Mist Harbor Library Lectures - 2022-11-27 - The Code (log)

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The following is a log from the Mist Harbor Library Lectures, organized by Rohese, during which Guarrin discusses the history of Sir Pyrrhon, founder of the Order of the Golvern Star, and author of the Code.

The log is provided by Arenglae (prime).

[Library, Meeting Hall - 29806] (u3223132)
A trio of wide stairs lead down from a wide archway into this brightly lit room.  A small podium stands atop a small dais opposite the archway, and several cushioned benches have been arranged throughout the space, each offering an excellent line of sight.  A number of elliptical windows line the walls of the hall, and a rich crimson-patterned carpet covers the entirety of the floor underfoot.  You also see the Yardie disk, a rough oak table with some stuff on it, the sparking Dendum disk and a small table with some stuff on it.
Also here: Blade Yardie, Kalaine, Meril, Dendum who is sitting, Giogionni, Relic Hunter Ordim who is sitting, Sir Guarrin, Chatelaine Traiva who is sitting
Obvious exits: none

You see Loremaster Rohese Bayvel Illistim.
She appears to be an Elf.
She is taller than average with a slender willowy form.  She appears to be of a tender age.  She has silver-lashed misty grey eyes and preternaturally pale skin.  She has hip-length, cool silver hair in a high ponytail that falls in a sleek, straight line down her back.  She has slender ears peeking through her hair that taper to fine points.  Her composed expression has a sense of scholarly authority despite her youthful, fey-like appearance.
She has a cascade of tiny silver stars tattooed over her right eyebrow that fades into her hairline, and an inking of a faint star constellation on her neck.
She has occasional faint traces of text flowing beneath her visible skin.
She is in good shape.
She is wearing a twisted vaalin geldaralad dangling a cloudy-glazed sheer silver moonstone, an open-fronted dark lavender satin robe fettered by a series of thin chains, a silver shooting star locket, a high-throated dove grey silk cotehardie with narrow finger-looped sleeves, an adularescent pale opal ring, a wedding band of midnight-tinted glaes trailing across the left ring finger, and a pair of open-toe grey leather chopines.

Rohese smiles.

Rohese graciously greets, "Good afternoon everyone."

Rohese excitedly begins, "As the Library's Loremaster, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to another in our lecture series."

Rohese softly says, "We are well into our second year and I do love them so."

Rohese wrinkles her nose.

Rohese brightly explains, "As I'm sure you are all aware by now, the aim is to provide a platform for imparting knowledge and encouraging discussion."

Rohese gently reminds, "I ask that everyone be considerate to our speaker, as well as those who comment or ask questions."

Speaking to Rohese, Phanna murmurs, "I was worried I might be late."

Rohese bashfully says, "You know me, I always chatter too much."

Rohese clears her throat.

Rohese softly continues, "All opinions are welcome and indeed encouraged, as long as they are courteously expressed."

Rohese smiles quietly to herself.

Ordim takes a bite of his raspberry muffin.

Rohese softly exclaims, "I am so grateful that our speaker agreed to be here today.  I have been hoping to add him to the prestigious list of previous speakers for some time and I have finally succeeded!"

Rohese surreptitiously glances at Guarrin.

Rohese affectionately says, "So, without further ado, please give Sir Guarrin Hjeldin a very warm Library welcome."

Rohese takes a few steps back.

Guarrin nods appreciatively at Rohese.

Rohese selects a spot on one of the cushioned benches and settles into its soft cushions.

Guarrin strides a few steps forward.

Guarrin clears his throat.

Rohese inclines her head.

Rohese gazes with interest at Guarrin.

Guarrin cordially greets, "Good afternoon, everyone. It is an honor to be here speaking today. Thank you Lady Rohese for the kind invitation and warm welcome."

Rohese nods faintly.

Rohese smiles quietly to herself.

Guarrin says, "Today we will review a historic individual who while living only a few hundred years ago, and only a simple Knight, would shape much of the chivalric training of the Empire up to the modern day. We will cover some of the major events of his life, what was occurring around him, that would lead him to write this."

Guarrin grabs a heavy leather book from a small pocket inside of his iron boar hide cloak.

The smell of acrid ink fills the air as Guarrin opens his leather book.

Rohese looks thoughtfully at Guarrin.

