(1874-09-02) On Religion and Nobility
on religion and nobility
Summary: Dertan and Chessa talk about religion
Date: 4th September 2018
Related: None
NPCs: None
Chessa  Dertan  

Dalcen Castle
An open space big enough to grow some herbs but small enough to offer some privacy.

Dertan is in one of the smaller, more private outdoor spaces, where the family grows herbs and spices for their own pleasure and use. The space is not exactly private; not with the fortress on a near war footing, but it is a quiet, respectful space nontheless. He's got a perch setup and a mature female saker is sat upon it pulling apart a strip of meat, poultry most likely, that Dertan has just given it. He looks relatively at ease, dressed in a doublet rather than his uniform, but he notices Chessa's arrival anyway. "It is a pleasant day to be out in the fresh air is it not Chessa?"

Chessa's wearing a loose day gown of apple green, her hair pulled back as usual. At the sound of a voice, she looks over to the bird, first, and smiles. "Good day, Swiftwing," she greets. Then she nods, "and to you, cousin." She takes a deep breath, a wry smirk tugging at the corner of her lips. "Any day that I can be outside in the fresh air is a pleasant day."

Swiftwing ignores Chessa, intent as she is on her fleshy feast.

Dertan gives Chessa a contemplative look before he speaks. "Tell me Chessa." he says as he feeds the bird another narrow strip of meat from his gloved hand. He's got his decorated hawk and serpent bracers on but they are practically jewelry for him. He manages to work them into almost every outfit. "Have you ever been to the temple in Silverhill?"

Chessa takes advantage of the bird ignoring her to study the old gal's wings and feathers. Because of this, she's only marginally aware of the study that Dertan gives her. At the mention of the temple in Silverhill, her eyes light briefly, but by the time she's turned her regard to her cousin, it's carefully controlled. She gives a slow shake of her head. "I have not had the chance, no. I have thought of it, when I heard about it during my studies at Four COrners, but I was more involved with what I could learn at the Academy at the time. Now, with us being at war, I haven't had the chance."

"Jarret has given me permission to build one in Dalcen." Dertan tells her with a rare, albeit restrained, smile. "I am looking forward to it. The chance to build something that should surely last for generation upon generation is something I cherish." He starts unfastening his left bracer. "I also firmly believe that this church will bring the many into a new era where they can withstand the predatory behaviour of the church." The bracer is offered to her. "Put that on your right forearm Chessa." His right glove is also provided when/if she moves to comply.

Chessa's expression shifts slightly at the mention of building the temple in Dalcen, and she nods slowly. "It would also be nice to see something being created in the midst of the destruction of war," she mentions quietly. Her eyebrows go up as the bracer is offered to her, and she pauses a moment, before she moves forward and takes it, wrapping it around her wrist then pinning it against her thigh to fasten it in place before she takes the glove as well.

"There is no destruction." Dertan moves to offer Chessa some assistance with her efforts. "And what I hear of the Princes offer makes me suspect that they intended to attack Duval. It has nothing to do with rebuilding and is more a symbol of the future of religious tolerance that Jarret has promised us." He takes a moment to check the bracer is firm and then he moves to place the hood on Swiftwing before urging her to step up onto his still protected forearm. "I noticed how you were looking at her." is his explanation. The bird is then offered to her. "Lightly press the bracer against her chest and she will step up."

Holding her arm out for Dertan to check, Chessa looks at him. "Where there is war, there is destruction. I was speaking in general, not here in particular." When her attention goes back to the bird, her eyes narrow slightly in thought. "It would be nice to have more tolerance about religion. How do you think the local priests will react?"

"I think that they will try to prevent it." Dertan tells her. "But I am content that it will be almost entirely done through political means. It will be a challenge for Jarret in his early days but I feel that it needs to be done sooner rather than later. He should start as he means to go on." He watches the bird move to its new perch and then tucks both hands behid his back. "One of the greatest tragedies of our age is all the information that the church has buried whilst in the influence of its recent leadership. I look back and I do wonder just when the rot set in. Yet. I know the recent acts were done to weaken us in the face of the coming threats. The last thing we need is to fight each other over matters of religion and the One and the Many, besides the human edifice of the church, are much the same. I've spent a fair amount of time these last few days contemplating where the One fits into the pantheon of the Many. Is he the God of Religion perhaps?"

