• Solo • A Dire Dilemma.

3rd of Ashan 720

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Approved Character
Posts: 993
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:38 am
Race: Mortal Born
Profession: Councillor of Natural Affairs
Renown: 922
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5




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A Dire Dilemma.

3rd of Ashan 720.

Stacks of papers littered the office. His desk was home to several precarious stacks, the chairs normally reserved for visitors had been overtaken by thick binders of notes and documents, and a few piles of open folders had even found their homes on various knick-knacks, with shelves already overrun by the junk and refuse that made up a good deal of the Office's natural decoration. "THIS is everything?" It was difficult to believe that in such a short period of inactivity between the transition of offices, such a huge volume of requests and work had built up. Especially considering the cold shoulder of his peers, the lack of any notable accomplishments since its induction, and the incredibly vague boundaries of their jurisdiction. "Surely some of this should be sent to the University, or perhaps the Element Hall."

Wesley shook his head. "I'm sorry sir. Tylar and I went through as much as we could in advance to set up a rudimentary organisation system, while proper filing faculties are created. All of this - is most certainly directed to the Office of Natural Affairs. Over there, by the maps and keys, are land requests, hunting and fishing permit requests. Over by the windows are Menagerie audits and surveys. While the Militant has a close hand in the daily operations of the Menagerie... it broadly falls under your personal responsibility, and as such copies
of all transactions and updates since its foundation have been collected and passed through the office." Finally, he gestured to the desk. "These are personal letters addressed to the Councillor." He glanced to his notepad and traced down a few lines. "From what I could distinguish, including the lack of proper address... none of these have received any responses, and the vast majority have remained unopened."

Madness, complete madness. "We'll start from the earliest requests, then, and work our way forwards. How far is the backlog?"

An uncomfortable pause. "It goes back as far as 716, sir." The air seemed to grow cold. Had he heard correctly? The backlog of unfinished work extended all the way back to even the very formation of the Council itself?! What on Idalos had the previous Councillor been doing all this time; Karem above, was this what the Militant had meant when he'd mentioned repeatedly calling for the measures he'd suggested? Suddenly it seemed to put a lot more into perspective. The Office wasn't in disrepair for its slightly awkward level of control... it just hadn't been controlled at all. He'd have to work even harder than his fellow Councillors, not only to clear the massive backlog created over arcs of malpractice, but also to clear the reputation and stigma now hanging over its head based on its first impressions.

"Alright. I need more space. Some of these files need to be moved elsewhere, and I don't care what else you need to remove to do it." The clutter and disorganisation of the cramped storage room was ungodly and only exacerbated their issues. "Cross-reference the permits with those already issued by the other offices in case of overlap; I don't want to be re-sending them. Filter the receipts and censors performed in the Menagerie to only this season and last season; everything prior to that point will be addressed when we have more less backdraft, for now we can only focus on the current events and future propositions." The last stack, he glared at with malice. "The personal addresses... I will go through myself."

The numbers were staggering and the topics covered everything, from simple requests to important information - and even a few curt threats and expletives thrown into the mix, though what the previous Councillor had done to earn them, if anything, remained largely unknown. For many, a reply and an apology wouldn't be enough, though. If he wanted to prove himself and the change that his new office would represent, he'd need to enact meaningful change based off these requests as soon as possible... if it was possible at all. One note mentioned an outbreak of unknown weeds causing difficulties in croplands... another said an influx of unknown predators had started hunting their poultry and causing difficulty. Menial, common tripes that he'd have to deal with personally, since he couldn't spare any workers to handle them. In time, the sheer numbers forced him to separate the requests into piles depending on the type of work it involved and the location - but there, he began to notice one particular pattern arising. References to Scalvoris town mentioned predators affecting crops, foragers, hunters, loggers and timber-workers all around the southern regions of the Sweetvine Woods in particular, growing in aggression and number with each cycle.

Finally, the letter that answered it all. With an untouched wax seal, scrawled messily on low-quality paper, a letter addressed directly to the Councillor of Natural Affairs on the 34th of Ashan, 717. It was curt and simple, lacking any of the now-telltale flair of the writing of the well-educated or even versed in proper etiquette.

Dear Councillor, I have looked and tried everything; you are my last hope. I am only a hunter and nomad, but food grows scarcer by the day, poached by hunters from Scalvtown, driven back by loggers, disturbed by visitors. My dear pet wolves and I are running out of room to survive. It feels like they are all relentless. I just want to live in peace and solitude. Please, help me. Argua.

