Leafiara (prime)/5121 Wehnimer's Landing Town Council Campaign
5121 Campaign: "All Together Now!"
Leafi in a Nutshell
I believe the future has endless potential and so do we. I've had many slogans these past years, all essentially the same: I believe in fighting for everything we are, and when we face conflicting values, then may the best vision for the future win. My personal ideals are truth, freedom, courage, redemption, and change, in about that order. For those values, I've fought thousands of foes, heard out thousands of voices, and will continue to do just that!
We can accomplish almost anything if we do it side by side. I believe in the Landing's citizens and allies, and I believe that we're better together not despite our differences, but because of them. That's why I've worked tirelessly to bring our people information as the TownCrier's frontier reporter, engage and rally the community as Twilight Hall's Event Planner, and teach novices and veterans alike as a Lorekeeper at Silverwood Manor.
I've defended our town for years and eventually began to formally serve in our militia, but am currently on leave of absence for the sake of taking the less traveled road to grow our town, first as the mayor and now making efforts toward a councilwoman. Serving on the town council is a perfect fit for what I've always done, which is inspire and mobilize those I know to discover, develop, and use their talents for the good of us all while remaining true to who they are.
In more specific terms, I have many ideas for improvements around town, but first I'll touch on town defenses. Marshal Stormyrain is finally where she should be after the past three years of many town defenders, including myself, advocating for her promotion to that spot. I have no doubt she'll serve the town as well as she always has, and I hope to coordinate with her and the new mayor. Ideas I have in planning stages include better sanctuaries for civilian shelter, militia ships to intercept enemies before they get here, more reinforcing weaponry or traps at chokepoints including the gates and tunnels, potentially a guard at the north gate, and a stronger focus on town defense intel.
Most importantly, I hope that we can permit our people to stand up and defend our own town, even if they aren't members of the militia, without the powers that be denouncing them over vigilantism. I'm talking about Casiphia's time as Rone, of course. If a single person can't fight for her town against even the likes of Raznel without being pursued by guards for the crime of not wearing a badge, then it's no wonder that we also have the Rooks operating as an entire shadow army of citizens, thinking they have to resort to thievery to defend town.
Let's end the thievery and let's end the hostility at the same time, to stand together. Perhaps Steward Alendrial can mediate on finding a new path, given her history. Perhaps I can. Perhaps any number of other council candidates can, win or lose. Regardless, for all of our sakes, it's time to move forward.
Along with stabilizing town defenses, we can set other projects in motion. I'd like to see new cultural items in shops to showcase our diversity and the fact that the Landing welcomes all. More involved trade with our neighbors in Icemule would be a boon and I have good relationships with nearly all of their council members.
We can revamp restaurants with better accommodations and new food items to appeal to travelers we're currently not reaching, and ideally improve the safety of the road to our famous Hanging Inn. Our local orphans have displayed numerous talents in arts and crafts and I'm certain that even they have their role in creating a better future.
While we do face immediate problems, we also need to build toward the road further ahead. Thankfully, together, we're up to the task. We already have everything we need as long as we're willing to bring our visions to the table to discuss and refine them into what the Landing needs.
Town Council Application
[OOC note: the following is intended as an IC letter presented to town officials when a character applies for the role.]
1. What does Wehnimer's Landing mean to you?
The Landing is a place--no, rather, it's *the* place of hope for proving that civilization can actually work. The sylvans I grew up among isolate themselves, the Faendryl in their city isolate themselves, the Vaalorian elves isolate themselves, the Imperials isolate themselves, and all of this in the claimed interest of stability when it's nothing more than a blend of fear and hunger for power. We are Wehnimer's. We are the brave and bold. We face clashes of blades, but more crucially we face clashes of words, values, cultures, and ideals. No matter how complicated the angles, we're a community willing to work together toward a better future that serves us all.