Chessa's face softens as she lifts Swiftwing a little closer to for a better look at the soft feathers on her breast, and the flight feathers folded close against her back. "It is good for people to find out right from the off that he is not his mother, and that some will not be able to expect business as usual." She shifts her arms slightly, her other palm coming up to support her wrist as she moves the bird a little. "I… can't say that I've given any religion much thought, to be honest." There, the sacrilege is out.

"That seems like a terrible lack." Dertan tells her. "Your faith matters because as a Sokar you are a rolemodel. It is important." He contemplates her for a long moment and then tells her. "You should consider the faith of the many. Unlike with the One where everything is essentially govered by an old, stuck in the past, authority that is barely able to change and wishes to gather everyone under the same faith, denying the choice and the truth of the Many to people, the Many has no wish to remove the One. Why should it when the One is as much part of it as any other God?"

"Why?" Chessa asks calmly, so that her voice will not disturb the bird. "Why must one have faith in anyone other than their family, and the people of this world?"

"Because the church wont allow an individual to sit out." Dertan tells her. "How often has a priest come and told you how you should be thinking and behaving? How often have they threatened you with dire repercussions if you dont not commit to their own particular brand of faith? How often have they sent assassins or used other underhand methods to force the world to comply? Yet. The fact is that they have almost won and almost brought everyone around and that most of the people here follow their church. They need to know that their own faith is represented in the courts of the land. That is true for all faiths that have a presence amongst the people. How can we rule if we dont understand what is in their hearts?"

There is a snort from Chessa. "You don't need to have faith in a higher power to understand what is in people's hearts," she tells Dertan, a hint of scorn in her voice. "You can read it in their eyes when they look at you and cross the street. You can hear it in their voices when they claim to serve the One but are, in fact, serving themselves. You can see it in their actions when they use their strength to protect the weak or to beat them down."

Dertan gives Chessa a cautious look. "When they look at you and cross the street?" He gives a brief nod. "The desire to dominate others through power, indeed the need for it, is a universal thing. When it is done for selfish reasons it is a sin, for a strong community is everything, but when it is done to secure that strong community? Well there you have the very foundation of authority. For what is nobility if not a structure put into place to create a structure to arrange protection for the populace as a whole whilst providing a framework to control the worst excesses of those who have strength and power?"

Chessa turns her arm back to a more natural position, but still holds it up with her other hand as her eyes go from feathers to cousin. "Why do you think I've had Alric at my side since I was knee high? You may not think it strange, but simple people who listen to the teachings and fears of The One have whispered about how unnatural it is for such a pale child to be in a family of darker colored colored siblings." She holds her arm up towards Dertan, the weight of the avian beginning to tell on one who is not accustomed to it. "Why does nobility need a One or a Many to hold together a framework to control those who abuse their power? Some even try to use the One or the Many to justify their abuses. Many days I believe we would be better off without any of them."

Dertan moves to take the bird from her. "Nobility needs to represent the people. The people have faith and therefore the nobility need to have it too." He gives a brief nod. "I have seen many things done in both the name of the One and the Many. Some of those things are awful and some are astonishing. The truth is however Chessa. Not one of those amazing things would have happened without the faith whilst the terrible things are despite of faith and not because of it. Someone who shows a zealous nature in the name of faith would merely find another thing to focus on. At least this way, with the virtues of the faith to mold them, many turn that nature to great acts instead of foul." There is a tiny smile. "But name for me one instance where the faith of the Many committed an act of evil because the others do not practice their same faith? Yet. I can think of many, many, examples of that from the Church of the One. This witch-hunt to remove sorcerers for example. I see only one purpose for that - It weakens us in the face of the creatures our religions are designed to battle. I am not sure if an aetheist or agnostic manner is also harmful against them, although I suspect it may be, but I know that this claim that sorcery is an evil thing is wrong. It is surely a ruling put in place by those same creatures."

There is a little sigh from Chessa as she walks over to a nearby bench to sit. "It is not so easy to just say 'no great evil has been done in the name of The Many', as if that means it's a better religion and we will all be better off if we follow it. Following different religions is just one of the many things that seperate people into 'us' and 'them'." At the idea of creatures putting the idea of hunting sorcerers into the minds of the followers of the One, she gives a little snort, more of disgust than derision. "The teachings of the One have a decidedly human nature to them. A human greed for power and control, disguised as good. There are truly good people following the One, but they are usually not appreciated by those in higher positions in the Church." She clasps her hands tightly in her lap. "Why do you think I prefer to spend my time in Four Corners?"

