Knowledge Like Trophies

Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:22 am

Glenn,

The young season is upon us and refreshes infanitely. For this I am grateful. Being a creature of the Sun I cannot long abide by the snow or the gro gruelling weight of the dead seasons, both those slight and those oppressive. The snow hangs on my bones like old curtains. Here is a fact you should like, since you gather knowledge like trophies: a Jerno's bones are not the dull white of most men's, but brown in the color of old wood. Our blood is a thicker sort, I have been told; I have also been told that our sweat soffuses inwards as well as outwards, but this is not a science.

Either way there are a number of my bones scattered around Myrken Wood, should you choose to find one to add to your collection of oddities. One of them was even given in service of your safety.

And it is in the name of safety that I write to you today.

In service of a greater vision I have begun a fledgling school if you may call it as such. It has cost very little money, it has required no special preparation; I have asked some of our Inquisitors to work in other locations, and some aid others in tutoring and matriculasion. Our aim: as Myrken is a location of particular power and threat, I ask for the expertises of greater men and women than I in educating willing children in both the simplicities and complexities of that which is not like them.

Their survival depends upon this. So does ours. And perhaps (this, I believe, shall be of greatest interest to you) future deplomacy.

I am of course hesitant to extend this courtesy to you, but in honoring what I know would be Genny's desires (she engages in work beyond Myrken at this time) and knowing that you are a man of keen intellect and are greatly burdened with knowledge, I would be foolish to deny the request to you out of petty disconsolation and juvenile contempt.

If it suits you, would you wish to take part in the enlightenment of some of our children. If you wish to instruct in a specific skill or talent (they have lately been working upon recognizing that which is not human), I would temporary set aside our differences that some of our town's children might benefit.

What you must understand is this:

One, my belief in your expansive knowledge currently outweighs my belief in your current position of compromisation. I believe these children could benefit from exposure to what you have learned over many years in Myrken Wood;

Two, I will not hesitate in removing you from the role if you demonstrate any insistence to undermine the well-being of these children in thought or practice;

Three, should you take part, your sole purpose is to function with the benefit of these children in mind, not in service of one of your many unspoken schemes;

Four, you are an unknown quantity and in return for your expertise I am prepared to counter those who may object to your presence. Yes, you are well-known; yes, you are in possession of great and beneficial knowledge; yes, you have also been at the heart of much chaos in Myrken Wood, and this clings to you like the stink of nightsoil. But see this for what it is: an opportunity to work for the continued protection of our people, and to further yourself from the legacy of your mistakes. We should speak more.

In partnership,

Gloria Wynsee
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Glenn » Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:22 am

Gloria,

I appreciate hearing from you and am glad you are well. Truly glad. I doubt this surprises you, but it is, of course, the bare minimum of civility.

The knowledge of your bones is an interesting one. I firmly believe that such things are driven by cause and are rarely haphazard. Your suggestion of sweat could be an explanation. Given that I will not do any hands on experimentation, I may simply accept it. I do want everything explained.

I do, of course, feel strongly about a school. Rhaena, before her last transformation at the hands of Catch and the Storyteller (which means it was not one transformation but two, but it's very hard to separate them. No, this is wrong and unfair to all parties. Let me throw words onto the page until I get it correct). After the Catch-driven transformation but before the Storyteller's warping of it, though, in truth, the warping may have begun earlier as I again became more and she became less, but around that point she attempted a school as well. So I feel strongly about it. As we both feel strongly about Genevieve (and I apologize to her from afar for burdening her with a position in this paragraph, but she'd likely prefer it that way, and we bow to each other's preferences out of respect, when we can).

As such, feeling strongly about this, I assure you that the idea of me teaching children is a uniquely terrible one. I do not get along with children even in the best circumstances. I understand, however, the difficulties that arise due to a sparsity of resources. If you wish this to succeed, you must take the risk of calling upon all capable parties. Otherwise, there would be no risk to take for failure would be immediately assured. Better the possibility of success if you think children are to suffer all the more from the lack of trying.

I would be better suited teaching the teachers or helping to set some sort of curriculum and standards and I offer to do either of these things. I'd also offer the donation of certain suitable books if you'd allow for that.

But then your terms were your terms and they were carefully stated.

If those are to be your terms, let me counter with my own, ones made out of similar care, ones that work quite well in parallel with your own.