2. What do you feel you can bring to Wehnimer's Landing, if serving on the town council?
I have connections to nearly every organization that has a base in town and several outside the Landing too, so I'm a fantastic community organizer with myriad connections, capable of representing numerous perspectives. I'm also one of very few candidates who's capable of working with the mayor while having a firsthand perspective of being in that position. I have good relationships with every member of the town council in neighboring Icemule if the new mayor wants to work more with them, and I'd work well with every possible council candidate in the Landing I can imagine.
(In full disclosure, I don't believe I would work well with Alosaka if he runs and am uncertain how well I could work with Commander Shinann if she runs, but I don't foresee either as candidates when one is a member of the non-political Gryphons and the other is newly promoted with her own important work to do.)
3. What are the goals you would like to accomplish for Wehnimer's Landing? How would you do this?
Each time I ran for mayor, I added new ideas on top of old ones. These included a cultural bazaar with rotating inventory to showcase our diversity, more involved trade with our neighbors in Icemule, revamped restaurants with better accommodations or new styles to appeal to travelers we're currently not reaching, improved facilities for holding prisoners, working to improve town defense intel, gainful employment for orphans as messengers, museum displays honoring past political candidates and encouraging the people that they can have a voice, and more.
But it's become apparent after several years that we'll never make progress on anything of this sort as long as the town and its officials keep breaking from their duties to run scrambling over every new threat the Landing faces. So, instead, let's start with improved defenses that ensure town officials can feel confident in their safety and focus on the things only they can do. Better sanctuaries for civilians to take shelter in, militia ships to intercept enemies before they get here, more reinforcing weaponry or perhaps traps at key chokepoints other than the gates--such as entries through the tunnels--and maybe at last posting an actual guard or two at the north gate. Then, after that baseline is established, we can move on to other needed improvements in town.
4. Describe your connection to Wehnimer's Landing, your history with the town and its people, and why this makes you the best choice for town council?
I have no self-interest nor pride in this. If anything, I have self-interest against running for office since I'm not much for paperwork, politicking, or pleasantries. However, the Landing has given me boundless kindness, grace, love, and support from the moment I moved here, and I in turn have thrown myself into fires and arrows for the town with no regrets. Even as I grow and become better on the battlefield, so too do dozens of others, so maybe the town doesn't so much need the front line fighter Leafiara at the moment and we'd all be better off if I threw myself back into the far more painful realm of paperwork.
This, of course, will be their decision to make. Ultimately, the best choices for the town council are whoever the people vote in--though my recognition of that fact is what makes me a great choice. At the end of the day, I'm a citizen like any other, no better nor worse, but willing to tackle challenges that not all can or will.
5. Do you belong to any organizations, inside or outside of Wehnimer's Landing?
I belong to the Cleric Guild in which I'm a guild master, Fenog's Regulars in Icemule, Hand of the Arkati, the Lorekeepers of Silverwood Manor, Ord an Dragan, the Order of Voln in which I'm a master, The TownCrier in which I'm an officer, and Twilight Hall in which I'm the Event Planner.
I've been a member of the Landing militia. I went on leave of absence during my mayoral term and haven't returned to active duty due to recent political upheaval, militia reorganization, and of course the fact that I'm applying for the town council. If the voters select candidates other than me, I'll consider whether to seek a return to the militia at that time.
Lastly, despite rampant rumors, I'm not actually a Rook. No reason to deny it if I were, considering that one of you reading this (editor's note: one of the town officials reading the application) is an openly acknowledged former leader and the town is perfectly alright with it.
Town Council Questionnaire
[OOC note: the following is intended as an IC questionnaire publicly posted with answers from characters whose candidacy was approved.]
1. What are your thoughts on the Brotherhood of Rooks and what are your plans in dealing with or against them?
I've argued relentlessly for almost five years that we should seek a diplomatic path forward with the Rooks. It's happened before when former Marshals Thrayzar and Thadston arranged temporary truces to combat threats like Chaston and Raznel, but our goal should be more permanent. I believe the first step is for Rooks and lawmakers each to tear down one major barrier.
