Disloyal, unprosperous, unvigilant, unwise
A mutter ran through the crowd at that; the freeborn of Siroc had heard the judgements of the Synod from the Spring summit, and it had touched a nerve with all of them. The friar had chosen his audience well, this near the docks, it was almost exclusively corsairs.
“The only disloyal action here is in dragging down the Printer's Guild. It is said that even the wicked can be loyal when times are prosperous, but that the truly virtuous are loyal even through hardship and misfortune. Why then, when the difficulties began, did the Synod turn on the Printer's Guild? This is the guild who have, with the blessing of the Imperial Senate, constructed a museum of such wonder as to make even a Highborn archivist salivate.
"The only unprosperous activity I see, is in the denying of the Printer's Guild the rewards of their labour. Is it not the right of any virtuous, prosperous individual to enjoy the fruits of their labour? Why should any of us contact the Bourse agents with our treasures to sell, if it will result in our being investigated by the Synod? Are we not taught, as good, virtuous citizens, to strive, toil and claim the just rewards of our labour?”
The friar paused, as a stir went through the crowd. A number of them had suffered after the Senate assigned civil servants to watch the fleets.
“To me, the only truly unvigilant deed here is the punishing of citizens of the Empire, for the actions of an Eternal. It is not right, it is not virtuous that the Synod have taken such a hand in their actions against the Bourse, against the ordinary folk who discover the items which go to sale at the private auction. It is time for us all to be vigilant in our actions. We must not send our artefacts to Anvil, for they may result in yet another citizen being outcast.”
A few people were clapping now, more were taking copies of the pamphlet that had been placed on a table near the friar, throwing their coins into the pot at his feet.
“I spent my childhood studying the virtues, as I'm sure you all did too, and wisdom was the one I always struggled with. I think I understand it now, or at least I will go forward thinking I do, because to do otherwise and wait would be unwise. I say, here and now, that the only unwise act here is the Synod deciding that it was unwise for a citizen to provoke an outcome they didn't want.
"I have spoken throughout the Empire on this matter. I have spoken to the seneschals of Astolat. I have spoken to the benefactors of Bastion. I have spoken to the bonesetters of Skarsind and the stewards of Meade. I have spoken with the people of the Empire, and they agree with me. We must not sell our heirlooms, our treasures, our artefacts to the bourse agents. We must keep them, and sell them ourselves for our own Prosperity.”A roar of approval came from the crowd and there was a flurry of movement as the last of the pamphlets were snatched up by the corsairs. The pot at the friar's feet was overflowing with rings. The friar gave a short bow and stepped down from their small box, pocketing the few coins that had spilled onto the dusty path, before carefully picking up the bowl and moving off. The road to Cerevado was a long one, but it was only noon, and there was plenty of walking time.
The Imperial Bourse Private Auction has long been a source of argument in the Empire. Its nature, and the matter of provenance is always likely to turn friendly debate into heated arguments.
Previously the weight of the argument has consistently sided with the status quo, in keeping with the Private Auction as a tradition. Recently however, with the excommunication of four citizens due to the purchase of an item from the Private Auction this has changed.
A shift is happening in the Empire. A Friar from the town of Hay, Mitwold has been travelling the length and breadth of the land, extolling the virtue of Prosperity and the lack thereof in relation to the Imperial Bourse Private Auction.
Friar Alyn of Hay has been distributing pamphlets and making speeches throughout the Empire, encouraging citizens to not sell their treasure to the agents of the Imperial Bourse, to instead try to sell them personally, or to keep them.
From preliminary reports, the prospectus of items for the Private Auction is significantly reduced.
Friar Alyn of Hay has made it clear that, having finished their pilgrimage to the major towns of the Empire, he is now coming to Anvil in order to speak with the Synod, primarily the National Assembly of the Marches and the Assembly of Prosperity.