A Sophisticated Victory!

Despite a minor interruption, the Sophists of the Seat narrowly beat the Ashen Advocates in our final debate of the Worlds' Fair, earning honours for themselves and accolades for Ashtan! Read on to see how they did it!

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "This final topic that our teams will be discussing is 'In the wake of the War of Humanity, The punishment of Khalas was just.' Each has been given a few months to prepare their arguments."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "The Ashen Advocates, chosen through random selection, will be our affirmative team. The Sophists will be our opposing team."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Excellent! With that said, we will begin with the Advocates's opening statements."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Sothantos, the floor is yours!"

Sothantos steps forward.

Sothantos gestures slightly, and the scene around you changes. You find yourself in the centre of a familiar village, the plain of flattened grass upon which you stood now barren dirt.

The statue of Khalas the Wanderer looms before you, defiance etched into His stone features. As you gaze upon him, you hear the voice of the Logos echoing in your mind.

"Such fate befalls all those who wage war against the Creator."

The image fades, and you find yourself once again in the flattened remnants of what was once the Worlds' Fair.

Sothantos says, "The War of Humanity was an act of treason, the highest form of treason imaginable: the betrayal of the Creator and thus Creation itself. For this crime, Khalas the Wanderer, the first of the Triumvirate, was imprisoned inside a statue, sentenced to serve as a warning to any who would contemplate following His lead."

Sothantos says, "There are those among us who would see the Wanderer freed, claiming that His crimes were not deserving of such a fate. The Cult of the Fallen God has long lobbied for His restoration. They paint Khalas as a martyr, unjustly sentenced for wanting to free Creation from the yoke of a tyrannical dictator."

Sothantos glances briefly at Asmodron.

Sothantos says, "These viewpoints are fundamentally flawed."

Sothantos says firmly, "Ayar, the Creator, Who also took the form of Proteus, is the Divine will behind all that we are. Without Him, we would not be here today to argue against His actions. Without Him, Khalas would not have even existed to rebel against His rule. To attempt to overthrow the Creator is a futile assault upon Creation itself, for He is the omnipotent force behind all that is."

Sothantos says, "Ayar's will is law by virtue of His will determining reality. He created Evil, just as He created Good. He created Chaos, just as He created Creation. He created Justice, and He created free thought. Our very notions of justice stem from Him and His will."

Sothantos says, "The purpose of Justice - envisioned by the Creator Himself to protect His creations - is twofold: First, a consequence is imposed after unJust actions to deter others from performing such acts in the future. Second, given that such acts are crimes against Creation, an equal moral counteraction ought to exist."

Sothantos spreads one arm, an image of the Scales of Justice shimmering in the air above his outstretched palm

Sothantos says, "Treason is one of seven unJust acts prescribed by the Goddess of Justice Herself, Lady Miramar, the Evenhanded. To counteract an unJust act and achieve Justice, a Just act is required: in this case, punishment."

Sothantos says, "The punishment chosen for Khalas satisfies both of the goals of Justice. As a deterrent, what could be more effective than eternal imprisonment, applied not to a mere mortal but to one of the Elder Gods Themselves? This is further emphasised by the publicity of the display, the permanent fixture of warning to all who lay eyes upon it."

Sothantos says, "Moreover, Khalass sentence was an equal moral counteraction to the heinous crimes Khalas committed. He rebelled against Proteus, and was sentenced to serve Proteus in whichever capacity He saw fit as a consequence. The punishment relates to the wrongful deed and serves to right it."

Sothantos says, "Bearing these objectives in mind, it is evident that the punishment of Khalas was just. Khalas was granted mercy when He was not destroyed utterly for His crimes. His fate, to forever serve as a warning and reminder to all the folly of a rebellion against the Creator, is exactly what He deserves."

Sothantos gives Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum a short nod and steps back.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you, Sothantos."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Truax, your opening statements please, when you're ready."

Truax clenches a closed fist to her heart and inclines her head politely, looking up to smile softly toward the judge and audience.

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Ladies, gentlemen, our esteemed judge, thank you all for your attendance. We're here to discuss whether the punishment of Khalas was fair and just. I have to say that, on that basis, I am not in favour of the chosen penalty inflicted."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "At the Great Tribunal for his crimes, Lady Miramar decided that it was fitting that Khalas be forced to forever serve Proteus, the main object of Their rebellion. This was to be done in whatever context Proteus chose. Imprisonment in a statue upon the continent of Sapience was the elected penalty."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "There are several possible justifications for a penalty of this type, including the well-known reason that it is "a reminder to all of the folly of rebellion against the Creator."

Truax frowns and says insistently in a soft-spoken voice, "But therein lies the problem with it."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "First, let us be clear that the imposition of the original penalties meted out to the other Triumvirate members were intended for rehabilitation. We see this evidenced through the pardons issued to both Lady Lorielan and Lord Agatheis, who in the time since have both realized the wrongness of Their actions and been redeemed."

Truax frowns and says unrelentingly in a soft-spoken voice, "However, the retribution issued against Khalas was not intended to teach him the same lessons learned by his compatriots or rehabilitate him toward such a state, but to serve as an example to others."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Simply stated, a punishment as a penalty for an action taken, is only just if it results in a change in behaviour. Otherwise, it fails to meet the conditions that qualify it as an act taken in retribution for an offense."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "The second point I'd like to make this month is this: The penalty imposed upon Khalas does not fit the norms of the other sentences handed out either in time or state. It was therefore unfair in its measure."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "The other two members of the Triumverate were given finite penalties. Lady Lorielan's banishment and Lord Agatheis' transfiguration into a unicorn were both ended in our modern age, but the Creator has made mention that, even eons later, Khalas has not yet begun to pay for his crimes, indicating that his sentence may be an eternal one."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Similarly, Lady Lorielan was given Han-Silnar to take Her frustrations out on throughout Her banishment to the Crystal plane, where she was able to rule over it still as the Jade Empress. Likewise, Lord Agatheis was bound into the form of unicorn, forced to replace the now extinct unicorns by becoming one Himself and stripped of His intelligence, he retained power capable of awakening the Smith from His slumber."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Neither of the chief instigators of the entire conflict, Slith or Pazuzu, were met with as harsh a sentence. Instead, like Lady Lorielan, they were banished. Their place of isolation was the Chaos Plane and then later they were allowed to rejoined Creation to freely roam and wreak havoc that, in at least one case, led to the death of an Elder God."

Truax says worriedly in a soft-spoken voice, "Yet Khalas has had the thing that he found most pleasant and desirable stripped from him without hope of reprieve or pardon. One might even say that this penalty was tortuous as it far surpasses the standards of decency and potential for rehabilitation shown the others, who together plotted to overthrow the reign of Proteus."

Truax looks thoughtful and says in a soft-spoken voice, "Creation has faced many opponents who hoped to devastate it. Some, including Bal'met the Worldreaver, were destroyed. Others, like Slith, were shown mercy. And therein there are the Tsol'teth, who are permitted to continue onward in their quest to disrupt mortal and Divine existence."

Truax glances toward the Savannah, where the statue of Khalas stands, furrowing her brow in concern.