Guarrin shoves his leather book forward in order to call everyone's attention to a particularly crucial passage concerning the Order of the Golvern Star.

Guarrin clearly states, "The Code."

Guarrin continues, "The author is Sir Pyrrhon Von Kammersteyl of Immuron, and I would like to discuss his role as the founder of the Order of the Golvern Star, and perhaps his most important work, the writing of the Code of honor that has formed the framework and inspiration for countless chivalric Orders."

Guarrin thoughtfully says, "For some of you, if we have spent any time discussing chivalric virtues, I am certain you have heard of Sir Pyrrhon and his Code. Hopefully, you will still be able to learn something about this particular individual and how a knight and his Code, in a small way, shaped the future of an empire."

Guarrin offhandedly mentions, "I suppose an alternative title could have been, Why Tournaments are Destroying the Empire."

Guarrin looks thoughtful for a moment, then shrugs.

Guarrin curiously muses, "What makes Sir Pyrrhon s Code unique? Why has it served so effectively where other similar writings failed? Perhaps we may establish some of the reasons for certain aspects of the Code based on the historical events in which Sir Pyrrhon participated."

Guarrin says, "First, a bit on Sir Pyrrhon himself and the era during which he lived so we have better context. Let s go back to the year 4848, and within the past decade, the war with Faendryl had come to a rather bloody conclusion."

Guarrin laments, "Amongst the many casualties of the war were some of the legendary knights at the time, contemporaries of Sir Pyrrhon. Including Sir Gallestan the Mighty of the Order Crimson Fist, and Sir Hughrond, the Golden Knight of Kezmon Isle. Individuals that Sir Pyrrhon certainly would have known by reputation if not directly."

Guarrin grimly adds, "It also was one of the most famous failures of several orders, known as the Breaking, where knights fled before the demon onslaught."

Guarrin says, "Back to Sir Pyrrhon, after the war, demons continued to harass the area around Barrett s Gorge, requiring constant patrols. Meanwhile, back in Tamzyrr, Empress Selantha II died, and a new Emperor is crowned, who ordered the construction of the Demonwall."

Guarrin explains, "Records indicate that Sir Pyrrhon of Immuron earned his spurs and much honor during the war itself, being raised during this time of war and certainly serving in the campaigns. While records are sparse on details, it is als presumed that he served as a squire during the war and earned his spurs when serving on the front lines as well. It is said it is his greatness in the field that earned him the honor and reputation necessary to later found the Order. However, there are few records of the specifics that have survived, beyond mentioning of his assignment at the time."

Guarrin takes a drink from his lemon-zested water.

Guarrin casually mentions, "There are several legends, all likely exaggerated, so I will be skipping those tales for now. However, I imagine they spread rather quickly, given the events of the Breaking."

Guarrin says, "Before we discuss lessons learned from facing demons, let s evaluate his early childhood, his years as a page and early years as a squire."

Guarrin notes, "Sir Pyrrhon was raised in Immuron, and for those that are not aware, Immuron hosts the second largest tournament within the Empire, the Feat at Rallick s Field, named after Emperor Rallick Anodheles. As this tradition started well  before Sir Pyrrhon s time so he was raised in a culture surrounded by chivalric events occurring even during a time of war."

Guarrin explains, "These tournaments are grand events, I am told, and if you have seen the lists at Rumor woods you have seen a very small example of what goes on at the Feat at Rallick s Field. The winners banner flying high above all others atop the nearby tower. Massive crowds gather. Bets are wagered. Fortunes are earned and lost."

Furrowing his brow in thought, Guarrin strokes absently at his greased neatly trimmed, full beard.

Guarrin grimly states, "Imagine the surprise a young Sir Pyrrhon, used to the relative comforts of squiring to a tourney knight in Immuron, would have when he reached the fields of battle in this campaign. No longer tilting against other knights. Gone are the green fields with bright banners and well polished new armor."

Guarrin continues, "He was facing strange, powerful creatures, relentless in their pursuit and merciless in their approach to battle. These demons were eager to rend him and his allies to pieces.They do not stop to offer mercy, or wait for a knight to fetch another weapon before resuming a duel. In the face of this, he witnessed veteran knights toss their banners down and flee."

