Xorus (prime)/Letters/Legal Theories on Sovereignty and Compulsory Repatriation - 08-13-5118

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
< Xorus (prime)
Revision as of 18:11, 14 April 2022 by INIQUITY (talk | contribs) (new)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Subject: Re: A Debate Of Valor, Vaalor, Opportunity, and Importunity (August 3 story recap) on 08/13/2018 05:21 PM EDT
Category: Cities, Towns, and Outposts
Topic: Wehnimer's Landing
Post: 13365

Storyline: Landing vs. Vaalor on the Elven Village

Parchment left open on the Mayor's desk in Moot Hall. It appears to be an advisory letter to Lylia framed in sample arguments on the Elven Village.

Too much is made of the transactional nature of the Vaalorian terms, as a barter implies a voluntary exchange which is not the case under coercion. When the illusions are revealed false under the harsh light of day, it is indeed the case that the Vaalor are bribing us with sovereignty. But it is equally true that it will be forced upon us even if we refuse it. The Turamzzyrian Empire will not recognize it, but its effect will still be felt. The Vaalor would not make such moves without intending on subverting imperial claims. Our sovereignty as a proxy for expanding their own sphere of influence is thus valuable in itself. What they are offering, then, is only the conditions for good terms.

In every alliance there is a horse and a rider. The Vaalor are not offering an alliance, for a horse cannot be ridden by two masters. They are merely offering a detente that poses the other rider an occupational hazard. This is dangerous but can be balanced. The subtle point of this matter is that, in recognizing our sovereignty, the Vaalor are also asserting that we have been sovereign. This makes us responsible for not preventing the deaths of their own subjects. For this injustice they demand compensation.

(A) Legal Fictions and Power Politics

There is such a thing as "too much truth" being impolitic, the lack of grace giving proof of poor breeding. Thus one must never be caught saying something excessively true in a royal court. They are demanding we "return" something from our realm which they assert we have no legitimate claim upon. In this sense we are not "giving" them this village, we are only acknowledging it is not ours. By logical extension we are also held sovereign over all surrounding settlements. The Vaalor are essentially asserting that the village is a colony. Since it is a colonial holding they assert their own sovereignty to its land. While we might think of the Elven village as "independent", as sovereign subjects they are only locally autonomous. It is only a question of whose subjects. This might be called the double speak of legal fictions, but the law is an inherent fiction writ by power.

If it is not in the interest of House Vaalor to continue recognizing our sovereignty, they will cease with the pretenses and act accordingly. But if it is in their interest to veil the matter and make the region disputed territory, they will continue its assertion and proceed on a continuation of the fictional logic, for this second layer of meaning is still very real and consequential. It would be a limited war for seizing control of the land, which would be necessitated by honor, and presumably demands for additional concessions as terms for surrender. Whether the end result of extending their sphere of influence is "balance of power" or "escalation" is between the Emperor and Sovereign Commander.

In the moment we are only being vetted by the Lord Chamberlain for worthiness of royal attention, but we cannot act meaningfully under speculation of how the appeasement might sharpen from treating with King Qalinor Vaalor. The conditions for his audience in this way signal our willingness to be civilized. There is no sense in insulting Retassal by splitting the royal hairs. Should the Town Council wish instead to declare that Wehnimer's Landing is indeed an imperial protectorate, we cannot have it both ways, acting as sovereigns or acting on behalf of sovereigns without permission. It would be a victory from which we cannot recover. The decision rests then entirely with Earl Jovery and the Emperor. Interfering in favor of their independence both makes an action against the Vaalor upon imperial behalf, asserts a claim of migrant independence in spite of the sovereign power we concede we live under, and both endorses and assists a separatist ideology subverting the rule of both empires. It is the deontology of madness.

(B) Universal Law and Ancestral Rights

The idea that it is possible for the settlers of this village to be independent is deeply misunderstood. Elves have no right to claim independence from their ancestral bloodline, short of being a schism so high born as to be recognized as their own sovereign power. This has not happened in fifty thousand years. Great Houses are not the same kind of political and legal entity as a human feudal holding. When the subject of Baron Dunrith Malwind moves from Vornavis to Jantalar, he is no longer the subject of Baron Malwind, but is still the subject of Earl Eddric Jovery. Should he move instead to Idolone he would instead be the subject of Earl Hurrst. Wherever he goes within the Empire he would be the subject of the Emperor, and not at all if he moved instead to Zul Logoth. Most races are freed from their political bonds simply by leaving a regional jurisdiction.

