The first footsteps of a single man’s arrival to Axios forever echoes in the realm of Humanity. Over a saint’s years later, Aurelius Canonius’ shadow remains cast over the city of Helena. In remaining in this shadow, the heart of Renatus grew cold, and the sun can no longer reach it.
As I stand in the Golden City, the warm sunlight gracing everything it touches, like a mother’s warmth, I find myself gazing out beyond the wheatfields, towards the once proud Imperial city. I cannot help but wonder, as I stand here: Renatus, what future are you fighting for?
The vassals who once swore to your forefathers have left you, as they yearn for a time before emptiness, numbness, apathy. They yearn again to hear the heartbeat of Humanity. You claim this is a Haense driven war, but all the same you forget it was King Sigmar Lothar Barbanov who was the very first to swear fealty to Emperor Aurelius, because he believed in the strength behind a united Mankind. Yet here you stand in your city, swords raised high, eager to destroy the grandson of that very man. Why do you turn a blind eye to the giants whose shoulders you sit upon? Is it the shadow that blinds you?
If such is true, then is it this shadow over Renatus that makes your administration and your emperor a Shadow leader? A man unseen, unknown to his own subjects beyond the walls of Helena?
I cannot help but wonder, while you remain in your city of Edel, in such darkness: is it lonely? The empty chill of your city must wear on you, for your men are often away from it, attacking the men of Ves. Is it the heat of battle that keeps you warm, or are you merely trying to steal the warmth from their bodies?
Your new emperor is not only of Horen descent, but of Staunton. Surely, your predecessors roll in their graves, the whispers of the The Coalition War still on their withering lips. Why do you raise a man to be your emperor, when it was his ancestor that spurred Philip Frederick I to destroy the beloved city of Johannesburg?
But alas, I digress, and for such I offer you Renatians and Pertinaxi my apologies. Allow me to return to my initial inquiry, which I proposed to you: What are you fighting for? Who are you fighting for, beyond yourselves? If you seek to fight for an empire, what will it be if you succeed? Rubble and remnants, smoldering cinders intertwined with nothing but those which you have slain? Abandoned cities, with no one to rule but the puppet leaders which you placed within? Even if this is true, what sort of future is this?
Even the Church in its current state stirred from its slumber just long enough to hear the cry of its flock. In crowning Joseph as the rightful emperor, Everard V answered that call. In spite of this, you instead reject even the Church itself and the power of the Godhead, instead calling back the banished Yurii of Haense, who cowers behind the name of Siegmund I. How can you go this far, when it was Aurelius himself who aided in banishing this very figure?
Like Aurelius, Joseph Marna enters the realm of Humanity. He seeks to bring the life back into tired, worn people which you lay claim to. Joseph Marna carries with him the name of Oren: the name that brought so much pride, so much life to our race. It is Oren that is the heart of Humanity-- to smother it would be to smother yourselves.
And so I stand before you, and before God, as nothing more than a priest of the Canon, and a fellow man. Return to the warmth of Julia’s light, and together, as a united Humanity, we can prosper and flourish as the children of God.
Most powerful GOD, we pray that we may find peace in our time. For without Your guidance we would not be here now, and we will continue to exert Your Word, as it is the good word, until we finally find peace within ourselves and with each other.
In nomine Patris, amen.