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 Post subject: Re: Postings of a Heretic
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Location: Temple of the Pantheon, First City
Heretic,

I am disappointed to hear some of the details of your beliefs, for I regret that I must inform you that they are patently false. I, for one, am an ordained Priestess of Hurrian, but I also honor and do my utmost to follow the tenets of all of the Twelve. Your words speak of your ignorance of some things, for there was never a need of a 'spirit-talker' to speak to the Gods at the dawn of the First Imperium. They walked among us in physical form then, as their Valinor did forty-five years ago. I am certainly no spirit-talker, but I have spoken with Valinor on numerous occasions... and even did battle with a fallen, mad Valinor in one most dire instance. Further, suggesting that humanity was ever in a position to see the Gods as anything other than Gods is sheer lunacy. We are their children, made in their image - to see them as anything other than our cosmological parents and Gods is... I'm afraid that my eloquence fails me, I have no words for the depths of that blasphemy.

Know this, I am perhaps one of the most open-minded members of the clergy you shall ever find. I acknowledge the existence of spirits - how could I not when I have traveled into the dreamtime of a cursed sword to free trapped souls within? I am well aware that there are stranger things between the realms than are dreamt of in my philosophy... and I do not begrudge anyone's right to deal with those things as they see fit. However, the Twelve are Gods, and suggesting otherwise is the worst sort of heresy. They created us, and we are their children - yet you would suggest dealing with them as mere spirit patrons? This is the grandest blasphemy of which I have ever heard, and you court damnation to have uttered it. Even the Dark Apostate, the grand Heretic of Canceri, still acknowledges that the Twelve are Gods and the creators of humanity.

You are right to hide your identity, for if you can drive even I - the most understanding and open-minded member of my clerical brothers and sisters - to see you as a blasphemer... I dare say that you would not be long for this world were you to publicly acknowledge voicing these perfidious falsehoods.

I beg you to reconsider your beliefs - to look at the recorded history of the Imperium, and to see the truth of the Twelve. Please do not squander your soul to the Cauldron and your intellect to the eternal torments of Neroth's realm in the beyond. So long as your heart still beats, there remains hope that you may yet bask in the Pantheon's light and be forgiven your trespasses.

- Ser Adelheidis Sigrid val'Tensen of Moratavia


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 Post subject: Re: Postings of a Heretic
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:20 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Michigan
Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
Your words speak of your ignorance of some things, for there was never a need of a 'spirit-talker' to speak to the Gods at the dawn of the First Imperium. They walked among us in physical form then, as their Valinor did forty-five years ago.


I speak of the time before the First Imperium, before man knew the Gods.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
Further, suggesting that humanity was ever in a position to see the Gods as anything other than Gods is sheer lunacy. We are their children, made in their image - to see them as anything other than our cosmological parents and Gods is... I'm afraid that my eloquence fails me, I have no words for the depths of that blasphemy.


Careful with your words, as you border on blasphemy yourself. No where in the sacred canticle does it speak of the Gods being our creators, and there are many legends of man coming to the gods in ages past. Additionally, it is well known now that man (and Undir) were already present on Onara before the Pantheon arrived. And yet the no less that the former Partriarch Felician val’Mehan said that “The Canticle of Illiir teaches that the Gods came with man from across the seas, yet Yarris was known to the undir since time immemorial. What does that tell us? It tells us to question – but understand the truth. Yarris is the sea, men came to Onara upon his back – of course he was known” [ARG pg 226] How is man lead to the Gods? Through their servants and shaman.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
However, the Twelve are Gods, and suggesting otherwise is the worst sort of heresy. They created us, and we are their children - yet you would suggest dealing with them as mere spirit patrons? This is the grandest blasphemy of which I have ever heard, and you court damnation to have uttered it.


Please, you misread what I have written like only a priest would. Did I not say, "It was through shamanism that we grew close to the gods and took them as our most powerful sponsors. Not just as gods, but as sponsors, advisers, and peers, and that is the way shamans relate to the spirits. This was clear, as the Undir new Yarris long before the arrival of the Pantheon on these shores. In this way shaman who grew close to the Gods did not need to serve only one, the way priests do, but could draw from all of the gods as shaman learn to draw from numerous spirits.


