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  1. The Righteous Heart An Apology for Markus Sarkozic & The Midland State By Bartosz, Scholar of the Empire of Man & Pax Renatii, and Vessian Art Foreword For the sake of a better reading, I shall put the following forth in direct clarity: I am no diplomat, merely an archivist of ages long past. I cannot speak impartially; my words are biased to the survival of my cousin and his venture. I do not condone the atrocities of the Midlands, nor the spirit of which Veletz was constituted. I write this as a cousin, and a friend to a good man, and out of hope for a better future for all. I do not write this as a voice for the Duke; my words are not his thoughts. Finally, I must emphasize my firm belief in my writing. The Curse of Context The thinking head is a cruel temptation for the acting hand to stray from the righteous heart. If a ruler wishes to see the lasting perceptions of one’s decisions in popular memory, he may visualize his decision as following a circuit, those inventions of the famed warrior and philosopher prince Calculus de Sola, of many possibilities all passed through the universal gate of hindsight. Any decision in a given moment may oscillate towards an eventual and constant positive or negative outcome. This outcome solidifies after new states rise and fall, living memory perishes and spontaneous new crises overshadow any cascading consequence of the result. The irony of this inevitable limit is that it is visible the very moment it is made. It is largely determined by the moral standing of the act as perceived by the uninvolved or uninitiated, and is largely obfuscated by any reasoning for it. Any claim of vindication for past injustice or future benefit may later accompany nuanced argument for the act, but the inevitable legacy it shall leave will be a binary reflection on the actor’s base, instinctual character. There are countless tales of prudent malice or fruitful sin. Treachery or Avarice often does lead to great gain and treasure. The forfeiture of Ves to the Dragon Knights, while to the tactical benefit of Haense--sidestepping the untimely challenge to rebel against the Empire, galvanizing its vassals under a common cause and consolidating them under a single banner--has been remembered as a moral failure of the Hansetian people, a point of national shame for both Renatian and Hansetian. The context behind the Pearl of the Empire’s burning has been lost to time within the public consciousness. Nearly 500 years ago, the Decterum’s betrayal and assassination of Franz I in the Orenian Civil war, while never prudent, was certainly rationalized at the time. However, that singular malicious act doomed the Decterum to a permanent and shameful footnote in the annals of our histories, perhaps undeservedly so to its ordermen. The moral of these misadventures is simple: our actions are not remembered for the thousand forces which set our hand loose nor the thousand impacted, but by what force the hand itself commits. The Virtue and Tragedy of the Adrian Duke I assert with uncompromising resolve that Markus Sarkozic is a good man. Those who have met him on spontaneous occasions have spoken to his charity; those in formal diplomacy his graciousness, and those on any one of his ventures if mind his earnest will to contribute to the betterment of all men. There will be actors in the coming years who criticize the Duke for his allegiance to the League of Veletz and for his contribution to the war. This is misguided. In truth, the Duke was pressed between two moral imperatives in his position: fortitude against justice. The nature of the League of Veletz long stood against what I know his Grace to hold dear: a universal charity to all men, and a zealous honoring of the past, tradition and its inhabitants. Nevertheless, it was the sovereign state over which the title his father had warred half the world for, the state for which he was bound by honor to serve. This choice, to honor duty and ancestor over conscience and neighbor, will be both defining and undoing one for his Grace, and a choice for which my own counsel aided him to ruin. It should be clear to those who have known the Duke of Adria for any point in time that the words he has penned to paper are his true sentiments on the conflict. They are not, as one lout put it, “Crocodile Tears”, whatever a crocodile may be. All apology was intended not for the purpose of self preservation, but to restore dignity to the people of the Midlands through a sense of decency whittled away by the fever of martial lust. The disbanding of the League was not a cheap masquerade, but a protest of such atrocities in the first place. I suspect the Duke hoped that if there is to be an end to the Midland experiment, that it might be done so with a name that reminisces to its highest point, one that settled in gracious peace with the world through his own pen. The Instantaneous Hypocrisy of the Covenant The Covenant waged a justified war, but it will be seen in the years to come as two separate ventures: The Covenant War, provoked by the League of Veletz, ended by Markus Sarkozic, and The Hypocrites' War, less waged and moreso enjoyed by the domineering factions of the Covenant. I call them hypocrites, not out of spite, or vindictive loathing, but because while they may claim moral superiority, the war for which they now finish not as defenders, but as conquerors and vindicators. The Hansetians have vocalized a desire to wipe the Midlanders from the face of the continent, calling them an “accursed people”. No strategic objective exists in this endeavor; it is a self-indulgent and malicious end itself. The sole request of his Grace, willing to cede every concession under his power, was the continued sovereignty and dignity of a people with nowhere else to go, that past sins of fathers might be redeemed by the actions of sons. This was unpalatable to the coalition’s wrathful appetite. Markus Sarkozic was pressed between two virtues and vices alike in his folly to restore a dignified midland state whose name his ancestors once ruled in a dignified manner. The Covenant was pressed with a binary choice between charity and bloodlust. They chose the pound of flesh over a chance of peace from the only redeemer of the Midlands. In the coming years, such an act will be justified by the atrocities of the League. As decades pass, the act will only be remembered by its consequences. A century from now, it shall be remembered for its malice.
