House of Neutrality

Draven

Count
Adventurers,

It is my intention to form a House for the purposes of maintaining balance between the eight, and ensuring clear communication in doing so.

To accomplish this, I wish to gather the names of those who wish to aid me.

Also, based upon the words we were given, mortal magic led to the creation of the Houses. I intend to see if mortal magic can lead to the formation of this one in the following months, perhaps years. If any finds clues to making this possible, please let me know.

Additionally, I intend to defer to Dragoon Slice whenever possible. This is ultimately her idea, and I feel she is far more qualified to lead it than I.

As I've stated before, in the interest of maintaining neutrality and balance, I will not be joining any of the eight, and will be dedicating myself entirely to this one.

The Earth be strong beneath your feet.

-Zeth
 

Sheakhan

Adept
Zeth...

This idea of yours has merit, certainly. However I would submit that perhaps neutrality, in this instance, might be best achieved not through a lack of stance but rather a sort of deliberately contrary stance.

Have you heard the folktale of the tenth judge?

In this tale there is a kingdom within which disputes are deliberated upon by ten judges. Upon completion of their discussions, they each cast a vote on the matter at hand, save for the tenth judge.

The tenth judge's duty in the event that the other nine judges all agree is to assume the contrary stance and strive to prove it's merit.

If he cannot find merit in the contrary stance, the decision of the nine judges stands, however should he find evidence which lends credence to the unpopular vote, this evidence is presented and deliberation begins anew. The purpose of this being to ensure that each subject discussed is treated equally, and given a chance to prove itself before being discarded.

I believe neutrality can only be meaningfully achieved by exhausting all contrary possibilities and ensuring that no actions are taken rashly, without consideration, or without a full understanding of the facts as the relate to the action in question.

That being said, I propose we consider the tenets of the 8 existing houses and derive the goals and tenets of your "neutral" house to directly conflict them in order to maintain the balance that seems to be so vital to our efforts.

Thusly:

Base & Reason:
-Always stand resolute when your convictions support righteousness and chivalry.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the greater "good" or "benefit" potential in non-righteous or non-chivalrous courses of action. Oftimes doing the "right" thing may yield the least favorable overall results.

-Never yield your ground in the face of a threat
Counter Tenet: Consider also the merit of retreat, and the risk vs. reward of standing against an insurmountable threat.

Fate & Fury:
-Always bring passion to everything you seek to fulfill including life, art, and love.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the dispassionate course. Passion may corrupt a well-meaning intent, and should be disregarded when making decisions that affect the whole.

-Never suffer a monument to lassitude, greed, or the corruptions of society.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the cost of striking out each instance of lassitude, greed, or corruption. Mortals are imperfect and there is great danger in forcing such imperfect creatures into molds they do not readily fill.

Light & Lies:
-Always uphold the pillars of society for the sake, stability, and respect of those who have earned the right to rule.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the cost of pandering or placating those who rule, as well as the validity of their rule.

-Never indulge actions based in rash and erratic ideas.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the wisdom of the rash and erratic, for often the thoughtful approach does not take into account the emotional impact of it's suggestions.

Pain & Purity:
-Always respect the power of life to sustain itself in any form.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the line between life and living, and the cost of such life existing when compared to it's being ended.

-Never suffer to live or exist those who steal from the existence of others.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the natural precedent for theft of existence as evidence by parasitic relationships and predator to prey. We steal from our enemies to give to ourselves under the guise of "justice", but men are beasts as well as any wolf or boar or other.

Peace & Malice:
-Always seek to enlighten those who rely on the crutches of tradition and apathy.
Counter Tenet: Consider also their purpose for doing so, as tradition and apathy both have their purpose. If one took offense to every stinging insect rather than remain apathetic towards them, the lands would be littered with tiny graves.

-Never placate structure at the expense of freedom.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the future of freedom without structure, and the value of surrendering some freedoms today to guarantee freedom in any form tomorrow.

Tsunami & Dreams:
-Always seek to achieve the greatest possible result of your goals and dreams.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the cost inherent, and at what point it becomes more beneficial on the whole to settle for a less perfect result. Do not discount diminishing returns.

