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 Questionable Tactics 
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Stablehand
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[ooc] Remember to stay IC when posting in this thread. I am looking to promote discussion, so this is about discussing some events and getting an idea of how Maxim as a whole feels about them, not about making people wrong. Please keep discussion to this age only. If you PM me, don’t attack me I will not reply otherwise.

Questionable Tactics is the title of an article that I found recently filed among some nondescript papers in the Maxim library. It discusses and questions some of the recent events on the Isle of Maxim. I have had copies made in the hope that those amongst you that care deeply for this land will read and offer your carefully considered opinions. These copies are available from the issuing counter of the library.

The ownership of the lands of Maxim is ever moving, as guilds dispute and gain or lose territory. So it has been since the first dawn on this island and so it will be till the last dusk. These things would not change and I for one would not wish them to. Like many that inhabit the Isle of Maxim in one guise or another we have ideas and opinions as to what is, for want of a better word ‘honourable’. I have my own opinions and I venture to say that you the reader will also have your opinion.

Recently all of us have witnessed events upon this Isle that may or may not have left us with the view that there is indeed any honour amongst any of us. There have been easy hits made under the age old excuse of numbers are the only thing that counts in the first war, their strength (NW) has nothing to do with it. My gut reaction to this is that it is someone’s platitude to justify a land grab.

Other events have surrounded the use of secret peace and cease-fires. Some are maintained solely for the purpose of hiding and rebuilding before the next battle. Others under the seemingly more noble reasoning of allowing time for peace to be publicly negotiated. What is the precedence being set? Is it for the benefit of the Isle or the benefit of the individual Nations?

It seems that when a precedent has been set already then it does not take long for others to see fit to use the same practices. In this case the Victim of the first used the lesson and example they learnt to justify assailing one that was weaker than they were. When will it end? Who will stand up and say enough is enough and how will it be done?

Now we move to recent days. Still greed seems to be the driving motivation on this island. It apparently seems that no second thought is given to the breaking of a Guilds word. Peace treaties are thrown out the door as the greed for easy land and resources spurs people on. Or is it something more insidious, is it fear that inspired the greed?

Who will stand up? Them over there they did. I commend them for their stand in the face of apparent dishonour. Privately I question their motives publicly I question their use of force. Their arguments to me being that they are just giving allies of there own faith; allies that could truly support them against those that attacked unfairly. I have no argument with that, but I do question was it necessary use such overwhelming might? After all isn’t this the very action that was being condemned?

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Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:14 pm
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Opinion the First:

All is fair in war, except, of course, for what isn't.

Opinion the Second:

Justice exists.

Opinion the Third:

Justice must be enforced.

(Corollary: Transgressors should be put to death by the sword, especially when said transgressors just might become a threat to the punishers in the future.)

Opinion the Fourth:

The strong may rule the weak, but the weak may not rule the weaker.

Now for my opinions, the opinions of a demon, to you all I do present:

It is the nature of those who follow the silvergrey god to be hypocrites. It is their nature to be warriors. It is their nature to cry "justice" and descend upon the unjust. The ends always justifies the means. What has been waged, is not a war of "justice" (I scoff at the word), but one of "justification." The perfect opportunity to eliminate an opponent. A foul, despicable, ignoble opponent, yes, but an oppnent none the less. (We are foul! We are despicable! We are ignoble! We care not for heathens! We care not for heathens fresh from war! Why care you silver-sparkling hypocrites for the dogs of Darden? Why care you! No, we care not! We are DEMON!)

And so, our misdeeds provide the strong with the perfect excuse to eradicate us completely. We were overwhelmed. Overwhelmed. Irony? Irony, yes. With nothing but purest hypocrisy at the roots. Perhaps they even delude themselves... Yes, his followers are certainly adept at that. Does justice shine so brightly that she blinds her servants?

Beware, followers of Foret, lest ye become that which ye most despise. You judge us, but your god judges you.

We of the purple standard serve not this pretentious justice. We serve only the call to battle, but it is battle with honor. Honor and glory. Is there then no honor to be found in your justice?

The path is clear to me. It is a cycle now begun. Vengeance for vengeance and blood for blood. JUSTICE FOR JUSTICE! I cannot help but be swept along. I know only what I am, and what I am to do.

You judge us, but your god judges you!


Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:58 pm
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Magister had been commissioned by his current employer to write a work chronicling the tales of Maxim. A daunting task to be sure! And especially since the dawn of Alpha for it seemed no sooner had the new Age begun than various alliances had fallen together, some claiming new leadership, some old and then hastening as fast as they could towards some conflict or another as if in a mad race towards some imaginary end. Look over this Age so far; it seems to be whizzing past in a loud crash of swords and cussing! Do new leaders have something to prove, or is it the older leaders even more so? The old scholar wasn't even sure where to start, it all seemed so absurd. What indeed was the hurry to fight, there was plenty enough land for everyone.

But it wasn't up to Magister to decide how everyone would spend their time, it was only his job to write it down. So in aid of this work, he would gather information from the various nations and clans around the Isle. Heralds and messengers of all kinds would be constantly travelling the Isle reporting on who was involved in violent conflict with who and the official reasons why. Although the system wasn't perfect it was actually much easier nowadays that he was situated in the one place and the news would come to him. Strangely enough, all such correspondence had recently ceased.

To be true this wasn't his most favourite of projects anyway, war and peace and everything in between. For he was really a biographer and would rather listen to the individual stories of heroes and cowards, conquerors and cutthroats. But as was the nature of being in 'paid employment', he did not have that luxury these days. As it happened, the real tales of the real people of Maxim were few and far between of late. It really did seem like nothing much else was going on besides the tedious tug-of-war for more land, bigger armies, dull lives, dull, Dull, DULL!

Yes, dull, he thought again as he replaced report of another old declaration on top of the pile. With communication on all other guilds being shut down and no wars being fought under any organised banner, he welcomed the opportunity to ponder some other articles first. Fresh opinions from notable scholars that he had requested from one of the bigger libraries on Maxim.

Quote:
"Now we move to recent days. Still greed seems to be the driving motivation on this island. It apparently seems that no second thought is given to the breaking of a Guilds word. Peace treaties are thrown out the door as the greed for easy land and resources spurs people on. Or is it something more insidious, is it fear that inspired the greed?"


It was entitled Questionable Tactics, and another he found with similar theories, although less passionate, from The History of Tonan's Conflict by Chalchiuhtotolin,

Quote:
"…for many of the land's warriors, the war was less about faith than it was of fear. Fear of being invaded drove the aggressor onwards to carry the threat of invasion to lands and lords previously unworried - who in turn, gathered their armies and marched forth with silvered tongues whispering of defensive measures rather than aggressive intent. And so life cycled; empires grew through conquest, and their neighbours in turn felt threatened enough to merit further conflict on their borders against the swollen lands of the newly arisen."


It was no surprise to Magister that fear and mistrust was a motivating force in the minds of many leaders. This black seed planted long ago when the rift between the faiths began was common in so many of the stories he had heard from the inhabitants of Maxim. But now a question was being raised and in the minds of those who were able to look beyond simple martial reaction and the blinkered mind-sight of expansionist leaders. Is there a place on the Isle for more than land-hungry imperialists and vendetta merchants?

Magister picked up his quill and scratched out his response,

The way of the conqueror is sweeping the Isle after a goodly time of relative tranquility. How many of us are hoping this is just an initial and overly dramatic introduction to the Age of Alpha and not the beginning of eons of tiresome feuding. Are the gods laughing as we throw our swords at each other while forgetting to pray? I do seriously wonder for who has not noticed that alliances are breaking down and lost guild members can no longer find their way home. Perhaps this winter has fallen so harshly upon us that we can no longer draw up our troops in 'equal' lines on the icy battlefields, allowing real heroes to shine and respect to the conquered. No wait on, we couldn't even do that when the weather was permitting. So now are the very gods thwarting our attempts to fly at each others throats?

I am an old man, who is wondering whether he is watching history repeat. Waiting for wiser leaders with more than an ounce of patience, who can stand steady in the face of fear. Rulers who understand consequences and the subtleties of civilised action. Waiting for the real story to continue.


Magister wrote with a little nervousness. He was not an overly brave man and he had some doubts that his 'employer' would be in agreement, so he sent the article quietly and anonymously back to the Maxim library to continue the heretical? dialogue and to be distributed to all who were interested.

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Sat Jul 31, 2004 10:43 pm
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Bran sat behind a desk scattered with reports and correspondence that originated from the farthest corners of Maxim. He had spent that last few hours with his most trusted advisors, both military and civilian, shifting through the letters, charts, reports and overall mass confusion transcribed on papyrus, linen scrolls and crisp vellum.

It was all the same. Every single report dealt with the same information, the same circumstances. It boggled the mind; it eclipsed the imagination in every way, shape or form.