To the Rooks, cease any ongoing activities involving theft or extortion. Use your skills for legal transportation services and bodyguard services, ending conflicts with the law. Your funding might take a hit in the short term, but I have suggestions to fill that void, which I'd be happy to discuss with you and possibly your former leader Lady Alendrial. Over the long term, I think your resources would actually improve since becoming a redemption story always goes over well in this town of second chances.
To lawmakers, clarify the line between permissible defense of the town and vigilantism. Rooks have rejected past offers that had requirements of militia enrollment, but most town defenders who follow Sir Cryheart haven't enrolled either and some aren't even citizens. And what's the difference between these town defenders and Rone, where the latter gets treated as a criminal? Let's delineate coherent laws on who can legally defend the Landing under what circumstances, as a necessary step toward serious and overdue negotiations.
I'll add that I don't believe it's necessary that the Rooks "come out of the shadows." Even Thadston's operations over the past few months have proven the value of spy work, so it's enough to ask for an end to crime. Let's bolster our forces with a few hundred more eyes, ears, blades, and bows.
2. What are your thoughts on the Darkstone Bay Consortium and what are your plans in dealing with or against them?
Again the true enemy is inconsistent laws creating inconsistent treatment of citizens. Controversy has surrounded the Consortium over baffling moves including:
- Dunigan's apparent deputization of the non-citizen armigers
- The armigers' funding not going through the proper channel of town coffers
- Dakris' nephew Manard's "placement" as Judge through unexplained means
- The town council decision to favor the Consortium over other citizens by upholding the "votes" of Amos, Dakris, Kilron, and Walward to delay elections until Cordarius made concessions of law changes and Steward appointments to their liking
I'm willing to overlook these things and set aside the past since it's true the laws were vague and were only recently clarified, but the Consortium must stop pushing for favorable treatment. I'll gladly hear out the Consortium members as much as I'd hear out any other citizen. No more, no less.
Communication must go in both directions. The Consortium didn't help itself when its spokesman Amos relayed that the members didn't want to share their concerns for fear of criticism. Still, the offer for earnest conversation remains open. If face to face discussions are too much, that's perfectly alright and we'll consider written concerns. Let's find solutions together.
I have no particular opinion on the soldiers. More important is my opinion of their commander, Lady Larsya. She's doing a fantastic job by largely leaving us alone and only stepping in where necessary. For a twelve-year-old girl, she has a sometimes shocking level of insight and is a prodigy with a bow, moving in the shadows, and bonding with her animal companion. I hope for ongoing great relationships with her and, to be blunt, I think she's incomparably better at her job than her brother Breshon was.
Imperial mages are a different story. Almost every one of them who's come to this area since the start of 5117 has gone rogue and created disastrous situations with a maddening number of citizens killed by Grand Magister Dennet Kestrel, the Black Shaman Quinshon, Naimorai Kestrel, Grand Magister Octaven, and former Adjudicator Vlashandra. Not only do they attack us, but usually they even turn on and attack each other. I do hope that Octaven's finally come around in willingness to deal with us, but I'll believe it when it happens.
I hope Cordarius' push for an internal investigation of the Hall of Mages comes to fruition. Until then, I absolutely do not want to see more Imperial mages near here unless they already have a positive history with our town.
4. What are some of your ideas to improve the quality of life for citizens of Wehnimer's Landing?
Shelters for civilians, above ground or even below ground if we can negotiate something with the Rooks. Ships for the militia to intercept or scout for naval enemies. Revamped or new restaurants with better accommodations that create environments to encourage conversations over a meal. Helga's will always be a staple and I appreciate the Abandoned Inn more than almost anyone I know, but they're not for everybody.
Use the nearby forest to produce and sell more paper, improving communications around town. Make that paper available to even the poor. Likewise, more widespread teaching of basic reading and writing skills; I often encourage the Wellington Home orphans to study when I visit. Speaking of the orphans, they have impressive talents in arts, crafts, plays, and more. I'd like to see early employment opportunities for them and other young citizens as messengers and other hands-on jobs.