First, I am, under no circumstance, to be teaching any child anything subjective. No politics, no philosophy, no appreciation of literature. Nothing practical along those lines either. No oratory. No logic. No debate. Not even law. Surely you understand why that would expose them to the worst of what I am capable of. I could throw such ideas at Ariane for she could stab me in the face and turn her skin to iron and had known death and far worse tortures. A child has none of these recourses.

Following from this (but not second, as I do not think there is a second; I suppose the bit about curriculum would have been first and the last paragraph second), I would suggest something hands-on, objective, based in skill. Provincial Geography, which is something that cannot be denied or argued, followed by some rudimentary cartography. Made more practical, naturally: to fit every day life in Myrken, the understanding of the city's layout, the roads between towns, the woods, that sort of thing. I could donate a certain amount of my weekly time towards that endeavor.

If that does not suit, utilize me for the other things I suggested. Just don't force innocent children to tolerate the particular horror of me trying to teach them how to think.

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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:22 am

Glenn,

If you recall—

I was present while Rhaena ran her school. I was one of her students. I had newly come to Myrken and was still mastering learning the language and while I was twice as old as most of her other students I sought to be dilligent and studious; I wished very much to impress her, a task in which I believe I succeeded. In return for my consciensious study she gave to me a pewter broche which was to signify I was hers.

But I prefer to alter your recollection only so much: Catch transforms all, as he has transformed us in his image, for better and worse — but he was in no part responsible for Rhaena's ruin. That was the Storyteller's work. And, yes, Rhaena's. Yet let us not scrabble long over the matters of the past, for we will find ourselves smashing our heads together like furious rams and there will be nothing left to salvage. Let us know us better than this.

I wish you to believe this is a school only for that there are few better words to describe it. See it instead as a necessary extention of the function of the Inquisitory, to catalogue and inform, and now, to dessemenate. Students are not bound by the strict tenets of universities, for they must be flexible to tend to their families' needs. Perhaps in the future it shall become more, but for now, students come and go as suits them, and they are of various ages and capabilities, as you will find.

What I have found of children, though, is that they are remarkably uncorruptable except by the word of their parents.

Whether or not you feel you are compatible with children does not concern me, Mr. Burnie. They would benefit from proximity to your knowledge if they choose to remain for it. I will not currently condemn another adult to a presumption of your authority, as though you are the source of water to be trickled down through them to the thirstiest mouthes. For if you should be provided responsibility to instruct adults (you would not; I cannot at this time be comfortable issuing you such a position), I must be comfortable knowing you are not bending them.

And bending is what you do, Glenn. You have grown quite adept at it. You bend even when you do not realize your hands are so employed. You ply your thumbs to the minds of other folks like they are twigs and demand they see you as correct. Children come naturally predisposisioned with such an immunity, for they are hard as oak. You bend and yet are bent.

I am thankfully in agreement with you regarding your hesitation to teach matters of subjectivity. Now, if you should accept (please do; I say these children will certainly be better for it regardless of your hesitations, and I shall be present to ensure they afford you respect), I like that we focus purely on matters of geography and cartographie. There shall certainly be room for further growth and influence should you show yourself to be trustworthy enough to further shape the minds of the shapers. I ask for your patience. Know that in all of this, I am extending the greatest reach of my own.

Who is Gloria Wynsee to judge another man's trustworthiness? No one, save for being installed in a position of necessity.

Do not deny yourself to needful minds out of personal preference. Foundations must be formed of solid stuff.

I look forward to your corraspondence,

Gloria Wynsee
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Glenn » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:55 am

Gloria,

I understand that you are not privy to all that had happened. I would prefer if you asked a question in response instead of telling me that my understanding of a situation is false. I was there in that cellar beneath the Dagger with Catch, Rhaena, Mary, and Maxwell. I know what happened that night. I have surmised what Catch attempted at since then. I understand the unintended consequences of his actions. What he did that night created the canvas for the Storyteller to write upon. Of course that's not all the story, but it is part of the story nonetheless. There's blame to go around and so much of it mine, but he attempted a purification that night, one that may have ultimately come to save me, but at so high a cost over time.

We'll keep all that as a prelude to the rest.

You make it very painful to agree with you Gloria Wynsee. You could talk an ally out of an alliance if given enough time. I do apologize if you had wished to haggle over this more or desired me to make outlandish demands and give you a dragon to slay. We agree on limitations. Mine are even more significant than yours. But yes, let us see how it goes.

