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{{Mandate|assembly=Highborn National Assembly|mandate=The Dawnish ideals of love and glory are an important part of the Way of Virtue - inspiring people to the kind of virtuous behaviour that is desirable for all humanity. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to spread this insight and encourage Highborn citizens to be inspired by the Dawnish commitment to high ideals.}}
 
{{Mandate|assembly=Highborn National Assembly|mandate=The Dawnish ideals of love and glory are an important part of the Way of Virtue - inspiring people to the kind of virtuous behaviour that is desirable for all humanity. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to spread this insight and encourage Highborn citizens to be inspired by the Dawnish commitment to high ideals.}}
  
If this mandate is endorsed, then it will immediately remove the penalty affecting Dawnish congregations; instead both Dawnish and Highborn congregations will be boosted by the shared ideals of faith and kinship, as each seeks to learn from the other. They will gain one additional liao and two additional votes for the next two seasons.
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An alternative mandate has been suggested by Cimeies of Felix's Watch; the civil service have calculated that it will have the same effect.
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{{Mandate|assembly=Highborn National Assembly|mandate=All laudable human qualities have their roots in the seven Virtues. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to show people that love and glory are to be celebrated for the ways in which they drive the faithful to greater acts of Virtue.}}
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If either mandate is endorsed, then it will immediately remove the penalty affecting Dawnish congregations; instead both Dawnish and Highborn congregations will be boosted by the shared ideals of faith and kinship, as each seeks to learn from the other. They will gain one additional liao and two additional votes for the next two seasons.
  
 
The kinship felt by those Highborn who have listened to the music, poetry and stories of the troubadours will be reflected in closer cooperation possible between priests of both nations for the next year.
 
The kinship felt by those Highborn who have listened to the music, poetry and stories of the troubadours will be reflected in closer cooperation possible between priests of both nations for the next year.

Latest revision as of 19:50, 10 September 2019

As the applause begin to die down, Amos stood up and held up his arms to quiet the room before speaking. "I'd like to thank our guest for that moving performance." He paused long enough to allow another polite round of applause before continuing. "I'm sure we'd all agree that her tale though sorrowful and tragic in the end, has stirred our hearts. But it also raises many questions! So with Ser Marguerite's kind permission I'd like to throw open the floor to my chaptermates for questions for our guest." He paused again, scanning round the room, nodding briefly to acknowledge people's interest before offering the floor to Tamar.

Tamar stood up slowly, taking a moment to clear her throat before she put her question to the bard. "I'm sure I speak for many when I thank you for the beautiful performance noble lady - it was certainly... moving. But on to matters of faith - you said at the start that you believe that your song shows how True Love comes only from the virtues. Now it seems to me that Loyalty might easily be confused for Love - indeed I think your song would have moistened just as many eyes if it had spoken of Loyalty. Likewise it is easy to see how Glory might come from Courage. But I wondered if you could explain to me what role the other virtues play in love and glory? In particular, my own interest is in the virtue of prosperity - what role does the vital ideal of hard work play in your cannon?"

The inquisitor's question was direct and seemed challenging, and a quiet murmur spread across the hall. The troubadour looked down at the instrument in her hands, as if unsure of herself. The pause grew longer, the whispering louder, and the with a flick of her wrist across the strings of her instrument she unleashed a harsh chord to silence the room.

"My Earl, Balian de Rainhilde, is blessed with the service of a loyal yeofolk. This good yeofolk works to keep his hall prepared and fed. She rises before sun-up to clean the grates and light the fires. When nobles are stirring in their beds she is hard at work cooking bread in preparation for the fast to be broken. She waits on the high table at every meal. She works tirelessly throughout the day. She is the rock on which our house's castle stands. My question to my fellow priests is this - why does she do this? What motivates this woman to work so hard?"

The inquisitor spread his hands bemused - "For the sake of Prosperity" he responded, "but I don't..." His voice trailed off as he realised the troubadour was firmly shaking her head.

"Is it Loyalty to your house that motivates this virtuous woman?" asked one of the guardians. "Is it the Glory of your House that drives her?" suggested another.