I could go on, but even above improving our citizens' quality of life, we have to improve on protecting our citizens' lives in the first place. That might sound like common sense, but "Safety and Prosperity" was Hapenlok's platform in 5117 and only got about a tenth of the vote. Hopefully the public has come around to understanding the need.
5. What do you feel is the role of the Town Council?
The town council members are intermediaries between everyday citizens and the mayor, working to serve both. For the citizens, the town council ensures that even the most overlooked among them have a route to make their thoughts heard at the highest level. For the mayor, the town council acts as delegated authority that keeps him or her connected to the citizens' voices while being spared of the time constraints that that would usually require.
When the mayor and the citizens find themselves in disagreement, I feel that it's the town council's duty to favor the citizens by advocating and reasoning on their behalf. There are four council members so that they can more thoroughly consider and present different angles.
6. What will you bring to both the town council and the townspeople of Wehnimer's Landing?
An earnest, selfless love of our freedoms, our ideals, our people, and carrying out their will. I look to equip our people and our organizations to be the best versions of themselves because I believe in discovering the most worthwhile ideas through open, honest dialogue. It's well known that I shine when I'm challenged on the battlefield, but less known that I also shine when I'm challenged in philosophical discussions. We come out stronger from either type of clash.
In that vein, to challenge myself and aim to equip every candidate to be at their best, I'll say a brief word of supportive opinion for each one.
- Bekke: Connected, practical. Likely able to rebuild shaky bridges to groups like the Hall.
- Berost: Reliable, no-nonsense. Steadfast and forthright with strong convictions.
- Chamorr: Community pillar. Natural leader with history of championing free ideals.
- Chandrellia: Creative, energetic. Sheer love of the people second to none, including mine.
- Faerinn: Passionate, pragmatic. Strong specialization in legal and foreign affairs.
- Fahlo: Relationship builder. Tirelessly finds and involves the quiet yet opinionated.
- Urpy: Charisma personified. Stellar with engagement and community event organization.
- Vaemyr: Philosophical powerhouse. Considers countless angles in pursuit of solutions.
We have a fantastic selection of candidates from a fantastic town and I look forward to working with all of them. If I'm among the four council members, I'll lend my ear to the other five candidates any time, and if I'm not among the four council members, I'll lend my thoughts to them any time.
7. What is your closing argument on why you should be elected to the town council?
Since the town council members are intermediaries, the most important talents they could have are the abilities to thoughtfully consider the matters laid before them and to involve the public on a wide scale, a deep level, or both.
I'm sure that most candidates spend countless hours reflecting on situations. Whether they can articulate that is a different story, and on that point Vaemyr and I are the candidates who talk the most exhaustively--and with the most similar philosophies--while campaigning or even standing in the town square. I'll continue to bring that same level of consideration to office if elected.
Public engagement is where I excel the most, though. I'm a widely known community organizer from my work as Twilight Hall's Event Planner, the TownCrier's Landing reporter, a Lorekeeper at Silverwood Manor, and a regular sight at events held by Chamorr's organization, Ord an Dragan. I'm an open book with my beliefs and I'm an open door with my communication either face to face or through missives, whichever the person I'm speaking with would prefer.
In summary, I have a large network of connections across organizations and relationships as diverse as the Landing itself and am also willing to dig deep into philosophical conversations. You can trust, through my history, that I'll work through honest, challenging discussions and difficult decisions with any citizen.
Yardie's Campaign Debate
Question 1: Trials and Tribulations
Our first question of the evening: Over the past year, the Landing has dealt with considerable threats, trials, and tribulations that have had a profound effect on its constituents and the overall structure of its government. The fact that we now have an election for Council Members before a Mayoral Election is telling of that concern. So the question posed to all candidates is...where did things go wrong? Was it failed leadership? Was it a difference of opinions? Lack of unity?
The opening statements building to the question and the question itself seem to conflate two things. I'll talk first about trials, tribulations, and 'things that went wrong,' then the separate matter of restructuring the government.