If all fails, I can just teach them swordmanship. The last recourse. I even know how to teach them that without teaching them anything at all. My teacher made a good living that way at times.

I do applaud how far you've come in your writing Gloria. You are now quite accomplished. I'm not sure enough people have told you that, though I hope at least some have.

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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:33 pm

If I quenched my thirst on the unnecessary compliments of others I would die dry-mouthed. My writing has grown fine as it must.

I see the bending already at work, Glenn. Do you? Glenn Burnie must leap at any chance to be correct. You think I have not been to that basement; you think I have not seen many things, but I have had Catch within me: my tooth, a capsule for him, and my heart an echo of his and his memories and the whispers of his mind mine to share. I have been closest to the center of what he is than any other living being; this, I shall not wield as pride, but as regret.

You can never be that near to him. She will try though. She will step on you to achieve that end.

Blame must cease at a certain barrier. Catch is to blame for many things, but the desolation of that woman? I will use your analogy: we do not praise the canvas for the masterpiece nor do we applaud the stone for the statue. Nor do we deride it for the failure of the painter or the crudeness of the sculpter. Rhaena performed Rhaena's bidding, and she the Storyteller's. You may have been in the basement but my hands still stink like blood when I take deep enough a breath.

Thank the Nameless you will not be responsible for philosophies; your understanding of them atrophies.

Is that her doing, I wonder.

See this for what it truly is, Glenn, before you burn the branch with your words: I invite you to bear a responsibility in this town alongside me, because there is a use in preparing these people for their futures and their lives. If one of these children learns something necessary, something viable, something to benefit their survival, then we have succeeded, and there is almost no possibility for failure in this endeavoure. You will do in this process what you have not done in many, many years: look Myrken in its eyes and determine wither or not you value it and us more than the burden of your pride. Many of these children have not met you, have never heard of you, will not know to what ends you have gone to both hinder and help them.

Very few men and women venture so close to such a chance for spirituale amnesty.

I will have for you: parchment (please wear your loosest trousers when you open the bundle, for that shall not be a fabric I am willing to repair); quills of various sizes; slates; a bureau that you may use as you please; an opportunity to determine which days and hours would be best benefit you. Should all go well you will not need to but see me in passing after the first few sessions and I will promise you the gift of my silence unless you do something foolish enough to demand my attention.

Sincerely,

Gloria Wynsee
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Glenn » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:48 am

Gloria,

While I have no intention of introducing my own subjectivity to children, you will be subject to it whenever you write me. For it to be otherwise would be akin to going to the shore and not swimming in the ocean; not entirely necessary, but a tremendous waste given the effort of your travels.

Your statement raises a certain question of symbols and actualities. I know first hand that it's possible for Catch to bleed out his own memories. I tasted some in a doubly literal sense many years back. Moreover, there's the sad case of Maxwell. I'd go further still to note that I have seen such a thing actually weaponized upon my first year in Myrken, though not by Catch; this was before his arrival. I lost a friend and very likely a different path to such an assault. That's relevant as both Savoy and Maxwell, for all of their failings, were keen intellects, not unlike yourself. Three different minds but all formidable in their own ways. Two of the three were destroyed, which makes me think your statement more symbolic than actual. Which is fine. You can have your judgments as you will based on what you have seen and what you have felt. I am open to the idea that a less violent transfer might have been possible and other such adjacent possibilities, like the notion a Jerno's mind might be able to parse through thousands of years of information better, but i do find it doubtful. If you'd be more willing to speak specifics, we could get to a common ground, and in fact, we ought to, because my understanding of his cycle

I'm not sure we can work together on this matter, Gloria. I think the only path forward is one of kindness and fulfillment that somehow also avoids the pitfalls of the previous iterations of the cycles but at the same time does not create a new one. I also understand that I am not the first throughout history to suggest such a thing and that it ends in ruin every time. Violence ends in ruin. Engagement ends in ruin. Isolation ends in ruin. Partnership ends in ruin. Utilization ends in ruin. And yes, Gloria, doing absolutely nothing leads to ruin as well. Love, hatred, and apathy all lead to the same destination. Were I or even you and I together the only important parties, it would be different but that's never been the case since I arrived and it'll never be the case.

