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(Game Thread) Ruceeglaelsktinag: A Study in Applied Christian Theology of War

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  • (Game Thread) Ruceeglaelsktinag: A Study in Applied Christian Theology of War

    The meeting suite in the subterranian town is heavily secured against evesdropping. Other than the single hallway that you arrived through, there are no other open spaces within 40 feet. Several heavy doors guard the passageway. The seals on each door are good enough that a 2 inch golden sphere traced with mithril between points of diamonds sits in the center of small anti-theft cage riveted to the table to purify the air lest the people meeting here smother.

    Various wards glow on the walls, ceiling, and floor in all the rooms of the suite, but only the central room is currently occupied. A small buffet-room, three chamber-pot rooms, and half a dozen smaller meeting rooms (also with enchanted doors and air-freshment) all open into this central room.

    All 39 people in the room are wearing floor-length hooded robes and gloves as are all but one of the other participants. The clothing was provided by your hosts, and randomly selected by each of you. The common enchantments placed on almost all magical gear ensure that there is no seperate pool of garments for persons of various sizes. Your faces, feet and hands are additional protected by illusions and blurring transmutations. Similarly, your voices are transformed via transmutation magic into one of over a hundred pre-selected voices (enhanced with a Tongues effect so that everyone's mind hears the words spoken in their own native tongue). Also selected for each robe by the wearer after donning it is a different pattern and a large number displayed on the chest, back, forehead, and wrists.

    As the last door is shut and bolted, and the audio-visual alarms are armed linked to ALL the security measures, the only individual who is not disguised rises from the head of the table. This elf is the only one of you girded for war, wearing shining full-plate, and bearing a two-handed sword with a pommel shaped like a rock and a composite longbow.

    "Welcome all, and I hope we may find Wisdom and set this world one step further on along the path to Understanding, and, I hope, Peace with our words here. My name is Benir the Fair and I shall be doing my poor best to represent the opinions of the nation of Ruceeglaelsktinag in this discussion. I swear on my soul that I shall bring no violence against any individual lawfully attending this meeting* on account of their words spoken here, even unto high treason or grave crimes against sapient beings and the codes of war intended or already accomplished, save those necessary to preserve the Peace in this room. Any who break the Peace until we have all gone our separate ways, with their actions, whether by strength of arm, or the various means that reality may be bent by the strength of word I shall meet with harsh judgement. Neither will I tolerate shouting people down or the like, as this is also a breaking of the Peace.

    We are met here to discuss what is proper and wise to do regarding the actions Ruceeglaelsktinag in matters of the war with many of the nations of the Vedag. Based on my prior experience with this sort of meeting, the dice and the wheel of blind chance would indicate that some of you stand opposed to Ruceeglaelsktinag to one degree or another, and I would not hesitate to do my best to kill you if we met outside this truce. The reverse is also true, that many of you would count it a desirable thing to slay me if you could encompass it, and not all of you would find any violation of your conscience in doing it here and now despite the truce you all swore before arriving. This is a good thing to me. For surely the day when all persons are brothers and sisters who live in peace is far off, if it ever comes in the life of these current worlds. If their must be mortal foes in this world, then King Ruceeglaelsktinag hopes that there would at least be understanding of others, and progress towards understanding, since he believes that mutual comprehension of the motives between foes is more likely to make them friends in the longer run.

    Some of you will choose to speak, and some to keep silence and only hear and consider**. I think that both can be a path to wisdom, but even a child or simpleton can ask a question that mighty thinkers would struggle a thousand years and yet find themselves only a little closer to an answer for.

    For myself, I will choose to speak in whatever mix of statements and questions I believe will most increase the enlightenment of the world as a whole, and those gathered here in particular. I am most happy when I speak with neither passion nor certainty, for I believe that passion often distorts judgement, and to speak without certainty even of matters where one is quite certain of invites others to show you refinements, or you them. Nay-the-less, I prefer to hear passion and certainty than nothing at all from others.