If I were to murder our Mayor outside the town walls I would not be prosecuted. However, if I poison Lylia Rashere Faendryl with Luukosian deathwort, it would not matter when or where it happened. Her family in the Emporion would report the transgression by a member of the Clerisy. Ultimately, the Palestra will be ordered to hunt me down, and they would be tasked with my execution. If I were to violate the Patriarchal law by breaching Shieltine's Ward, escaping to the valence of Lorae'tyr, it would not matter if I had done so even from another plane of existence rather than our own. Nor am I allowed to summon more than the most minor of imps in the outlands. Nor may I possess books there on the subject. I would be executed for it. These laws are binding upon me by birth and ancestral right. The Patriarch is the head of household, not a mere head of state.

The absolute power of a sovereign monarch transcends all time and space, it allows no limit nor statute of limitations. When Yshryth Silvius was coronated and asserted the eternal law of regicide, it was applied retroactively to all prior perpetrators. Thus, he had his own mother executed, consecrating the law in blood. When the Argent Mirror was the child Lahrair Illistim, the Vaalor demanded she serve her mandatory military service, for her mother was Vaalor and the obligation of her bloodline was universal. What was truly happening as power politics was something else, whether the next monarch would be indoctrinated under Loenthran or Vaalorian influences. But they had such right.

The Illistim compensated House Vaalor a whole legion, and only because they had equal claim. What possible claim of independence, then, could mere expatriates assert? Let us not forget that there are many other Elven expatriates in this region. The West is a haven for anarchists and black sheep, of this there can be no question. But a criminal who has evaded the law is still an outlaw rather than beyond it. These settlers have no more right to refuse House Vaalor than the Alabaster Spire does to deny their own Patriarch. Should the Patriarch choose to annex its land in Aillidh Brae, its Faendryl members would accept it unconditionally. Issues of sovereignty are above their station. If it is the case that these migrants did not originate within House Vaalor, their recourse as Elven subjects is to appeal to their own sovereign. They will be even worse off claiming impurity.

(C) The Expatriate Question

The issue of villages of Elven expatriates is a standing unresolved problem in the international affairs between the Turamzzyrian Empire and the Elven Nations. Those Elves who had lived in the West for whatever reason tended to congregate on the edges of forests to evade Chaston's Edict. Whether they should so much as pay the imperial taxes has erupted into war, causing the matter to be ignored and linger unresolved for the past several centuries. This is only a modest amount of my own life, and yet it is older than human feudalism itself. Consider the opprobrium and condemnation met by "Dark Elves" for the Ashrim War, which is treated as yesterday having only been five thousand years ago. For Elves how could something so young and untried countermand so deep and profound a thing as universal law? The comparative tolerance of House Vaalor for this Western style of anarchic individualism is best regarded as condescension. Lowered expectations of lesser races, much as one does when domesticating a house pet.

What can be said of these particular Elves is that they only claim to have settled this spot for the past century. They came upon a ruined village in the Red Forest by accident, residing there upon taking in what appeared to be orphaned Elven children. These were actually the fey of a haunted forest who appeared to be Elven. It is possible that their presence in some sense "woke up" the forest, but they surely cannot have lived there for long. Indeed. Tales in the East imply our frontier town was already in existence when they first arrived, which makes them very recent migrants from the East. Should they somehow have a more exotic provenance among Wyrdeep Elves, it is implausible the Red Forest itself preceded Yuriqen or came into being after the Sylvan isolation, which means their time here still cannot be long by Elven standards. The relationship between the expatriate villages and their ancestral lines, whether the debased have a right of refusal, is the internal affair of Elves and the sovereignty dispute between two empires.

Wehnimer's Landing has no voice on this question. Ask yourselves in all seriousness: Are you willing to tell Lord Breshon Caulfield in our neighboring Outpost that you will fight against him if the Elven villages in his barony, which are liberally treated with local autonomy, obey the allegiance with their Houses and attempt to secede from him? Those are the future implications. Lord Thadston said it himself: With the Elves you must ask what they seek in decades or centuries. The hazard of meddling in this is enormous.

By my hand,

Lord Xorus Kul'shin
13th Phoenatos, 5118 Modern Era  (IC Status: Semi-Private)

(OOC Note: Xorus in part B is constructing a Hobbesian political philosophy and a far right-wing doctrine of the legal scope of Elven absolute monarchy. In practice Elves are actually able to freely associate and disassociate from the Houses. Xorus is taking the extreme opposite position that no separation in time or space absolves Elves of their fealty to the monarchs. This is couched in the relative severity of Faendryl law, which cannot allow sorcerers loopholes in temporarily being in other places, and the regicide eternal law of Yshryth Silvius.)