"I was thinking of very specific things when I said that." Dertan tells her. "There was the religious crusades in aequor against the icenalia which was conducted in large part to force them to convert. There are purges to kill and force many worshippers to convert to the One. There are entire villages burnt by the inquisition in the name of religious unity. These are what I am talking about when I speak of acts of evil committed in the name of the relgion. Can you name a similar incident by the faith of the Many? I would be interested to learn of one."

"Now when it comes down to acts that are potentially, independently wrong, which are carried out in the name of faith. That becomes more complicated. For it is indeed true that the Many practiced human sacrifice. Yet many of those men and women would have been executed in any society. Or were volunteers." He gives a small nod. "You are correct that they are a means of being us versus them. Yet you forget that religion provided a means to actually forge society into an us versus the them of the demons. We needed it to survive and the events of this age tell me that we still do. Further the evidence of miracles great and small is indeed a thing. The One says that these are gifts from the One. The Many that they are gifts from a mixture of personal strength, fostered and aided by the Gods. In the one case it is the persons responsibility to excell and in the other the religion tells that man should rely on the One to save them. Which do you think has the greatest chance to succeed against the creatures we see coming out of hiding now? We beat goldeneyes through teamwork as well as personal excellence. I am sure that has happened in every case."

He looks at his bird, gently strokes her breast with a knuckle and then puts her gently onto her perch before looking back at her. "Four Corners is a veritable faith of its own. Where greed and personal power at any cost are the triumphs. It is not suited to bring society together. Just look at the desperate conditions that they have there which they say are the cost of freedom. What city with this freedom they hold so dear has such poverty?" He pauses and adsd. "It is not the teachings of the One that are the problem. They speak of how we should all seek to better ourselves and give us goals with which to do it. That is good. It is the church that has rotten." He gives her a tiny ironic smile. "Is it not interested how each saint is honored for how they extol a virtue? Much as the gods of the Many are extolled. How is the Saint of Justice any different to the god Justice?"

"And do you see nothing wrong with asking people to volunteer to be executed?" Chessa ask wearily. "It is one thing to ask someone to go fight for something for what they believe with the possibility that they may die in the process. It is quite another to ask someone to die, period." She shakes her head. "You have no faith in mankind to be able to gather together and choose a path that is right just because it is the right thing to do. You do not think that people can listen to their hearts and know what is right without someone telling them that the Many or the One or the Great Frog says what is right. Or that they can work together without agreeing on a faith, first." Her breath sighs out on a long exhale, and she looks to the bird, her lips pulling up at the corner with a wry, wistful, expression.

"I made an argument against human sacrifice not long after my marriage." Dertan tells Chessa. "It is banned under the temple focused in Kaedon and within every fief within the kingdoms that I know of." He looks at her evenly. "I would argue it is not a thing of the Many but rather a hold over from old times. I hear that the Imperial games had people 'sacrificed' for the people in the guise of games and they had a large part in creating this society. It is also possible that it has its roots in something that genuinely mattered. What if there is power in that which enables hundreds to survive? Is it still wrong then?" he shakes his head. "Culturally though. It is no longer relevant. I have no argument there."

"And if people were to band together and choose a path that is right just because it is the right thing to do." Dertan asks her. "Would that not then lead to a state where individual things are praised and risen to the state of Gods? There is also the matter that the Gods are actual, genuine, beings. I know of two people who have met them personally. I hope to have the same honor one day." He pauses and then says. "And I believe that we need structure if we are all to pull in the same direction. If you yoked five horses to a wagon, all pulling in different directions, all that would happen is that the wagon would be pulled apart. We need structure so that we can work towards the same thing. The faith is not the thing that is to blame Chessa. It is human nature to want something or someone to guide them onto the right path. Everything in life is based around that necessity from our justice system to our armies to our nobility. There is no single example of a society that I can think of, beyond the size of a hamlet, where they can operate without heirarchy and rules. Religion provides a path to those things. Faith however is another thing. The Gods are real Chessa. As are supernatural creatures that we need their help to face."

At the mention of the Imperial games, Chessa pales, and stands. She doesn't seem to hear much of what else Dertan has to say, and she shakes her head. "I think the fresh air… does not quite agree with me today," she murmurs, walking away and heading back towards the family rooms.

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