    Speak now your own oaths and introductions, as you yourselves choose, to give the greater assurance to your fellow speakers to loose their tongues to the edification of all."

    *((In other words, if someone snuck in invisible to eaves-drop, he would feel free to go to town on them.))
    **((Benir the Fair doesn't care who talks and who doesn't, but Draco Dei does, and hopes that as many players as possible will speak.))

  • #2
    After Benir the Fair sits down, I will rise from my seat and raise my hand for quiet(this is assuming there's people talking), "I've come here in peace, and with respect to Rucee, to discuss as Benir has stated the state of the Vedag, and what our next steps should be.", then after taking a breath, "The Vedag proper has given Rucee troubles for many a year, and I believe that it is time we purged the province, as peacefully as possible, but with steel and blood if necessary, we have left them linger before, without patrol, and each time they rebel again, I believe strongly we should absorb the Vedag into our provinces. After all we could bring in more taxes and increase trade if we were able to settle, and tame our more wild neighbours" after a breath and a sidelong glance at Benir, I then follow that statement with, "However; I follow Rucee, and whatever he commands I would see done."
    Last edited by ForrestGump; 09-11-2015, 07:21 PM. Reason: Not good enough


    • #3
      My character stands once Razzik finishes speaking and interjects with the following:
      "You speak sooth, Elf. Peace is indeed a noble and worthy cause. However, I stand vehemently opposed to all and any acts of initiatory aggression. Thus, our response to the problem posed by the nations of the Vedag must be in accord with this principle. For a wounded man will say to his assailant: 'if I live, I will kill you; if I die, you are forgiven.' Such is the rule of honour. Aggression breeds revenge, and revenge is like a rolling stone, which, when a man hath forced up a hill, will return upon him with a greater violence, and break those bones whose sinews gave it motion. Indeed, if we are to placate the Vedag, we must not rely on strength of arms alone unless and only in response to acts of aggression on their part."
      My Amazon Author page:


      • #4
        When Razzik speaks Benir smiles at him sadly.

        Meanwhile, another disguised individual (this one taller than is probable for a pure-blood human or even a half-orc) violently raised his hand when Razzik introduced himself. After allowing the individual who bears the number "21"((IE Gaze's above post)) to speak, Benir directs that the tall individual with his hand up should speak next (despite it not normally being his turn) with a grim smile and invites Razzik, though naturally not by name, to listen especially closely.

        "For the purposes of this gathering, you may call me 'Bloodsoaked'. I desire no lasting peace, but war without end or place of safety makes for pitiful battle. Without a space of peace, how shall the mage-smith forge mighty weapons or children have time to grow into the thews of a warrior? As well to see two cripples fight to the death.

        The larger a territory a nation has , the fewer wars it may wage without being either overmatched or undermatched. The reason why is because mismatched wars tend to be shorter and you don't even need to use all your fighting people in them. A man might go his whole life and never even hear the sound of battle in such a place. So it's lucky that the nations of the Vedag mostly all agree on the thinking that they will accept no foreign rule, however weakly gentle of a hand it might use in governing them. Even luckier that King Ruceeglaelsktinag is trying to avoid slaying every adult, and every child old enough to know the history of his own blood, even though that is what it would take to drive the idea of self-rule and vengeance out of their minds.

        I shall be arguing that war with only pause, rather than true end, is the proper state of all thinking beings, for nothing else so weeds the strong from the weak, or gives fire to the spirit of the warrior, and the mind of the inventor of magic or mundane things. Life is sweetest to those who have known mortal danger.

        Any reason for fighting is a good reason. He *Points to #21* say vengeance rolls back on you? I say: Excellent! If you live through that, you know you are tough! As goblins say:'If thy ear is too easy to grab, cut it off. Better to go through life with sound dimmed than to allow an enemy an advantage... but better still to wear a helmet to cover your ears.'"

