The arch of the door
He still couldn't quite believe it was coming to this.
"It still feels wrong." He said it flatly, with only the smallest indication of supplication. They'd been through this already. Another time wasn't going to change anything. Still, he felt he had to say it. "Leaving now... it just feels wrong."
His partner of thirty years came back into the room through the high arch, with the habitual bobbing movement that antlers had long ago made reflex. Even after all this time he had not really become accustomed to the high ceilings common to Urizen architecture. The light spilling through the open window fell across his face as he entered, catching the expression for a heartbeat before he was plunged back into the shadows of the library - dark and cool even on a hot Summer day. He was smiling, but his expression conveyed sympathy and sorrow rather than joy.
"No-one wants to leave," he said gently, not quite touching his husband's arm. "No-one."
He leaned down to pick up another heavy box of books. His words hung heavily between them, weighted with inevitability and acceptance. He met his partner's gaze for a moment, his eyes full of understanding but also of resolve.
"We have to think of the children," he said quietly. He didn't need to say more. They both knew what would happen if...
The teacher closed his eyes, trying to shut it all out. He heard his husband stride out of the room again into the busy courtyard, saw him in his mind's eye ducking his head as he always did. He reached out a hand, steady despite his sadness, feeling for the edge of the box.Eyes still shut, no time for tears, he placed the book reverently inside and carefully closed the lid.
With the Druj in Morrow, the Academy has taken the sad decision to leave their offices at Canterspire and relocate to the heart of the Empire. New Academy buildings near the Castle of Thorns has already been secured, and most of the staff have begun the move to Dawn. Lady Jaycinda Griffonsbane, the Chancellor of the Academy has expressed regret that it has come to this, but even before the Druj invasion there had been talk of transferring the heart of the Academy to somewhere closer to the middle of the Empire. Now that the barbarians are within a few weeks march of the spire, the safety of their charges has forced the issue.
The Dean of Pilgrims
This will not affect the Academy's ability to train and support the Imperial heroes of tomorrow, but there will be some (understandable) disruption. Among other things, this move leaves open the question of what to do with the Dean of Pilgrims. The title was originally created to oversee donations of liao, to "to instil the heroes of tomorrow with an appreciation for the power of the Virtues." Chancellor Griffonsbane, however, has made it clear that the Academy is no longer seeking such donations. The commitment of the staff to educating the heroes of tomorrow about the Way has not changed; but ever since she took over she has made clear that the Academy is more than capable of securing its own liao as and when it needs it. Further, she has expressed concerns that relying on donations in such a manner sends a dangerous message to the youth of the Empire. Prosperity after all expects rewards to come as the result of hard work - not as handouts.
With that in mind, however, she believes it would be remiss to ignore the contribution made by Zephram of Cantiarch's Hold in creating the building that housed the offices dedicated to soliciting and collecting these donations. Now that it has been divorced from the Academy, however, the donations of liao have already begun to dry up. As such she has requested that the Civil Service identify opportunities to redefine the title so it may continue to serve the Empire.
Canterspire College of the Way
- Canterspire could be rededicated as a college for studying spirituality among the peaks of Morrow
One of the two options that the civil service have identified is that the Canterspire academy could still exist, but be dedicated specifically to the education of young Urizen citizens in the history and philosophy of the Way. With the Druj knocking at the doors of the spires of central Morrow, the support of priests is more valuable than ever. With a motion the Imperial Senate could rededicate the resources of the sinecure toward encouraging the study of the Way in Urizen.
If this is done, there will be no cost and it will not require a commission, but the nature of the sinecure will change dramatically. The existing shrine, and several of the now-vacant former academy buildings, will become a centre for the study of spirituality among the peaks of Morrow. As such, the title would become an Urizen national position that provides 8 liao and 16 votes in the Imperial Synod.
As with any title that provides votes in the Synod, it would no longer be constitutional for it to be appointed by the Senate and the civil service suggest the well worn path would be to have it appointed by judgement of the Urizen national assembly. It could be granted tenure, or made an annual position, as determined in the Senate motion.
|Total Money Spent||Production|
|7 Crowns||6 liao|
|17 Crowns||12 liao|
|34 Crowns||18 liao|
|50 Crowns||24 liao|
The Canterspire Trust
- Canterspire could become a centre dedicated to the support of refugees seeking sanctuary in the Empire
As an alternative, the civil service have proposed that the building could be repurposed as a sanctuary, and serve as a centre for identifying and offering assistance to refugees and displaced persons both Imperial and otherwise. There are a lot of refugees in the wider Empire at the moment, and they would benefit from spiritual assistance perhaps even more than the average citizen. The former annex of the Dean of Pilgrims, and the now-vacant buildings, could be rededicated to the purpose of ministering to sanctuary seekers across the Empire. With the recent mandate enacted by Eska Crowspeaker urging Imperial citizens to reach out to those escaping slavery, such a change would be timely indeed.
As with the College of the Way, this change would require a Senate motion, but would not incur any costs and would not require a commission. The result would be the creation of a ministry responsible for offering aid and support to those seeking sanctuary in the Empire, especially with regard to helping them to learn about the Way. To aid the title in its duties, the civil service would assist the Guide of the Lost to acquire liao from priests across the Empire, both to aid in day-to-day creation of auras and to support mandates connected to helping sanctuary-seekers begin new Imperial lives.
There are several possible appointment methods, but the civil service suggest that given its wide remit the most appropriate would be judgement of the General Assembly or the Assembly of the Nine. The title could be created with tenure, or be reappointed annually as the Senate wished.
Chancellor Griffonsbane has publicly stated that Delilah of Felix's Watch, a recent graduate of the Academy had expressed a strong interest in being appointed as Dean of Pilgrims. Although the Academy are unable to offer assistance to support Delilah's request, the Chancellor asks that she be given serious consideration for the post if the Empire choose to convert the buildings in this manner. Although the Academy do not have any need of donations of liao, the chancellor is keen to offer support for former students like Delilah who seek high office.
The Dean of Pilgrims title still exists, but donations have tailed off significantly now that it is no longer associated with the Academy. If the Senate does nothing, appointing the title will remain the responsibility of the Imperial Senate, but the position will receive only 6 liao each season.
If nothing changes, interest in the Dean of Pilgrims will wane to the point these opportunities will be lost at the end of the Winter Solstice. Obviously, if Canterspire falls to the Druj, this will all become academic; the Chancellor and the civil service alike remain hopeful that the spire and the annex may still be saved.
This opportunity has now lapsed; the Dean of Pilgrims is no longer an active title.