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Khalas continues to stand at the centre of Sapience with the hot sun beating down, the cold rain falling, the leaves and snow piling around him as existence continues onward in an expansion of our discovery of new lands, planes and realms of existence. Immovable, he resides as only an observer of the immediate vicinity, unable to respond to those who gaze upon him or whisper to Him in quiet, steadfast devotion."

Truax frowns and says forlornly in a soft-spoken voice, "He is forever forced to watch others come and go freely."

Casting a final sorrowful glance toward Tomacula, Truax adjusts her mantle, drawing the audience's attention back to her as well.

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "The punishment on these grounds is unfair. Although there were Three who took key roles in the War of Humanity, and several other lesser parties such as Slith and Pazuzu, only one of the Triumvirate members still bears the brunt of Proteus' retribution."

Truax says resolutely in a soft-spoken voice, "Punishment, when meted out fairly and justly, can work to condition mortals and Divine alike not to repeat misdeeds. It can be a powerful disincentive to bad behaviour."

Truax says unwaveringly in a soft-spoken voice, "However, because of the discrepancy in forms of punishment and length of time for members of the Triumvirate, the penalty given Khalas is ill-fitting and, arguably, should be reviewed for discontinuation."

Truax clenches a closed fist to her heart and inclines her head politely, moving to the side of her teammate.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Thank you, Truax!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Well said, teams. With the opening statements now complete, we shall move into our secondary statements."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Farrah, the floor is yours."

Farrah nods and steps forward.

Farrah says, "The major basis of the opposition's argument is the alleged inability for Khalas to be rehabilitated, which allegedly also differs from the punishments meted out to the other Triumvirs."

Farrah says, "This argument is rooted in an erroneous assumption - first, that Khalas's punishment differs from Lord Agatheis's at all in this regard."

Farrah says, "Lord Agatheis was confined to the form of a unicorn with most of His power and intelligence stripped, and yet the Logos was able to divine His intentions and thoughts and know when He was reformed. Agatheis has since that time acted as an opponent of Chaos and thus protector of Creation - up until the moment He sacrificed Himself to save us all from the monstrosity that was Balmet."

Farrah says, "Ayar specifically cautioned to not destroy Khalas utterly, and such was not done."

Farrah says, "Khalas is imprisoned inside a statue, but He was not slain: He yet lives inside it, no doubt precisely so that his thoughts of repentance, if any, could be heard. If the Logos could hear the thoughts of a mute unicorn, it is clear that the Logos could divine His thoughts as well and release Him if He felt it was warranted. That He has not indicates that Khalas is not reformed."

Farrah says, "But let us say, for the moment, that Khalas is -not- able to repent. Were this so, it would aid in the deterrent effect of the punishment, showing future conspirators that they cannot commit crimes of such a magnitude and then simply make amends later and get on with their life."

Farrah says, "In circumstances where the crime is intolerable, a rehabilitative framework is not punishing enough to offenders, as the most crucial purpose of the punishment must be to ensure that no one - god or mortal - dares to ever commit such a crime again."

Farrah says, "Khalas's rebellion attacked the foundation of our existence. The order of the multiverse. Through His recklessness, Khalas and the Triumvirate were also responsible for the invasion of our realm by Entropy and Discord, and the near destruction of the gods."

As she enunciates the last words, anger is apparent on Farrah's features and a tongue of fire escapes from her mouth.

Farrah says, "Such discord, such rebellion, cannot be tolerated at all in our society. And so a punishment that is permanent, that stands as a warning and a reminder for all time, to all people, is appropriate to ensure this never happens again."

Farrah says, "This is the purpose of creating a punishment with seemingly no opportunity for escape or repentance, as it must have appeared before Agatheis was restored, and as it still appears for Khalas without logical thought applied to the matter."

Farrah says, "However, as already noted briefly, Khalas's punishment did not unfairly differ from those of the other Triumvirs."

Farrah says, "The other Divine and Demon Prince were not in an equal position as Khalas such that they should receive the same punishment. After all, Khalas was the first of the three Divine to make the decision to rebel against the leader of the gods. It was Khalas Who listened to the honeyed words of Pazuzu and brought the thought of rebellion to the minds of Lady Lorielan, and then Lord Agatheis. Although Pazuzu played a prominent role, he was not a god and was not betraying his own brethren."

Farrah says, "Moreover, the topic at hand is whether Khalas's punishment was just. It is entirely possible that the punishments received by the other Divine and the Demon Prince were unjust, and were less severe than they should have been. That does not change the fact that Khalas's punishment was just."

Farrah says, "As Lady Miramar once taught, Justice is ultimately about the preservation and defense of Creation and all its components. It is acts against Creation itself that are defined as unJust acts, for they cause harm to the realm at large or to the myriad creations within it."

Farrah says, "It is difficult to imagine, then, an act more unJust - and thus more worthy of punishment - than an act that nearly destroys Creation utterly."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Thank you, Farrah!"

Mathonwy says, "Let me know when I may begin."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Mathonwy, you may begin your secondary statements when ready."

Mathonwy says formally, "I would like to thank the judge, our oppositional team, the audience, and our hosts for their hospitality."

Mathonwy brandishes a vodun doll roughly resembling Lii menacingly.

Mathonwy looks thoughtful and says, "Once more, we have heard a great many arguments as to why we should look upon this gross mishandling of justice and smile."

Mathonwy says dramatically, "In all the Cities of mortality, and as we've seen time and again in the Garden with the trials of Slith and others, justice is considered the crowning glory of virtues, and those who are able to find justice even in situations most might find odious are considered wise without compare. This is because justice -does not- descend from the pinnacle of achievement, no matter the crime, no matter the perpetrator or the victim. It does not yield its crown to any, or else it is not justice."

Mathonwy says emphatically, "Miramar gave full leeway to Ayar to determine how Khalas would serve Proteus -- within the constraints that Ayar did not wish the destruction of any of the leaders. And so Proteus chose this… extreme… form of 'justice,' if we can call it that. Our opponents certainly do."

Mathonwy raises his hands in a gesture of supplication to the very heavens above.

Mathonwy passionately asks, "But truly, 'extreme justice' is extreme injustice, is it not? Else She would be Miramar the Extreme, and not Miramar the Evenhanded. If justice is not fair, it is not justice. And biased, preferential treatment: can that be construed as fair on this or any other world?"

Lowering his hands, Mathonwy punctuates these points with gestures toward the audience.

Mathonwy says forcefully, "We are told in the Mythos that Ayar could not see the future with absolute certainty, so He has no way of knowing whether Khalas would repent or not."

Mathonwy says, "Consider: who else, among all of the leaders, was afforded such a sentence? Not Lorielan, Who was banished -- and spared perhaps harsher treatment because Proteus loved Her, or at least who She was."

Mathonwy asks, "She was, in fact, given to rule over the Kx'Khrah! In which world could authority and command be construed as a punishment?"

Mathonwy says wryly, "Even though, in some of the cities in which I've lived, it can -feel- like punishment."

Mathonwy exclaims, "Nor Agatheis, Who continued on with His will and wit, albeit in the form of a unicorn!"

Mathonwy says, "Not completely devoid, just diminished."

Mathonwy says in an exasperated tone of voice, "Neither -Slith- nor -Pazuzu-, the chief instigators of the entire conflict, who were banished instead to the Chaos Plane, and who would, in their time, be granted reprieve back to the Prime Material Plane."