        Once again, someone raise their hand and Benir calls on them out of clockwise order around the table.
        "You may call me Eugenicist. I will make no secret, even here, that I respect Allurehn and have studied the teachings of her servants. Indeed I might or might not be such a servant myself.

        If the goal of weeding out the weak from the strong is that all should become strong in ever increasing measure, then there are various ways of creating that without war between nations, which despoils the fields and tears down mighty bridges that enable the flow of goods to allow great things, and yet more than that ideas which allow things so great that an earlier generation of human, or even elf could not even conceive of them.

        The unkindest cut to a man, the cut that leaves pleasure while preventing children in a man, or the spell that does latter even to a woman, and causes no pain are all available depending on what level of skill a people has commonly among them.

        A person born blind knows that he is blind, knows that they are weak, unless he also be pig-headed or a simpleton. If his children are also born blind, yet though he move to another place, with differing food, water, and air, and though the servants of Pelor cleanse all their worldly goods of taint that might bring blindness in the womb, though that taint not be in the blood that flows from father and mother to son and daughter, then he should know that his blood is tainted in that manner.

        Would not a man who loves all thinking creatures as his brothers and sisters, sacrifice greatly to make the future brighter? If, as both Bloodsoaked and I would agree, strength is desirable, and to take action upon the seed and the womb be not sin, then would not two such sacrifices be to say?:

        'My blood is weak, and I shall not let it spread, I shall call a curse of magical infertility no curse at all, regardless of what the scholars of spellcraft might term it. Take from me my seed if I be male, or if I be female shut up the tunnels by which the motes of life travel to the secret field where seed is sown.'

        on the one hand, or on the other for the male and the female each in turn

        'My blood is mighty.
        If I be male and someone may lend me a only a moderate magic, then let my seed that I spill into a bowl with the aid of my wife be taken and given to a woman whose husband has recognized his the weakness of his blood, that they might have the joy of children, and have someone especially to care for them in their old age.
        If I be female and no strong magic be available to me then I shall pledge my first, third, fifth, and seventh children to another who has chosen the path without a belly swollen, as soon as the first milk, which gives great strength against disease, has been imparted. I shall count the pain of birthing a child but not raising it as a small thing so that she who might otherwise raise no child should have a child.
        If I be female and if strong, but not very strong, magic be available to me then let the magic be used so that I shall bear twins and triplets, so that I might not go through pain without the reward of a child, and so that the children of my blood, although not all of my household, should more easily outnumber those of those whose blood is neither strong nor weak.
        If I be female and great magic is available to me, then take from me a mote of life from time to time, and place it into the secret field where seed is sown of one whose blood is weak but whose husband's blood is not weak.'

        If very high and great magic is available to a couple and one or both of them be very strong of blood then let the wife say with the blessing of her husband:

        'Take from me additionally or instead my some of my children when they are no larger than a grain of wheat, and place them into the fertile soil of the secret field of one whose blood is weak and whose husband's blood is also weak. If the strength of my blood bends itself toward endeavor where a swollen belly is of great impediment then I shall favor those who are willing to pay back to me one child of the twins or triplets I shall gift to them.'