"Neither!" Marguerite exclaimed with obvious delight. "The lady served another House before ours, but it was destroyed. We took her in barely a year ago when the Barrens fell. She came to us alone with just her four children in tow."

"It must be Ambition then!" pronounced Ephraim, one of the benefactors. "She hopes your earl will ennoble her?"

Marguerite laughed at that. "Not at all. She has asked for no Test and she will not gain the skills she needs to pass one by cleaning grates. Keeping the fire burning is important - but it is rarely glorious I fear."

The murmur returned to the room, as those assembled whispered to each other, each keen to answer the troubadour's riddle. The Dawnish woman let them confer for a few moments more, before she spoke again.

"The answer is simple. My countrywoman is Prosperous - more than any other member of our house. None can question how hard she works, honest graft for which she is fairly rewarded. But she is not motivated by Prosperity. In fact she is not motivated by any of the virtues at all!" There was an audible gasp in the room at this, but the woman continued before anyone could interrupt her. "Perhaps in Highguard people are motivated to work simply because the Way of Virtue tells us that this will speed you through the Labyrinth, but not in Dawn." The room was quiet now, deathly quiet, this verged on heresy, and no-one was quite sure what their unusual guest would say next.

"In Dawn we care about more earthly things. My friend has four young children. Her family and her husband were killed by the Druj, so she must raise the four of them by herself. She works every hour, from sun-up to sun-down, so that Balian will feel obliged to provide those children with every advantage he can offer them. In payment for her hard work, her children take lessons alongside the Earl's own daughters, learning how to read and write, how to wield sword and spear, I myself teach the four of them how to recite poetry."

"That woman will be out the other side of Labyrinth while I'm still working out which is the right entrance to pick, she is so Prosperous. But that is not what drives her! What drives her is love. Love for her family. Love for the memory of her lost husband. More than anything else it is her love for her four children that makes her so Prosperous. Without that... she would be every bit as lazy as I am!"

At that the room broke out into laughter. Marguerite bowed low to her hosts. There would be more questions in the morning no doubt, but she had made her point tonight.

The Highborn have come to Dawn to show us the Highborn Way in their words and deeds. We should rise to the challenge and send our best troubadours to teach them about Dawn. We send Mael Donjeon of House Remys with 50 doses of liao to urge every troubadour to travel to Highguard and teach them about glory and love.

Synod Mandate, Dawn National Assembly

Overview

For two seasons, the Grey Pilgrims have walked the trods of Dawn, speaking to yeomen and noble alike, asking honest questions about faith and spirituality. Alone of all the other nations of the Empire, the Dawnish welcomed this open conversation of faith, relishing the chance to share conversation with the Pilgrims as fellow wayfarers. Inspired by the Highborn example, and proud of their faith and keen to share it, the Dawnish offered to return the gift, to send their troubadours to Highguard to show them Dawn's way.

That offer has now been taken up. The Dawnish have encouraged every troubadour to travel to Highguard to teach them about glory and love... and the Highborn have welcomed them with open arms.

A Word of Caution

The civil service took the unusual step of advising the Imperial Synod to be cautious, warning that this mandate had the potential to make the current conflicts of faith considerably worse. The concern of the Tribune's office was that some Dawnish troubadours hold views of Love and Glory that Highborn priests might find questionable at best and heretical at worst. They warned that "Dawnish priests travelling through Highguard singing tales of adventure, of romance, of love and glory risk inflaming opinion in Highguard and the wider Empire."

That warning fell on deaf ears. Perhaps unsurprisingly the suggestion that the road ahead might be dangerous, difficult, and filled with peril failed to dissuade the Dawnish troubadours from rising to the challenge. One particularly sardonic member of the civil service is heard to comment that if the Tribune's office had really intended the Dawnish Assembly to think twice then it might have been better to warn them that the task they were attempting would be completely straightforward and utterly pedestrian.

The Highborn welcome the Troubadours of Dawn and any priests of other nations who wish to share with us how the Way is followed across the Empire.

Kerem of the Chantry, Summer Solstice 383YE, Upheld (269-0)

However, they were not the only Assembly to ignore the civil service warnings - the Highborn Assembly also welcomed the Dawnish troubadours. Having sent the Grey Pilgrims out into the wider Empire to speak to the faithful and help everyone perfect their faith, they welcomed the chance for the troubadours to do likewise. The statement did not pass with a greater majority, but it was notable for strong support it did receive and the fact that no priest voted against it.

