(1311-02-17) Wishes and Practicalities
Summary: A busy Sunday at church gets wept up in a controversial on the practicalities and ideals of warfare and pacifism. There are also dicks, for those of you who have no interest in philosophizing.
RL Date: Sun Feb 17, 1311
Related: None
anse gal emilie-malet fleur helene philomene 

Temple of Elua


The worst of winter has seemed to have broken, and in Marsilikos the winters seem not as bad as they could be in comparison. While the air is still cold for most, the sky is clear and there isn't snow on the ground leaving it to be at least bearable. The open air temple of Elua is thusly busier than it has been in some days, blue clad clergy speak with worshipers who have come out to take advantage of the pleasent late-winter weather.

Gal is present and accounted for, wearing the bright blue half-cape of the City Guard, with his longsword at his side and his more ceremonial than useful polearm gleaming in the late winter sun as it tries its best to present a picture of the hope of spring. He's keeping an eye on the people coming and going from the Temple of Elua, but hardly with any severity. Anyone who catches his eye gets a boyish smile.

In the crimson robed Priestess of Naamah steps, her every movement gentle and her steps graceful. Occassionally, when the robe moves just so, the scars on her legs and arms can be seen. She is likely making her rounds of the various temples to do her prayers of the day.

With a bit of a sigh Anse steps towards Gal "aren't you a little young to be a member of the guard?" Anse asks as he pads over to the man "and besides, do you really think someone will be robbing or stealing or commiting crimes here of all places?" His scolding gets a bit distracted though as he sees the red robes of another order and he turns his head to offer a smile "greetings sister" he says before turning back to continue giving Gal disaproving looks.

A young woman arrives to the temple, drifting through the doors like the delicate seedhead of the dandelion flower. A sumptious white cloak swathes her from head to toe, and the drawn up hood covers her head and kisses lightly to the bridge of her nose. "Hello, Gal…" Her voice will be instantly recognisable to the young guardsman as she comes to a halt alongside him, though Anse's address does cause her to stifle the smallest of laughs. Breaching probably all the rules, she presses a hand to Gal's arm, using him as a prop upon which to balance herself as she bends to slip her shoes from her feet before entering the temple entirely. Thank goodness the snow has let up. Emilie gets a smile as she straightens, her shoes now dangling from the curl of her fingers.

"W… no?" Gal is a little surprised to have been confronted in such a manner, and he answers with an upward twist of intonation, as though uncertain, but only from having been caught somewhat off-guard. So to speak. Still, he maintains his post, turning his head to follow Anse with his eyes with something of a hangdog look, scolded. His attention is briefly piqued by a flash of scarred legs between crimson robes, and he twists a smile for the priestess before a voice draws him back to himself, and he proves a right servicable leaning-post for his sister-in-law, whose name flutters its way out of the very bottom of his lungs. "Fleur." Then, with a little bit more strength and a blossoming smile, "Hey. Coming for services?" is a stupid question, but it will possibly make her stay and talk to him for a little bit longer.

"You've a long life ahead of you, no need to spend it with a blade in hand" Anse continues to scold before Fleur appears and he offers a polite bow "m'lady" he says, this time warmly and with a smile. "Please let me know if I can be of any assistance, or if you need to speak with someone I am more than willing to lend an ear" he says. But then its back to scolding "You never said why you're lurking around here anyway young guardsman"

Fleur's toes curl into the cold gravel, and a delicate shake of her head is given to the question that Gal asks of her. "There's a service about to start? I didn't realise." A small chew is given to her lower lip, and indecision momentarily shows in her face. "I have been visiting each of the temples in order to give my thanks to the Companions. I've had something of a revelation, you see." The most melting of smiles is bestowed upon her brother-in-law, before she pulls her hand from his arm and uses it to nudge back the lip of her hood from her face. Eyes the colour of firelight in whiskey are thus revealed, and they land quite fully and squarely upon Anse. "That's very kind of you. Thank you. I was just planning on making an offering to Elua today, though I'd very much enjoy speaking with you next time I'm here." A pause. "I'm Fleur. Fleur Valais de la Courcel. And you are?"

"Oh— I dunno, I just— sort of figured," he looks through to the numbers of people assembling, having come to the conclusion that something was about to happen," he lifts his free shoulder in a haplessly apologetic manner of shrug, and then the inner points of his brows are rising into a look of tender curiosity when she speaks of some sort of epiphany, quite on the cusp of asking after it, when he is once more asked after by the priest. "I'm— I was posted to the temple district this shift. And I saw… a crowd, so I just thought I'd… make sure everyone is fine? I don't really guess I'll have much to do with a blade to-day… I hope not… but… if it should happen that anyone needs me, I'm here," he offers up, quite mildly.

"Being so indescive with a weapon is no good trait. One should not take the gravity of your situation so lightly." Anse taps Gal on the chest "why is it you wish to be a guardsman anyway? What draws you to this?" Anse continues to grill Gal before once again shifting focus to politeness and offering Fleur a bow "Brother Anse, M'lady Valais de la Courcel. I would be more than happy to listen if you have something to speak of. Do you know this young man?"