-Never allow despondence or obstruction to hinder you from pursuing the dreams of a better future for all.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the reason for those obstructions, and consider that such things may be in place for a purpose. The boundaries between planes for instance are obstructions, but they serve a purpose beyond perhaps the understanding of most. Consider that your vision or dream of a better future may be inadequately informed.

Temperance & Ruin:
-Always seek to honor the legacy of the dead.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the time spent doing so, and how it might be better allocated, as well as the legacy you intend to honor.

-Never allow sentiment to perpetuate the spread of disease, vermin, or pity.
Counter Tenet: I... cannot fathom a reason to question this tenet. Perhaps another might.

Whispers & Thunder:
-Always bring the swift wrath upon those whom deceive with the intent to harm.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the ramifications of too swiftly responding, and the validity of claims that such a deceiver intended harm. Consider also the merit of their intent as opposed to any other course.

-Never fail to speak the truthful intent for the good of the idea.
Counter Tenet: Consider also the danger of exposing your intent in all things, especially when deception or subterfuge would better serve in the end.

In short, I believe a neutral house should serve to always present an opposing argument, and be expected to endeavor tirelessy to prove their stance regardless of their opinions regarding the subject at hand.

-Roann Flynt.
 

Yames

Newbie
I figure now is as good of a time as any to voice my opinion on this idea.

I initially was all for the formation of a neutral group whose purpose would be to facilitate communication between the groups, I was even planning on maintaining a neutral presence myself, however upon further investigation and observation I now feel much trepidation towards the formation of a “neutral” house.

It seems that neutrality may become the guise under which many people who view themselves as separate to and sometimes above the system will congregate in order to undermine the houses’ abilities to govern themselves. I urge caution as you attempt to move forward with a neutral party and suggest that you spend much time reflecting upon the motivations of both yourself and the others around you who would also claim neutrality. As we have seen from the literature that we have uncovered, this system is an extremely delicate balance that has been destroyed by those who would hold themselves above it.

I urge everyone to do much self-reflection in the coming months as we move forward as a community. No matter where you stand in this community you are capable of creating much greatness as well as propagating the behaviors that lead to the downfall of society.

As Roann Posits, a neutral house must be able to overcome their own opinions and biases in order to be effective.

Take what you will from my words and do as you see fit.



-Melvyn
 

norman b

Squire
If you have listened to the history of Calliphestus and Ceriopolis, the houses had run checks against each other. They were to be each other's counters. This was to keep the balance. You really do not need an additional house. Dominus Chronus even mentioned that you were free to not choose a house but all houses needed to be opened and represented. All houses had to be balanced against each other or Ceriopolis would fall. Choose to be neutral, but the houses have to have strength in themselves to be able to speak up against the other houses when the need arises.
 

Samyania

Scholar
A house set over or in opposition to the houses defeats the point of the houses and the Ministerium. The houses are meant to represent different facets of the voices of the people. If they do not, then they have failed and a separate and opposing house will not save them. Perhaps those who feel none of the houses are a good fit for them should consider their positions as representatives of their respective races, or whatever other outsider groups they do belong to, if any apply, rather than as permanent citizens of Ceriopolis and its houses.

The otherwise neutral Vellis Valeriana Tsalarioth of the Aquilix of Odekrag
 

Sheakhan

Adept
The history also mentioned the utter downfall of the houses and the destruction of The Ceriopolis in it's entirety due to the failures of those who came before.
Even without a neutral house, the 8 lack one thing between them: they show no respect for depravity, lechery, hatred, fear, cruelty, jealousy, spite, gluttony, the darknesses present in every mortal spirit. Sin.

No... that's inaccurate, they do not even deign to mention such aspects of reality. The matter never even hinted at among these pages save for in passing and even then, dismissively. Oh, they speak of chivalry and nobility, leadership and sentiment...