But let us turn from the impossible to the probable, as you said. The doable. We cannot easily break a cosmic cycle and thus have doom in our future but at least we can provide a better chance at a better life for those who will succeed if we can avoid such a fate. If we do not do this and we still survive what is to come, then they will move forward into that life the worse off. What point survival without the hope of advancement and betterment? I am sympathetic to this. In Myrken, there have been so few times of true stability where growth is possible. We'll have to insert it wherever we can in the most benign manner possible.

I'll brook little specific interference in my teaching. My craft is a self-learned one but I supplemented with more proper instruction later in life. I would not hassle you on how to make a seam, though I would consider providing some observational coaching on your style for fisticuffs. You block punches far too often with your own face. As for the teaching of youths, I imagine both of us would not blindly copy the pedagogical experiences of our own childhood. If you want to discuss with me what we come to find to be successful so that we both may improve, that's another matter entirely.

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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:32 am

Work together together, perhaps no; work together separately, perhaps yes.

Here is a habit I have noticed in you: your insistence to know overrides a necessity for respect. Glenn, I have said this before and will say it until the day you are burnt to ashes, that you have little to no human touch and are perhaps best described as a thing performing a poor imitation of a human. Perhaps that shall be blamed on your state as a commoditie when you were a child, or perhaps you (I am sure you will go into detail) would attribute it to your various studies and explorations since arriving in Myrken Wood. Either way, where I find you fail is in your attempt to quantify that which cannot be quantified nor measured: the matter of Mister Catch.

Perhaps you think you will achieve something closest to success or perhaps you will assertain a knowledge greater than possessed before, but as with all ever-changing mysteries, you work toward a counterfit alone. Your knowledge of Mister Catch is what fire is to the sunlight: a clever attempt but ultimately nothing close to a real understanding. I do not say this to discourage you, but to remind you that the more you attempt to fit him into books, into words, into tables and graphs, mapping him out like he is some grand geographical entitie, you will stray further and further from what he Is, or what you believe he is. In that you distance him from us, distance us from him, and you will force him to lash out at the world. Or at your beloved fae.

For what she does not know is this:

She is likely bound to him beyond our understanding, now.

Combined with you, this is a cruel fate: you will poke, you will prod, you will add fluid to inspire a reaction before you will consider her safety or his.

Glenn Burnie, because these words have gone so far, I will admit to you this in writing for my tongue is a dumb thing and I still have not the quickness with words to express it in your presence. I do not hate the fae. Yes, I dislike her. I could say Myrken has taught me this, but it is a natural progress of circumstances and states which have led me to a disdane for her and her kind. Yes, I believe she poisons you sutt su suttley in the way that Catch poisons her, in the way I poisoned him and in the way he poisoned me. You and the fae and Mister Catch are a triangle of cause and effect. From the outside I watch and obey the signs and for the time will choose to hold you distant (or close enough to monitor; this I have not yet determined). But no I do not wish for her death nor do I anymore care if she remains. I do not care if you betrothe yourself to her, if you fuck to wild consequence, if you tie lillies into one another's hair.

Duquesne taught me briefly of chemicals and alchemy, and what I care about is that there is a mixture of volatility and danger before me in you and Catch and the fae, and you think you are but harmless confectioner's cane.

Mister Catch and Cherny and I were cim si simbiotic things: Catch's otherworldliness, Cherny's intelligence, my impulse; we filled one another's glasses with adventures and fulfillment. We were a very good family. Like those black stones from the heart of the earth, we drew each other together tighter and tighter until you could barely tell where one ended and the other began. We had times of very great joy and good memories and we protected one another (and still would now, I imagine). But Cherny served a purpose only so far: he did not have that ability unique to a woman, to intermingle and create. Myrken can only tear the learnings of a Jerno so far out of her blood.

I think we created a dangerous and powerful thing. For why must one exist when there can be two.

I say all this because the fae is on the verge of being that which I was not: a victim. Not of Catch, but of the circumstance of the world. She is meant to exist on another plane perhaps to be separate from him. Watch as you will as though they exist in a glass diorama for your pleasure and study and they will fuse and Something Dangerous without inhibition, boundary, or self-control.

Where Nature failed before was that I am human; she does not have that luxury.

