Leafiara (prime)/Tales/Final considerations
Original Story: Phoenatos 3, 5120
A small wolf stalked through the Lower Dragonsclaw, the cover of night masking the movements of her black-furred body and camouflaging the darkened parchment she carried in her mouth. At length she approached the camp and trotted cautiously toward one of the bloodguards, then deposited the parchment on the ground before hurrying away. From a distance, she watched with perked ears for someone to gather up her delivery.
Malluch, I have a question for you to consider before our next meeting. Please bear with me as I give the context first. I've convened privately with a few dozen of our town's trusted defenders regarding the possibility of your pardon. We debated it for an hour and a half, and probably just as many arguments for and against were stated as the number of people there; I'm sure you understand and remember how passionate Landing discussions get. I'm still contemplating and won't commit to a decision until Tilamaires, as we agreed. Right now, my current leaning--I'll stress, merely a leaning'--is that pardoning you is more likely than not the correct move going by the principle of the matter, but more likely than not the wrong move going by probable outcomes. I've been given many reasons to believe the latter, but the most relevant one to you is that pardoning your past vigilantism against others in an effort to discourage others' vigilantism against you seems self-defeating at best. Rather than what you hoped, it might empower others to feel they could get away with attacking you and your followers. Far from staying Thadston's hand, I think it would be more likely, if anything, to encourage him to attack--and not only him, but also the Rooks and potentially even individuals who are drawn to vigilantism. Again, I'm sure you understand and remember from your time as Rone that you had many sympathizers. I can attest that they've not all disappeared; indeed, even now, a third Rone with a set of the Alchemist's gauntlets still roams the shadows. This Rone and her sympathizers--as well as the ones you once amassed before her--are in town now and might be ready to rise up again. In a more real sense than many people, you're in conflict with the echoes of your past. I prefer to act on principle when possible, instead of hypotheticals or fears of what could be. What my decision should be, I don't yet know. However, one thing occurs to me in all of this: the decision isn't only mine, nor even only mine and the many who came to discuss the matter with me. You, too, have a say in this--and while I tend to decide on principle, you seemed to be making the case for your pardon primarily from the outcomes. (I can understand why our approaches are so different. I'm sure that you, having been gifted the talents of a seer, have experienced visions of the future in a far more tangible way than I ever could.) So, at last, my question to you is whether you still want a pardon in light of the risks I've presented or whether I've convinced you that it would be counterproductive. Even if you stand behind the idea of wanting the pardon, I'm not guaranteeing that I'll side with you. However, I'm telling you this out of courtesy; I didn't wish to blindside you with this angle on Tilamaires and would prefer that you have more time to consider this complex situation. I leave the question to you and we'll discuss it when we meet. Thank you. Yours, Mayor Leafiara
Leafi sped toward the small wolf walking through her door, then knelt down and gave her a smooch. "Good girl. So they picked it up?"
The wolf barked.
...yeah, sometimes I wish I could understand animals as well as Dad... oh well. I suppose I'll know if he got it in two days at most. The half-sylvan rubbed the wolf's back fondly, but eventually her hand slowed to an idle pace as her thoughts wandered. 'Good thing no one else sees a letter like that or they'd all start thinking--well, I don't even know what they'd start thinking of me. Then again, at a time like this I hardly even know what I think of me...