Mathonwy says solemnly, "This last exception is particularly damning, for justice must be meted out in proportion to the crime. In this case, we have come to learn later through the Mythos and other works that Pazuzu played a much greater role in manipulating this sad but proud Wanderer, and that while He played a role, it was moreso as a puppet and One to take the blame."

Mathonwy pauses a moment, staring at nothing in particular to gather his thoughts.

Mathonwy says, "Let us consider that inscription upon the statue of Khalas: 'such fate befalls all who wage war against the Creator.' Are these words truth? Because I cannot think of another soul -- human, Aldar, or otherwise -- who befell such a cruel fate."

Mathonwy says, "Of Miramar, I have read tales of the Scales of Justice, the Sword of Judgement, and the Sceptre of Mercy. I have heard nothing of the Gaze of a Basilisk or a Hammer of Petrification. There is no reason to think of that Khalas should be locked forever in place, eternally paralysed and stripped of any and all reasoning capabilities."

Mathonwy says, "Indeed, I would posit that there is little to no redemptive value in the punishment meted out here, something that Miramar claimed for Her realm when She joined with Shallam. There are two reasons, typically, that such a thing would be done: one, to serve as an object lesson, that we might prevent such behaviour from happening again. That has failed, since at the very least, we have seen members of the Garden attempt insurrection via Bal'met and none were punished so severely."

Mathonwy says, "And two, for rehabilitative purposes, that the object of punishment would come to see the error of His ways. Clearly… such a thing is not possible now. Even, and especially if, Khalas maintains his cognitive faculties, He has no way to indicate His remorse, or lack thereof."

Mathonwy says, "Indeed, noble Sarapis, the Logos Himself, tends to the Fire Behind the Flame, and though I am grateful for the sacrifices He has made to ensure we may continue living, nevertheless I cannot help but feel the warden has left the prison entirely, since tending to the Flame, in His words, leaves little else He may do."

Mathonwy says in a measured tone of voice, "Finally, the War of Humanity is not something I'm here to defend. But since the topic says that this punishment is just -in the wake of the war of humanity-, I feel it merits some discussion. If I were to place myself in the shoes of the Wanderer, I would look at the reasons He did what He did and attempt to find the reasoning there."

Mathonwy says, "Khalas, in this case, saw the preferential treatment afforded humanity, something that was unprecedented, and while He reacted understandably poorly, His motives come from a place of lacking information. If He were to see the state of affairs today, I have no doubt He would do as His Brethren have done and show remorse."

Mathonwy frowns and says, "And yet, the possibility for that redemption is lost to us, forever, because Khalas cannot express it, and because Sarapis is not here to reconsider."

Mathonwy says, "This is not justice. This is torture. This is -vengeance-."

Mathonwy exclaims in an impassioned tone of voice, "This is -perversion-!"

Mathonwy says quietly in an impassioned tone of voice, "And in this lowly orator's opinion, our judge, our audience, and even the Garden of the Gods Themselves should not view this treatment as fair, just, reasonable, or even acceptable."

Mathonwy steps back to stand next to Truax.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Well done, Mathonwy. That concludes our secondary statement phase."

Mathonwy says, "I believe I am up next. Nissa, if you will let me know when to start."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "We will now being our rebuttal phase. Each team will have slightly less time to issue a rebuttal as they see fit. Sophists can begin when ready, starting with Mathonwy."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum nods her head emphatically.

Mathonwy says, "Thank you all again, judge, Advocates, audience."

Mathonwy says, "There does not exist separate justices, 'one for me and one for thee' as old Seleucarians might have said. Khalas's treatment was unusually harsh, over and above that of His fellow Triumvirate members and even Pazuzu, who historians now hold primarily responsible for the instigation of the War in the first place."

Mathonwy says, "Ayar wanted all parties involved to remain alive, but Khalas remains petrified, robbed of agency and ignobly dropped in a primitive village to serve out His life. Nobody could reasonably suggest He remains alive. He is the only one involved to suffer this fate."

Mathonwy moves to a centre position.

Mathonwy says, "This is not justice."

Mathonwy says, "Furthermore, in order to be just or fair, the punishment must suit the crime. He was not even the principal coordinator of the rebellion -- we know He was manipulated by Pazuzu. Yet Pazuzu received a lesser sentence."

Mathonwy gestures toward the audience.

Mathonwy says, "-This- is not justice."

Mathonwy says, "The War of Humanity exacerbated some changes that had already taken effect, but it was not the prime cause of any particular noteworthy change that would merit a different consideration or standard of punishment than anyone else Who was involved, nor did Khalas's involvement reach a threshold that merits Him worthy a harsher consideration than the rest of the Triumvirate received. On its very face, this is unfair."

Mathonwy pauses a moment, staring at nothing in particular to gather his thoughts.

Mathonwy says, "This -cannot be- justice."

Mathonwy says, "Everyone else involved in the War was given the opportunity to make amends, to understand and appreciate what They had done. Even those who were steadfastly unrepentant -- namely Slith and Pazuzu -- were only banished, and found their way in short order back to the Prime Material Plane."

Mathonwy says, "Either Ayar knew this would happen, in which case their escape to the Prime Material Plane happened with His sanction and blessing for it certainly would have been within His power to prevent it, and He allowed Khalas to be treated differently, unfairly, and unjustly, or Ayar did not know this would happen, in which case He, Proteus, Miramar, all involved would have had no reasonable way to know Khalas would not repent."

Mathonwy says, "In which case, that is also unfair and unjust treatment."

Mathonwy says, "Sothantos has stated that Khalas committed treason, that Ayar created Khalas and Khalas betrayed Ayar. But Khalas was not the only one involved in the War, not by far, nor did He play the greatest role. Ayar created -all- of them and yet Khalas was the only one given this punishment. Not destroying Khalas, too, was not mercy, for Ayar allowed the Tribunal knowing He did not want any to lose their lives. This is not fair nor just, merely the baseline He chose."

Mathonwy gestures first to Sothantos then to Farrah.

Mathonwy says, "Farrah has stated that Agatheis's and Khalas's punishment is no different, but this is factually untrue. Having almost no power and intelligence is very different from having no power and intelligence, or else we would not build cities out of rocks."

Mathonwy says wryly, "Imagine all the screaming, for one."

Mathonwy says, "She also claims that His punishment has the nice added effect of ensuring nobody every tries to betray Creation again, but that's patently untrue. Varian. Bal'met. Slith, multiple times. Pazuzu, more than once. And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head."

Mathonwy says, "Entropy and Discord had their manifestation in the form of Pazuzu, it should be noted, so whether they made it into the realm or not, they still had agency here. And the powers of the demons in the Inferno are akin to the Gods themselves, so there's little to no distinction to be made here. Furthermore, Chaos itself had already had its foothold into Creation, so we cannot say Entropy and Discord wouldn't have made their way in otherwise. That door, per Ayar, once opened, cannot be closed."

Mathonwy gestures finally toward Jiraishin.

Mathonwy says, "I do not yet know what Jiraishin could state, but nothing is enough to prove, demonstrably, that this was a fair or just outcome."

Mathonwy says quietly, "If there is not justice in the world, then we have nothing."