And so... despite the ominous warnings... Mael Donjeon of House Remys takes their message across Dawn, gathering the greatest troubadours of the land and challenging them to teach the Highborn about glory and love.

A Song of Love

The Highborn concern with the notion of love and glory has always been that these ideals, while often uplifting, are not one of the seven virtues that help to speed souls through the Labryinth. The Doctrine of Seven, an essential part of the Doctrines of the Way says that "Other qualities may benefit humanity, but lend no aid through the passage of death to rebirth, and some may hinder it.". The question has always been whether the Dawnish obsession with love and glory leads them astray?

This is not the first time in recent years that this question has been put to the Dawnish Assembly however - and it has been robustly answered by them. At the end of 382YE, the assembly strongly endorsed a mandate clearly laying out the complex relationship between love and glory and the seven virtues.

We, the Troubadours of Dawn, recognise that True Love and True Glory arise from the paths of virtue. Only the truly virtuous can know love, or achieve glory. Where we find a noble who truly embodies Love or Glory we shall name them alongside the champions of the Seven Virtues, and they shall be pre-eminent in their company as inspirations to all who follow Pilgrim's Path.

Synod Mandate, Dawnish National Assembly


These words were carried to every corner of Dawn by the Earl of Fools and by those priests working with them. With this guidance firmly in mind the troubadours of Dawn come to Highguard, spreading out across the four territories of Reikos, Casinea, Necropolis and Bastion so that they can sing their songs of love and glory in every chapter hall in the nation. Armed with the most beautiful poetry they can recite, the most inspiring music they can perform and the most epic tales they can recount, the priests of Dawn come to spread the Way to Highguard.

Most importantly - they come to repeat the words of the Earl of Fools; that only the truly virtuous can know love or achieve glory. That True Love and True Glory arise from the paths of virtue. And guided by the words of Kerem of the Chantry, the Highborn chapters throw open their doors and make ready to receive their guests.

Elayne Silverlark
After the death of Lord Endric, the exemplar Elayne Silverlark travelled to Bastion in Highguard. There she sang The Flowers of Auvanne outside the Basilica of Seven Doors every evening for a month, and during the day she performed songs and poems exalting the names of the heroes of Dawn. Several prominent priests invited her to speak with them, and she recounted tales not only of Lord Endric, but of many other knights and nobles of Dawn, praising their Courage and Pride. Through Elayne, the Highborn synod came to understand the virtue of Dawn, and appreciated the possibility of bringing the Way to her people.

There is an obvious comparison between what is happening in Highguard and the pilgrimage of Elayne Silverlark. On some level, the parallels are likely helping to ensure the generally positive reception the troubadours are receiving. Many of the Dawnish priests take the opportunity to visit her basilica in Bastion, and a very small number of them have been allowed an opportunity to play the mandolin that sits in pride of place within its quiet marble halls. This experience has sparked some renewed interest in the Arbour of the Twin Roses proposed by Lady Zaha Arien Winter last year, a monument celebrating not only the life of the exemplar but the twin powers of Love and glory.

A Song of Glory

To the surprise of some, the troubadours receive a surprisingly warm reception. The Highborn have something of a reputation for stone hearts beneath their stern visage, but it is difficult for anyone to hear the beautiful songs of the troubadours and not be moved to tears by them. Only the coldest hearts can sit through a full recital of one of the epic lays from Dawnish history and not feel their blood stir. Few people understand the importance of an inspiring narrative better than the Highborn - and it is impossible to listen to the greatest troubadours of Dawn and not be inspired.

After a performances is complete, the hosts question their Dawnish guests at length, asking them about the role of the virtues in the piece they have performed. Not every answer is well received - it is clear that some troubadours do not share ideals endorsed by the Dawnish Assembly. They disdain any talk of the virtues themselves, and make clear that love and glory are an end in themselves and crucially that it matters not how a person attains those things.