Nowhere did I deny they are gods, and numerous times I advocated their godhood. But you ignored that to say that because I will not grovel like I priest I must be a heretic. I find that amusing since you say you are from Milandir. The most apt comparison I can find is in comparing our approaches to the Gods to relations in Milandir and Coryan. In Milandir, the King is the King. He is powerful and rules by the right of the Gods. He has dukes, knights, servants, and a vast array of nobility, which eventually descends down to the... freeman. The King is so distant from the freeman as to appear all powerful, is he not? And yet, there is an inseparable web between them of agreements, understandings, and support. Just as there is between the Gods and a spirit-talker who deals with them. Spirit-talkers usually deal with spirits, beings who might only rank as peons in this orderly court. But just as a freeman may deal with a King with caution, so to might a spirit-talker deal with the Gods. The Gods are not spirits, but can choose to grant powers like Spirits do, if they so choose. Are you inclined to say that the Gods cannot do so? Do you so understand their minds that you can say what they would or would not do? You be careful with whether you tread to close to blasphemy, chosen or not of Neroth. And if the gods so do so, that Freeman who receives the powers is still a Freeman, with the honor they hold, he may request, but he does not beg. He can serve the entire court as his honor and oaths allow.

Priests, on the other hand, hold a more Coryani model in their beliefs about godhood. Where Illiir (admittedly called the emperor of the gods by the Coryani, at least) stand as emperor, with the rest of the pantheon around him (as the senate perhaps?) and the celestial hierarchy going down not to the common man, but to the slave-priest, who has the right to beg for his gods favors. Here, a slave can only have one master, and all power comes through him.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
You are right to hide your identity, for if you can drive even I - the most understanding and open-minded member of my clerical brothers and sisters - to see you as a blasphemer... .


I nearly wept at this truth; that you indeed may be the most open-minded. It filled me with sorrow that in this age, dark shadow is seen as the light because it is lighter than total darkness.

_________________
AKA Kavaris, awakened "Human" from the Hinterlands, psionic transmutation specialist, adventurer, and no one important


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 Post subject: Re: Postings of a Heretic
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Heretic,

Perhaps I read more into your referring to the Gods as 'peers' than you intended, but it was that word which goaded my reaction. To call one your peer is to call them your equal. You claim that spirit-talkers dealt with the Gods as equals. I would never claim the King, the Coryani Emperor, or anyone else above my station to be my peer - they are my betters, not my equals. Now you attempt to retract that statement and obfuscate the matter. If you believe in your heresies, then have the spine to speak as you think and not backtrack or kowtow. And do not pretend that because you use the same word that it means the same thing. I know that when you say 'god' it does not mean the same as when I say 'God.' Only the Twelve are true Gods. You and your ilk believe that any powerful spirit which can be a potential patron with whom to bargain qualifies as a 'god.' I have heard your kind's oft repeated mantra of "For the lesser gods" - referring to spirits. There are only twelve true Gods of humanity. While other races have their own gods, humanity belongs only to the Twelve, and any human whom worships any other god is damned, deviant, and blasphemous. This is not to say that you cannot deal with the gods of another species or with powerful spirits - at times I have discovered that circumstances will force even the most pious priestess of the Twelve to do so... but it is to say that you may not worship any spirit or deity aside from the Twelve. Also, and more importantly, it is to say that you must acknowledge that the Twelve are Gods, and a few rare other entities with whom the Twelve have interacted - such as Belisarda - may also be called Gods. Spirits, no matter how powerful, are not gods. That your kind refers to a powerful spirit as a lesser god is telling, so do not hide behind the argument that using the word 'god' to describe them is the same as offering proper obeisance and worship to the Twelve. If you believe that your use of the word holds that power, then I shall endeavor to assist you in breaking that delusion.

The Undir are not strictly human, but have interbred with humans enough to now be of human lineage - much like the Kio. Even if they were wholly human, their existence would not counter what I said. We ARE the children of the Gods - Neroth crafts our bodies, Beltine forges our souls, and Larissa weaves our fates, thus how can you say then that we are not each created by the Gods? And the most telling evidence that the Gods are our lovings creators? Illiir, in his wisdom, granted to Humanity the gift of free will. This is not only in the Canticle, but I heard it from the lips of Illiir's loyal valinor whom led the loyal hosts of the heavens in battle against Manetas and his traitorous ilk.

You quote Felician to me from a book, and you try to twist those words to claim that the Gods did not create humanity. I knew the man, not the legend. I worked with him, I learned from him, and ultimately I watched in horror as Holy Emperor Calcestus val'Assante, led astray by the mad Valinor Manetas, struck him down on the steps of the Temple of the Pantheon. You quote his words as if you know what he meant, but you do not understand them. The Gods are eternal - their domain extended across the world and throughout the shores and lands of Onara long before they physically entered the mortal plane to physically stand among us. Of course the Gods were known in Onara before their physical arrival - as Felician said, their deeds and works if not their names were here as surely as every strike of lightning is the flash of Hurrian's sword. They chose to walk amongst mortals and first enter the material plane amongst their chosen people - in order to lead that people, but it is foolish to think that their power was limited in scope to the land upon which they physically stood. There are dark reasons that they bodily led our forefathers to Onara, but they were here before they or we bodily strode the shores. Hurrian's sky stretched across this land, Beltine's Cauldron birthed its people, and Neroth's worms devoured its dead. All the Gods were always here in the metaphysical sense - so of course they were already known before they graced us with their physical presence and led us to this land. Spirit talkers may have known of the Gods - may have spoken to their Valinor even... but mortals were never, EVER the peers of the Gods. You do not bargain with the Twelve, you give yourself to them. You do not ask for payment from the Twelve, you receive rewards if you act as they would wish you to act. You make no demand of Gods - you either show them love and devotion or merely exist without their guiding hand. However, no matter what you do - no matter what heresies you speak, you are always their child, and they will love you and wish the best for you even if they dislike the choices you make with the Free Will Illiir gave you.