Mathonwy says, "Thank you. I cede the rest of my time."

Mathonwy silently strides back into the crowd.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Well said, Mathonwy. Thank you."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Adovcates, you will close out our debate with your rebuttal. Jiraishin, the floor is yours!"

Jiraishin nods curtly and steps forward.

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Many points have been made that may be rebutted. I only hope I have enough time to reach them all."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Firstly, the statement that Khalas is dead."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Khalas is encased in His statue. There is no reason to believe He is not aware within it."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Immortal that He is, why should one assume Him dead of old age?"

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "If He is alive and ware, then He is able to repent."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "And Sarapis, during his long presence here, would have been able to sense this, and release Him. He did not, though Agatheis did."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Therefore, Khalas has not repented."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Secondly, the knowledge that Khalas -would- repent was not necessary for the possibility of repentance to exist."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Any more than it was with Agatheis."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Thirdly, Khalas -was- uniquely deserving of this punishment. He was the ringleader, and He engaged in uniquely terrible deeds."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Take, for example, his treatment of Enheduanna."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "He cruelly sold Her to Pazuzu, bringing about Her ruin."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Other points have mostly been addressed by Farrah: Mathonwy mostly repeated the points of Truax."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And that is time!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you, Jiraishin."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "With that, our final debate is over. Please give our teams a well deserved round of applause!"

Comment on post...

Retardation destroys Ashen Advocates!

In a startling turn of events, the Sophists did not show for the third debate! But the hastily formed team Retardation offered to step up to the plate in debate!

Team Retardation vs Ashen Advocates - Polygamy, as exercised by the Fae.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Since Team Ret has volunteered to argue for our topic, we shall begin with Emalyna's opening statement. The floor is yours!"

Emalyna says in a sweet and innocent voice, "Polygamy as practiced by the Fae, promotes a group mentalality, equality amoungst their group and reproduction with the strongest males garnering the favours of more women."

Emalyna says in a sweet and innocent voice, "With this, the men nor the women know who fathered the children so, all are equally protective and nurturing of the young, providing more than adequate care and tending."

Emalyna says in a sweet and innocent voice, "This can also be seen in their defense of their homes and lands, working together to protect their combined interests."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And time! Thank you Emalyna."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Farrah of the Ashen Advocates, the floor is ready for your opening statement, when ready."

Farrah says, "Marriage is about stability and mutual respect. Polygamy, as practiced by the Fae encompasses neither of these things."

Farrah says, "The royal family of the Sidhe Court is there to rule, to lead its people, to keep order and promote justice and progress, as is any leadership of any society. It cannot achieve this purpose if it is internally at war with itself."

Farrah says, "Yet, Oberions choice to take two wives has done nothing but destabilize the very ruling family of Annwyn."

Farrah says, "Rhyannon banishes any who dares to attempt to share Oberion with her. Titania plots to overthrow and replace her, and so does Faylinn, the other prospective wife desperate for Oberions affections."

Farrah says, "This is worse yet when there is a fountain of wishes to facilitate the internal war of wives."

Farrah says, "Even if the wives do not plot against each other, their mutual animosity is harmful to the kingdom as a whole. The ruling class must present a unified front for the people to ensure continued faith in their reign. Any weakness in the ruling class will inspire doubt in the citizens, amplifying any civic discord already present in the kingdom."

Farrah says, "But marriage is also about respect for ones partner. It is a bond of mutual benefit and satisfaction between willing partners."

Farrah says, "This notion is thrown out the window when one partner takes additional wives against the will of the other."

Farrah says, "You contend that polygamy promotes equality, but what it actualy promotes is patriarchy. Oberions wives clearly have little say in their circumstance. It is all about his pleasure, and not their desires."

Farrah says, "As practiced by the Fae, it appears more the case that one male has multiple wives than the other way around. Thus, the father of any children is known, and there is no benefit of equal circumstances given to society as a whole, either."

Farrah says, "Put simply, polygamy, as practiced by the Fae is not a practice that is beneficial to society. It is delightful only to Oberion."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And that is time! Thank you, Farrah."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Asani! It is now time for your secondary statement, when ready."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "My opponent's claims are rooted in beliefs about marriage that we, who generally live in societies less influenced by bloodline, are able to hold as a result of our differing ruling systems."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "Polygamy, as a system, does not inherently bring harm to any of those involved. It's been practiced within our own culture as well, most notably by Nicator, when Sapience was ruled by monarchies and royal families."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "Nicator was married to several wives, and used his marriages to bring peace and stability to the Seluecarian Empire, through ensuring his line was continued and bringing together different kingdoms."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "Seeing as it contributed to our own culture's golden age, there's little evidence to suggest that for the fae, for whom it's significantly more ingrained, it will inherently have a different result."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "Oberion, considering his status, would be able to use this system for the same purpose. For the fae, this is an ingrained part of their culture, and cultural institutions are often preserved due to providing stability to the culture they are a part of."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "That said, I do not contend that Oberion himself has succeeded in this goal, but that is the failing of an indivudal, not the system. It would be equally fallacious to claim that Verrucht's rule in Cyrene has proven democracy to be a complete failure."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "I would remind my opponents that the topic is polygamy practiced by the fae, and not just by an individual in their society."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "And indeed, this is better than the alternative, and a monogamous system would not prevent such plotting, and would make it worse, as one unwise as Oberion could easily end up divorcing and remarrying, tearing apart the marriages that hold his kingdom together."

Asani says in a measured, alto voice, "Using moral arguments from a culture not dependent on such a system is flawed at best, and can lead to political instability and downfall at worst."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And time! Thank you Asani."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Sothantos, you may begin with your
secondary statements when you're ready."

Sothantos says, "The proposition has suggested that polygamy is a widespread part of fae culture. They have not raised any evidence that this is in fact a common practice in their realm."

Sothantos says, "If polygamy were as widely practiced there as it is claimed, then surely Rhyannon, who would have been raised in this culture, would not hold such animosity towards Titania. Being raised in an environment that teaches the virtues of polygamy would have given her an open mind to sharing Oberion."

Sothantos says, "The opposition has also brought up Nicator as a good example of polygamy. The topic is polygamy practiced by the fae."

Sothantos says, "What evidence we do have shows clearly that polygamy, as practiced by the fae, simply does not work."

Sothantos says, "The kingdoms led by each wife are tenuously united by the tenuous ties between angry partners. Plotting and scheming and murder are commonplace."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you, Sothantos."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "With the end of the secondary statements, we now begin the rebuttal phase."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Jiraishin, the floor is yours, when ready."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "As Sothantos stated briefly, no examples can be easily found by an adventurer in Annwyn of Sidhe polygamy beyond Oberion."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "In fact, when I myself mentioned the debate topic of 'polygamy as practiced by the Fae' to the Sidhe delegation, -their- immediate thought was of the royal couple."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "So. We must consider the example at hand."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Not merely a moral concern, but a great political one."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "The marriages of rulers bind polities together. Such is the case of Titania and Oberion, binding Sidhe Court to Dryad Garden."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Now imagine if Titania is assassinated."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Imagine the strife that would result."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "An inversion of the increased stability that was initially promised."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "-This- is what is created by the current situation of two wives at odds."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Personal motives, political consequences."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Made more dire by Sidhe magic and a well of wishes."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "It is not abstract matters of 'equality' or the strongest offspring from the maximum number of women at hand. It is the peace and stability of a land, the strength of diplomatic bonds, and the symbolism of rulers at odds."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Time is up! Thank you Jiraishin."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Tesha, you will be our final speaker this month. You may begin with your rebuttal when ready."