Whatever you think, Glenn Burnie, do not keep me in silence over this trouble. I wish to be an aid to preventing that which is on the horizon. There may come a moment where you will require impulse. You did once before. I did not hesitate. In understanding this from the instinct and heart, I am uniquely qualified. I dislike her because she is me. Because I know what it feels like. Because his shadow is very warm. But so are all celestial things, and when we drift too close, we fall into them and burn.
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:32 am

Gloria,

I think you missed the bit about pedagogy. There's a balance to this. You reach out to me with something practical. I mention something offhandedly. You stubbornly deny it. I overly explain. We go back and forth, neither ultimately satisfied, but maybe we learn a thing or two in the process. I did. That was all to be preamble to the more assured work of educating the youth. I don't see any of that in your last letter, though. It seems to have all gotten shouldered out by the affairs of the day.

I will take that as a sign of the seriousness of the matter, then, for I see it as serious as well.

You will not believe me in this, and even if you do, you're welcome to take offense for, quite frankly, a number of perfectly legitimate reasons, but my primary difficulty in conversing for you is that I take things for granted. I assume natural common ground where none exists. I assume an easy understanding where it is all so very difficult. Conversations I have had with others, including Genevieve and Sylvius, I simply never had with you. I tend to assume I have had those conversations because I cannot easily fathom how they might not have happened.

It creates a rather impassable divide, or at least one with a high cost to overcome.

I am tempted to write another ten paragraphs about it when one or two upon my general ethos would get us past this whole matter. It's just, well, rather awkward, really. I suppose that's rarely stopped me before.

Do you believe in fate? Do you believe in gods? Certainly you believe in magic. I've reason to believe in all of these things, and yes, I do attempt to categorize them, to use observational categorization to classify and seek out patterns. The alternative is a certain faith-based acceptance, which might be better seen as pure surrender. We have so little chance as humans flailing about against these forces we have no ability to influence, forces ranging from the weather and death itself to more sentient beings, either wild and only acting to their nature or conniving and with true ill-intent. The only tool we have to allow ourselves any agency, any chance at survival, let alone growth and progression, is in recording all we can and seeking out the patterns between all things. When I arrived, there was a second cycle (leaving Catch's aside), where a disaster would happen, nothing would be learned, rebuilding would take pace, and it would strike again. Again and again.

Yes, it's more than possible we get it wrong, that we misunderstand, but it's better than not making the attempt at all. You needn't tell me how wrong we might get it. I spent years upon years with mangled working theories about Catch's mother only to realize (I was told, but then, of course, realized based on that telling) that the reason that it made no sense because there were two of them. I know you speak in a more detached, almost spiritual way, one that stresses the sheer magnitude of what we encounter in this world we (being human) only made along the most base lines, but the effort is worthwhile. There are rules to all of this, consistencies, parallels and patterns. When they break the pattern, it happens for a reason and there is something to be learned by that as well.

I don't fit him into books. I write and rewrite the books to fit him.

What point the Inquisitory if not for this?

Yes, I think him a threat, the threat, but I do not think him a threat to be extinguished or put out. I've studied what has happened in the past, again and again, with him, the Gilded Cycle, the ruin. He's documented some of what I could not find. Scholars and scoundrels, kind souls and deviants, they've all tried to bind and bleed and grow fat and provide peace, and each and every effort ends in ruin. His eyes are open now as they were not before and the sand ticks down. I would find us a different path, one that is full of respect.

She is a stimulus, a catalyst. But then, Gloria, so are you. I was but am less so, except for that I must be careful in my gathering and yes, my meddling, but I am. I haven't returned back there. I haven't done a single thing. While it will likely be the slow growth and rot of hundreds of years, with you and I meaningful but fleeting blips, it could all end tomorrow as the chemicals mix. I would avoid both eventualities in the healthiest way possible. At the least, if we are to fail again, like all those before us, let us fail in some new, worthwhile, meaningful, "Good", way, but let us hopefully succeed in that way instead.

Did you really ask "what point children?" I know you meant something more specific, but it's more or less what you said.

For humans, children are our only way to outpace those powers I mentioned before. They're our only advantage over her people, our only hope against Catch and the Baie, all the rogues and the monsters and the gods, the ones that would foster us and the ones that would destroy us and the ones that would just be left in peace but that feed upon us nonetheless. We breed quickly and thoughtlessly. Of course passing this information down to the next generation is important to me, yes, because I wish better life for then, but also because they and their children and their children's children, the the necessary speed of our thought and our wits and our lives, are our only advantage.

See, I brought it back to the beginning, with your help, though I imagine I'll only have made you more frustrated in the process.

