /greatly/ here -- we have no means of guaranteeing everyone's safety. For steelsilk of Cardia, if it's made with the Art as has been stated here today, who is to say that there isn't a way for them to -- I don't even know if this makes sense -- put something like a Writ on the material? I'd say our guest, the Emissary, was very clear about what a Writ /can/ do to people. She said nothing to preclude the possibility that it can be put on /things/ as well, to my recollection, to force or prevent it from being used a certain way." At that, Bhandn glances to Sina. "That is, I don't recall her ever saying anything like that /wasn't/ possible, but in the end I repeat myself. Still, unless one of you has more to share, I don't see how it's unreasonable to assume the worst."
Perhaps a bit surprised, Dio leans back in his chair after Preston's response, and gives a respectful nod to the Templar Grand Master.
Apollo's head tilts at Dianna. "Insidious. As in you get trapped in an idea. Because you walked off unharmed, you /need/ it to walk off /alive at all/. I said 'without a scratch' - and you heard 'saved your life'. Do you know how you would have fared in other armor? I'm not suggesting it's evil; simply that it creeps into your understanding of what you need to survive." His voice drops to the table for a brief addendum.
"I know well how I would have fared, yes. For, before I wore it, I wore lesser armor," Dianna replies to Apollo, "for quite some time."
When Preston mentions the Fournier Pickets, Nova squints over that way, "Are you referencing Aramis and all that, or something else?" Bhandn says that bit about 'assume the worst', "I assume the worst every day." It is so true. Mayhaps they are siblings.
Shard's lips thin, and she leans forward, arms unfolding. "There are a lot of things you don't know," she says, directly to Bhandn. "Are you going to assume the worst about all of them? Pre-emptively talk about how they just might destroy you? People, animals, things you don't even know about? Steelsilk is a lot more /known/ than most things like that. It's been in Arvum for, what, probably since before the Reckoning, some of it? And I'm pretty damned sure you can't make a /shirt/ sign a /writ/."
"And we do not know the greater implications of new materials we create, at least not at first, and especially those with unnatural properties." Nurie returns mildly to Bhandn. "Nor will we for some time. And as it happens, I agree that anything is possible. Why not a writ imposed on materials, on written words--or if peraps not a writ as we understand it, some other kind of thing? Most of us are only now coming in to knowledge about such things. I would say that it's a distinct possibility that a lot of the things we think aren't possible are, what we believe to be safe are not, and some things we believe to be dangerous might be more nuanced. Reliance upon a hostile nation for certain goods is dangerous. So is learning how to create new things, and pushing boundaries that have been in place for a very long time." She considers Shard's words very carefully, though, and thoughtfully.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Rowenova before departing.
"The battle for Lord Aramis, yes. Where he was captured before his unfortunate...ah....well." Comes the Templar's answer to Nova and Preston makes the universal hand gestures for 'poof. fireball'. "The Templar losses were around 500 brothers and sisters to bring him to justice, and fight his allies. I would have wished we could have brought him back to Arx, we had many questions for him before his trial and I suspect execution."
"I also don't know what's over the next hill when I'm escorting people on the road either," the knight retorts to Shard, challenge appearing both in his tone and his voice. "Assuming there isn't an ambush from bandits, or a number of other things I could name, is a stupid thing to do, wouldn't you agree? But one can still prepare for that possibility all the same." He leaves it at that, with what he says to Shard, but he does nod to Nurie after. Bhandn does not have anything to say to her, though.
Nova hears out Preston and she opens up her human yap under the wolf one, but then she shuts up for a quick reset to instead say, "Yeah, I wish he had been brought back here, too, so I could have kicked him in the ball sack." It is no less true than anything she was probably about to have said.
Acacia gives a slight but approving smirk at Rowenova's wish.
"There's preparation," Shard contends, "and then there's just making shit up because you're scared."
Orazio's head bowed slightly, his gaze drifting down to the fold of his hands at the mention of Lord Aramis before he inhaled a slow breath and reaffirmed his attention on the verbal ballet taking place. Controversial was an understatement for the topic as further exhibited particularly by the discussion between Prima Shard & Sir Bhandn. It was this discourse that seemed to draw his ear the most at this juncture.