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "The arguments of my dear citymates are based upon only a select few of the Fae: Rhyannon, Oberion, Titania, and Faylinn … of the fae…"

Gesturing grandly with both hands, Tesha flails her arms around in what she considers to be a persuasive manner.

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "While yes, they may be super suspicious, schemeing, silly, sinful, and seditious, this shows only part of the culture of the fae. Faylinn is clearly angry, and tenuous plots are rampant in the land of Annwyn."

Pacing back and forth, Tesha forgets she holds a living vodun doll of Farrah in her hand, and shakes it around continuously as she speaks, completely oblivious to any effects this may have on Farrah.

Tesha screams in a mellifluous voice, "HOWEVER!"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "They fail to acknowledge the OTHER fae. No! They suggest polygamy is NOT common practice, and that it does NOT work, and that it is rampant with jealousy, animosity, and political plots!"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "It clearly does work, as there are nearly limitless fae. If it "doesn't work", how are they still able to reproduce?"

Sothantos gives Farrah a concerned look.

Tesha screams in a mellifluous voice, "HMMMMMM?!"

Tesha exclaims in a mellifluous voice, "Well do I have news for you!!"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "I have adventured to meet Mirna during the time alloted for research."

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "I have come to suspect Mirna ACTUALLY comes from the land of NYWNNA."

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "In Nywnna, it is the women who rule! It is the women who are the patriarchy!"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "…"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "It is the women who are the matriarchy!"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "If you inspect her name carefully, one might discover Mirna's true identity. The secret she has possibly kept all these years!"
Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "Not only is polygamy GREAT in her opinion, laughter is vital to the cause!"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "It is clearly all based on laughter. Laughter is currency is Nywnna."

Tesha nods her head, twice.

As Tesha squeezes the vodun doll, Farrah turns slightly blue, but obviously attempts to conceal it.

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "This is evidenced by her bodyguard asking for all of my laughter. Clearly there is no other reason for this, so the only logical conclusion is that it is a form of currency."

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "Now how can a system rampant with jealousy and animosity and all these other negative things simultaneously be held up by the currency of laughter?"

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "The only possible conclusion is that there is no jealousy, or animosity, or any other negative thing. Polygamy is awesome, like Mirna would probably say."

Jiraishin hides his face in his gauntleted hands, emitting faint choked noises.

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "In NYWNNA, everything is GREAT."

Tesha leans down a little bit and lowers her voice to a stage-whisper, offering a hushed cadence while still remaining audible.

Tesha whispers in a mellifluous voice, "Is Mirna the secret identity of the queen of the Fae in Nywnna, the land of which is run by polygamy? Does she hail from a civilisation that hinges on laughter as a form of currency?"

Tesha exclaims in a mellifluous voice, "Maybe! We can only speculate. Naturally she would never admit to such a possibility, for that very fact may put her in danger!"

A smartly-dressed, tiny halfling child looks incredibly confused as he stares at Tesha.

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "All of this and more is CLEAR and IRREFUTABLE evidence that polygamy, as practiced by the fae, is great."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And time! Thank you Tesha for those…final remarks."

Tesha says in a mellifluous voice, "I rest my case."

Jiraishin uncovers his face, staring at Tesha with a mixture of horror and what must be amusement.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "With that, our third debate round is over. Well done teams, please give them a round of applause!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "I will now begin tallying the final scores. Please give me a few moments as I examine my notes."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum stares off to the sky for a moment, mumbling to herself while counting up the scores.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Before I reveal this month's winner, I want to thank Team Ret for stepping up to challenge the Ashen Advocates. Please give them a big round of applause for answering the call to action!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "With that said, I am pleased to announce…"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Team Ret has taken this round! Congratulations!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you all for joining me and I hope to see you again at the finale. The Ashen Advocates will be squaring off against the Sophists of the Seat! The final topic will be, 'The punishment of Khalas, in the wake of the War of Humanity, was fair and just.'"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Through random selection, Advocates will be in favour of the topic, while the Sophists will be opposed. Please take this time before the finale to prepare wisely."

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Auctions!

Treasure chest and skull

We've just put a stack of gold and credit auctions live! These will close at the start of July the 22nd so get your bids in and don't miss out!

For Credits:

1 - A Portable Sojourn Table

2 - Cloak of many feathers - Owner can track without class or race restrictions!

3 - Phylactery of sixth sense - Grants its owner MINDNET

4 - Any Legend Deck card, your choice!

5 - Any completed promotional talisman, your choice!

6 - Level 3 artefact armour with innate morphing

7 - Resilient translucent mask - A resetting version of the translucent mask! 

For Gold!

8 - Any level 1 talisman piece, your choice!

9 - Five Legend Deck sleeves

10- Five bloodstained shards of enamel

11- Five pages for the Tome of Muses!

12- Any minipet from our various COLLECTIONS

13- A resetting "heart-shaped candy box" as sold by the Sidhe at the Worlds' Fair!

14- An out of subdivision house plot at "A clearing overlooking the Urubamba"

15- A Delosian shop! Rousseau's Dozing Dragon (south of Western Epitus Avenue) has become available. All names can be changed! 

See HELP AUCTIONS for all commands, and check out the information on each auction for more details! If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ISSUE ME <your question> and we'll do our best to answer!

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Sophists Win Debate 2!

In our second debate of the week, the Sophists of the Seat rallied to win against the Ashen Advocates. They meet again tomorrow for a final practice round before the big debate on Sunday!

Sophists of the Seat vs Ashen Advocates – Civilisation is an abuse of the natural world.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Ok teams, your prep time is up! Please take your positions. We'll begin with our affirmative team, Sophists of the Seat."

Truax nods her head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Truax, you may begin your opening statement whenever you're ready."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Greetings, honoured judge, guests, and other attendees. It is a pleasure to address you once again. Today we address the topic of "Civilisation, existing as an abuse of the natural world.""

Truax frowns and says in a soft-spoken voice, "Creation was created with a purpose, and Nature is the manifestation of that purpose. Existing as part of an equilibrium, one little change in the natural world can lead to mass extinction."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Intrusion upon Nature throws off that balance by taking more than it contributes. This is the very essence of civilization's abuse."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Civilizations include those communities that sentient beings create for themselves, which sets them apart from the plant and animal kingdoms of our realm. Creatures of nature have no consciousness and therefore cannot intentionally harm the natural world."

Truax frowns and says in a soft-spoken voice, "Whereas civilisation is dependent upon the natural world for its growth and development."

Truax mimics grabbing unseen objects in front of her petite form.

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Taking, taking, taking always and never giving back more in its place, civilisation is always hungry for more progress and rarely generous with its returns. And as a result, this persistent abuse is setting our world up for impending disaster."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Gaia, the Wildwood Queen is the Goddess of Nature. She is a manifestation of the natural world and She and Lady Artemis are its protectors. The Pair wield the tenacious power of the natural world. The falsities of civilisation's iron and stone are revealed in Their presence."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "We hope too that it is today in yours."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you, Truax."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Sothantos, the floor is now yours for an opening statement, if you are ready."