Carefully he laid out a crisp sheet of paper and began to list the things he knew for a fact were occurring:

1. Messengers were disappearing.
2. Parts of the Maxim Library where closed.
3. No information was available on the status of any wars.
4. Treaties were crumbling to dust.
5. Kingdoms who had once flown the banners of respected guilds now were lost in confusion and flew the banner of the Unguilded.

He looked at his list for moment and then crumpled it up in his fist. What did it all mean? Why was this happening now? In exasperation he stood and paced the confines of the room he stood in.

A knock at the door took him from his brooding. He signaled to one of the guards to open the door and a man in the robes of a scrivener stood beyond with a packet for him.

Ah, Niles you bring me more letters and reports to read!

I tell you, my eyes are blood shot from reading the cramped script of you scriveners! Why is it that those of your profession seem bent on ruining every historian’s eyesight and causing a person who studies your manuscripts to break their back as they lean over the starched parchments?


Niles’ sarcastic smile was not lost on Bran as he took the offered papers from him. Bran motioned toward the sideboard for Niles to fix himself a drink and then Bran went and sat back down at his chaos-covered desk.

Well Niles, I assume that you have read all of these, tell me what it is you have handed me.

Niles finished stirring his drink and then sat down in the chair on the other side of the desk from Bran.

Bran do you think you could perhaps organize your things a bit Niles said as he carefully moved stacks of paper so that he could set his drink down on the desk.
So we are on a first name basis is it Niles? I was wondering when you would finally begin to believe me when I asked you to all those years ago.

Well it was silly to continue on the way I was in the face of so much chaos and turmoil going on in the world. Not to mention that fact that if we are going to be working on solving this problem then we must work on the same level. A bunch of “M’lord’s and Your Lordships” would only make things more difficult.

Well I for one am glad to hear you say that Niles. Now, back to this new correspondence – what is in it?

Well, other members of my order have recently uncovered some new manuscripts that I thought might answer some of the biting questions that have been plaguing us as well as the rest of the Island. Of particular interest are the documents uncovered by Lady Seer and the head of my order, Magister.


Niles leaned across the desk and picked up the bundle of papers he had earlier handed to Bran. With practiced ease he untied the knot and unwound the twine that had kept them together. He was very precise and careful in his motions as he discarded one letter after another.

Ah yes, here it is. See it is this manuscript from Lady Seer that I thinks should prove most interesting, a kind of philosophical take on the current state of affairs with some added history thrown in.

Quote:
The ownership of the lands of Maxim is ever moving, as guilds dispute and gain or lose territory. So it has been since the first dawn on this island and so it will be till the last dusk. These things would not change and I for one would not wish them to. Like many that inhabit the Isle of Maxim in one guise or another we have ideas and opinions as to what is, for want of a better word ‘honorable’. I have my own opinions and I venture to say that you the reader will also have your opinion…..



Bran shifted uncomfortably in his seat as Niles read the letter. The mention of “honorable” actions at the very beginning did not bode well for the rest of the letter given the current circumstances that had spread like an epidemic across the Isle.


Quote:
…. Who will stand up? Them over there they did. I commend them for their stand in the face of apparent dishonor. Privately I question their motives publicly I question their use of force. Their arguments to me being that they are just giving allies of there own faith; allies that could truly support them against those that attacked unfairly. I have no argument with that, but I do question was it necessary use such overwhelming might? After all isn’t this the very action that was being condemned?


Lady Seer’s document seems to end with a call for action, or rather a call for those who abide on the Isle to take a stand and perhaps return to the ages past when the rules of warfare were adhered too much more strictly.


Niles refolded the letter as he spoke and once again began to dig through the pile in search of something else.

I don’t know Niles. Even if questionable tactics were used by various guilds at various times on the Isle, surely that would not explain the loss of communication and information that seems to be sweeping the Isle.

Niles looked over at Bran with a slight frown on his face as he pulled a second sheet from the pile of letters and news.

Bran, I think that perhaps the Gods themselves are chastising us, the people of Maxim, for our wayward disregard for the sins of war. The sins of war. I think that to many here have fallen from grace in the eyes of their gods even our brethren who follow the goddess Isonia.