How are we expected to establish and maintain a balance when such aspects of existence, one might even argue unavoidable and in some cases necessary aspects, are not even considered? Do not mistake this for my condoning large-scale atrocity as some sort of justified necessity, the Legion seems to have that well in hand, however I feel that the houses not choosing to acknowledge these "flaws" in their dealings, and choosing instead to bury them may very well have played a part in their inability to recognize and deal with such things when they arose.

You cannot have a balance without equal parts, the houses as they have been presented thus far are not balanced, even when brought together. If we are endeavouring to resurrect a fallen civilization, we would be wise to make corrections to their methods so as to best avoid falling ourselves.
 
If you haven't seen a recognition of that darkness in the houses, I think perhaps you should take a closer look. I was a little startled by what I saw when I reread everything.

-Teth
 

norman b

Squire
Did you not read the book at all or did you just skim it? The houses were built for chivalry, nobility, and leadership. They were everything the Horde was not. That was the whole point. The corruption, the depravity, the sins are the reason they fell. To accept those aspects is to doom Ceriopolis to ruin once again. There is no room for any of that in the houses. Hence, none of them have negative tenants. I was there for Dominus Chronus' conversation with the Nobility of previous lands we travelled through. He made mention that those of the houses had to be of the utmost outstanding and noble spirit to ensure that Ceriopolis was to thrive. Any darkness and it would crumble. They recognized the evil and were to quell it before it became rampant. Four millennia Ceriopolis thrived without corruption. One slip and the entire city came down.
 

Sheakhan

Adept
Recognition, perhaps. But no respect for its presence, nor for its prevalence in mortal affairs. Being noble, or pure... Whatever that is meant to imply, does not lessen the importance of these less savory aspects, nor does it somehow convey a greater ability to combat corruption as it arises.

Dominus Chronus also spoke of balance, how do you intend to balance anything without all of the pieces being accounted for?
 

Avaran

Baron
Recognition, perhaps. But no respect for its presence, nor for its prevalence in mortal affairs. Being noble, or pure... Whatever that is meant to imply, does not lessen the importance of these less savory aspects, nor does it somehow convey a greater ability to combat corruption as it arises.
If I may, an alternate point of view:

The reason that the Code of Chivalry even exists is to combat what you refer to as 'darkness'; the reason Knights take up the burden of Nobility is to combat darkness in all of its forms, to be an example to the people so they can see that rising above the darkness is not only possible, but necessary, or we will all fall into darkness.

I find it a constant struggle to trust and be trusted; to make sure my actions match my words (they do not always; I've made plenty of errors, but that does not mean I give up). But if I am able to give even one person the hope to live another day, is it not worth it?

Darkness is my enemy, and to lose respect for it is to be defeated by it, to die with my honor in shambles -- which I would rather cease to exist than let happen.

A couple of years ago, I compiled, compared, and contrasted several Codes from different lands and Knightly Orders. I think after reading them, you may have a different perspective...


The Code of Chivalry
As compiled by Sir Avaran,
Knight-Captain of Andar
September 612


While each individual order may have an addendum or small changes to their Code, this is the essential Code of Chivalry that all recognized orders I've heard of follow. I’ve also included a number of precepts that expand on the code. Some notes follow that describe how the code or its implementation differ among some common orders.

  1. I vow to: Respect the Weak, and Constitute myself The Defender of Them.
  2. I vow to: Love the Country to Which I have sworn fealty.
  3. I vow to: Serve my Liege-lord in Valor and Faith.
  4. I vow to: Obey those placed in authority.
  5. I vow to: Not Recoil Before my enemy.
  6. I vow to: Make war upon evil without cessation.
  7. I vow to: Perform scrupulously my feudal duties, if they not be contrary to the Laws of the Land.
  8. I vow to: Never lie, and I shall remain faithful to my pledged word.
  9. I vow to: be generous, and give largesse to all.
  10. I vow to: be everywhere and always be the champion of the right and the good against injustice and evil.

Scholar Sir R. William Price laid out precepts that all knights should share, explaining them more clearly for the uninitiated:

Prowess: To seek excellence in all endeavors expected of a Knight, martial and otherwise, seeking strength to be used in the service of justice, rather than in personal aggrandizement.