The biggest thing that went wrong was Marshal Thadston being possessed by a spirit and not asking anyone for help getting rid of it for half a year. It began to consume him and make him erratic, and we literally had to force his hand by putting him to a hearing, but by then we were left working on inventing entirely new magical procedures to save him while simultaneously staving off enemy attacks day and night.
Here's a series of smaller things that went wrong: Judge Renpaw rejected my recommendation of appointing Stormyrain as the Marshal following Thadston's removal. Then he rejected her point that we could wait for Thadston's reinstatement without filling in a temporary marshal. Renpaw's case was that we needed a marshal at all times...
...but apparently he only felt that way for two weeks. The Knave killed Khylon, but Renpaw didn't call for the appointment of another marshal, as he inexplicably neither approved new candidates nor presented me with the three remaining ones from before.
Speaking of inexplicable things, let's not forget Renpaw insisting I make a decision between appointing either Stephos DeArchon or Amos to the Steward of the Guilds position during a time when the other candidates had been attacked and the remaining two were under criminal investigation for having the means and motives to be behind said attacks.
By the way, out of Stephos and Amos... One is a smuggler with connections to the Jantalarian underworld who's sold arms to krolvin slavers for his own profits, and the other is a smuggler with connections to the Jantalarian underworld who deals in pit fighting slave trading rings for his own sport.
I could go on, but let me move on to restructuring the government. That came about by lack of clarity in the laws. I'll illustrate just a few.
We have yet to hear a satisfactory explanation for why a Grand Magister has authority to order a trial of Pylasar in our court. Or why she could do so when the accused wasn't present. Or why the Consortium could 'place' a Judge. Or why the town council would uphold a vote from four citizens--Amos, Dakris, Kilron, and Walward--to cancel elections for all citizens until their demands were met.
Again, the list goes on, not only from last year but every year I've lived here. Not all of these are directly related, but it speaks to the poor legal definitions. Because of the Landing's myriad voices and cultures, there are some cases where it makes sense to have loosely defined laws with room for interpretation. That encourages philosophical discussions, like the one we're having right now, about the higher moral ideals that guide the creation of laws in the first place.
However, if we're to have those discussions and encourage more voices, then the new town council structure is better suited for that goal.
That said, I wish Cordarius would stop claiming credit for it. Sir Cryheart proposed a similar town council expansion at one of my town meetings over a year ago, which I passed along to Cordarius in its original form along with a slightly altered expansion proposal of my own. It's my understanding that Faerinn also proposed a similar plan.
Question 2: Tempered or Preemptive
Moving on to the next question, Let's discuss some of the uses of force in the Landing. Despite being a fraction of the size of, say, Ta'Vaalor, the Landing has some of the fiercest fighters in the world. Yet, there is often this perception of attack first, ask questions later. This was evident in the attack on refugees arriving for the Temple of Ivas, who were killed while seeking asylum. Should you get elected, will you operate with a more tempered approach or eliminate threats before they can manifest?
I seek to avoid risking others' lives if I can help it. Throughout the past year I aimed to make carefully measured responses to situations as they arose, with a tendency to focus on the short term ramifications of whether a conflict can be defused to spare some bloodshed.
So I find it curious that Chandy would say I got overzealous at times and wish she would have named examples.
When faced with Vlashandra's ultimatum to help her finish the portal or risk hundreds more lives to her reapers by battling her, I turned down the battle to spare people. When faced with potential riots and blood in the streets over letting Malluch out of prison, I turned down the battle and pardoned him to spare people. When faced with Barnom Slim asking for help returning to Lich's Landing in exchange for him not warring against us, I turned down the battle to spare people.
Frankly, I think Alosaka's criticism at one of my events that I wasn't zealous enough rings more true than that I was overzealous.
I'd caution against too heavily glorifying either option of "tempered approaches" or "eliminating threats before they can manifest."
During the Gryphons' escort to the Temple of Ivas, it was the Knave, not the town, who attacked refugees, by hurling exploding prisms which became a staple of the group for most of the following year. The Knave's first attacks within Landing gates were likewise against Murdos Burdos' shop and other buildings thought to be associated with the Blood Son.