Listen to what Magister says:

Quote:
The way of the conqueror is sweeping the Isle after a goodly time of relative tranquility. How many of us are hoping this is just an initial and overly dramatic introduction to the Age of Alpha and not the beginning of eons of tiresome feuding. Are the gods laughing as we throw our swords at each other while forgetting to pray? I do seriously wonder for who has not noticed that alliances are breaking down and lost guild members can no longer find their way home. Perhaps this winter has fallen so harshly upon us that we can no longer draw up our troops in ' equal ' lines on the icy battlefields, allowing real heroes to shine and respect to the conquered. No wait, we couldn't even do that when the weather was permitting. So now are the very gods thwarting our attempts to fly at each other’s throats….


I tell you Bran that I think Magister has the right of it. Perhaps for too long we have stood by while others flaunted their own ambitions and agendas. To be sure we are in a war for the very souls of every man, woman and child on the island but we are also in a war for the Faith. I fear we may have treaded to hard upon the doctrines of warfare as laid down in time immortal by Isonia and her churlish siblings.

Then Magister continues:

Quote:

….I am an old man, who is wondering whether he is watching history repeat. Waiting for wiser leaders with more than an ounce of patience, who can stand steady in the face of fear; rulers who understand consequences and the subtleties of civilized action.


Bran listened to Niles reading Magister’s letter with a bit of fear and anguish. Fear at the thought that this failure in communication may not be the work of mortal hands, but the very work of the gods in retaliation for a failure on the parts of the people of Maxim to worship. Anguish over the fact that even in times of war, especially in war, true leaders where few and far between and war was the daily state of affairs for the entire Isle.

Niles I too think that Magister has indeed placed the arrow square on target or at least in the general vicinity of what it is that is possibly behind these troubles. If it is indeed the gods themselves who have taken action against not just one of us but all of us it beggars the question of what can be done to rectify the situation.

Bran rifled through the papers on his desk and grasped a few in his shaking fist as he talked.

Here and here are missives asking for an answer, asking for an end to the overtly hostile actions that are only hinted at in Lady Seer’s letter. Even now it is escalating into a bigger hornets nest than what it was at the beginning.

Unguildeds claiming to be lost members of various guilds, guilded requesting to attack unguildeds they have found and hesitating to for fear of an interguild incident. I tell you that chaos has taken a hold of the Isle and I fear that it will not end soon!

What should we do Niles, what is the direction we should travel for I have no idea what it is that we need to do. I am at a loss.


Niles sat in thought for a moment, picked up his drink and downed in one gulp.

I think we should pray. Pray to Isonia that this time of chaos shall pass and that soon the Isonian Faith will provide that leadership that Magister is waiting on. Perhaps Isonia will bless us, perhaps she will grant her poor servants a second chance.


You are right of course Niles.

Bran said as he ran a hand across his face, etched with new lines of exhaustion and stress.

We must stand firm in our beliefs. The Faith must stand together in the face of adversity and be an example for those who would court the anger of the gods. We cannot speak for those of Foret or Darden, they have their own sins to account for, but we Isonians can. We must take that first step Niles; I am just confused as to what that first step should be.

Prayer, it’s as simple as that.

Bran stood from his chair, picked up Niles empty glass and walked over to the sideboard. He poured himself a drink and refilled Niles drink. He handed the drink to Niles and sat back with a sigh.

Well we have to start somewhere Niles; I say we start right here with my kingdom. I am only one man, one realm but perhaps it will be enough.

The pearl starts off as one single grain of sand.

That is true, a single grain of sand....

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Sun Aug 01, 2004 1:36 pm
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I had received no personal missives regarding the article I had brought to the attention of Maxim and so it was several days later that I ventured back to the Maxim library. It was with some curiosity and trepidation that I approached the main counter. I waited for the sombre middle aged scribe to attend to me. When he finally set aside his quill I inquired if there had been any epistles added to the original Questionable Tactics article. He handed me the reply. I looked at it, “is that all!” I exclaimed he nodded.

I sighed and took it away and diligently read it. “ Hmm. It’s from Magister, now that is a name I recall from ages gone.” I smiled “It seems my esteemed scholars comment reflects a similar view to the article.” However I was still saddened somewhat, I was sure the article was a topic of discussion throughout Maxim. “Maybe there are those that had talked about it privately and for whatever reason haven’t or wont put quill to parchment. I guess it doesn’t matter. Courage seems to be a quality that is lacking in this land at the moment so I guess it is quite understandable that there aren’t more public responses.”

"Anyway that’s not the only reason for my visit here" and I pulled my own parchment towards me and began writing not a response to the Questionable Tactics but an addendum.