"Yes. I am," Bhandn fires back. "Because I've never seen or heard of a man try to kill himself /for no reason/. It wasn't normal, and the reason for it was made with diamondplate, so I'm sure you'll understand if I want to be /skeptical/ of something I once /assumed/ was safe because /nothing had happened beforehand./"
"It wasn't the diamondplate that caused that, was it?" Peri asks.
Shard's comment makes Nurie's placid expression crack a little with a smile. She does blink a little at Bhandn's retort though, one brow lifts in confusion, perhaps along the same lines of Peri's confusion. Silently, she starts to count up something on her her fingers, perhaps a little worriedly.
"Yeah, well /I have/," Shard shoots back. "At Setarco, and it wasn't even a tangible thing. There, mysterious weapons made with 'the Art' were what /saved/ us. Stuff isn't safe. People aren't safe. Animals aren't safe. Nothing is safe. You can't /be/ entirely safe. Ever. Especially not when it comes to the sorts of things that are out there. That's why you learn. That's why you test. That's why you go into things cautiously. But you don't start obsessing over every little thing that /might/ happen without even trying to figure out why it did."
Lucita says, "There was ..." She clears her throat and tries to tactfully reword. "All I recall hearing of such influence were observations from battles against Gyre forces during the Setarco war but not stemming from our weapons or gear, but the enemy."
Dianna has left the an Aion starlight table.
Lucita nods to Shard, her gaze rising to meet the woman's momentarily.
Rising from the table where Bianca, Sina and others sit, Dianna and her assistant, Trini, move aside to the bench where Preston and Orazio sit. Each Lycene woman dips into a respectful curtsy for the Dominus, then sits.
Dianna has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.
"How do we know it's the material and not the tool?" Acacia muses for anyone who might be listening in. "Perhaps a rather ill equipped example and likely missing the point, but I digress, if a tool is possessed by wicked shades, do the throw them out or seek to cleanse it? Surely our leaders in the Faith can find a way to make allegedly such corruptions safe on older items? I honestly don't know the answer, I'm curious, though."
Shard tt | "What if," Shard asks, and it does seem to be a genuine question, "It doesn't matter how many armored soldiers you have? What if you can't win with numbers? What if you can only survive until you figure out how to kill the one butcher behind all those armies and monsters?"
"So start sharing information. Observations. Theories about same," Kalani Seliki suggests this in a voice that carries. "Maybe it's the gear. Maybe it's the material. Maybe it's how it's crafted or tailored or refined. Maybe it's all of the above. Or none of it all. A bolt of material doesn't necessarily have to be dangerous. What's done with it? That might be. Exactly," she nods at Acacia. "A dagger may be ornamental, or it may be the murder weapon. And it's both, at the same time."
Orazio regarded Dianna's approach a lasting moment, dipping his head in silent greeting as she chose to take a seat alongside himself and the Grandmaster.
"So cautiously, you put it on your body. Very demonstrative, I must say." It's a flat tone of voice that Sir Bhandn uses in responding to the Prima, but it's one that isn't mirrored by his expression. Despite his tone, he seems rather content to be arguing with Shard; his grey eyes are slightly narrowed in almost amusement. "Regardless, I think you've made my point for me," and it's there that the knight addresses the room once more. "In complete truth, I would be surprised if anything /were/ to happen to anyone that was even close to the experience I witnessed, but I urge everyone to think carefully about what it is you use and do with it, and /especially WHERE/." He puts particular emphasis on that last word, and then turns to Sina. "I have nothing more to say, Blessed. I think I would just be repeating myself in other words from here out."
Ornella has switched her legs around and closed her eyes. One would be forgiven for assuming she was asleep. She's very much awake. "Sir Bhandn, perhaps you would benefit from a breathing exercise." It's all she offers at first until she opens her eyes. "Assuming that the material used to make an item can be responsible for exigency, then advising caution until further information is gained seems reasonable. On the other hand, we don't seem to have conclusive evidence that the _material_ itself is responsible. The one thing we have decided here is that if the dominus were to mark materials as religiously banned, there are those who would ignore the ban. That's a different kind of problem we won't solve here with it's own complex threads."
