He was also busy keeping an eye on two young people who had set his keen merrow sense for trouble and disorder tingling. They were stood out of the way in the shadow of the Senate, having a quiet yet heated argument that involved a lot of gesturing. Several of those gestures were being thrown in his direction. He considered them out of the corner of his eye. Their clothes were poor, heavily patched, Their smocks looked more like tarpaulin than anything comfortable. They were wearing leather wrapped around their feet rather than shoes, and the older of the two had a short cloak worn over one shoulder and pinned in place that looked like it might have begun life as a sack.
After another animated exchange, they both fell silent openly staring at him. He considered pretending he had heard someone in the office calling for him but that traitor part of his spirit that had drawn him into service in the first place spitefully reminded him of his oaths. He put on his best professional expression and walked over to speak to them, keeping his hands open and obvious and being as non-threatening as he knew how.
"Can I help you," he asked. His voice was pitched low, confidential, and noncommittal.
The older of the two sized him up. She had one hand firmly on the shoulder of her companion who looked ... skittish. He had faint traces of naga blood, Aurelius realised close up - his eyes pale and a smattering of azure scales on his forehead and cheekbones. He looked ready to run at any moment. When a group of Imperial Orcs walked past, laughing and joking with each other and engaging in some playful back slapping, he cringed back against the side of the building and looked fit to wet himself.
The other fellow cleared her throat, redirecting his attention back to her. She seemed more confident although her body was tensed. He realised with mild surprise that there was a chance that the wrong move here might get him stabbed.
"Are you a noble?" she asked, her tone accusatory.
"No, madam. I am an Imperial civil servant. All of our nobles will be camping in Dawn, with the rest of the Dawnish, I imagine. Can I help you?"
"Yes. We would like some missionaries." The woman stared at him, her face set.
".. missionaries?" Aurelius felt a sinking sensation in his stomach. This was clearly something to do with the Synod and now his sense for disorder and trouble was screaming in his ear in an alarming fashion.
"We are from the Iron Confederacy, and we would like some missionaries to explain the paths of virtue to us. We would like to know about..." She nudged her companion. Without looking at Aurelius he spoke quickly and quietly.
"We would like to learn about the Courage that fills the heart, and the bonds of Loyalty, and the Pride that exalts, and also the Ambition that changes the world. If that is alright?"
The woman patted him comfortingly on the shoulder.
"There. What my brother said. We need missionaries so that we can use the sword of faith to throw down the Suranni tyrants. Who do we need to speak to?"
"I'm not sure, but I can find out. Wait, you keep saying 'we' how many of you are there?""Here? Two. In Kalino, at the camp in the hills? Several hundred." She paused, looking around Anvil, suspicious at the delay. "Could we have our missionaries now, please?"
The Imperial Senate has asked the Imperial Synod to make missionaries from the General Assembly available to anyone in the Iron Confederacy willing to engage with them. There has been no response from the Dukes, or from any Suranni citizen in response to this motion - at least not formally. It is well known that the Suranni religion revolves around the veneration of a pantheon of gods, and consider the Imperial faith to be a corrupt, drug-induced, hallucination associated with their god of evil and magic Dumon the Liar.
However ... a month after the Autumn equinox, word reached the Empire that there are some people in the Iron Confederacy who would like to receive missionaries from the Empire. A representative of a group of Suranni rebels has made contact with members of the civil service. This person represents a group primarily made up of escaped human slaves, currently resident in the territory of Kalino, south of Feroz, in what used to be the Lasambrian hills.
According to this representative, these rebels are very interested in learning more about the Way. Having given the matter a great deal of wise reflection (following a brief visit to the Empire by some of their number who were annointed with auras of wisdom), they have determined that the virtues of Courage and Loyalty will help them most in their current situation. They are very interested in receiving "the beneficence of the spirits of virtue" - hallows, consecrations, and anointings - regardless of the virtue involved.
While there is currently no overseas trade with the Iron Confederacy - the port of Robec remains closed to the Empire at this time - the Imperial Synod has declared foreign missionary work to be a virtuous endeavour. It is possible that these rebels might represent the tip of the iceberg - that there may be other disenfranchised groups in the heartlands of the Iron Confederacy.who would want to learn about the virtues if they were aware of the opportunity.