Nir'wei sighed softly and lowered the page. "Wesley, I'm afraid I've got something I need to attend to. You, Marcus and Tylar will need to hold the fort until I return." Wesley said nothing, but bowed and immediately began adjusting the letters and pages he'd already sorted into binders for later completion. "Not that one." Argua's letter was instead slipped into Nir'weis pocket. "I won't need Silk for this, either. This will be a personal affair." That earned a notable pause, but Wesley said nothing and resumed his duties immediately afterwards. It was a rarity, but not unexpected that there would be moments like these, where a personal touch would be needed. Wolves and their like were somewhat of a weakness... and given the trend of other requests, Argua had already resorted to last-ditch efforts and whatever means necessary to protect himself and his pack. Now was not the time to send an unprepared emissary.

"This is going to be your new life now," Myrth teased as they left the Council Offices. "Cleaning up after everyone else's messes. Negotiating and solving disputes, serving the land. Honestly, you'd have been better off finishing off your Justiciar training."

"At least in this way he's able to pick and choose where he intervenes, though," Cold advocated. "Don't forget Xithyria's damn code and the oh-so-very black and white colouring of it. As if the world can be organised into absolutes and the duty of those that pass judgement is not to commit to a sentence worthy of the crime, but rather determine which of the two categories it better falls under."

Grey's voice overrode them all. "You're wrong." The voice almost made Nir'wei halt mid-stride. "None of us can pick where we intervene anymore. It is the duty of a leader to oversee everything - for when anything goes wrong under our purview, it is now our responsibility, one way or another. Even if we had no involvement in it, the argument will be that we should have, so that we could have prevented it." What a grim outlook. "With power to enact change comes the responsibility to make the right changes." Okay, that didn't sound as bad, but he still didn't like this sudden weight on his shoulders. "Do you know why Xithyria followed his code by absolutes and never wavered, even when there was a clearly superior choice?"

"Because he followed his code to the letter," Vabina chanced.

"... Yes, but why?" Silence. "Because it limited responsibility. If something wrong happened as a result of his decisions, he could justify himself by referencing the code." That was a silly mentality, though. Xithyria's code was a mix of Ethelynda's protective rights, Ilaren's knightly code, and a smattering of Vhalar's sacred oaths. It held all the right tenets but the ordering and supplements were purely those of his own choosing and not some rigid and unbending construct that Grey had made it into. "It's not about proving it to other people. It's about proving things to himself."

Nir'wei let the thought stew in his head, unanswered, as they approached the outer fringes of the Sweetvine Woods. "How did you figure all of this out?" It was a surprisingly deep insight into a man he'd not seen for many a season yet, and one that Grey had never before offered up.

"I've seen his kind before." That was all that Nir'wei would get out of him, of course. They were talking of his previous life now, the one before his transformation into the wolf they all knew now. Whomever he'd been had never been an idiot, if his insights weren't already proof of it. "The point I was making, is... Xithyria followed his code to eschew personal responsibility for the actions it resulted in, because those actions were born from the code, not his own rational morale. To deter from it and to follow our own judgement instead, is to accept that from now on the decisions we make, those that are carried out under the name of Councillor... no matter what misery they bring, either direct or inadvertent... is entirely our fault. Our responsibility. And our burden to carry, from now until we die."

The Sweetvine, and Argua, awaited. Whatever had happened between him and the previous Councillor of Natural Affairs was his burden to bear, now. Whatever decisions were drawn and carried forwards would be none but his own. As his first act, this could either become the first of many great successes, or a complete catastrophe that ended his career before it started... but above all, it would be his own. And man... the weight of that new burden was suddenly crushing.

Continued here.
Last edited by Nir'wei on Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1747
We return to where we started, and pass onwards into history.
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Prophet of Old
Posts: 1105
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:43 pm
Race: Undead (Ghost)
Renown: 999
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1



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Re: A Dire Dilemma.

Thread Review


Skill Points: +10 (cannot be used for magic)
Magic XP: None.

Renown: None.

Injuries/Overstepping: None.
Wealth Points: None.
Loot: None.

Skill Knowledge:
  • Leadership x4
  • Politics x2
Non-Skill Knowledge:
  • none requested.
Notes: n/a
Skills Used: Leadership (expert).
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.

It can be both overwhelming and freeing to find oneself in a claimed position of an institution; this highlighted that type of opportunity well from Nir'wei's perspective and circumstances. Showing a peek at the process of his logic when faced with the overwhelm of work left ignored for so many arcs, but the willingness to tackle it anyway. It is a good thing he has Wesley to help him and handle the organization tasks.

For me, since I'm not familiar with a lot of Nir'wei's backstory, it was very mysterious why the letter seemed to stir him enough to take immediate action on it. Especially since it was backdated so long ago.

The inclusion of the various companions in discussion toward the end was also interesting, kind of like having a mental council in the head; and it seemed like they had distinct personalities and views from what was shared in dialogue between them. It turned an organization-type thread into possible development into how Nir'wei relates to Grey, but also kept the mystery about the letter intact.

Good job and enjoy your rewards!

PM me if you have any questions, issues or concerns.

Total Word Count: 1752 words.
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