Guarrin carefully muses, "You can imagine, perhaps, how poorly tilting at the list, or trading blows in honorable melee combat prepares a young squire for this new battlefield."

Guarrin says, "How poorly prepared they all were."

Guarrin says, "Now, a bit about the Order of the Golvern Star."

Guarrin continues, "After the war, Sir Pyrrhon would found the Order with a set of ideals that would set the standard for all chivalric Orders since. While the Order primarily serves on the Demonwall, it exists outside the typical structures of the military arms of the Empire."

Guarrin says, "Upon joining the Order, the new members will yield any lands to a relative or the Order itself. Which is a rare occurrence. Obligations to nobility are set aside as well. The members consider themselves to always be  on duty . It is also worth noting that members do not participate in chivalric tournaments or duels. Their loyalty is to the Sun Throne, and their duty is the defense of the Empire. Their focus is the Demonwall."

Guarrin says, "In this way, their focus is mostly singular and was considered unique at the time."

Guarrin says, "Now that we better understand the era and situation of how Sir Pyrrhon was raised, and a bit about the Order, let s discuss the Code and how Sir Pyrrhon viewed honor, and how it shaped this now legendary order."

Guarrin takes a drink from his lemon-zested water.

Guarrin clearly states, "Sir Pyrrhon viewed honor almost as transactional. To him, Honor can be earned, and lost , through the deeds and words of an individual. It is something that must be maintained and looked after with care. To put it simply, as he wrote in Code,  he who does more, is of greater worth ."

Guarrin carefully muses, "If honor is the sum of an individual's deeds, Sir Pyrrhon next created a method to evaluate the quality of honor earned. The intent of this was clearly to direct the actions of Knights away from certain activities, and toward others."

Guarrin continues, "And if honor is how we keep track of an individual s deeds or a summation of their actions, what are those deeds evaluated against? What must they exemplify? Sir Pyrrhon focused upon the following virtues in his writing: Courage, Justice, Mercy, Largesse, Faith, Prowess, Humility, Nobility, Hope, Loyalty, and Defense."

Guarrin nods firmly.

Guarrin considers, "For example, Sir Pyrrhon writes deeds performed on the battlefield are of greater value than those performed at the tourney, for the purpose is not selfish, and it is done in service rather than personal glory. Where one may exemplify many of the core virtues Sir Pyrrhon mentions."

Guarrin posits, "This is, perhaps, a not so subtle condemnation of the knights jousting at Rallick s field, especially those that did not report to the front."

Guarrin says, "He goes on to state that deeds performed at greater peril and without personal gain will reward even greater honor."

Guarrin states, "Clearly, Sir Pyrrhon did not think much of the tourney knights that were jousting in relative safety while he and others faced demons in Barrett s Gorge. He goes even further by writing in the Code,"

Guarrin jabs his finger at what he claims is a crucial passage concerning the Order of the Golvern Star in his leather book.

Guarrin recites:

    "...to be without a foe, or putting effort towards an ideal, is against the spirit of chivalry entirely ."

Guarrin muses, "Sir Pyrrhon takes it a step further, and again, this is likely influenced by his childhood in Immuron. He considered the location of great importance as well when evaluating honor. Serving close to home would earn less honor, in his eyes, than an individual serving further away protecting someone else s home."

Guarrin says, "Again this goes back to the desire to defend one s home can be viewed as a personal benefit. Travel will bring new experiences and challenges that jousting or dueling in tournaments at home, will not. To Sir Pyrrhon, fighting in the field for a home not your own against injustice, earned one great honor."

Guarrin considers, "It is also evident that Sir Pyrrhon was not pleased with the leadership within chivalric Orders at the time as well. Likely due to the Breaking itself. He would write extensively within the Code about an individual s honorable action compared to inspiring or leading individuals, and how the latter is of greater honor."

Guarrin says, "To quote Sir Pyrrhon directly once more..."

Guarrin recites:

    "...it is the moral burden, and expectation, of leadership to inspire others to valor. To be the beacon of honor for others to set their standards against only increases with greater responsibility this is why the burden of honorable leadership is greatest for they cannot waiver in their conviction or actions ."

Guarrin suggests, "This was, perhaps, more of a critique of the leadership of nobles at the time than anything else. Since his Order was completely devoted to service to the Empire and the Sun Throne, Sir Pyrrhon had the greatest expectation for the Emperor. This noblesse oblige would perhaps even raise the standard beyond the Order itself."