But for the most part they are the exception. Most troubadours are more than able to hold their own, regaling their hosts with tales of glorious deeds that were Ambitious and Courageous in the extreme. They talk about the Wisdom of their most glorious weavers, the Loyalty and Vigilance of their stalwart knights. Their obvious Pride in their countryfolk shines forth in every account they deliver - and while some struggle to find a role for Prosperity in their tales - most are at pains to point out that every Dawnish citizen knows how hard it is to pass a test - whether that's a Test of Mettle, a Test of Ardour or any other test. Dawnish society is based on Ambition and Prosperity, they claim. No-one is born noble - but everyone aspires to it.

Some claim that love and glory are what motivates Dawnish folk to be virtuous. Others claim that is virtuous behaviour that wins them love and glorious acclaim. Some say it is both. Many struggle to articulate some clear philosophical relationship between the virtues and their ideals, but it is obvious to their hosts that most troubadours inspire people to pursue love and glory with their heartfelt oratory, not with their erudite debate.

But - not every question is so easily answered. The mandate that the Dawnish Assembly passed also said that where "'...we find a noble who truly embodies Love or Glory we shall name them alongside the champions of the Seven Virtues, and they shall be pre-eminent in their company as inspirations to all who follow Pilgrim's Path.". The idea that love and glory should sit alongside the Seven Virtues, or worse be pre-eminent among them remains a sore point for many Highborn who hear it.

Hearts and Minds

The Dawnish troubadours have won over the hearts of most Highborn who have been lucky enough to hear them perform, and those who have conversed with them have found them passionate and earnest in their beliefs. Although Highguard and Dawn are neighbours, although the First Empress married a Dawnish man and became the Monarch of Dawn, there has always been a distance between the two nations. Many Highborn inquisitors have questioned the Dawnish commitment to the virtues and for their part the dour reputation of the Highborn has often done little to endear them to the ardent Dawnish spirit.

Troubadour and Priest.jpg
Not every question has an easy answer.

Now the positive reception of the Grey Pilgrims by the Dawnish assembly - and the welcome the Highborn have shown the Dawnish troubadours has created an opportunity for the two nations to gain a new understanding a closer friendship.

But the Highborn people are not ruled by their hearts alone but also by their minds. They are moved to tears by the tragic ballads of the troubadours, but ultimately they will judge them not by how they feel about their faith and their tales of love and glory but how they think about it. Is it really true that True Love and True Glory can only arise from the paths of virtue as the Dawnish claim? That only the truly virtuous can know love or achieve glory?

Many want the answer to be yes. The Grey Pilgrims have received harsh words or even rough music where they have sought to share their faith in other nations and many want to embrace their Dawnish cousins as kinfolk. They want to acknowledge the virtue of these people who have shared their own beliefs with as much passion and fervour as any Highborn priest can manage.

But they refuse to make that decision based on their feelings - instead they look to the learned, the wisest and most virtuous amongst them to speak on the value of love and glory. There are three possible mandates that the Highborn Assembly could pass to answer that question.

These three mandates are in competition with each other, and the interference of the Wisdom assembly and the sword scholars means that they can only be enacted if they achieve a Greater majority in the assembly.

Virtue

Love and glory are not virtues, nobody is any doubt about that. Quite apart from the fact that they are not one of the Seven Virtues, there are just simple facts that prove otherwise - like the fact that people cannot be devoted to love and glory - that no-one can produce auras of either quality using liao.

But just because they are not virtues, does not mean they are not virtuous. As Ephraim of the Four Wells comments, "The Freeborn are obsessed with honesty - nobody seriously claims that honesty is a virtue - but it clearly requires great courage and often loyalty to speak the truth." If the Highborn Assembly respects the Dawnish ideals of love and glory as part of the Way of Virtue then it will bring the two nations closer together.

The Dawnish ideals of love and glory are an important part of the Way of Virtue - inspiring people to the kind of virtuous behaviour that is desirable for all humanity. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to spread this insight and encourage Highborn citizens to be inspired by the Dawnish commitment to high ideals.

Synod Mandate, Highborn National Assembly


An alternative mandate has been suggested by Cimeies of Felix's Watch; the civil service have calculated that it will have the same effect.