The question could be referring to other incidents of attacks against the refugee, which also weren't sanctioned by the town, so let's review those. A few Landing adventurers and Rooks killed refugees after they'd come back from the Temple of Ivas to join Grishom Stone. There was also an incident where they were attacked at the gates.
However, the attackers were in the minority and I'd recommend looking at the timing. Before either of those attacks, "asking questions first" is exactly the approach the town tried with Malluch, namely the question of why he had come here.
That answer was rallying followers to his side by preaching from Stone's memoir and drawing attention to the hundreds of women Stone killed years earlier and a vow to destroy the Landing one day. It's not at all unreasonable that some took Malluch's sermon as a declaration of current intent and tried to preemptively stop him.
I say this even though I didn't make such moves myself. I largely stayed neutral, as I wasn't willing to send town guards to help with the Gryphons' escort, but also tried to deter Thadston from interrupting it.
As Vaemyr illustrated before, let's consider what-ifs. What might have happened if I didn't give Malluch a pardon and we instead started killing citizens in the streets over their Grishom Stone sympathizing? What might have happened if, even before that, we all listened to Thadston and attacked the camps?
There's no clear answer. If we'd taken such drastic actions, maybe the later blood cult that took over the Brass Tower and unleashed fire elementals in town would have never risen up. In other words, maybe our decisions to spare the lives of dozens of refugees and stop a riot only cost the lives of hundreds of Landing citizens later.
So was it honorable to focus on the situations that stood in front of us based on what we knew, or does the advantage of hindsight vindicate those who attacked preemptively? We'll never know unless we can find Pylasar and have him tell us what occurs in alternate timelines.
And that's why my approach was and is largely a short-term focus on the immediate situation. I hope this will be counterbalanced by other council members who focus more on the long-term implications. But there is no magic solution to solve every problem without negative repercussions for anyone.
Question 3: Consortium Concerns
Okay, so let's move on to the next question: Let's discuss the Darkstone Bay Consortium. According to Amos, a person who I know you're all familiar with, the group manifested due to the fatigue from constant fighting without consideration to the repercussions of the merchants and everyday citizens. Do you think they have merit to their complaints? Would you work with them? Why or why not?
Not just the Consortium's concerns, but any citizens' concerns need to be voiced to town officials since they aren't mind readers. The militia, town guards, and other town defenders are doing all we can think of as we think of it, and will do more if ideas are brought to us.
That's why, just like Chandy mentioned, I and many others did ask for a sit down meeting with all Consortium members shortly after it formed, to hear out what more should be done. At that time, Amos rejected such a meeting.
Nonetheless, the offer stands. Yes, I will hear the Consortium out.
More importantly, I'll hear out any other citizen. What can't stand is the ongoing favorable treatment of Consortium members in demanding changes to the laws as they wish. No citizen is more important than any other, so let's hear from Aznell, Quaeta, Edwina, Tykel, Lute, Krythussa, Pherantyr, Iron Jack, and the list goes on. Perhaps they feel differently than the Consortium and that's why they're not members of it.
No matter how open the offer to listen, the onus is on people to speak or, at least, send letters detailing their troubles and concerns. Share your voice and we will make progress together.
Question 4: Militia Strengths and Weaknesses
And now, Darcena's question which I will break into two parts.
What do you feel are the current strengths and weaknesses of the Wehnimer's Landing Militia and how do you plan to boost their strengths and shore up weaknesses? How do you plan to develop and maintain the relationship between the Council and the Wehnimer's Landing Militia if you are elected? What do you envision as the relationship between the Wehnimer's Landing Town Guard and the Wehnimer's Landing Militia?
If you don't know much about these topics, how do you plan to change that? What is your thought on other community organizations that may be misunderstood or under utilized, as well, and how do you plan to showcase their strengths and collaboratively work with them to give everyone a chance to be heard?
It's a long question, admittedly, but as she IS the Captain, and will be working with you, it deserved to be answered.