Guarrin reminds, "At the time, the Code was not very popular amongst some of the nobility and other chivalric orders as it can be viewed as a direct critique of their actions. Sir Pyrrhon writes that while nobles and other leaders are obligated to lead in an honorable manner, those supporting them may offer homage in their service, but it is also their responsibility to evaluate whether their leaders are acting in a way that preserves and enhances honor."

Guarrin says, "No one wished to be reminded of the Breaking. Well, that is certainly not behavior of leadership one would hope for on the field. Again, this was likely an early failure from which Sir Pyrrhon would learn a great deal, and use it to forge his Order."

Guarrin says, "He does go on, at length on this topic. If the actions of the leader does not exemplify honor, it is the responsibility of those that have paid homage to address this issue with their liege lord. Or, suffer consequences on their own honor."

Furrowing his brow in thought, Guarrin strokes absently at his greased neatly trimmed, full beard.

Guarrin says, "Given the importance of the value of prowess to Sir Pyrrhon, it is fascinating that his Code does not cover it in any detail. It is almost considered the base standard to have physical skills and strategic training to accomplish the deeds he mentions."

Guarrin says, "However, he was effective at recruiting knights of the same mindset, and given the recent events during the war, there were a good number of them unhappy with the state of things. It is said the initial roster of the Order was over two hundred knights, supported by another six hundred men-at-arms, squires, and pages. All were recruited and invited. This is a rather significant number for an upstart Order and I imagine a significant amount of work for Sir Pyrrhon."

Guarrin looks thoughtful for a moment, then shrugs.

Guarrin says, "The Golvern Star's discipline is renowned within the Empire, and that is likely due to the importance that Sir Pyrrhon places upon not only prowess but also honor earned on the field in service of a just leader. It is evident that he was already viewed as such a leader."

Guarrin considers, "It is worth noting that Sir Pyrrhon s writings did inspire change. His own Order s numbers doubled in size over the next few years and would continue to grow, although, they intentionally keep their numbers restricted now. Other Orders in the area, such as the Crimson Fist would see their numbers increase as well during this time."

Guarrin reflects, "Perhaps an unintended result, the Code became more popular in the Northern baronies where the number of tournaments was already few in comparison.  Tournament participation dropped even further after the Code began wide circulation. There is speculation because of the harsh lifestyle in some of the Northern and Eastern territories, they were always less interested in tournaments. The Code offered reinforcement of what they were already practicing."

Guarrin notes, "Hendor, in particular, I have found to not be overly fond of tournaments."

Guarrin concludes, "Finally, Sir Pyrrhon writes on how to achieve honor in death. Passing beyond to Gosaena s embrace, with courage and a smile, happy that you have done so pursuing honorable and just causes. This is actually very similar to how Kindred view what is an honorable death. Honor amongst the Kindred, however, is worth further evaluation and discussion on its own."

Guarrin says, "A most honorable death is perhaps one thing that Sir Pyrrhon did not accomplish. There is not a detailed record of his death, which leads me to believe that he likely passed from natural causes. Perhaps not the glorious ending he had in mind when he was writing the Code."

Guarrin says, "Sir Pyrrhon would be present for one of the greatest failures of the chivalric Orders within the Empire. He was witness to the selfish and extrinsic individuals who were leveraging their station for profit and false reputation at tourney."

Guarrin says, "When measured by Sir Pyrrhon's own Code, if indeed inspiration and leadership are the greatest honor one can achieve, regardless of how he passed on, Sir Pyrrhon s legacy of chivalric reform may make him the greatest Knight."

Guarrin says, "My thanks, again, to Lady Rohese for inviting me to speak today on who I find a very fascinating individual."

Rohese smiles.
Rohese blushes sheepishly to herself.
Rohese lowers her gaze.

Rohese stands up.
Rohese walks to stand behind a small podium.

Rohese appreciatively says, "Thank you, Sir Guarrin."

Guarrin adds, "Also, my thanks to Sir Bristenn, who unfortunately is not present, but this is an individual and topic we share a great interest in."

Rohese softly asks, "Would you be willing to take questions?"

Guarrin snaps his leather book shut with a puff of dust.