Sothantos says, "Social organization is a part of the natural world, found in forms as diverse as a termite colony or a wolf pack. What is called 'civilization' is merely a specific form of social organization practiced by sapients."

Sothantos says, "While specific civilizations in specific situations can act abusively towards the world around them, civilization in its essence is no more intrinsically abusive than any other social order."

Sothantos says, "Civilization is a natural product of Creation: when Ayar created the world, He did not only create Gaia but also Phaestus."

Sothantos says, "You would not claim that ants, beavers, monkeys, and crows are not part of the natural world. Ants live in a strictly stratified society, farm aphids, and even go to war with other colonies. Beavers construct dams, directly changing the landscape around them as they create lakes through blocking the rivers. Monkeys, crows, and I am sure countless other species of animals are capable of rudimentary trade."

Sothantos says, "What, then, is sentient civilization but a higher form of these naturally occurring structures? We should not think of civilization as some entity separate from the natural world, but rather as part of it. It may be true that civilization changes the world around it, but this is a quality inherent to all life that interacts with other life, as true for the ant or the wolf as it is the human or xoran."

Sothantos says, "This is not abuse. It is simply the natural evolution of ecosystems. We do not say that the beaver abuses the natural world when he builds his dam."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you Sothantos."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Now for our secondary statements. Lii, the floor is yours!"

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "Civilisation, communities of iron and stone, are abusive when they take more away from the world around us. Regarding the Dwarves whom Lord Phaestus Created, there is a clan that coexists with Nature. The reality is simply this."

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "Civilisations destroy nature and their surrounding environements to mold the world to what they want. There is no gain as plants are destroyed. There is little given back in the form of waste and other services."

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "Looking at the natural world itself and the groups within it, wolves, though not sentient, do not act as we do."

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "They cull the weak of the herd and the sickly. They leave behind markings. The ensure that the plants remain and thrive that herds and other groups of animals would utterly destroy in their hunger remain."

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "Nature IS a system of balance. Also, when have you ever seen animals mine ore, build roads, and destroy homes in order to push themselves ahead? Some of these buildings in our civlisation aren't even used."

Lii steps back with her hands folded outwards.

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "There is only so much destruction civilisation can do before it destroys not only the world around it, but also ultimately destroys itself as the food supplies and materials that nature provides are consumed wholy."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you very much, Lii."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Farrah of the Ashen Advocates, the floor is now yours."

Farrah says, "As my compatriot stated before me, Creation was made by Ayar with myriad aspects. Although Lady Gaia was created to represent Nature, Lord Phaestus, for example, could be said to represent Industry."

Farrah says, "This is, in fact, crucial to Creation's purpose. Indeed, Lords Proteus and Phaestus went through great lengths to create Their masterpiece - sentient life. And surely, the existence and advancement of such life is crucial to Creation's ultimate purpose."

Farrah says, "Yet, civilisation was defined by your first speaker as "those communities sentient beings create for themselves," as distinguished from "creatures of nature" with "no consciousness.""

Farrah says, "To deride civilisation is to deride the masterpiece of the Creator and advocate for the reduction of Creation to a stale, thoughtless world. A tragedy, if there ever could be one."

Farrah says, "One of your speakers further implied that consciousness was important because those without consciousness may not "intentionally" destroy the world around them. Yet civilisation can hardly be said to "intentionally" do such, either. Civilisation strives to advance, not to harm."

Farrah says, "But civilisation need not inherently lead to the extinction of the natural, and certainly not the useful aspects of Nature."

Farrah says, "Indeed, civilisation cannot take from the natural world, because civilisation is an extension of the natural world."

Farrah says, "Your argument is premised on a dream of how Nature acts. Animals will slaughter far more lesser creatures than they can eat."

Farrah says, "They know nothing of balance. They destroy, as much as any."

Farrah says, "However, they are often limited by capabilities, not desire or lack of impulse."

Farrah says, "Ecosystems right themselves through starvation and death. Cities create new ecosystems in the same way."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And that's time! Thank you Farrah."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "We shall now begin with the rebuttals. Jirashin, you may begin when ready."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Lii is correct in describing the results of a scenario in which civilization abuses its surroundings: the civilization itself will fall. This is exactly the same, in fact, as the process that keeps wolves from overrunning their prey populations, or prey from outpacing their plant-based food sources."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "When a system is unsustainable, it dies back to sustainable levels."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "This is true for deer. This is true for wolves. This is true for sapient beings and their cities. There is no difference of essence here."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "In truth, it is only a matter of scale. The results are certainly grander to observe, like the difference in scale between a great temple and a beaver dam."

Jiraishin frowns and says with a harsh Western accent, "But merely because it looks impressive does not make it fundamentally different."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Civilization acts in analogous ways to smaller-scale organizations in nature because it -is- part of nature."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "It is its own ecosystem. It survives or perishes according to its ability. The destruction it wreaks, when it does so, is hapless: the creation outside its borders, equally so."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Both exist, in balance."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "And that is Nature."

Jiraishin nods his head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you, Jiraishin."

Mathonwy steps forward, nodding in acknowledgement to the audience, Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum, and the opposition.

Mathonwy asks Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum, "Am I clear to begin?"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And now to our final rebuttal. Mathonwy, when you're ready."

Mathonwy nods his head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Mathonwy says, "Thank you all for attending, and for hearing us argue our cases."

Mathonwy says, "We've heard a lot of arguments for and against, and again, I have faith that the best argument will see its way through."

Mathonwy says, "And indeed, what better argument can be made than that of what the Gods Themselves would advocate? The Logos Himself has stated that animals lack sentience and consciousness. I am confident that, above all, He knows His Creation better than most."

Mathonwy says, "Civilization we've defined as the communities of the sentient and conscious, and abuse as taking advantage of a relationship or taking more than one contributes. Animals cannot knowingly harm the natural world, for they are unaware of the state in which they find themselves. We, on the other hand, we are capable of greatness, but often that greatness manifests itself in pointless, gratuitous destruction."

Mathonwy says, "Destruction for our own benefits, instead of part of a natural cycle of change. Animals cannot act out of nature because, instinctively, as a part of their very essence, they -are- of Nature. Mortality has chosen to separate itself, to hitch its wagon to a different beast entirely."

Mathonwy says, "This is no idle statement or cunning idea I would invent. These are the words of your Logos writ large."

Mathonwy says, "And indeed, civilization as made manifest in the great cities of the world rely upon the natural world to grow. We cut down trees and haul stone from one place to another. We mine for coal and ore, burning and taking what we see fit with little regard for the esteem of those creatures with whom we share the world. We impose our will upon that which has lasted longer than us, and our opposition dares to claim that such things are acceptable."

Mathonwy says flatly, "I have never seen a beaver or a wolf or an ant with a miner's pick or bearded axe. Yet the feats they are capable of are extraordinary in their own right."

Mathonwy says, "As Jiraishin says, when a system is unsustainable, it dies back to sustainable levels. This, like most of their arguments, have the trappings of truth while ignoring the essence of it, which is: mortality are the only beings capable of completely eradicating all life. We've seen many try, in fact: Death's Heart saga, various wars. Extermination efforts. This does not happen in the natural world. There is a sizeable difference."