Know this, I shall give you the benefit of the doubt. You may believe that you or your ancestors dealt with the Gods in the manner you have described... but if such deals and exchanges occurred, then they were not with the Twelve. The Gods gifted not only humanity with free will, but also their Valinor. Manetas was not the only Valinor to go mad and declare himself a god - and it is possible that he was not the first. Enough mad angels followed Manetas into darkness that the loyal hosts of the Heavens had to recruit Champions of Light - including myself - to assist in their battle with their wayward kin.

If you or your ancestor spoke to a so-called god as a 'peer' and made deals for power, then you were not speaking to a real God, but most likely another powerful being or Valinor hungry for mortal affection - like Manetas - and which also like him was willing to lie to receive it.

You are foolish if you believe that you know better than I how the Gods grant their power - and I assure you as not only a knight but also an ordained priestess that the Gods' relationship to the clergy and through us Humanity is far deeper and more pure than any oath to a mortal ruler. That you do not understand this is the most eloquent evidence that you do not understand what constitutes a grand, divine being such as one of the Twelve - and therefore explains how you believe your false words. A mortal King exchanges power for fealty, yes - but a mortal King is fallible and cannot survive without his vassals - there is an exchange of power, the oaths of fealty increasing the power of all involved, King or vassal Knight. A God does not need his children or worshipers - he loves them, but he does not need them. You cannot bargain with one of the Twelve - you cannot make deals with them. You may merely please them or displease them with you actions and words. If you please them, they may choose to grant you some measure of the power of Creation, but they are not obligated to do so. I pray that you realize this before you stand before the Judgement of Nier, for he shall not make deals with you, and no bargain may save you from the Cauldron.

As I told you, I am an ordained Priestess of Hurrian. From my earliest years, I was reared in the church - I learned to officiate the ceremonies of our Lord Hurrian as well as some of the necessary rituals of the Mother Church as a whole. I separately trained under one of the Church of Hurrian's orders of knights, and there I learned to speak the Divine Cants which grant some of the power of creation to his clergy. These cants and rituals are the same as they have ever been - they were taught to us in time immemorial by the Gods. However, they do not work for everyone. If I were to betray my tenets of faith, then my cants and prayers would cease being answered. This is not due to a bargain, it is due to an offer. The Gods were not bartered with like some cheap merchant, they - in their infinite benevolence - offered guidance and assistance to us on the condition that we obey their edicts. There was no discourse, no debate, and no bargaining. There was only the choice to obey. The Gods did not make this offer because they were convinced to do so or asked to do so - they were not bartered with... they made this offer as a parent would to a child - to help us grow as a species, because they love that which they have wrought in us.

Before a divine cant ever passed my lips in success, I gave myself wholly to the Twelve - specifically to Hurrian. I am not a slave, nor have I ever been. Many would take offense that you called my ilk 'slave-priests,' but I forgive you that trespass since it was spoken in ignorance. I do not do what I do because I HAVE to or am FORCED to - I do it out of a pure love and devotion to my Heavenly Father, Hurrian. I worship him because I desire to do so, not because I must do so or because of any fear of consequences. I dispelled all doubt from my mind, all question from the soul I once had. I devoted my entire self - my every action - to the glory and teachings of Hurrian and the Twelve. I did not demand anything in return - I made no expectation of obligation on his part. There was no deal struck. There was the simple, pure dedication and love between a supplicant child and her metaphysical father. This is not the relationship of a slave to her master - it is the purest love between a child and her progenitor. I pray that you can know love such as this one day - be it for one of the Twelve or a mortal lover or child. It is a Love and Devotion so pure and powerful that even its echo in my soulless husk shall lend to me a form of passion that shall last for eternity. His Valinor CHOSE to answer my prayers and supplications by granting to me a portion of the power of Creation, but they were not obligated to do so - they do so because Hurrian returns the love of his children, because the Twelve all love their children. Yes, I said his Valinor... I shall get to that momentarily.