Rohese smiles at Guarrin.

Guarrin says, "Yes, gladly."

Guarrin nods once at Rohese.

Rohese casually glances about, her misty grey eyes reflective pools that mirror everything around her.
An ebon shadow swirls through a brilliant star-of-Tamzyrr diamond caught within an ovate veniom frame on Delindra's forehead, momentarily casting her countenance in darkness.

Speaking to Guarrin, Meliyara asks, "Apart from the reduction in tournaments in parts of the empire, what impact has Sir Pyrrhon and his Code had on how those who would take up arms are trained in the Empire today?"

Speaking to Meliyara, Guarrin says, "The Code is often used as a reference and guide for training in chivalric Orders across the empire. It has helped establish a baseline for many Orders."

Speaking to Meliyara, Guarrin says, "Beyond that baseline, the Code also caused a deeper evaluation on motivations of those participating in tourneys, and the actions of knights and leaders."

Sir Bristenn just arrived.

Guarrin says, "Ah, speak and he appears."

Speaking affectionately to Bristenn, Rohese says, "Welcome."

Bristenn carefully observes, ".. hail."

Speaking thoughtfully to Guarrin, Talinvor asks, "You mention the Code is aimed at the honor of protecting others outside the home. Have you ever considered it's use to be abused or unjustified, as in the case of expansion attempts into other cultural regions?"

Speaking to Talinvor, Guarrin says, "A good question. As with all things, it must be evaluated in each scenario. Instead, I would view it as the Code as a way to evaluate whether such actions are justified."

Speaking carefully to Talinvor, Guarrin says, "We have, of course, fought against such expansion in some cases in the past."

Speaking curiously to Guarrin, Talinvor asks, "Ah, so the order has gone against the ambition of the Northern Sentinal in the past?"

Bristenn neutrally mentions, "There was no Northern Sentinel appointed at the referenced time, I believe."

Talinvor thoughtfully asks, "There is now, neh?"

Speaking fondly to Missoni, Rohese acknowledges, "I believe you had a question?"

Speaking to Talinvor, Guarrin says, "Sir Bristenn is correct. Further, the Order has gone against the northern sentinel since."

Speaking to Rohese, Missoni asks, "I do, if I may?"

Speaking to Guarrin, Missoni says, "If honor is best earned on the battlefield, what of those whose skills are perhaps not suited for the battlefield, but serve to provide medical assistance and the like? Are these individuals at a disadvantage according to the code? It surely seems like their actions should be considered as honorable as those of one on the field."

Speaking to Missoni, Guarrin says, "Ah, yes, this is an interesting point."

Speaking to Missoni, Guarrin says, "There is great honor earned in other services mentioned by Sir Pyrrhon, however, Sir Pyrrhon also had perhaps a very focused view of the battlefield."

Speaking to Missoni, Guarrin says, "In my interpretation of the Code, I believe that yes, they surely can."

Speaking softly to Ordim, Rohese allows, "I believe you had your hand raised too?"

Bristenn agrees, "It's easy to sing the praises of feats at arms and deeds on the battlefield.  Low hanging fruit, as it were."

Speaking to Guarrin, Ordim inquires, "Does the Code have a rank of Knight Welcome like the one in the east does?"

Speaking to Bristenn, Guarrin says, "Yet it is often triage where we turn the tide."

Bristenn slowly remarks, "However, the code does very much mention that the good man-at-arms sings his praises about others, and never theirself."

Bristenn tosses a knowing glance toward Guarrin, taps his nose, and then points at him.

Speaking softly to Guarrin, Rohese says, "What an interesting notion."

Speaking to Ordim, Guarrin asks, "Can you clarify the one in the east?"

Ordim nods enthusiastically!

Bristenn firmly agrees, "Right.  Without that support in place, we're mainly fools in iron flailing about."

Speaking to Guarrin, Ordim confirms, "The Mirror told me that I was Knight Welcome in Ta'Illistim and to spread the word and do things elsewhere for them!"

Ordim beams!

Speaking to Ordim, Guarrin says, "Ah, not that I am aware of. The ranks of Knights are Knight Errant, Knight Banneret, Knight of the Empire and Knight Commander."

Speaking softly to Ordim, Rohese disagrees, "The Mirror did no such thing but I will forgive your misunderstanding."