Justice: Seek always the path of 'right', unencumbered by bias or personal interest. Recognize that the sword of justice can be a terrible thing, so it must be tempered by humanity and mercy. If the 'right' you see rings true with others, and you seek it out without bending to the temptation for expediency, then you will earn renown beyond measure.

Loyalty: Be known for unwavering commitment to the people and ideals you choose to live by. There are many places where compromise is expected; loyalty is not amongst them.

Defense: The ideal knight was sworn by oath to defend his liege lord and those who depended upon him. Seek always to defend your nation, your family, and those to whom you believe worthy of loyalty.

Courage: Being a knight often means choosing the more difficult path, the personally expensive one. Be prepared to make personal sacrifices in service of the precepts and people you value. At the same time, a knight should seek wisdom to see that stupidity and courage are cousins. Courage also means taking the side of truth in all matters, rather than seeking the expedient lie. Seek the truth whenever possible, but remember to temper justice with mercy, or the pure truth can bring grief.

Faith: A knight must have faith in his beliefs, for faith roots him and gives hope against the despair that human failings create.

Humility: Value first the contributions of others; do not boast of your own accomplishments, let others do this for you. Tell the deeds of others before your own, according them the renown rightfully earned through virtuous deeds. In this way the office of knighthood is well done and glorified, helping not only the gentle spoken but also all who call themselves knights.

Largesse: Be generous in so far as your resources allow; largesse used in this way counters gluttony. It also makes the path of mercy easier to discern when a difficult decision of justice is required.

Nobility: Seek great stature of character by holding to the virtues and duties of a knight, realizing that though the ideals cannot be reached, the quality of striving towards them ennobles the spirit... Nobility also has the tendency to influence others, offering a compelling example of what can be done in the service of rightness.




As I’ve stated above, all recognized orders essentially follow the Code, as laid out above. There are some noted addendums and exceptions, however.

The Knights of Aneyal add:
“Thou shalt defend thy liege lord or thy charge to thine own death, if necessary.”
“…unless it will endanger your charge.” as an addendum to VIII
They omit, “…if they not be contrary to the laws of the land” from VII

The Knights Exemplar add:
“Thou shalt live by honor and for glory”
“Thou shalt never refuse a challenge from an equal”

The Knights of The Vale add:
“Thou shalt fight for the welfare of all”
“Thou shalt eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit”
“Thou shalt despise pecuniary reward”



I hope you found this helpful in gaining more understanding.

In service,
-Sir Avaran
Andarian Knight-Captain
 

Sheakhan

Adept
I must admit that before now I have not been made privy to what abstract notions I always perceived Knights as adhering to.
There is perhaps a certain wisdom in the code and I would be lying if I said otherwise.

There does not seem, at least in my experiences and research to be an ideal method of approaching the subject of corruption.

In counter to your argument of Knights serving as a representation of "rising above the darkness", which has it's value for those who are motivated by such living monuments, I would propose that the lofty must fall.
Either in death, or fatigue, or simple error those who hold themselves to certain abstractions such as moral purity or nobility may accomplish a great deal in their time, however they will ultimately cease doing it, or worse yet, undo it through corruption or apathy.

This leads to the obvious implication that individuals who are not so high, and who dwell in (if not compose themselves of) the aforementioned darkness might present a better shield against corruption, as they understand such things intimately and are therefore more prepared to deal with them. Know your enemy or fight fire with fire, as the adage goes.

But that is only half the truth that I wish to convey.

I believe that both sorts of people, and indeed those in between, are vital to balance. I believe that in order to achieve the balance we have been told is tantamount to success, we must allow for not only that which we wish to uphold but to some degree... we must allow for that which we combat.

Exclude any part of the equation, and the result becomes unclear.
 

Draven

Count
This conversation has become distracted.

To reflect upon the words of Chronus, the previous Houses fell, because of a weakness they weren't ready to combat.

Mortal weakness.

Pride, greed, and wrath are things that exist in our community, and in ample supply. That isn't to say we, as a community, are terrible people. It is to say that I recognize the flaws that might lead to our failure.