You are flatly wrong when you speak of the original clergy of the Twelve. They were not craven spirit-talkers bargaining with the Pantheon for power. They were wise priests whom - like me, but with far more clarity and guidance in understanding the will of the Twelve - gave themselves wholly to the Twelve. They were granted more power than present-day priests not because they made better bargains as you seem to believe, but because they better understood the will of the Twelve and therefore how to please the Pantheon. There were no contracts or bargains. There was only the purity and love of a supplicant for the divine - a love that pleased the Divine Twelve such that they generously chose to give power to their supplicants that they might make the world a better place for the children of the Gods.

As far as why they no longer speak to their clergy directly - it is not as you believe, nor is it evidence of your misguided understanding of the original ways of the clergy of the Pantheon. The truth is far harsher and far more terrifying. When I learned of it, even my unbeating heart could feel the weight of it.

Not long before the final days of the Coryani Civil war, I had the honor to speak with a valinor whom had been wounded by her treacherous kin. I spoke with the Love of Illiir. Between her words - cryptic though they may have been when I asked her of things the Twelve did not wish humanity to know - and my own experiences, I learned the truth of it. The Gods, even now, are on other worlds fighting for OUR survival. They are battling with a planar force that we can only know as Entropy - the harbinger of the coming Oblivion... a dark and sinister force bent on the destruction of all creation. I cannot give you more details in this missive, for Entropy has agents and dangerous allies already on Onara. I will tell you more if you would deign to meet me - and if you do so then you have my word that I shall conduct myself honorably and refrain from any hostility no matter what I think of you or your words... that alone should drive home to you the grave nature of the threat that faces all Arcanis - the threat that will require people of noble thought to ally themselves in solidarity across the lines empires and faiths. In the battle against Entropy and Oblivion, I would gladly call even the most base heretic my brother if he would fight at my side.

Here is the Truth of it - my hand trembles at the memory of her countenance and words, for such was their radiance and power that even the dead and soulless could feel again in her presence: The Love of Illiir, the most loyal valinor of the King of the Gods, told Prelate Leola val'Assante, the other Champions, and myself the Truth. She told us the Truth that "He (Illiir) gave humanity free will" and that we had been left our own devices in many respects because "at some point every child must walk on his own. He merely left you clues to nudge you in the right way." She also told us this, far more grave news: "Not long after the fall of the First Imperium, the Gods left to somehow defeat the coming of Oblivion. They left us, their Valinor, to look after His children until their inevitable return... The Gods bestowed upon us the ability to grant power in their absence. We merely act as a conduit through which their power flows from Them to you."

And she said these words whilst speaking of the Twelve... these words which have haunted me and shall haunt me forever more until Entropy and the coming Oblivion is stopped: "should They fall, then all of existence is in danger."

Now, I want to say one last thing with perfect clarity: You may be a heretic. I may be a Priestess motivated to save your soul. We will likely never agree on the nature of the Twelve, how to serve them, or almost anything else. However, NONE OF THAT MATTERS. I could have begun our communications with the message of the Love of Illiir, but I had to establish rapport first for fear that you would not believe the truth of my words - the Truth that she shared with me forty five years ago and that I have spoken more times than I can count but have all too often had my voice fall upon deaf or unwilling ears. The real TRUTH is: NOTHING of the things discussed in these missives matter at all unless WE ALL learn to put aside our differences - be they petty or great - in the interests of stamping out Entropy, its allies, and all else that threatens to usher in the coming of Oblivion. The Twelve need us now - though by all rights a God should never need a mortal, the threat is so grave that they NEED us now. All of creation needs every last soul to fight for all of existence. You may be a heretic - you may not be the hero Creation would want or deserve, but you may still be one of the legion of heroes it - and we all - NEED.

If you can try to be such a hero - a comrade in the battle against Entropy, then I will gladly suffer to hear whatever heresy you wish to speak - I would let you say whatever you wish of me - call me wrong, a fool, a slave-priest, an unwitting spirit-talker, or whatever else you damn well please. I would suffer any indignity and any amount of heresy so long as you never harm the innocent and stand by my side against Entropy - then I would gladly call you my brother.

I'd still pray for your soul though.

As I sign this missive, this time I list my honorifics. I do not do so for reasons of glory, fame, idolatry, or hubris. I do so in order that you know exactly who I am, what I have done, and why you should believe me when I speak to you of Entropy and the coming Oblivion.

Yours in earnest,
Adelheidis "Heidi" Sigrid val'Tensen, Priestess of Hurrian, Storm-Lord, Knight.
Last Scion of the line of Sigismund the Stalwart, Lady of Ritterfeld, Veteran of every Major Battle of the Coryani Civil War from the Battle of Shattered Armies to the Battle of Grand Coryan, Bearer of Elebac's Masterpiece Ewiger Sturmzorn, Champion of Light, Completer of the Sacred Tasks, Slayer of Voiceless Ones, Enemy of Entropy, Once Blessed of Neroth, Favored of Loshnek, Guardian of Seremas, Friend to the Elorii Nations, Slayer of Malfeans, Defender of Altheria, Bearer of the Armilus of the Laurel of Vigilance, and above all else: Sister-in-Arms to any who would fight the coming darkness of Oblivion, no matter their race, creed, faith, or past.