There is an age-old adage that 2 wrongs never make a right. I know that cliques are bandied around like yesterday’s bath water, but many of them have formed the foundation of our reality today. Depending on your point of view that might also be the reason for the lack of foundation.

I look at the society I reside in and it appears that its very fabric is decaying before my eyes. The cohesive structures of guilds are at threat by their inability to recruit new membership into their ranks. Even when the old die they are unable to recruit to maintain the guilds original number of faithful. I ask myself and I ask you the reader, why that might be?

Let us look at the happening on the Isle of Maxim and reflect upon whether they maybe directly or indirectly having an impact on this disintegration. Destroy, punish and grab seem to be the catch cry of the faithful of all faiths. Grab all at any cost, farm till you squeeze the last drop of blood out of them. After all the end justifies the means, doesn't it? Punish even when that punishment seemingly supports the wrongs of the original transgressor. Long gone is the idea, the concept of diplomatic negotiation, or so it seems, with force used only when all other avenues are exhausted.

I consider these things and view the events of recent times and shake my head sadly. To me it is obvious that they do have an impact and they are why the very fabric of our society is tearing apart? I am aware that there are nae sayers amongst those that will read this who will disagree and continue on in the same fashion and maybe at the final dusk wonder what went wrong. Some will remove their blinkers and say yeah maybe there is some foundation to what I say. Maybe they will begin to wonder, if they had done something even a little differently would its impact have stopped or slowed this disintegration? Of course others simply wont.

With it completed I dusted it dry. Gathering my belongings I returned to the counter where the scribe again finally attended to me. I returned the original article and the response from Magister plus my addendum, organising for copies to be made ready for people who may be interested in reading it.

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Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:00 am
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Time.

All things take time.

Time for the pair-clad, dark-skinned pair of Voralphian to come across the words on tactics and the state of honour within the isle. Time for that self-same pairing to take a copy and make the long trek back to the red sands of Culaearien. Time for the Sidhe sorceress who acted as guardian to those lands to peruse the paper and write a reply. And time again for that reply to be taken back to the library where any and all who cared to look might find it.

Dated the second day of the month of the Hidden Vulture, the year of the Silent Struggle. As reckoned by the calendar of Culaearien.

The lands of the isle are ever-changing. Rarely does the air hang heavy and events slow to a crawl. Instead there is always movement, always plotting, always the endless struggle goes on. The great game board of the isle does not remain static or still, a myriad of differing players and people continue to play out their moves, often never knowing who they truly move against. The oldest of souls sit hunched behind their many pieces, forever gathering to them new souls to do their biding, to make their plans and plots reality in the world. The youngest of souls gaze upon the isle and follow the lead of their elders, hungrily gathering pawns and starting to weave their own webs of intrigue and confusion.

This is the way of the isle of Maxim. This is how it has always been, this is how it shall always be.

Many times have I watched the armies of varying alliances set out to strike at each other. I have seen good men and bad fall in equal number, taken by death regardless of their intentions or the purity of their conscience. War is a harsh and indiscriminate mistress, one who will drink deeply of the blood of the war-monger and the simple farmer. Those that praise her and follow her lead do so knowing that one day she will turn against them, one day it will their blood that sates war's thirst. If there are any who do not realise that then they are blind or else they have shut their eyes deliberately, not wanting to admit their own mortality, not even to themselves. But the truth is that death may come to any and all of us in its time. No matter how powerful, no matter how great, good, evil, wicked or twisted, the skeletal reaper may come knocking upon our doors at any moment.

This is the life we lead, this nearness to death is the reminder that we are still alive.

But there are some who would deny it, some who would use any tactic, any choice in order to avoid it. They fear death or loss as they would their own nemesis. They take the end of their wealth or their domination as the most terrible of things. To such souls it will be a black day when they are toppled from the thrones of their realm, no matter whether those realms are the vastest of empires or the smallest of holdings. Do they fear it for their own sakes or for the sake of the isle?

For themselves. The isle, to some, is unimportant unless it bows to their will, their command. There have always been such people and there always will be. There will always be those who are willing to break any promise, destroy any undertaking simply because they fear the end of their days of rule. Power, no matter how small a quantity anyone might possess, is an intoxicating drug. It is addictive, gripping into the heart and mind of those that taste of its bitter-sweetness. Most can tear aside the claws that it sets, most can rip them out, enduring the hurt in order to grow strong again in honour.

