[!] A thin pamphlet is tacked to Brandybrook’s noticeboard
A Letter of Apology Dear Brandybrook,
I write to the village on behalf of myself, my husband, and our associates. There are few words to express the depth of my regret as I review the incidents of my wedding. The thought of causing violence in this village is unbearable to me, and the fact that my words nearly led to such an end is deeply troubling. Though it was certainly not my intention to cause civil unrest, I stand fully prepared to accept the blame for doing so; the decision to bring my political goals into a personal event was ill-advised, and the words themselves were poorly chosen. I end the first section of this letter by offering a full apology to anybody who was offended by my speech, while also condemning with great pity those who felt the need to draw swords against words. Truly, I did not anticipate this reaction and am deeply ashamed that bloodshed nearly occurred in this beautiful village as a direct result of my actions.
Moreover, I wish to clarify that, though the reaction that I received was not expected, the political nature of this speech was known to Filibert, who, in his deepest admiration for me, gave his full consent for me to speak at our wedding. In the interest of transparency, it must be admitted that we choose to have our wedding sooner than later because I hoped to draw in a large crowd. To say that this wedding was a “political stunt”, however, would be very wrong. It must be understood that my beliefs and efforts are a large part of who I am and that Filibert, as my lifelong companion, wanted to support me in any way he could, not necessarily because he agrees with everything I believe, but because he loves me. We have known each other for many years, and our relationship was one that blossomed over time. While it is true that we did not waste much time after it came into bloom, the notion that anything about our union was rushed is one that I resent deeply.
With that being said, I wish to briefly address the sentiments expressed in my speech, so as to make clear my intentions. Though I did vow to print the speech in full, it has come to my attention that it would be neither right nor safe to do so. Though I spoke the opening lines of this speech with utmost sincerity, the second paragraph was very much an exercise in hyperbole, and in it, my sentiments were greatly exaggerated. Thain Isalie Gardner is most certainly not the poorest leader I have ever seen, and her calm handling of the situation as well as her willingness to hold open council with me in its aftermath must be commended. One might ask; what, then, were my intentions? After careful consideration, I have decided that the village is owed a full explanation, describing my pursuits from their very conception. When I first arrived in Brandybrook, I did so without any sense of purpose. The life I had known in Haelun’or had been (proverbially) reduced to ashes, and for the first time in years, I was on my own. As I began to more closely study the village I noticed that the elders and thain were rarely around, and this is a complaint I heard from a number of residents. Having lived in places where leaders are elected (Norbury and Haelun’or) all my life, I began to question why, if the people were dissatisfied with their leaders, they could not simply vote them out. When it became apparent to me that Brandybrook did not have any such provision in its laws, within me was awoken a calling to public service, and I declared that I would not rest until democracy had been established in the village. I began interviewing the people for two purposes; first, to determine what the values and interests of the people of Brandybrook were; and second, to find supporters who would rally around my cause. It is perhaps at this stage of the campaign that I made a grave mistake; rather than submitting my proposal for a constitution to the thain for review, I chose instead to wait until I had amassed an army of supporters. I assumed that the thain would not accept any changes unless the entire village demanded it, and I feared that if I gathered support publicly, that her ladyship or the elders would attempt to discredit me. Hoping to avoid this, together with Mr. Minto Townsend, I established a secret society called the Halfling Liberty Association, which was dedicated to the sole purpose of signing a letter of petition to the thain. Though every member of this association agreed that Brandybrook should have a participatory government, the severity of the current system was greatly disputed. Unfortunately, I tended to believe the radical sentiments of Mr. Townsend, who openly called the thain “biased” and “quick to hold grudges”. Mr. Townsend himself admitted that it was largely his sentiments that were expressed in my speech, and it must be assured that they do not reflect the sentiments of every member of the HLA. Despite the radical sentiments of Mr. Townsend, a wide array of supporters flocked to the Association; namely Andon Cloudberry, Theodore Mowood, and Filibert Applefoot. Even the Warden, though he did not join the Association, gave his endorsement upon learning of my plan, and offered to bring my ideas to the thain. That is why when Mr. Cloudberry and my then-betrothed Filibert were made elder and sheriff respectively, I assumed that, though I had asked him not to, the Warden had given word to the thain of the Association and its goals. I made further errors by jumping to this conclusion. Though I had always intended a speech for my wedding, its tone became far more critical and inflammatory as a result of what I misconstrued as a blatant attempt to stop my movement, a sentiment that was only made worse when my husband was sacked and accused of conspiracy; the only evidence against him being that he married me.
The thain, however, in her good wisdom, eventually decided that, rather than jumping to conclusions as I had done, that it would be beneficial for both of us to have a meeting. So it was that, in the presence of Mr. Townsend, Mr. Cloudberry, the Warden, and several others; a reconciliation occurred between myself and Madam Gardner, it was revealed to me that she was unaware of my movement due to her focus on the demon threat, and her ladyship was presented with the documents I had authored. (Which, though rendered somewhat obsolete by circumstance, remain very much relevant in their sentiments; a copy of them may be found next to this pamphlet.) It is to be hoped, now, that common ground will be found between my associates and the thain and elders. Though I remain steadfast in my promotion of democracy, I shall not do so at the cost of peace, for I seek only to serve the greater good. Long Live the Thain! Greta Goodbarrel Applefoot -Local Halfling Revolutionary [!] Next to the pamphlet is a long scroll of parchment