Leafiara (prime)/Tales/To Serve and Reject "To Impose and Protect"

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Original Story: Ivastaen 3, 5121

A small notebook left in the Hendoran outpost war room reads...


To Thadston and other town defenders,

I must stand down from the upcoming strike against the Knave, because the Landing's people do not want my help--nor help from many of you.

During several meetings, Amos has made it clear in no uncertain terms that the members of the Consortium he leads are tired of us, the town's long-time defenders. At the time, that was regrettable to hear, but in a larger sense immaterial. The Consortium was a small group of merchants whose concerns were outweighed by the larger population that had voted me in, voted in Lylia who originally appointed Thadston, and so forth.

Since then, though, Amos has been appointed the Steward of the Guilds and Dunigan, whose armigers have been paid for by the Consortium, has been appointed the Steward of the Guard. Therefore, the Consortium's position is now that of the majority of the Landing government.

I could possibly justify proceeding to aid with the strike if at least the citizens wished for it, but that appears not to be true. I've heard no objections to the Consortium appointments coming from any citizens other than the very ones who the Consortium members say they're tired of.

Therefore, the Landing government and citizens are in agreement that our aid is unwanted. There's nothing I wouldn't do for the Landing's people if they asked me to, and likewise there's nothing I would do for the Landing's people if they asked me not to. It wouldn't be right.

Some of you, reading this, might think that the town needs us. Believe me, I'm well aware that the Consortium thinks too highly of its resources. They weren't able to retrieve the statue, they weren't able to determine how to remove the bleakwalker, they weren't able to repel Vlashandra's forces without us, they weren't able to navigate the complex situation with the Lich King to prevent conflict at an inopportune time, they weren't able to infiltrate nor destroy the blood cult, and they weren't able to expose the link between the Daily Darkstone and the Knave.

I'm well aware that instead of accomplishing any of this like Amos claims they can, they're off digging for blue stones while continuing to insist they're enough to protect the town. I know all of this, but it doesn't matter. The people have made their choice and it's not in our favor, so I'll respect their wishes.

After all, it was by the same reasoning that, as many of you might remember, Maags, Puptilian, Wolfloner, and I refused to accept Thadston's plan of evacuating citizens against their will. We said they were free to risk their lives during an expected attack from Raznel if they chose. My stance hasn't changed. The people are likewise free to risk their lives in the Consortium's hands.

I expect that Thadston will proceed with his strike in the interest of public safety anyway, and I expect that many of you will aid him in that, so I'll divulge a couple of last things as a courtesy from a former militia member.

Contrary to what any of you might believe, I've never been a Rook. I can see why you or anyone would suspect otherwise, though. Thadston's only half-wrong, or maybe at most three-quarters wrong, when he says I tried to take over the Rooks once. It's a more complex story than I'll go into here, though, and in any case I didn't understand what the Rooks were at the time. As for the current Rooks, even though Mother crosses several lines that I won't, fair scrutiny toward me has been raised because we do in large part seem to share similar ideologies.

One ideology we at least appear to share is honoring people's free will. On that same evacuation night I mentioned above, Mother too was there to oppose the move and speak in favor of their choices. If she was sincere in her motives that night, and if she still has similar motives today, she'd see now that she and the Rooks should cease their strikes against the Knave and withdraw from the Landing, whose people have decided in favor of the Consortium. Maybe another town like Kraken's Fall will be more accommodating to them.

I assume she's aware of the situation, but if not, I'll bring it to her, since she recently told a full town square that she'd remain in contact over her next planned strike on the Knave. Hopefully reason and discussion alone can remove the Rooks from the board, as it were. That would make the strike against the Knave far easier for those of you who wish to pursue it.

And if Mother was insincere about her motives... Then what happens to her beyond that point isn't my concern, since liars rank behind only slavers in what I can't tolerate.

Lastly, specifically to Thadston, I'm sorry. While it's true you needed help with the bleakwalker and true that I had the captains' support in bringing you before Judge Renpaw, I can no longer believe I made the right decision.

All along, it wasn't you whose removal I should have pursued. It was that traitorous snake Cordarius who's now caved in to a combination of bribery, threats, and the false flirtations of manipulative women. He was placed illegitimately from the beginning and should never have gone unchallenged in the Chamber of Justice by Lylia nor me. She, at least, can rightly say that Cordarius was helpful at the time for determining how to suppress the blight. I have no such excuse and accept responsibility, though it changes nothing.

I stand down and wish you well, even as some of you likely wish me death. I don't blame you. Cordarius and I alike will one day get what's coming to us, I have no doubt.