After briefly raging/ripping one of her beige papers with her crow quilltip, Nova gets out another one and now writes more kindly. She looks up. When Sir Bhandn emphasises WHERE, Nova briefly grunts as the humorous light comes back to her cobalt eyes, "Sir Bhandn, could you tell us the story from start to finish? Did I miss the story because I was late? Are we heading into a talk about Amber?" She looks over toward Sina there.
Acaciacoughs politely to the "WHERE" comment, another amused grin creeping into her smile.
Shard's expression turns decisively irritable as Bhandn says she's made his point for him. She leans back in her seat again. "It is demonstrative," she says, flat again. "I'm not dying, I'm not murdering you, I'm sitting in a chair being alive."
Sina turns her attention from the conversation at the Aion table, and toward Bhandn as the Knight addresses her. She rises to her feet, and moves to stand next to him at the front of the room. She offers him a smile, and an inclination of the head. "Sir Bhandn, thank you for bringing up this lively discussion. It has proved to be most illuminating, and I hope," she says, turning to address everyone present, "that it has given us all much to think upon. Today's discussion wasn't designed to be a vote, or to decide anything. It was only to bring us all together to discuss, learn from one another, share ideas," she says, with a glance toward Apollo, Shard and Merek, before moving on, "and to think about things."
She glances toward Rowenova at her question then, and smiles a little. "I don't believe that is the direction this discussion was intended to take, but Amber is an excellent example of someone who sought to turn what is considered bad, to the cause of good. We could turn the discussion to her, if you wish, though that might lead us to an entirely different debate," she says, with a glance toward Dianna, and Orazio, and Preston. "Personally," she says, looking back to Rowenova, "I do not know enough about Amber to speak about her just yet," she notes, to Rowenova. "Only a little. To embrace the abyss, or such things that are influenced by it, however, is a dangerous road. Even if you have the best of intentions."
"Not yet, mind. But with the tension between you two? Ah, but the still night is young, though I'll doubt it's what your wearing that cause any mischief between you, love. Which looks rather fine to me," Acacia winks aside Shard's way her expression mild and most definitely a shade irreverent. "My silver's on the lass if it comes to that, by the way."
Sina has left the an Aion starlight table.
Preston coughs gently from his seat, clearing his throat "If I can ask a question about the question. The Dominus may make this choice as he wishes, or not wishes. He can decide that hats are the tool of the abyss, or that Shard must be excommunicated, or made Godsworn, or given a million silver for her smile. Does anyone believe he would do so without the best interests of the Faith and the people at heart, and is anyone willing to be excommunicated and perhaps cast from the Compact over this choice?" Preston enquires, his eyebrow raising again "Until then, we all make our choices. How much we can take, what we can bear, how far we will go. And each of us is a product of our circumstance. Whether our duty is to simple the Gods and the Faith, to a hold, or perhaps even to a people barely known." And there is an incline of his head to Shard at that one " Where we disagree, shall we not pray that the one making the choice is correct? And of course, plan for if they are not."
Dame Marra, a limping fennec fox, Disciple Ismay, Disciple Fulgence, 3 Templar Knight guards arrive, following Ailith.
Ailith has joined the a sturdy pine wooden bench.
As Sina replies her way, Nova smiles back to the Archlector, but then she also looks to the other Faith leaders when Sina does so, too.
Ailith quietly enters the hall and finds a place to sit. She folds her hands to rest upon her lap and observes rather attentively.
Shard tips her head toward Preston when he inclines his head toward her. That previous irritation seems to have either mostly faded, or simply been absorbed beneath an inscrutable expression. "There are lot of things out there," she says, slower, "that might be frightening, and dangerous. A lot of people too. That does not mean they actually intend to harm you. It does not mean they can't be allies."
At Sina's words, there's a slightly wan smile that appears on Sir Bhandn's features, but there's a very deep exhalation that can be seen physically. He wilts a little, drained, but it isn't long before he's gathering the prop that went unused and holding it up in front of him rather than rebuckling the scabbard onto his back. Bhandn doesn't dismiss himself from the stage just yet, his attention going to Sina now, keeping quiet.