Mathonwy says, "I will say something, now, that may come across as harsh: we are not anything especially special. Sentience is not a masterpiece. It is simply a different shade of the same colours of Creation, and to afford it a place of privilege is, truly, to deride the magnificent tapestry of which we are all a part."

Mathonwy says wryly, "They would pull the unfairly-shorn wool over your eyes."

Mathonwy says, "For indeed, these creatures do not exist to serve as fuel for our insatiable urges. They have their own purposes."

Mathonwy says, "Ironically, one deviation from that initial purpose, one tweak, can plunge all of us to untimely deaths. We have our place in the natural world, yes, but Civilization is a danger to and abuse of that world, and our opponents would normalise such abuse. Our opponents, in the name of creature comforts, would see everything the Logos has given us dashed upon the rocks of devastation."

Mathonwy says, "Crows may trade and ants may war with each other, but the world has never been in peril because of an ant invasion. To conflate the goings-on of animals in the natural world to the scope and measure of devastation mortality is capable of inflicting is, itself, an abusive proposition."

Mathonwy says, "We have greatness, yes. We are born of it. And we must be careful to maintain that great balance, because in our greatness, we are prone to taking more than we contribute. That is the very nature of abuse, symptomatic of the rise of our modern city-states. Hashan and Cyrene, destroying natural habitats and countless animals. Mhaldor, pervading and ending natural life with its own. Shallam, even now, its ruins polluting the oceans. And Targossas, flooding the plains."

Mathonwy says, "What have these cities given back?"

Mathonwy asks, "When have they cared, even for one moment, about the world about them, or anything other than their own purposes?"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you, Mathonwy."

Mathonwy nods his head at Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And with that, our second debate round is over. Well done teams, well done! Please give our participants a round of applause."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Well spoken."

Mathonwy says, "Well-argued, Advocates."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "I will now begin tallying the final scores. While I'm grading, I would kindly ask the Ashen Advocates and Sophists of the Seat to think if they'd like to return for a third bout next month."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "What a debate. The scores were close in my book. Too close! But there can only be one winning team…"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Sophists of the Seat, you have taken this round!"

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Ashen Advocates Victorious!

In the first of a series of debates facing off against Ashtan's Sophists of the Seat, the Ashen Advocates of Targossas takes the win, read on for the full display...

Ashen Advocates vs Sophists of the Seat - Use of torture as an acceptable interrogation technique.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "The floor is yours, Advocates."

Sothantos says, "The ends justify the means."

Sothantos says, "We live in a world of trying times. Myriad forces seek to subvert or destroy the world we live in. To combat those forces, we must rise to meet them and do what must be done, no matter what that entails. Torture is one such necessity."

Sothantos says, "Regardless of what set of morals or beliefs you subscribe to, every one of us lives by this belief. Every one of you has hunted to gain experience and, in doing so, has weighed the potential value to you above the pain and harm you cause to others. Each city has waged war for its ideals and sent soldiers into battle."

Sothantos says, "If we accept violence in battle as an acceptable means to pursue our goals, then it follows that torture should be similarly condoned in order to maintain a consistent ethical position. How can depriving a person of his life entirely be condoned over causing one pain, particularly in an age when pain can be rectified with a simple health elixir, or a mending salve?"

Sothantos says, "We can observe this principles throughout the world at large. We all have goals that supersede the insignificant inconvenience that is pain."

Sothantos says, "In Targossas, for example, we are sworn to follow the Axioms of Righteousness. If a law prevents you from your task, rewrite it. If a moral gives you pause, expunge it. If a man stands in your way, cut him down. Any obstacle that impedes you is your foe, and the foe of all Creation."

Sothantos says, "The necessity of this Axiom is apparent in these times. Nothing else matters if Creation is not safeguarded."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And… time, Advocates!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you, Sothantos. Sophists, you now have the floor."

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "Greetings, Archivist, guests, and other notables present. Also Sothantos for his statement."

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "I would like to proposition that torture is not an acceptable way of getting information. One. People will do whatever is required to end the agony of torture. This includes saying anything,including false information because they simply do not have the information required. Therefore it stands to reason that the information gained from torture is susceptible at best, non-existent at worst. Therefore the information is not to be trusted. Also, torture as a way to make a statement is ineffectual. In a world where pain and dying are a commonality, where people harm themselves whether by experimentation or training, then the pain involved in torture is fairly insignificant."

Lii says in a cool, smoky voice, "Now, the issue itself is about whether torture is an acceptable form of interrogation, not about necessity, et cetera. Yes, we do what must be done. This is a certainty. However, stating that the ends justify the means is inaccurate. We cannot merely focus upon the present but rather the future also. The actions of today and the gains inherent within it do not deal with the effects they will have on the future. This previous Black Wave as well as the alliances formed and the respect gained shows."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "Time's up, Sophists!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Excellent first round, teams."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum beams broadly.

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Farrah of the Advocates, as the secondary speaker, the floor is yours."

Farrah says, "Your primary arguments go only to the effectiveness of torture, and not its acceptability. Indeed, if it is merely ineffective, there is an implication that it is acceptable. It is simply a matter of how much may be gained from it."

Farrah says, "If there is no or very little to be lost, then even if the gain is minor, it is worthwhile to pursue."

Farrah says, "However, regarding the usefulness of pain, and its ability to pressure. The fact that death is commonplace is precisely what makes torture effective."

Farrah says, "We are accustomed to quick deaths. Quick bouts of pain, easily come, and easily gone."

Farrah says, "We are accustomed to visits with Ugrach."

Farrah says, "But to lie, at one's mercy, for endless time? Never allowed to escape, never allowed any reprieve?"

Farrah says, "Most are not built for such, and all will cave in."

Farrah says, "In the moment, a person only cares about his own convenience, or her own comfort."

Farrah says, "The reliability of the information obtained, further, may be verified and explored after the fact."

Farrah says, "As for your remarks about the importance of the future, the information we gain in the present shapes the future."

Farrah says, "It is unsurprising that you provide no examples to support your claims. No data. You cite the Black Wave, as if what happened supports your argument. Those who did what must be done prevailed. Those who did, lie at the others' feets, bereft of the power of their fonts."

Farrah says, "Those who did not, rather."

Farrah says, "Those who choose to use whatever means will best accomplish their end will always prevail over those who will not."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And that's time, Advocates!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Truax of the Sophists, you may now have the floor, when you're ready."

Truax steps forward and smiles warmly as she touches her fist to her chest in a solemn greeting.