The militia's primary strength, now under Marshal Stormy who's finally where she should have been since three years ago when Thrayzar was abducted, is a measured, caring, thoughtful, and devoted leader at the top, paired with unbridled passion and dedication from members at the bottom.
The militia's primary weakness is that it's unclear what, if anything, militia members are currently able to contribute in defense of the town that any other citizen isn't able to contribute. This leads to many dedicated town defenders who would be good fits not joining. Like Vaemyr pointed out in an earlier question tonight, whenever we face threats, we welcome help from all citizens and even non-citizens.
I would like to persuade the next mayor and Steward Alendrial to fund shipbuilding, improve scouting and other intel, and enable more consistent training regimens by improving militia supplies and offering anything else the militia need in that regard. Giving militia members more resources will answer the question of how they're better able to defend the town. Creating new roles like a militia navy or re-emphasizing older ones like scouts will funnel the lower ranks of the militia into positions best suited for their talents.
Vaemyr already mentioned some of my points earlier tonight as well... So I can skip many things... But suffice it to say I'm absolutely in agreement that we need a consistent definition of what does and doesn't constitute vigilantism. Right now it's unclear what Rone did differently than the myriad other adventurers who happened to be in the area that same night and followed Sir Cryheart to help put an end to the abduction and attempted sacrifice of citizens by the blood cult.
That night being the controversial arrest of the then-Captains.
Room for interpretation is good in some laws, but defending the town is a matter of life and death in which we can't afford unclear laws.
Question 5 (bonus): Tolerance
(note: this question wasn't covered live at the debate, in the interest of time)
I've heard many of the candidates discuss the tolerance of the Landing, but that seems to be contradictory at times. For starters, we have merchants who set prices based on race. There have been previous talks of concerns for Vaalor, even willing to wage war. There's even been accounts of the Dhe'nar and slavery in the Landing. As Town Councilperson, do you think these are matters of concerns and if so, how would you address them?
Change usually isn't as quick as I'd like.
A bit over three years ago, part of Lylia's campaign was the "One Landing, One Price" movement, which received a good measure of support from many townspeople. However, the merchants disagreed and made no moves to change their pricing. One might say that conflicts with merchants who acted on their own accord to make legally permissible but morally questionable moves is one thing that my term and her first term had in common.
Regardless, that push from 5118 might finally be bearing fruit since Larton recently relayed that the Consortium is now in talks about pricing in town. I'll encourage that along.
The concern about Vaalor is also rooted in 5118. That year, Ta'Vaalor surprised the West when it made simultaneous demands for free use of the air space over Icemule and for constructing an outpost near the Vipershroud. Many did recoil and brace for the worst. However, tensions mostly dissolved after the Turamzzyrian Empire permitted the outpost while drawing a line in the sand that Vaalor was to go no further.
Still, some have concerns to this day, especially since witnesses saw King Qalinor Vaalor at the Valley of Gold in 5119 frowning as Imperial nobles and Elven Nations nobles signed a peace treaty that he called an unnecessary formality. So I'd simply say to prepare for any possibility, but will make no hasty or preemptive moves.
As for the Dhe'nar and slaves, my understanding is that slavery is already illegal in the Landing, but like I mentioned earlier, the laws here often range from fuzzy to incoherent. If the slaves are kept outside of the gates, that's outside of town jurisdiction. If inside the gates, we'll have to look into that.
I'll conclude with this... No one gets into the realm of public service, nor even tries for it, without wanting to make dramatic changes and hoping that we can. However, the example of merchant pricing mentioned in this question is a good reminder that no matter how earnest our intent, it's not always possible for change to happen instantly.
All that I or any of us can promise is that we'll hear you out, we'll initiate talks with the necessary officials and other citizens, we'll draft proposals, and we'll present them. Whether they become reality or how long that takes is another matter.
Question 6: Mayor and Council
Considering that this is a new role, and with consideration to a possible election for Mayor, what do you think the role of Councilperson should entail and how will you operate with a future Mayor? If someone like Thadston or Amos were elected or appointed to the position, would you be able to work with them and possibly fall in line to a decision you may find unfavorable?