I do not intend to create this House for power. I have no need of power. True power exists in what our community can accomplish together. It is when we pool our strength, our skills, our wit, our magic, and our courage that we overcome terrible adversity. Sometimes we suffer wounds...Yames. Cael. In a different way, Darian.

But we persevere. And I recognize that as well.

I intend to form this House to stand vigilant against our weakness, so that our strength may less obstructed. Not to stand over the Eight, but behind them. To encourage them when their motivation lags. To enable them to understand each other when their pride would inhibit them. To get them to speak when their anger silences them.

If you still feel this House should not exist, then say so, and I shall not form it, though this will still be the path I choose for myself.

-Z
 

Kasuni

Squire
Zeth... Have you asked Dominus Chronus for his thoughts on a 9th house? That seems like the wisest place to begin.

There is remaining neutral, and then seperately, there is building a neutral house. Do not confuse the two to be the same thing.

All of the best,

Kasuni
 

norman b

Squire
Brother, what you just said is the reason for the houses 8. they are to encompass all of this themselves. If the houses are not then they have already failed. Please be neutral if that is your wish but know it is the responsibility of the houses to do what you are wishing. I emplore you to join Pain and purity for your love of life. But if not then I know all houses have a strong ally.
 

Draven

Count
I'm not interested in opening Pain and Purity, and ultimately, I feel it should be done so by those who feel passion for it, lest it fail.

If there's no interest in such a neutral house to serve as an aide to the eight, then such a House is doomed to fail, anyhow. I won't waste my time on a such, if that is the way it is going.

Kasuni, I am not confusing the two, merely inquiring into the possibility of creating the second.
 

Trunk

Newbie
The visage of an orc child in the corner becomes apearant, doodling away in a book with colored sticks. It seems as though he may be listening, but gives up on the compmexity of the situation.


Anyone who looks in his book sees crudely drawn dogs, cats, and bears in the woods.
 
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Maealas

Newbie
Neutrality is to not be being aligned to a group, or House. Making a House for Neutrality would not be truely neutral, for you'd have aligned yourself to a group, even if for the reason for being neutral to the other Houses. I could see an unofficial House of Neutrality, like the Fighter's Guild. I myself plan on remaining neutral, but I'd assist wherever I'm needed, if able.

Oh huna, I'm going to get gray feathers from all this neutrality talk.

~Maealas of the Dulin Council
 

Mortikai

Newbie
Dominus Cronus has the neutral faction covered I believe. These houses seem to be a guide or path the the creation of a great civilization. Let us not fail to participate in the creation of that civilization until we can see the big picture as he does. If a "neutral house" were warranted, needed, or desirable, I believe Dominus Cronus would in fact lead us to that path.
 

Dar Beltaine

Artisan
If I May,

It is truly a wondrous thing to hear such debate over the many paths that we might take as a people. There have been valuable and important points made here, and I applaud you all for remaining respectful to each other, while making them. A thing too rarely seen, in my travels.

For my part, I believe every voice matters, and I will continue to ensure that they are heard. It is only with true representation of the people, can a society be considered successful.

Zeth, if you wish to open a House of Neutrality, then you should do so. If you believe there is something that must be accomplished, then by all means, follow your convictions. There can never be too many people, organizations, families, etc, willing to fight for the common good. But I know you know that already, my friend.

Roann, you should continue to do the same. And I know that you will.


Additionally, It's my understanding that though we do have a detailed account of the rise and fall of a great city, we are in fact on an empty shore. We here, now, have the incredible opportunity to start anew, fresh, educated and focused. To decide how we will rebuild, and to what end. To do this, we will need to hear all opinions, all voices, all challenges. Somewhere, in the tiny spaces between our disagreements, where our beliefs actually overlap, is the home I'd like to build with you. You'll find me there.

Zeth, if I can be of any assistance, please let me know. Whether this is something done formally or not, does not matter to me.

Roann, I look forward to speaking with you further. I learned a lot in those late hours of contemplation and I'm sure there's much more to discuss.


In Service,
~Equitem Nova
House of Base & Reason
 
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