But for some...for some that is not possible. The power, the very idea of it grows large in their minds, it becomes all encompassing, till it seems the only thing to matter in the world. Then the dark ideas are whispered into their minds. They find themselves wondering what harm it will do to perhaps war one who will not perhaps offer so much resistance as another. Or perhaps they will catch themselves considering whether it will really be so bad if they break their word to another. And so on and so forth, till everything seems possible and nothing is forbidden.

In the minds of those that think thusly what does honour matter? What price can honour be sold for? How much land, how much power, can be bought by just setting aside any idea of honour?

Such thoughts are not solely the domain of one faith or another. Oh certainly it is easy to point the finger one way or another, to point it any way but at those who share the same religion, though not the same alliance. It is so much easier to see the wickedness in the hearts of those that are labelled heathen. So much harder to see that same wickedness in the hearts of those you might call faithmate or friend. And it is the most difficult thing of all to sit down, weighed down by the weight of the crown upon your head and admit that you yourself could have been wrong. Very difficult indeed to accept punishment for your actions by those of another faith. What a painful pill to swallow, to admit that those of another faith can see the evil in your acts that you yourself missed.

But those who seek to punish the wicked must also take care for fear that they follow the same dark path as the very ones they seek to harm. It is tempting isn't it? To perhaps see evil intent in others when there is none, to strike at such souls and strike them hard. To raise yourself to levels of purity that are not warranted, to see your actions as blameless and innocent of wrong-doing can be just as awful as receiving the darkness with open arms. The dark may hide our own evil intent from our eyes, but so too can the light blind us to the truth of our actions.

All that we as mortals can do is to look to ourselves, to examine our own hearts and see if the darkness or the light exist in over abundance there. Do we seek to raise ourselves too high? Do we all too easily dive into the darkest pits of squalor? Would we throw away our honour for the sake of a handful of acres and the servitude of a number of peasants? And it is really worth the price that we must pay for such a thing?

Too often the real motive behind any war is fear. The fear of being struck down by another, the fear of losing all the land that we are hoarded to ourselves. And why? Why should that be feared? Land, gold, servants, these are but material goods, fleeting and transitory in the great scheme of things. The material goods that we may accumulate over the course of our lives are nothing compared to the lofty ideals of honour and reputation. Objects may be bought, they may be replaced. But where is the merchant to sell a new, clean reputation or a spare sense of untainted honour?

The web of politics has ensnared many over the ages of the isle. Those that dare to delve within it all too often find themselves tangled and caught inside it. Politics is rarely something that can be easily seen within the isle, instead it is a thing of darkened rooms and whispered conversations done far from the sight of the majority. In such an environment it is all too easy to see matters of peace and war being kept silent for the good of one side or another. |The reasons for such things are rarely for the good of the isle, no instead they are selfish reasons. Better for the victor of a war to keep a peace silent, it gives them time to build and prepare for the next enemy that they intend to march upon. Better for the loser to agree to such a thing, after all they are unlikely to be in a position to argue with those who have torn their lands into many scraps.

Secret peace, wars that are no more real than the twisted words of pretend war that are thrown one way or another. Have they any place in the isle? Is there any precedent that can be set by such things that can surround them in the light of good? Perhaps. But all too often they are used for wickedness and concocted out of fear.

Fear, it always comes down to fear. But why? Why do we fear? Is our sense of pride in our accomplishments so fragile that it can be damaged by a single loss? Is it such a terrible thing to lose face to another? For some indeed, it seems so. The idea of losing, the idea of needing to be the one ask for peace rather than giving it is a terrible thing to them. Is the position of the supplicant really so terrible, so humiliating that it is worth casting aside all the ideals and all the private rules that we have ever held ourselves? If so then let war reign supreme over the isle, not the war of fairness and equality against an honoured opponent, but rather the war of chaos and terror where the only 'fair' opponent is the one who still breathes.

Would this please those who cast aside their honour in order to strike a weaker foe? Would this please the souls blinded by their own sense of right and wrong? Or would it destroy all that we have ever held dear? Would it destroy this very isle that we call home?

Dear reader, look to your own heart, look to your own soul, look to your own conscience. Spare yourself nothing but look deeply within, see the secrets that lay within you, examine they closely. Look back over all your have ever done and all you have ever said. Is there wickedness there? Is there anything that could blight your honour and your reputation? If you look within and see nothing but goodness, honour and respect then I commend you, gentle reader, for surely there are few souls like that left in the isle.

If indeed, there are any left at all.

-Written by Lyssia of Culaearien, past mistress of Gyppeswyk.

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Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:09 am
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