        Having laid out the paths of persons of altruistic motivation, I must now answer briefly as to the paths of evil lest it should seem that war is an efficient way for evil nations to improve the strength of their blood:
        With great evil those weak may be killed, yet without property being destroyed, nor with the unpredictable tides of war making forethought less possible stealing strength in the uncertainties for necessary contingencies, nor with the time and energy of troops who must go from this place to that with no lasting benefit that could not be had without war.
        With what seems to be less evil, although some might argue is equal or greater, males of great weakness may be given the unkindest cut, and males of strength may be granted harems of sufficient extent (if the society in question is not so evil that marriage is a thing of no great importance) that every secret field should be seeded, though fields outnumber springs of seed. Alternatively, instead of harems, females of weaker blood may be treated with the same spells I have described as being useful to altruistic persons whose consciences such spells do not violate. In a third case, such females may be killed if their bellies swell, and I have heard of various methods supposed and actually attempted of making non-compliance less of a temptation for such females.
        ...and one more word shall I say about such matters of evil, though my introduction grows very long. I know of a kinder cut that renders the spring of a male without seed, though it still flows the same, and gives equal pleasure. I would seek out peoples who are willing to remove a cause for civil unrest from themselves, and show them this cut, so that a practical-eunuch might have the pleasure of a member of the harem, or, at the least, of his own hand. In addition if a man palsied, blind, or with the bleeding sickness should be a weak point in his nation, though perhaps not as much of a weakness as his death would cause, then how much more so is one who is weak in this way and also lacks the fire of the spirit and the strength of the thews of the arm that the unkindest cut leaves in its wake?

        I thank you all for allowing me so much time to explain myself, but it seemed good to me that I lay out my conclusions, even if I offer no evidence for them at this time. In past discourses I have entered into I feel much wisdom was lost in the assumptions of others when I have tried saying only 'There is a way to strengthen the blood without war, by altering the fertility of persons.' at the start."

        ((Everyone who hasn't posted yet: Keep going with the intros and/or statement in the OOC of lack of intros!))
        Last edited by Draco Dei; 09-12-2015, 12:31 AM.


        • #5
          Italicized words in this color indicate the characters thoughts and are not spoken.

          After hearing all of these things along with much uncomfortable silence, Umbris clears his throat to speak. His voice is strong but not loud.

          I am Umbris, of a land far from this place. If any of you were to know of it, you would suprise me as well as swiftly become a potential adversary in my sharp eyes.
          My people were hunted far and wide. Friends outside our own were unknown by and large.

          Umbris pauses and after a moment softens his countenance.

          I am here for one thing and one thing alone. I seek after a peaceful oasis, a place ,for us, to call home. I've spent years enough abroad to say that in a mildly chaotic world, i see more potential here for my future than any I've crossed before. If God wills it, I shall aid in bringing about peace in this land, enough to raise cubs here. Otherwise, if all thinkable effort proves futile, I shall travel once more. However I tire of wandering, it has taken me this long to find such value and I can only imagine how much longer finding equal or better would take I'm running out of time I've got to find-- one step at a time... . It is my hope that together, we can end the suffering of the many races present and provide a more than endurable future for the children ,of all good beings, to come.

          May the Father God bless us
          so long as... as we endeavor honorably. I intend to fight for peace and hope to use peace and diplomacy where it is embraced. To those who refuse comprimise and insist on bloody martyrdom and death, may they find peace in what they have sewn for and sought.

          Now deftly concealing a look of discomfort, Umbris takes his seat and looks down at the floor as if trying to remember something or looking for something lost to the shadows.
          Last edited by Thomas Maltuin; 09-12-2015, 06:12 AM. Reason: elaboration discussed with draco


          • #6
            After Umbris is done speaking. Aldyr will rise with a straight face and with a firm, yet calm voice say,

            "If not met with aggression, peace would be the most viable option. However, open hostility should be silenced immediately. If a part of the Vedag should wish to join us, they should be graciously accepted into our ranks. True diplomacy with no hidden context in the truces should help gain small pieces of the Vedag as allies."

            Aldyr will motion the next speaker and withdraw to his seat, fold his hands, and keep a stern look on his face.


            • #7
              Some people seem hesitant to speak, so Benir skips over them for the sake of speed.
              "With introductions out of the way let all speak in whatever groups and whatever time they choose for the moment. I shall intervene if necessary with more rigorous procedures. All should feel free to call upon me for aid in such matters as they deem necessary, especially from within the sub-rooms since, naturally I can monitor those when the doors are closed."