Apollo had been having a quiet exchange with people at his table, Shard in particular, but returns his attention to the room in general... as things are largely winding down. Still, he doesn't seem to feel an urgent need to leave; he remains, quiet, not commenting further.
Emele too stays more-or-less where she is; she's been mostly quiet throughout, save the odd murmur here and there.
Vitalis likewise discusses things at his table, listening to the arguments at large, seeming content to have spoken and been heard, to have listened and understood.
As Bhandn looks ready to wilt, Sina glances at him, then turns her gaze to Rowenova. "I think perhaps that discussion may be for another day. I think Sir Bhandn is ready to draw things to a close, but as always, if there are questions or concerns, feel free to address those questions more privately if you wish. Thank you all for coming," she says with a warm smile around. "Please, stay as long as you like, and enjoy the discussion. Thank you again, Sir Bhandn, for gracing the Academy with your presence today," she says, with a bow of her head toward the Knight. She gestures to the scholars at the back of the room, who start bringing out refreshments to enjoy, for those who wish to linger in debate or discussion.
Sina is overheard praising Bhandn: He brought to the Academy a lively debate!
Nurie nods solemnly with Shard's words, seemingly in agreement, though there's a hint of a blush that creeps into her cheeks. She remains quiet, however, and thoughtful, as she stands in the back.
Bhandn mutters, "... still can't imagine how ... handled dealing ... /both/ ... them ... ... ... ... this hall. ... guests, I mean. ... ... ... is I think I see why you can stand ..."
Lucita waits till the discussions seem to have ended and with a smile, rises and tells those at the desk cluster with whom she is sitting a goodbye. Along the way out, she pauses by Orazio, murmurs something to him and heads out.
Orazio is overheard praising Bhandn.
Orazio is overheard praising Sina.
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.
@emit After what Sina says, Nova packs up with a wolfy nod of her pelt-framed noggin. Then, she slings her Messenger Bag over her strong back, by both shoulder straps. Though, she does not seem to be too eager to just leave. Instead she pops out her back with her hands behind her hips. She does glance toward Lucita with a little nod but then looks back to Sir Bhandn.
Orazio reached to receive a bottle from Lucita as she neared to whisper a murmur. He in turn replied in hushed words.
Peri gives her farewells and heads on out.
Peri has left the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Acacia seems content to watch the event come to a close a little upnod to Rowenova as she rises and enjoys a little cat-like stretch before idly checking the blades worn low on the curve of her hips. "Thanks for the discussion. Food for thought, to be sure," she offers politely with a roll her shoulders. "I look forward to learning more."
Lucita has left the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Micana, 1 Saik Guard leave, following Lucita.
Sina lingers up near the front, in quiet, murmured conversation with Bhandn.
Dio rises from his seat. He exchanges a few words with Kalani, and bows to Peri. With Owen beside him, he makes his way out of the Academy.
Bhandn's quieter exchange with Sina gets a smile to bloom on his features. The knight initially has no response to that, but he bows deeply indeed to the Archscholar at her reply, one that he holds for several seconds before rising again. Once he's back to his feet, he replies in a more normal tone of voice. "One does hope to discuss /some/ subjects with you over tea when time permits, Blessed, about this and other things. Possibly a potential Scholar for you as well, but that isn't my choice to make."
Nova sends back an up nod to Acacia, too. She quietly agrees with one of those regional grunts which is most likely a Northern code of some sort before looking back to the gutsy host who she walks up to.
Dio has left the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Remaining at the benches with Orazio, Preston and Ailith, Dianna converses quietly with the three.
Orazio turned the bottle of Saikland Orange Wine in his hand, listening quietly to the conversation at the bench before murmuring something quietly in reply to Ailith.
Rowenova has left the a variety of desks arranged in a semicircle.
Rising smoothly from her seat, Bianca clasps her hands together in front of her. She dips her head towards Sina and Bhandn both, offering a quiet but clear, "Thank you both, for the opportunity to have this discussion. I appreciate having opportunity to see the opinions on matters like these -- -especially- on matters like these." The legate lingers for a time, before turning towards the exit, offering Orazio a respectful dip of her head and the faintest smile for Ailith before she makes her exit.
Bianca has left the an Aion starlight table.
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