Last edited by Heidi val'Tensen on Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Postings of a Heretic
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:26 pm 
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Hmmm... a lot to digest in that speech. All quite interesting. But also some material
I find quite troubling.

First I would simply note that all use of the arcanum, the tamed corner of "magic" that reliably produces spell effects, from Cants to Psionics to various Sorcerous incantations ALL derive their power from the residue of creation. What makes Cants different is that they were taught by the Gods or their Valinor. The process is safe (physically and spiritually) and must be followed exactly. True Faith is required to pull the trigger and activate the final spell. The most orthodox members of the clergy find the wild experimentation true Sorcerers use to be questionable or even blasphemous as they use the same building blocks of Cants but "tinker" with how they are joined together. Finally Psionics is almost biological solipsism as the Val body and mind harvest an infinetesimal amount of energy and shape it through meditation.

((OOC: see ARP))

On the matter of Prelate Leola, a good and Holy woman I've had the opportunity to meet and speak too...she has repeatedly denied that a Valinor once visited the Citadel of Illiir. Her story, despite persistent rumors to the contrary, is that a great white bird I sister the Citadel. I look forward to the next time I get to speak with her. You provide a great deal of ... interesting ... assertions.

((OOC : See Blessed Lands))

Yours in Haste,

Tukufu

_________________
Eric Gorman

AKA Ambassador Tukufu, man of letters, tomb raider and Master Sword Sage
. . . and Sir Szymon val'Holryn, Order of the Phoenix
Formerly Sir Jaeger val'Holryn. Weilder of the Holy Avenger: Thonanos. Gave his soul to help free King Noen


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 Post subject: Re: Postings of a Heretic
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:15 pm 
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val Holryn wrote:
Hmmm... a lot to digest in that speech. All quite interesting. But also some material
I find quite troubling.


My Dear Colleague,

I will happily submit to a Divine Cant to force one to only speak the truth, and under its influence I shall tell you the same as I wrote in my letter. It is all true. If there were a way to allow you to see my memory, then I would gladly allow it. I have seen so much that I am at times thankful to be unburdened through my loss of my soul. Were I able to feel as a mortal feels, then I may have been long ago driven mad by the revelations of the events I have witnessed.

I saw the Green Dragon's flight over Semar, and I was there when the last flight of the Damned burned in the sky. I witnessed the march of the Sword of the Heavens through my beloved Milandir, and I saw everything I loved burn. I have walked on other worlds under a dying sun, and I have stood on a shore to battle an Infernal Fleet. I have walked beneath the waves and seen the deep dwellers there, and I have witnessed the Word of Illiir possess a daughter to make her pious. I have seen cities burn, and I have seen a sky so thick with valinor battling valinor that blood rained in torrential downpour. I have seen the murder of a Patriarch, and I have seen acts of selfless courage that could inspire even a dead heart. I have walked the realms of the underworld through Neroth's path and into Beltine's Cauldron, and I have seen the river of val'Tensen souls burning as they wait for us to break their curse. I have witnessed the redemption of a great villain in a single act of unparalleled sacrifice, and I have seen an Emperor - crippled from torture and starvation - climb up the steps he ran upon as a child and strode carelessly upon as a man to in the last moments of his life stand tall and proudly defy the mad Pride of Illiir that once did evil in his name. I stood witness to the Defender of the Empire's final salute to his Emperor, and I heard that Emperor's final words of reconciliation with his greatest general. I saw all of this firsthand, and because of it I have been changed forever in so very many ways. I have been spurned by fate - removed from its tapestry, only to have my thread rewoven into it once more. I have died - truly died - twice, yet I somehow never passed from this world. I have been one of the undead, and now I am again a living creature with a beating heart. Of course anyone reading this will think me mad or lying... how could they not? How can anyone who was not there ever believe that their world is on the brink of Oblivion? Of course no mortal would believe what I have seen. It is far easier to hide from the truth than to hear the whispers in the dark and know just how close we all are to the fall of the final curtain upon Creation. I do not care what is thought of me. I will always tell the Truth until I can no longer speak.

There is a reason my name appears in few histories of the events in which I participated - I would not lie to save face for others, and as one Blessed of Neroth, it was not socially acceptable in most circles to speak of me as a hero... thus my name has faded from the memory of most. I will keep speaking the truth regardless, and it shall never be silenced so long as I remain. Perhaps that was Neroth's purpose in preserving me - I do not know.