The town council role isn't truly as new as it might seem, merely reversed. In the previous system, the mayor collected ideas from the people and proposed laws to the town council for them to approve or deny. In this one, the town council collects ideas from the people and proposes laws to the mayor.
The phrasing about "falling in line"... If that's asking whether I'd cease opposing a decision I disagree with, the answer is no. The law is not the end-all, be-all. They're superseded by the moral values that we use to guide the creation of laws in the first place, and we can't and won't stand for unjust laws.
If we find ourselves in a situation where the town elects Amos as the mayor after electing me or any number of other council candidates who clearly have opposed philosophies, I think the most reasonable interpretation would be that the citizens want a hard clash between council and mayor keeping each other in check.
As for Thadston, I like him a great deal, though sometimes I get the impression he doesn't realize that. We have a lot in common and I completely understand his unending struggle to quell the worst of his instincts. He did err in not asking for help with the bleakwalker sooner, but that aside, he pulls through for us in the end almost every time. I hope he runs and there are very few in town who I'd rather see win.
Question 7 (bonus): Council Coordination
(note: this question wasn't covered live at the debate, in the interest of time)
As the Council will consist of four members, the lot of you will be forced to work together. It is a familiar talking point for many of the campaigns to state that they would work with anyone and have no preferences, but there's a bit of contradiction. In fact, to her credit, Chandrellia has been the only person to admit that people have favorites. In fact, Team Cha-Cha is a slogan clamoring for BOTH individuals to be elected based on what THEY can bring. And of course, individuals like Faerinn and Leafiara are not without their polarized images. Set the record, would you be able to work with anyone or do you have a preference or who to work with? If so, who and why?
The council is forced to work with the mayor, but actually not necessarily each other. Depending on who the town votes for, the town council might operate as a unit, as four separate individuals, or something in between. They might or might not convene over decisions. They might hold public meetings as a group, as individuals, or not at all.
To the question, there's a false dichotomy. Yes, I'd be able to work with anyone. Yes, I have personal preferences. There is no "or." There's also a third unasked question that's even more important, since who I'd personally like to work with isn't necessarily the same as who I'll vote for, nor the same as who I think is best for the Landing.
Who I'd like to work with, personally, is Chamorr, Vaemyr, and Chandrellia. All three have challenged me in various ways. Chamorr with his strength of conviction and championing the Landing against Imperial nobles or trial officiators. Vaemyr with hours of philosophical back-and-forth during and before this campaign season. Chandrellia with her unmatched love of the community. I think Chamorr is the most natural leader among candidates, Vaemyr the most eloquent, and Chandy the best able to source ideas from people around her.
That said, just working with my personal preferences might not serve the town well. Is it better to have a council that's in near-perfect harmony with similar talents and perspectives, or better to have a diverse one that pools the widest array of strengths? In the latter case, then maybe Magister Bekke and Fahlo would be better, for example. They have great talents at digging into corners of the community and forming deep connections, and both are pragmatic to contrast my idealism.
I could truly argue for anyone, but the choice belongs to the town: vote for synchronicity, diversity, or meet in the middle. Ultimately, I can work with anything.
Question 8: Unique Traits
Finally, I will give each of you the opportunity to tell the public as to why you should be elected as Councilperson and the uniqueness you have to offer. What do you bring that no other candidate can bring?
Among the candidates this year, my ability to assemble people as a community organizer is unparalleled.
My work is widely known as an officer of Twilight Hall, an officer of the TownCrier, and a Lorekeeper at Silverwood Manor. My presence is felt even at events held by Ord an Dragan, in which I'm not an officer, and the Drakes Vanguard, in which I'm not even a member. I have longstanding relationships with the majority of the town council in neighboring Icemule.
I have the widest array of connections of any candidate, across organizations and relationships as diverse as the Landing itself. That's why you can trust, through my history, that I'm the candidate most able to meet with any citizen or council member alike and work through honest, challenging discussions and difficult decisions.