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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:11 am

I believe in gods for as long as they'll listen to my prayers: dearest gods, if you would please help punch a hole in Glenn Burnie so perhaps all the hot air will leak right out.

You waste words, Glenn, and it is a shame. For a man who has got great intelligence, you have ever been wasteful, and both your habits of quill and action speak of this tendencie. Let me then clarify, that we may be on the same page:

What point children — he asks for her, though she has never asked this question at all.

And yet he presumes he knows what a child is, what their purpose is. His ethos crumbles.

To educate the youth is to educate ourselfs, and all conversation must be preamble to that which separates us. You would have it this way in time. We are not and never have been capable of distinction and separation Glenn Burnie. You wear a very large mantle which I must take account of all of. You are a man accompanied by darkness, burdens, and careless oaths given out in the service of an avarise for knowledge. Your affairs of the day, as you call them, are the concerns I must take into account if I am to trust you far enough that children may benefit from your knowledge.

I come to find that your ability to understand others has a limit: Glenn, amid the chaos, you presume that ONE, We, the collective, have made no attempts to better our survivability, and TWO, that you are the sole perveyor of this knowledge. But here is the truth: this motivation of yours is awfully tired, mundane, and small-minded of you. With any smaller vision, I might award you a Junior Inquisiter badge. What continuously astounds me is your presumption that there will be patterns, that there will be predictable cycles to any of it, when we already know enough that chaos is never bound by human order. That you hope for quantifif-ifiable evidence to this end? You can only write in so many books before you realize people must learn first how to read them.

The reality, Glenn, is that Myrken Wood has moved quickly past its need for you before while you've never moved past your need for it.

These letters have served as my long-winded invitation to you to truly serve in Myrken Wood's growth. But as you once admitted of yourself, I must be in knowledge of all the factors of a person, all the values and vices and variables he or she brings to the table.

In this you are correct: no common ground exists, Glenn. You have, since the day we met, never allowed such a convenience. Do not tear off the wings of a creature and wonder why it does not fly. You have ever been the obstacle, the lip upon which to stumble, and until the day comes that you adopt an understanding of this, I fear we shall ever be at an impass.

I know who I am. For all your knowledge, you've never discovered you for yourself. You are at but the center of your story, and yours alone.

Work alongside me, Glenn. Not across from me. It is a minor request.
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Glenn » Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:11 am

I've been punched by a god, but getting tossed across a room by a dragon was actually more interesting.

Your attempts at clarification are obtuse and ironic. I hope that you found some enjoyment in them, at least. It's rare one gets to flex those specific muscles.

As for my presumptions, you can't have it both ways. First and foremost, I know what had been done fifteen years ago, upon my arrival. I know what had not been done. I learned what had been done five years before that and five years before that and five years before that. My reactions and the title of Inquisitor itself, let alone the agency, were in response to those failures.

As for what you've done since, I do not know, but I am willing to listen. As I listen already, however, I am more than disappointed. What you describe, the things you accept, the things you dismiss, means that you will forever be patching wounds instead of stopping the stabbing in the first place. Nothing in this world is capricious and random. If an animal jumps this way instead of that, there are a hundred stimuli, internal and external, that drives it this way. If a bridge collapses, it is not a random event, but something stems from disrepair, weather, pressures upon it. Weather is not random. Illness is not random. Madness is not random. All of it is driven by something. We may be lacking the knowledge and understanding of what, but through seeking those answers, we can prevent disasters instead of just rebuild after them.

It is the only way we have any agency in our own existence instead of just being constrained within the box created for us by the accidents of our birth, by the cruelties of this world, by the all-too-sentient hand of fate.

Yet despite this all, I agree with your aims and I have suggested even more barriers and boundaries than you, yourself, did. Basic, practical instruction must come first. I will not change my worldview just for this initiative, Gloria, no matter how important it may be, because you and yours do not allow me to. I can, however, certainly put it aside for a time each week to teach the youth entirely objective, undeniable, unquestioned and unquestionable skills.

If you find yourself even more desperate than that, then we may have a problem on our hands.

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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Sun Mar 21, 2021 1:07 pm

The response delivered is on smaller paper, for even Gloria Wynsee understands that parchment is a commodity. Still it bears her seal, even if the sliver of paper is wider than longer.