Perhaps the gravest injustice of history, though, was done to Holy Emperor Calcestus val'Assante... he is remembered by history as the Mad Emperor for actions performed in his name by a Punhavi shapeshifting imposter loyal to Manetas... he was damned for actions of generals whom followed orders he never gave. That is the tragedy of it, for if his son could only have seen the hero Calcestus truly was, then we may not now be standing so close to the precipice.

As for the revelations delivered by the Love of Illiir... I fear that I may be the last person whom was there whom is both still able to speak and is willing to do so in spite of any political fallout. I have been telling others of Her words and dire warnings for half a century... and yet Onara continues to be crippled by the pettiness of nations and men whom find it easier to think me a liar than to accept that we are all standing in the threatening shadow of the doom of all Creation.

I am Almerican - effectively a woman without a nation. Further, I am an itinerant priestess with no position of authority within the Church. I have nothing to lose by speaking the Truth... and perhaps that is why I am the only one from those days whom still does. I may know another whom would corroborate my words, but I will not name them in public. I have made myself a target of Oblivion's agents - and I am at peace with that, but I shall not make a target of another.

- Ser Adelheidis Sigrid val'Tensen of Moratavia


Last edited by Heidi val'Tensen on Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Postings of a Heretic
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:28 pm 

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Location: Michigan
First off, my apologies. Your response was quite long. You definitely have the advantage of being trained in words as a priest. Perhaps for such discussions I would have been better served learning such eloquence rather than how to feel the truth of the worlds around us.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
Heretic,

Perhaps I read more into your referring to the Gods as 'peers' than you intended, but it was that word which goaded my reaction. To call one your peer is to call them your equal. You claim that spirit-talkers dealt with the Gods as equals. I would never claim the King, the Coryani Emperor, or anyone else above my station to be my peer - they are my betters, not my equals. Now you attempt to retract that statement and obfuscate the matter.


Yes, so you cherry picked “peer” out of the statement “Not just as gods, but as sponsors, advisers, and peers” to take umbrage at. While I will admit there is room for confusion, none of the other terms used means equals. In this sense I meant one that we would work with and for with the application of our own wit and free will, rather than question-less obedience. In that sense we could serve them all, even when they were in contention with each other because we did not have to follow their wishes as rote little automatons, but could bring our own intellect and free will to bear on how to best serve the pantheon, not just the individual god better.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
I know that when you say 'god' it does not mean the same as when I say 'God.'


Oh thank you for telling me what I mean. I’m glad to know there are those out there that know everyone well enough to know exactly how we all think. Truly peace will be upon the world immediately with such great wisdom.

Despite what you may believe, I am a devout follower of the Gods. (I have not always been, and learned the error of my ways) I hope you and I mean the same things when we speak of the Gods, because if not, I’m afraid you may have an appointment with the inquisitors.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
The Gods are eternal - their domain extended across the world and throughout the shores and lands of Onara long before they physically entered the mortal plane to physically stand among us. Of course the Gods were known in Onara before their physical arrival - as Felician said, their deeds and works if not their names were here as surely as every strike of lightning is the flash of Hurrian's sword. They chose to walk amongst mortals and first enter the material plane amongst their chosen people - in order to lead that people, but it is foolish to think that their power was limited in scope to the land upon which they physically stood. There are dark reasons that they bodily led our forefathers to Onara, but they were here before they or we bodily strode the shores. Hurrian's sky stretched across this land, Beltine's Cauldron birthed its people, and Neroth's worms devoured its dead. All the Gods were always here in the metaphysical sense - so of course they were already known before they graced us with their physical presence and led us to this land. Spirit talkers may have known of the Gods - may have spoken to their Valinor even…


Thank you for admitting at least this. The Gods were before we knew them, and the spirit-talkers led us to them through their servants in the spirit world. The Gods shared power with spirit-talkers, to make the pantheonistic priest. I do not claim necessarily directly, but through divine servants, and at the direction of the Gods, just as they do now with priests.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
I dispelled all doubt from my mind, all question from the soul I once had. I devoted my entire self - my every action - to the glory and teachings of Hurrian and the Twelve. I did not demand anything in return - I made no expectation of obligation on his part.


Right. Unquestioning obedience and perfect subjugation. Glad we agree. You say priest, I say slave. I say Tomato, you say Tomato.

You raise free will as an important gift of the gods, but then hold those who insist on maintaining theirs in contempt. I am happy for you that you found such happiness in choosing to sacrifice your free will on Hurrian’s alter so that you can become his most devoted, unquestioning, pet. Many find peace in embracing dogma so that they can lay down their burden of free will. I am sure that is why the Gods were wise to teach mankind Cants that require devotion rather than reason, so those too weak to use their free will can still wield the powers of at least one God in the fights we will have in the future.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
This is not the relationship of a slave to her master - it is the purest love between a child and her progenitor.