              • #8
                An uncomfortable pause ensues, so Benir continues:
                "If I might throw out a question: Would anyone care to propose a working statement as to what the proper role of the concept of 'justice' is in mortal society... especially to a Christian? If God says 'Vengence is mine, I will repay', and, indeed, all shall be rewarded in proportion to their good deeds in the True Heaven, or punished for being sinners whether great or small in the True Hell, then why does he also call us to love justice rather than simply 'turning the other cheek' to all offense, even on a governmental level? My apologies... I remember the end of this line of reasoning better than its beginnings, so humor me a little if you feel inclined to pursue it."


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Draco Dei View Post
                  An uncomfortable pause ensues, so Benir continues:
                  "If I might throw out a question: Would anyone care to propose a working statement as to what the proper role of the concept of 'justice' is in mortal society... especially to a Christian? If God says 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay', and, indeed, all shall be rewarded in proportion to their good deeds in the True Heaven, or punished for being sinners whether great or small in the True Hell, then why does he also call us to love justice rather than simply 'turning the other cheek' to all offense, even on a governmental level? My apologies... I remember the end of this line of reasoning better than its beginnings, so humor me a little if you feel inclined to pursue it."
                  "The criminal needs only to repay the victim... although this becomes problematic when considering losses of a non-financial nature. However, one important thing to consider is the command to love one's enemies. All Christians would see their enemies become brothers in the Lord. Thus, true justice is to continuously seek to demonstrate the power of the Lord to the unrepentant so that they might repent and turn to the Lord. All and any punishment must reflect that."
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                  • #10
                    Over the years, Umbris has seen many things and seen many questions answered to only raise more questions. If anything, he has learned that somethings may never be known, but if they are to be learned, the revelation will come from seeking every possible avenue.

                    Umbris has overheard many conversations some that overlapped with other conversations. Without involving himself, he learned quickly that you can get a very clear view of a situation by silent observation. By hearing out both sides of a conversation and seeing the proof and acting out of either perspective (If Umbris appears to be an eavesdropper, bear this in mind; he is a feline rogue, curiosity and sneakiness are only natural as well as innocent) you quickly understand that the truth is never so clearly discern in such a muddied world. The question of who is right and who is wrong is almost always muted by the reality that neither is perfect and both are wrong in some aspect. Furthermore, when one truly stumbles upon the truth, it is often by the wrong reasoning.

                    He also learned that in certain situations you can expedite the learning by being involved passively, which is to say, by playing the role of "apologetic mediator."

                    Although still uncomfortable, Umbris begins to grin slyly at the Warforged but tries to mask the entertained sparkle in his eye.

                    Alas, I cannot refrain myself--the opportunity is too grand. I must pick his brain and see if he be more man or machine... I'm afraid I have yet to catch your name. You speak with confidence. A good practice, but I wonder... there is something else present in your voice, it is reminiscent of voices prior. Voices who spoke with faith strong, yet, shall I say, untested?

                    Umbris resists the urge to sway his tail in deep thought and turns more directly towards the Warforged. Umbris stares through man-made-for-war with eyes that seem to both entice and demand answers answers. He is grins cunningly, but not maliciously.

                    Every thing you just said was stated as fact. Your voice was absent of any question. "Would see... justice is... punishment must..." authoritative... --Now, before you think me derogatory, let me say, you may inevitably be worthy of authority
                    , only time will tell, I don't know you from Adam's house-cat, but for argument sake what do you think ought to be done with those who end innocent life and sleep like a cub with his mama, hmmm?
                    Last edited by Thomas Maltuin; 09-19-2015, 02:00 AM.


                    • #11
                      "On the contrary, faith is tested every day, mine no less than anyone else's - perhaps even more so. If everything I say sounds like it was stated as fact, then that is probably because it is. I speak no willing falsehood. However, I claim no authority for myself. The only authority is He who lives in heaven. But for your question, I do not know what ought to be done to such criminals as it is a matter I have not yet had time to study in full. I am here to learn."
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                      • #12
                        Ah! Confidence and humility! Both human traits indeedindeed. Perhaps there is a bleeding heart under all that armor. Hmm... I, am not here to learn, however much of life is about learning, therefore we are all here to least passively. I caution you: be careful when considering what is hard fact. There are truths that cannot be proven, as well as proven facts that are terribly misleading. Behold, a mystery. This earthen orb is the pip of question mark.