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Thank you, Nissa, for organizing this series of debates. Thank you too to all those who came to observe. May our words fall meaningfully upon everyone's ears."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Our opponents in this debate have propose that torture as an acceptable interrogation technique."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "But torture fails in that specific respect, that is acceptability, because we'd need to define acceptability of an interrogation technique as something that will get you the information you're looking for. I shall explain why it does not and actually yield information this wholly unreliable."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "A point must first be addressed though. Torture as described thus far by our opponents ruins the educational value of this honourable debate because the arguments given thus far are truly extratopical in nature. The topic is the use torture as an interrogation technique. Not the pain and violence caused by hunting, warfare, or the like. The topic is also not the salvation of Creation, which all cities do not equally agree on anyway. It is about torture as an acceptable means of gaining information."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "When someone is tortured, their body is put through such extremes that it assumes death is imminent. The suffering experienced overcomes the will of the individual. This extreme stress and pain creates an unreliable narrator, who will do anything to make the experience end. Any information gained is therefore corrupted by the experience of enduring torture. Coercive interrogation methods disrupt the quality and quantity of any information that might be forthcoming."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "There are other, non-coercive, interrogation techniques which can garner more reliable intelligence. If the goal of an interrogation is to garner information, then the chief objective is to wear down a resistance to sharing it. Guilty, confusion and trickery can be employedto make a detainee more open to suggestion and more likely to comply with demands for information. These alternative tactics will yield more reliable information on the whole than torture."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "Inflicting such stress only to 'need to verify' it afterward shows how inefficient torture truly is. There are so many different, and more reliable, sources to get that info. Telepathy, eavesdropping, mindreading, etc. Torture is truly not needed and not acceptable by any standards of open Warfare today. The effectiveness of torture is directly relevant to its acceptability, because it will overshadow and make much less efficient other torture methods . Nobody will want to help someone inflicting pain on them., There have been no examples of data stated by our opposition to the contrary."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "War is an ineluctable force througout Creation. But it is widely held by all the cities of Sapience that the violence of its conflicts should be maintained at a certain level of intensity and go no further. For example, persons taking no active part in hostilities as army members are deemed untouchable. This criteria is what distinguishes war from lower forms of violence. Brutality has its place on the battlefield. Mercy is a stranger there. But civilized warfare is not without its protections of those who participate and those who do not. In the sameway, the willful torture or inhumane treatment of prisoners of conflict must be disallowed."

Truax says in a soft-spoken voice, "War perpetuates war, and as such torture perpetuates torture. It propagates itself in this way, yielding only the very minor gains of compliance, animosity, and unreliability of information. The information gained, regardless of its reliability will shape the future, but it will be a much more grim horizon than hoped for."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time. Well done on the second round!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "We have made it to the find round of this debate, the rebuttal."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Mathonwy, you will be the final speaker for the Sophists. Whenever you're ready, you may begin."

Mathonwy nods to Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum.

Mathonwy says, "Thank you to our judge, to all gathered, and our opposing team for the challenge."

Mathonwy turns to face the crowd, a pensive look upon his face.

Mathonwy says, "We've heard a lot here today about whether torture is acceptable or not. But at the end of the day, the central theme here is: is it acceptable? Of the arguments offered by the propositional team, very few actually are capable of being rebutted without detracting from the subject at hand, which, we needn't remind, is about the acceptability of torture as an -interrogative- technique."

Mathonwy says, "Should we be penalized for not addressing every wild thought that crosses their minds, relevant or not?"

Mathonwy frowns and says, "I would say that would be grossly unfair."

Mathonwy points accusingly at Sothantos.

Mathonwy says, "We've heard of ends justifying means. Do they? I can only leave it to you to decide, but if the end is to acquire information capable of proving victorious, does the frailty of mortality at all lend credence to this claim? The Advocates say so. I think someone will say something, anything, to save themselves."

Mathonwy says, "Torture as a necessity: toward what end? In our time of mindreading, angels, baalzadeens, serpents who can phase, and telepathy, not to speak of astralform and blackwind, -is- it necessary? Or is it gratuitous?"

Mathonwy says, "In fact, every culture has some kind of prohibition upon gratuitous violence for its own sake. Absent a purpose, that's exactly what it is, and we've outlined there -is- no good purpose for torture. The Advocates have not."

Mathonwy says, "Torture, by the Advocates' own admission, is different to what we might term 'regular' violence."

Mathonwy frowns and says, "Although that we call it such speaks volumes of the mindset of our opponents."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "And time is over for our first rebuttal. Thank you Sophists for your excellent case!"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Jiraishin of the Advocates, the floor is yours, when ready."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Mathonwy is correct on one count. This debate is on torture as an interrogation technique, not an -information gathering- technique. However, those 'alternatives' he listed --phase spying, mind listening, telepathy-- are not, in fact, interrogation techniques."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Interrogation is a form of active information gathering, in fact."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Torture may be considered one of several subtypes, one way among many to conduct in interrogation."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Is it appropriate to every situation? Of course not. Not all individuals have the same handles."

Jiraishin says grimly with a harsh Western accent, "But for some individuals, that handle is indeed extreme and prolonged pain."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Interrogation, in this era of Serpents and Baalzadeens, remains a necessity, and we will conduct it as we must. Torture is not wholly effective, but neither is any other method."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "Ask any spymaster what method is -wholly- reliable, for interrogation. If he or she is competent, you will get no answer."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "There is little more to say. The Ashtani are not above torture. No one is, because it is how we get what we need, when we must."

Jiraishin says with a harsh Western accent, "It is not gratuity, but grim necessity."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "And…time! Well said, Advocates. Well said."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "With the end of that rebuttal, I will now go over my notes and tally up the final scores of our first debate. But before I do, please give our wonderful teams here a worthy round of applause! They both were excellent today."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "Thank you for all waiting. After calculating the scores, a winner has been selected."

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum says, "For use of strong argument, excellent clarity, and consistency among speakers, I have decided that…"

Nissa, the Head Archivist of the Lucretian Athenaeum exclaims, "The Ashen Advocates have won this debate round!"

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Matters of Debate!

Nissa has announced a debate contest for Achaean's to participate in over the coming week!

Beginning on the 4th of Sarapin, 805, I will be hosting a battle of wits in a very special Worlds' Fair debate competition!

Teams of three will face off in glorious combat--not with blade and bow, but with clever prose and keen rhetoric.

Interested individuals should expect the following topics to be discussed:

  • Assisting the Tsol'teth in gaining sample materials.
  • Use of torture as an acceptable interrogation technique.
  • Cities subsidising the general costs of maintenance and repairs for shop owners.
  • Polygamy, as exercised by the Fae.
  • Civilisation, existing as an abuse of the natural world.
  • The punishment of Khalas in the wake of the War of Humanity.

The pairing will be decided through a random drawing, squaring off on the 4th of Sarapin, the 3rd of Daedalan, the 2nd of Aeguary, and the 18th of Scarlatan.

Stances of Proposition and Opposition will be issued prior to the start of the debate. From there, we will follow a strict speaking format:

  • 5 minutes, First Proposition Speaker
  • 5 minutes, First Opposition Speaker
  • 5 minutes, Second Proposition Speaker
  • 5 minutes, Second Opposition Speaker
  • 3 minutes, Opposition Rebuttal
  • 3 minutes, Proposition Rebuttal

During the debate, I will be taking notes to determine who will be our victor for the match, as well as moderating. Winners will proceed each month until our final debate topic concludes!

Teams must be comprised of three able-minded individuals in order to participate, including a primary, secondary, and rebuttal speaker. Please note that at least two members of a team must be present during their scheduled debate times to prevent disqualification. Debate days will be published on the upcoming calendar of events in short order.

Send me a letter of your team's intent on participating, along with a team name and a list of your speakers, no later than Sarapin 1st, 805, to be included in the competition.

Good luck and Gods speed!

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