The relationship of a parent to a child is apt, but your understanding of that relationship is… poor. There is always an understanding between the two. You removed “all doubt from my mind, all question from the soul” to serve the Gods, but that doesn’t make a child, it makes a slave. The child is not the parent’s servant, the child does not obey unquestioningly, the child assists as is in its power but it also questions so it may learn, grow, and in the end it stand on its own as a man to assist its parent. The child has a duty to the parent, but the parent also has a duty to the child – to teach, to be an example, to assist. This is exactly the kind of “deal” that was accepted between the pantheonistic priests (i.e. shaman) and our Gods.

You seem obsessed with the idea that shaman strike deals and contracts, and in some cases that can be true (the more true the less wise the Shaman is in terms of dealing with beings… unworthy of being dealt with). But the spirit realm is much like the earthly realm where there are relationships between beings. Just as a child has a relationship with a parent that one could describe as a “deal” of mutual obligation, or a commoner “deal” with a king to have reciprocal ties of obligation, so to can shaman deal with beings. No being is forced into this, from either side of an agreement. So when mankind found the Gods, The Gods were pleased to help us, as we are their children, and we needed their guidance. The shaman accepted this relationship and served the pantheon as men were meant to. There was nothing “weak” about this, as anyone who has ever stood between a priest of Beltine an undead priest of Neroth might attest… Only through strength and free will can one serve the entire pantheon. Unquestioning servitude only works when you serve but one master.

You claim that the God’s would never impart power to their children in such a manner. I say no good parent would ever deal with their child in any other manner, unless they wished them to never grow up. I find your hubris in being so certain that you can speak for the Gods themselves to be… amusing? Terrifying? Whatever it is, it makes my point more clearly than I ever could.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
As far as why they no longer speak to their clergy directly - it is not as you believe, nor is it evidence of your misguided understanding of the original ways of the clergy of the Pantheon. The truth is far harsher and far more terrifying. When I learned of it, even my unbeating heart could feel the weight of it.


I made no mention of why God’s don’t speak directly to we shaman or to priests directly anymore. In many ways it does not matter, since their power is still available to us in many manners to wield. I will only say I am aware of at least some of what you speak, and I will say no more here. I will say, however, that I do not need such a reason to not burn my fellow man alive because he does not believe as I believe. Though I appreciate, at least, that you are willing to set aside your desire to slaughter your fellow man for some reason.

Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
I'd still pray for your soul though.


And I yours.

- "Heretic"

_________________
AKA Kavaris, awakened "Human" from the Hinterlands, psionic transmutation specialist, adventurer, and no one important


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 Post subject: Re: Postings of a Heretic
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:32 am 
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toodeep wrote:
Heidi val'Tensen wrote:
I'd still pray for your soul though.


And I yours.



I appreciate your sentiment. However, even if you were right and I wrong, you would still be wasting your efforts in that regards. I do not have a soul. When my corporeal form ends, there shall be nothing left of me save the lives of others whom I hope to have touched for the better.

Before I continue, I would like to thank you for your rare compliment upon my eloquence. Please do not be discouraged - it is a learned skill, and not one I entirely picked up in my priestly training. In truth, much of my way with words comes from my time as a knight in the Royal Court. I was groomed by my parents for courtly politics rather than war or faith. I have also in the past served as a diplomat, and for a time I directly ruled the lands of my inheritance. I have had many decades to improve myself. I do not know how old you are, but I imagine that I have had much more time to hone my word-craft than you have had. I have no doubt that given similar time and access to training, you would be just as eloquent as I.

You make many assumptions about me, but I have taken them in stride and until now refrained from addressing them. This is largely because while I may logically conclude that I should take offense, I am incapable of feeling such offense.

I will not continue to attempt to debate with you, because I understand that your soul is beyond my ability to save. I will attempt to clarify and understand - to make sure that any misunderstandings are dispelled, but I will not make new arguments.

I will do my utmost to say this next part in a way that cannot be misconstrued or taken out of context: I hope that after you have led a long and fruitful life, once you pass on to the Cauldron and have some portion of your soul reborn again, I may have better luck in saving the next incarnation of some portion of your soul and assisting it in reaching the Paradise of the Gods.

You have ignored large portions of my arguments and instead done the exact thing that you accused me of doing: you have "cherry picked" disparate statements - taking them out of context. You do this in order to make unfounded character attacks, and you simply ignore and draw attention away from the large swathes of my reasoning with which you cannot find weakness. I forgive you for this, because it is a very human response when one finds the structure of their world-view challenged.