                        Umbris breaks his stare but smiles slightly and gives a quick sideways glance back.

                        Which is better, to kill a murderer and make an example so fewer follow that path ...or forgive him that the one might repent?

                        Umbris now looks serious but not unfriendly.

                        I make no claim of knowledge or argument. I want to hear your honest and equal opinion.

                        Umbris folds his paws on the table listening for yours and the thoughts of others.


                        • #13
                          After Thanatos replies(if he doesn't I'll just go ahead), I'll step forward and say to Umbris, a repented killer could sway more people that had planned to follow the path of treachery a different way, if he so chooses to preach virtue and righteousness after he has corrected his mistake. Also, we must know was the murder one done after planning and knowing, or was it an accident and without thought, either way a repented murderer would be better than having to execute a man, after all people controlled by fear are oft unhappy and sometime unpredictable, I think attempting to help a man repent or to forgive him would always be the just thing to do, if at all possible.
                          Last edited by ForrestGump; 09-20-2015, 02:45 PM. Reason: text colour won't turn red


                          • #14
                            Benir the Fair chimes in: "People controlled by a fear great in both magnitude and duration are, I think, as you have said. But a distant fear to stave of distant thoughts, or a sharp fear to counter a sharp anger can be, I think, more effective. Also, a strong period of focused mediation on the ways of avoiding a repeated incident are of value... although that does not differentiate between the prison cell and the Heart-Guardian's tavern-table.

                            ... but it seems I should perhaps explain the Heart-Guardians*. They are be-like to a paladin, but without the daily strength at arms, steed, nor breadth of spells. In Ruceeglaelsktinag they simply go among people, getting to know them, at least by face. Then they take notice when Good is lost, or Evil gained, for their eyes are opened to such things even beyond that of a paladins. They then take such a person aside, and offer their aid to better them, to be freely accepted or rejected. Although they may be persistent in calling out the path of righteousness.

                            Similarly, but to a lesser extent, they advise those whose hearts are fair but unruly in the ways of adapting to have peace with their brothers, or, as a last resort, a Heart-Guardian may grant a letter of passage to The Great Portal that lies in The Welcoming Lair* where they may freely find passage to Freeman's Land.

                            But greater still is their joy when they can see Evil fade, or Good grow from indifference!

                            ...Pardon my loquacity, I fear I got a bit off-topic."

                            *(This is an actual character class, although one too weak for PCs.)
                            **(A name, or at least nickname for the capital of Ruceeglaelsktinag.)


                            • #15
                              My character first replies to Benir (and, by extension, Razzik):
                              "Fear not, Elf, for I am no stranger to sesquipedalian loquaciousness. I would question, however, the placating of barbarism via fear. For it seems that this method is a two-edged sword. On one hand, fear may prevent barbarians and the like from rabble-rousing, but, on the other hand, it may further cement their hatred of righteousness. For fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. The general way to avoid evil and barbarism is to make the path of good easier and more convenient, and the path of evil harder and more inconvenient to follow. The only debate, it seems, is in interpreting this general rule and putting it into practice. In my experience, trade and mutual exchange is the best way for two cultures to interact with each other peacefully, with violence being only an option in answer to aggression. This can be similarly applied on the personal level."

                              My character now replies to Umbris:
                              "Thus, what would I see done to a murderer? Well, that depends very much on the circumstances. One who murders out of the evil of his own heart, and who enjoys and revels in it is clearly and unequivocally deserving of the most severe punishments known to man. Whereas someone who commits murder out of desperation, and/or who comes to recognise the immorality of their actions would warrant a lesser penalty."
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