All laudable human qualities have their roots in the seven Virtues. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to show people that love and glory are to be celebrated for the ways in which they drive the faithful to greater acts of Virtue.

Synod Mandate, Highborn National Assembly


If either mandate is endorsed, then it will immediately remove the penalty affecting Dawnish congregations; instead both Dawnish and Highborn congregations will be boosted by the shared ideals of faith and kinship, as each seeks to learn from the other. They will gain one additional liao and two additional votes for the next two seasons.

The kinship felt by those Highborn who have listened to the music, poetry and stories of the troubadours will be reflected in closer cooperation possible between priests of both nations for the next year.

The presence of the Grey Pilgrims on the trods in Dawn and the welcome they have received from their Dawnish hosts means that any statement of principle that is passed by the Highborn National Assembly will also come to the attention of the folk of Dawn. As a result, for the next year, statements passed by the Highborn Assembly will also carry the potential to create mandates that the Dawnish Assembly could pass. In effect, the Dawnish Assembly may gain the chance to support, oppose, or otherwise react to statements and mandates of importance to the Highborn.

Likewise the presence of so many troubadours in Highguard as they continue to respond to Mael Donjeon's mandate for months to come means that any statement of principle that is passed by the Dawnish National Assembly will also come to the attention of Highborn. That will give the Highborn Assembly the possibility of being able to support, oppose, or otherwise react to statements and mandates of importance to the Dawnish for the next year.

Other Qualities

If love and glory are not virtues, then the Doctrine of the Seven Virtues is clear that they lend no aid through the passage of death to rebirth. However it says only that they may hinder the passage. The Highborn Assembly could take the view that the Dawnish preoccupation with love and glory are a distraction from the Seven Virtues, but they do not ultimately hinder their passage through the Labyrinth.

The Dawnish ideals of love and glory are not part of the Way of Virtue - but nor are they false virtues that hinder passage through the Labyrinth. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to spread this insight and encourage Highborn citizens to accept that few human beings are capable of pursuing the Seven virtues in every word and deed.

Synod Mandate, Highborn National Assembly


If this mandate is endorsed, then it will immediately remove the penalty affecting Dawnish congregations.

Vice

The Doctrine of the Seven Virtues carries a clear warning. The Virtues are not the only qualities that benefit humanity. Other qualities exist, some of which positively hinder your passage. The Highborn know that virtue and vice are contagious. A virtuous life leads the faithful to further righteous action but vile behaviour spreads just as easily if not checked. Is the Dawnish infatuation with love and glory an example of the spread of vile behaviour?

The Highborn Assembly could take the view that the Dawnish have elevated love and glory above the Seven Virtues and in doing so they have imperilled their mortal souls. Or they could take the view that these qualities are themselves vile - and actively hinder passage through the Labyrinth by passing either of the following mandates.

Love and glory can never be virtues and mortals who pursue them in place of the Seven Virtues will find their soul trapped in the Labryinth as a result. We send {named priest} with 50 doses of liao to spread this insight and encourage Highborn citizens to rebuke those who pursue love and glory in place of the Seven Virtues.

Synod Mandate, Highborn National Assembly


If this mandate is endorsed, then it will immediately remove the penalty affecting Dawnish congregations. The Grey Pilgrims will no longer be welcome in Dawnish territories and in practical terms they will no longer be able to walk the trods in Astolat, Weirwater or Semmerholm.

In addition, Dawnish and Highborn armies will find it almost impossible to fight alongside each other. In any military campaign where a Dawnish or Highborn army are fighting in the same territory, then both armies will receive a 10% penalty to their ability to attack or defend territory.

Participation

Any troubadour who wishes to roleplay that they have been visiting Highguard over the last three months is encouraged to create appropriate stories about their experiences, in line with the description above. Likewise, any Highborn chapter that wishes to roleplay they have hosted a troubadour or two is also encouraged to do so. For the most part, the visit has been peaceful and full of opportunities to discuss matters of faith and enjoy grand songs and stories of heroic love, and resounding glory. However, it is also acceptable for your Highborn chapter to have been critical of the troubadours - or for your troubadour to have encountered a cool reception from a particular NPC chapter - your individual story is up to you but the majority experience will have been broadly positive.