As far as my giving myself wholly to first Hurrian and then over time the rest of the Pantheon, please do not take this to mean that I expect this of everyone. I am an ordained priestess, and such true faith comes easy for me. It resonates with me, and my intellect and the soul I once had were already so aligned with His teachings that giving myself to him was no sacrifice at all. I still have Free Will, but I would have chosen to do the things His tenets of faith ask of me anyway. This alignment of purpose, thought, and will is what makes one a candidate to become a priest or priestess. We exist to help and guide the common man - not to force them to abide by the same standards we chose for ourselves. It is each man or woman's choice whether or not to follow our example. As the Valinor said, each child must stand on her own, but it is the duty of the parent to give them the tools they need to stand on their own. The truth is that faith is meaningless without free will - if you have no choice, then it cannot be called faith.

For the sake of clarity, I would also like to point out that I was giving you assurances that you would come to no harm if you agreed to meet me because I assumed - and rightly so it would appear - that you would fear me due to the actions of others of my kind. I offered to make an unnecessary oath in order to reassure you that such a meeting would be safe. I am sorry that your interpretation was different than I intended. I misjudge my words at times, because in all honesty I have forgotten how to think like a being with emotion. I am able to ape it and predict it most of the time, but ultimately my mind and your mind are very alien to one another on a fundamental level beyond mere points of view.

The truth is, I have never killed, maimed, or tortured anyone solely for their beliefs - and I will never do so. I've spoken many words and spilled much ink, but I've never drawn blood or blade except to either prevent harm to another or avenge harm done. I have told my fellow clergy many times that no conversion by the sword can save a soul, for no such conversion is true.

Once I met an Etzhara in the wilderness. He had been terribly harmed by those whom follow my Church in a way with which I do not agree. I freed him, dressed his wounds, spoke cants to speed his recovery, gave him water, and fed him. I asked him not to judge all of my ilk for the actions of a few, and I told him that the Pantheon loves him. He responded by insulting my faith, calling me a monster, and claiming that my aid was the work of spirits rather than the Gods I follow. My response was simply to ask him if he needed any supplies before his journey home and to tell him that I would pray for his soul. Given the words you have written of me, I presume that this must surprise you. My only weapons of conversion have always been words and kindness.

As Hurrian has taught me, my blade has always been reserved for those whom harm or threaten others. I met such men not long after I rescued the Etzhara. I dealt with them in accordance with Hurrian's tenets as preached by the Church.

Now, I will point out that the worst things I have called you have been "Misguided" and "Foolish." I have agreed with your original statement that you are a heretic, and I have observed that you have written blasphemy. My other statements have all been to express my regret at this. I never once said that I wished you harm. Quite the contrary, I told you that I feared for your safety should you publicize your identity, and I admitted freely that my fellow clergy would be inclined towards violence. I have been around a very long time, and I can assure you that violence as a means to conversion never works. Unfortunately, young beings with mortal passions do not understand or believe this immutable truth.

Conversely, you have offered many insults to me. You have described me as a being bent on the slaughter of mankind, obsessed, a slave, too weak to cope with free will, unable to appreciate all of the Gods, and one seeking 'perfect subjugation.' I forgive you for saying all of these things. They cannot hurt me, and thus the effort in crafting the barbs is wasted.

I will say this though: the goal of Manetas, the Mad Pride of Illiir, was to strip Free Will from humanity in order to create paradise in the material plane. I fought him and paid a very dear price for it. If I was the person you paint me as, then I would have supported him. Instead I made him bleed. I made him bleed, because no matter what you or anyone else chooses to do with Illiir's gift of Free Will, it is His will that you have the right to do so regardless of whether or not He, his clergy, or anyone else agrees with it. You may find yourself in the Cauldron for it, but it is your right to squander your immortal soul... and I will defend that right until I am dust or the Gods return and tell me that my duty is done. So long as you do no harm, that is.

From speaking with you, I have observed that pinning down a notion of what exactly you believe seems to be a moving target. You say that you do not have a gift with words. Perhaps this combined with my difficulty in understanding how creatures with souls and emotions think may have led to misunderstanding, or perhaps it is because you are not so certain in your beliefs and therefore they are indeed a moving target. In truth, the only way to be certain as to what you believe would be to accompany you and observe your interactions with spirits and whatever you believe to be the servants of the Gods.

As far as what I believe, I have been to the best of my eloquence consistent. I am an ordained priestess of Hurrian, but I worship all of the Twelve. If it were possible to be accepted into and trained in every priesthood, then I would gladly do it, but that is not the way the world currently works.

I do know this, though... I shared a great deal with you, and I offered friendship and brotherhood in spite of our obviously irreconcilable differences. It appears that you have spurned that offer in order to instead make additional insults and impugnment upon my character. I find this to be disappointing but not unexpected.

- Ser Adelheidis Sigrid val'Tensen


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