  2. A renegade spoken word performer recites the following: "Woe to the victor, for he shall be judged harshly and without sympathy as years march onward, for price paid dearly in blood and whether peace came through mercy or fear."
  3. "We're making it out of the siegeworks with this one," says an advisor to the Duke.
  4. The irony of momentum, looming wrothful waves crashing a top a gentle white shore: stones condemned to ensuing doom and the weeds atop their white mantles both will despair into the undertow. ~ Anonymous
  5. ESSAY ON THE PERSEVERANCE OF FAITH Vasili Valic I pray to Sigismund, for we live in a time like his. We Adrians are not the august lords of one great empire, as was Godfrey, we are not mythic icons of the ideal as Horen, and we are not yet redeemed as Owyn. Like Sigismund, we live in a time of low moral authority, of a humanity fractured and compromised in the absence of what once was. I have been blessed by my father, Velislav, with the great histories of our people, what was once known as Ruska or the great Raevir. I may be off base, as subject to the many hundreds of years ago I write of and the erosion of time, but nevertheless in such trying times I must try to use this gift to the advantage of common Adrian, especially those in doubt of their conscience. I can understand the sentiments of those souls, some more forgivable than others, which would receive the actions of our crooked Pontiff, and our occupied Canonist faith, as a sign of its death. These folk would believe schism is the option in the face of excommunication, that because our Pontiff is fallible, so is our belief. One must never forget that Godfrey's immediate descendants abandoned Oren in its hour of need against the Kingdom of Urguan. Though rectified some decades later through the Imperium Tertius, it was his exodus and its shadow in which Sigismund lived, in a humanity subjugated by non-humans. We do not exalt Sigismund for his reign, but his restoration. It was Sigismund who, in the face of a humanity that failed, decided not to abandon its faith in decline, but who reunited mankind under one cause, from Flotsam to Abresi, to restore the agency of humanity to its own hand. It is Sigismund's translations of the scrolls that from which our faith descends in its identity. Those who would seek to remove him from the annals of the Canon would be doing so for the purpose of illiterate megalomania, unaware that the truths they preach even against his name were written by his pen. We live in a time of Dragons and Ghouls, Vampires and other ilk; each side of the current conflict would have you believe the other is their agent. I do not believe either to be true. However, there is not a settlement in the world today which does not harbor the ill omens of undeath or immortal pacts with daemons. Humanity then is subjugated as it was then in Sigismund’s time. We are in a stasis, a vacuum of moral direction plagued by the absence of one just goal. We must think like Sigismund at this time. We must not abandon Canonism simply because there are those within it who are mortally villainous, for it is our unified faith of Humanity. We need not schism ourselves from the world simply because it wants us to. We are human, like any other, and we are, in Adria, the true and eldest heirs to Carrion. Alongside it, we carry the indomitable spirit of freedom and rectitude that has seen it burn in the face of unholy tyranny time and time again. I speak to you Adrians, to pray to the restorer of moral rectitude once more in our time of excommunication. We must not entertain these crooked souls who know neither victory nor defeat, hiding behind their walls for perpetuity while they strangle our faith to death. We must fight for our faith. We must liberate Canonism, not send it to hospice. We must liberate our identity and right titles from the Hansetian menace, not consign them to their perpetual torment under its roof. Do not resign your beliefs simply because others wish you to. Affirm them in spite of this.
  6. I again agree with you, I just know some of the shit that people used to get away with, myself included, probably shouldn't have. I don't know if bottom up ever works, because online cliques always have extreme characteristics due to their imbalanced nature, but I do think that it really falls on the leaders. I think Dib did a good job of it recently in rehabing a lot of what was tolerated in Oren especially, and maybe that should be the model.
  7. I feel like I've met you before and I've been here a while 7/10
  8. I do agree with you on this, and I know you to be a man of great character whose morals I'd agree with as opposed to OP, but I also don't think they're wrong with the assertion this server has a population of borderline, if not blatant, racists. The truth is that most of us back then were young, influenced by a certain crowd of people, with hyper-masculine and or aggressive behaviors, often times corralled into problematic views and even in some cases radicalized. While I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as it was, and that the "pestery" and bad faith groups of the last five years certainly overshadowed the toxicity of the prior five, I'd bet that never really went away.
  9. Gotta be a compromise in place to satisfy both groups. Seems like the players against are a lot more reactionary than the players for. Could see there being Cannons and pistols but not muskets.
  10. Why does it feel like everyone else just doesn’t want us to have fun We don’t care about what you do in your RP we just want to kill eachother with flintlocks in 18th century duels
  11. Just make a post confirming that there will be guns tomorrow to gain the rep from one side and then post the next day that there won’t be to get the rep from the other. Can’t be making friends in this rep game.
  12. Why do elves get to do the most absurd **** and orc shaman lore get to be like 50 pages of absurdity yet humans and dwarves do not get to rp the way they want to RP in ways that will likely NOT AT ALL harm any elven rpers, mostly due to the fact that there is very little crossover?
  13. There are guns in Warhammer Fantasy
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