Unfortunately, it is likely that the Dukes of the Iron Confederacy would be less than impressed by Imperial interference in their internal affairs, especially given it would involve supporting people who are explicitly enemies of the state. Equally unsettling is the possibility that, even without realising, these rebels may be inspired by the false virtue or anarchy.
That it is virtuous and worthy for anyone trading overseas to encourage missionaries and priests of The Way and any Virtue to accompany them to spread the word and convert others to our Faith.Dušan Otecovna Zlata, General Assembly, Autumn 380YE
To make missionaries from the General Assembly available to those in the Iron Confederacy willing to engage with themMotion by Senator Avisena i Kharizmi i Guerra of Segura
The ball is in the Imperial Synod's court. They have two mandates available to them if they wish to involve themselves in this situation, or they may instead choose to do nothing.
Supporting the rebels
The General assembly believes that knowledge of the seven Virtues that guide the spirit through the Labyrinth of Ages is the right of all humankind *. With that intent in mind we send (X) with 50 doses of liao to spread knowledge of the Virtues and the Way to the rebels of Kalino.Synod mandate
The General Assembly may deliver a mandate supporting the rebels. The named priest will lead a small group of priests to Kalino and minister to the band of rebels, teaching them of the way and providing them with appropriate auras that will help them in their understanding of the Way. These auras will categorically empower them to act against their Suranni oppressors.
In addition to liao, the named priest may choose to take wains of mithril, weirwood, or white granite to offer the rebels assistance in their struggle against the Suranni. The player should place these wains in their inventory alongside the liao, and include mention of them in their e-mail to Profound Decisions after the event. Whether the priest chooses to take advantage of this opportunity to offer material assistance or not is up to the named priest and is not something that needs to be mentioned in the mandate.
Opposing the rebels
The General assembly acknowledges the plight of the rebels of Kalino, and their desire to live a life of prosperity, liberty, and dignity. yet the Synod will not risk the safety of the Empire, nor aid a cause touched by Anarchy. As such we send (X) with 50 doses of liao to encourage the rebels to leave Kalino, abandon their efforts to overthrow their government, and accept sanctuary in the Empire.Synod mandate
Rather than support the rebels in their fight against the Suranni nobility in Kalino, the General Assembly may instead offer them sanctuary in the Empire. The named priest will lead a small group of priests of Kalino and minister to the rebels, but instead of encouraging their rebellion they will encourage them to simply leave the lands of the Iron Confederacy and seek a new life within the Empire.
If this mandate is passed by the General assembly, any national assembly may then issue a statement of principle offering the rebels a home in their nation. If multiple offers are made, those that pass with a greater majority will be seen as most appealing. In the event of more than one such statement of principle, the matter may require further mediation once the rebels reach Imperial soil.
If the Imperial Synod chooses to do nothing, then the situation in Kalino will continue to unfold without Imperial intervention.
Because of our guidelines bout secrecy, regardless of what the Imperial Synod agrees to, no Iron Confederacy character will be aware of their decision unless a player character explicitly tells them in some fashion. While the potential exists for a diplomatic incident, actually making the decision to support or oppose the rebels will not trigger that incident. Rather, it will only happen due to the actions of player characters during a game session. Precisely how much of what goes on at Anvil any outside NPC knows is carefully monitored - and for the most part the foreign nations are significantly aware only of senate motions that directly concern them and that the civil service could reasonably be expected to make their opposite numbers aware of in the interests of communicating the desires of Imperial citizens to outsiders.
- This word specifically references the Doctrine of Human Destiny and the Doctrine of Reincarnation; if they were changed, it may be acceptable to change this word to match.
These opportunities are no longer available.
At various points during the Winter Solstice, the Imperial Synod discussed both aiding the rebellion, and offering sanctuary to the slaves. Empress Lisabetta chose to directly intervene in these mandates, and while both might have been successful otherwise, they failed to reach the Greater Majority and thus were not upheld. As such, the situation in Kalino will continue to unfold without Imperial intervention.