Talinvor wryly whispers aloud, "Not... knight."

Speaking to Dendum, Ordim confirms, "They escorted me out to do my duties and everything!"

Guarrin raises an eyebrow.

Speaking softly to Ordim, Rohese acknowledges, "They certainly did that."

Guarrin tucks a heavy leather book into a small pocket inside of his iron boar hide cloak.

Speaking wryly to Ordim, Talinvor asks, "Is this like claiming you were the Tower's secretary?"
Rohese quickly asks, "Do we have any more questions?"

Phanna asks, "There was talk earlier of how Sir Pyrrhon's Code has evolved in the time since it was introduced.  How else has it evolved?"

Phanna asks, "Or do most Orders try to stay as close to the original concept?"

Speaking to Phanna, Guarrin says, "I think you will find it varies. Some Orders adhere to it strictly. Others, prefer Kai's Talismans."

Speaking curiously to Guarrin, Rohese echoes, "Kai's Talismans?"

Speaking to Phanna, Guarrin says, "Some a hybrid of the two, however, what it did at the time was force the necessary questions to cause an evaluation."
Phanna asks, "I suppose it would vary depending on if the Order prefers a literal adherence to it versus adherence to the spirit of the Code?"

Speaking to Phanna, Guarrin says, "That is correct, there are still, for example, some knights that only participate in the tourney."

Meliyara shakes her head, clucking her tongue.

Speaking to Phanna, Guarrin says, "I find this to be a rather poor practice, and not aligned with their actual purpose or station."

Phanna nods understandingly.

Rohese brightly asks, "Any more questions or comments for our esteemed guests?"
Rohese glances around the room.

Speaking to Rohese, Guarrin says, "Yes, Kai's talismans. Similar to the Code, allegedly written by Kai himself. Different concept of virtues valued by Kai himself."

Meril raises her hand.

Rohese understandingly says, "Ah, thank you."

Speaking to Rohese, Guarrin says, "The Order of the Crimson fist, for example, focuses more on the Talismans than the Code."

Rohese nods at Meril.

Meril asks, "Ah, I was just about to ask more of the Talismans. When and wh were those set down?"

Furrowing his brow in thought, Guarrin strokes absently at his greased neatly trimmed, full beard.

Guarrin says, "When they were first put down? I could not say, I do know there are several locations considered holy to Kai where they are transcribed."

Teaberry asks, "Not just outside the Landing?"

Guarrin says, "That is my understanding, yes."

Guarrin says, "However, as Sir Morgiest would be the one to discuss that further if he were here."
Guarrin says, "But that tale is perhaps best left for another day."

Missoni curiously asks, "May I ask one more question, if no one else has one?"

Speaking amusedly to Missoni, Rohese says, "Yes, you can ask another."

Missoni whispers aloud, "I have so many."

Speaking to Missoni, Guarrin says, "A fine trait."

Speaking carefully to Guarrin, Missoni asks, "Ah, do you think the Code was ever intended to be followed by someone who wields... some of the very magic it was written as a result of?"

Speaking softly to Missoni, Rohese exclaims, "Intriguing question!"

Speaking earnestly to Missoni, Guarrin says, "I am not certain Sir Pyrrhon had the foresight to imagine such things. However, it does not mean it is not possible."

Speaking to Missoni, Guarrin says, "That may be a result of some of his experiences."

Rohese appreciatively concludes, "I am sure you will all join me in thanking our wonderful speaker for sharing his fascinating insights into the chivalric code!  He has given me much to think about and I am inspired to learn more."

Speaking to Rohese, Guarrin says, "Thank you again for having me. I appreciate the opportunity."
Bristenn applauds politely.

Rohese softly exclaims, "The hour has flown by!"

Speaking softly to Guarrin, Rohese says, "It was our honour."

Guarrin says, "Yes, I would encourage everyone to attend those discussions. Or, perhaps find a copy of the Code. Although it is a rather ...dry read."

Rohese wrinkles her nose.

Bristenn wryly agrees, "Mostly ramblings and asides.  I presume the original scribe acting as editor was unsure what to cut."

Speaking to Guarrin, Meliyara asks, "Your own Order observes a hybrid of the talismans and the code, neh?"

Speaking to Meliyara, Guarrin says, "It varies by individual, yes."