What is it you mean by you and yours?
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Glenn » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:26 am

Gloria,

A short inquiry is an invitation to excess. Something I do not need.

Two answers then, direct and indirect. They are different. You may not think so. You would be wrong in this.

1. You. Your Inquisitory. You who refuse to seek out patterns and thus rob us of our only advantage.

2. Straka. Janiero. Four Councils (on average; there were specific exceptions). The Constabulary. Helstone. Aloisius. Surdemer. Not Calomel. Not Egris, surprisingly. The real surprise was you, but as you said, that was my fault. I wholly admit it.

Clarification behind us, shall we continue?

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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:56 am

Your response was longer than necessary. Let me return the favor.

My Inquisitory is also Miss Tolleson's. It is also Myrken's. It stands to serve the direct needs of our people, of which you are painfully underinformed. I would correct this, but you are also painfully self-absorbed.

Extremes do not suit you, Glenn. Of course I identify patterns. I am was a seamstress. But also I identify them where they are most immediately nesessary and do not apply some obtuse virtue to them. I also see them in you, and all over you. Self-awareness is the first tool for survival. Somewhere in your journey, you abandoned that.

Those familiar with mathematiks (and patterrns) would also state that the frequency of those who stand in opposision to your ideas demonstrates this: you are the common sepparating factor.

Your surprise about me proves that observation of patterns is observation alone, and often wants a great deal for fact, science, and measurement.

Yes. Let us continue. I feel very poorly today and it is a fine occassion for writing.
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Glenn » Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:59 am

You do apply patterns to me, and you're wise to do so. I apply them to you as well. We've seen some success and greater failure, sometimes repeated failure.

Maybe, at the end of this, there'll be some minds in Myrken to drive things forward not myself and not yourself and the land and its people will be better off for it.

My surprise with you tends to be either optimism or a rare breed of laziness (often they are the same thing).

I assure you that no more will I be either optimistic or lazy when it comes to you, Gloria.

It will be good to foster new ideas, new perspective, new hopes, though I will not engage them in these areas, save, perhaps, to simply listen. Hopefully, I may provide useful inputs.

What do you, yourself, plan to teach them?
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Re: Knowledge Like Trophies

Postby Rance » Wed Mar 24, 2021 1:39 am

I shall not engage myself in the matter of teaching at large, not now. My influense and concern is primarily their safety at the moment: as you observed, I do great wonders alone by turning my face against willing fists, so I choose to stand guard. Maybe you will consider me a lazy governess, or a shield of bad meat, or a dull observer over an unimportant realm; I shall help them with their letters or numbers should they ask, and ask them of their day and their well-being.

But I have not avoided tutoring entirely. For now I am in the business of teaching two young men — Kennis Holger and Cecil Portnorth, do you know them? — the finer details of putting fists and knuckles to work. Theirs are mothers and fathers who are less interested in the scholarlie matters and believe their children may benefit from heartier stuff. They found me one day some time ago at work with a great crossbow and I have suffered trying to carve their brutishness ever since.

But there is another student I have taken on, primarily, Sylvius's daughter. She is a charm, a wonder, and a great and wonderful pain in my ass, which I write with a smile. You know how greatly I admire and respect and love her father, and to empower her to be more capable of her own safety is the smallest gratitude I can give him for all the years he invested in me.

Wasting away in Razasan in avoidence of my own guilt was a cruelty I did to myself, and perhaps you may agree on this: escapism is hardly the pol pole poultise to soothe the self. Yes, there are benefits in application and focus, but my adventure to Razasan was an answer to the many damages I had done here. Mister Catch. My child (still it is a strange pair of words to write). My friends. I have scarred them in a manner unrepariable, but whether or not I was in Razasan or I was here, I can do nothing to heal those wounds.

I work now at the exhaustive and perhaps endless task of such necessary details:

' To abandon the hopes of Elliot Brown, for not all things can be retrieved; '

' To leave Edmund to his business of soldiering, and to one day retire him from my mind; '

' To cater to the needs of Darkenhold in the occasions of Sylvius's absence when he serves family abroad; '

' To better like who I see when She looks upon me from a reflection in the water; '

' To answer needs of Myrken's people how I am able, before even Myrken Wood itself. '

' To be silent for Genny when she needs it; to be strong for her when she needs it; to be for her; '

I may upon paper write these missions with clarity and poise. What of your own, Glenn? Do you know your own, like a prayer or matnra?
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