Helene arrives from the Temple District.

Helene has arrived.

"Oh…" Confusion shows in Fleur's face with Anse's continuing questioning of Gal, and holding her shoes carefully still in that one hand, she slips her arm around the guardsman's waist and gives him the smallest of hugs. "Gal is a wonderful guardsman, and he's also my brother-in-law, Brother Anse." The smile that follows is like a tiny ray of sunshine in the proceedings, and having quite embarrassingly hugged the guardsman whilst he's on duty, she reclaims her arm and lifts her hand to her throat, fishing out a necklace of brightly painted melon seeds. "Look, Gal. Look what Giselle gave to me this morning. Isn't she the cleverest thing?"

Philomene has arrived.

It is into this that Helene arrives, bundled up in a thick blue cloak against the winter chill. Her eyes search the temple, first finding Anse, then the two people with which he speaks. While Gal is given a look of recognition, and a nod of her head in acknowledgment, Fleur is as yet unknown. She does not approach them, giving privacy to the pair with the priest should it be desired. She is looking happier than she has of late though, and a smile curves her lips as she approaches the statue of Elua to set a single yellow chrysanthemum at his feet.

"Have faith, sir, that if I were to draw my blade I would have purpose in doing so," Gal seeks to assure Anse. "For now, I'm only keeping watch. Which is really… most of the job, anyhow," he adds with a lopsided smile. "My dad made me join when I turned sixteen. He thought it would help me get my life straight. And who knows? Maybe it is." He certainly isn't the wild child he was before joining up. Maybe has a sense of personal reponsibility growing inside him. Is definitely a lot less angry. Fleur would recognize these changes a lot better than Anse might do, of course. He's ahrdly embarrassed to be hugged, even if he can't do much more than a half-hug in return with his ceremonial polearm still planted on the ground and held in one hand. But then his features are melting into that look a fellow gets when he sees something only too adorable. "Ohhhh," he coos at the appearance of the necklace. "She is. Look at all the different colors," he marvels.

Philomène eases her way into the temple, remaining quite steadfastly in the entranceway with her back to the flurrying snowfall. Snowflakes form lacy patterns on the dark brown of her cloak, then disintegrate away to be replaced with new, th effect constantly changing her silhouette. Not that it does a great deal of good, however, as she stands out like a sore thumb with that peculiar limping gait that brings her in, and even at rest the way her weight remains solidly over one side of her body is a dead giveaway.

Anse shakes his head at Gal and once again taps him on the chest "I have faith that if you draw your blade that it will end in an act of violence. That is not a thing to be taken lightly." Anse takes a breath and shakes his head "you should consider the ramifications and the weight you take on when you decide to wear a weapon and commit yourself to doing violence. It will stay with you for the rest of your life. But I suppose I shouldn't distract you from your duty. just keep in mind that no one should take violence so lightly." And then once again he is smiling to Fleur "m'lady it was a pleasure, as I said already let me know if I can help with anything and I very look forward to us speaking in the future." He steps away from the pair then to head back towards the statue of Elua "Lady Verreuil, its good to see you, I am surprised you made it here so quickly."

"She'll be celebrating her fourth natality in a couple of months," Fleur says to Gal, gently rubbing one of the gaudier-coloured seeds between the pad of one finger and its opposing thumb. "And Bastien will be six in the summer. It hardly seems possible." Lost in thought for a moment, a sigh escapes her lips, though her smile is firmly back in place when she tucks the childish necklace back beneath her cloak and refocuses upon those around her. Hélène will receive a dip of her head and the remains of that smile, as will Philomène when she's similarly noticed. But then Anse is back to chastising Gal once more, and her brows furrow above her eyes as he turns to leave them. She blinks. "Oh dear. But who would protect us if not for you and the rest of the city guards," she wonders to Gal, a little taken aback perhaps.

Helene smiles as Anse approaches, shifting slightly as the chill sets into her feet. Before she speaks, she sees Philomene behind and waves a hand towards the elder woman. Then of course her attention is turned towards Anse once more, «Brother Anse, I… I seem to have found need of ritual and respite. I reminded myself I had once helped another with the same.». She smiles at him, inclining her head again, and adds, «It seems Elua and Naamah both have been trying me of late, but it seems there might also be a lifeline or two thrown in.»

Philomène offers Helene a small, subtle nod as she lurks, her attention rather more on the interaction between Gal and Anse. Something seems to amuse or irritate her, it's not clear which, as she gives a little snort and folds her arms over her chest, shifting to lean against the doorway. Possibly she's not entering in order to avoid removing her footwear as it certainly doesn't look as though she's making any effort in that direction.

Gal takes a deep breath at the updates on his niblings' ages. "Oh, heck, that's… wow, yah," he shakes his head. "They're growing up so fast," he shares in Fleur's wistful moment. When Fleur, in turn, takes some umbrage at his chastisement, he only shakes his head. "It's OK. He just doesn't want there to be any bloodshed. Who does? Let's just hope today will be as peaceful as yesterday and the the day before," he is content enough to pray, if that counts as a prayer. "Has she said what she wants for her birthday, yet?"

Anse smiles at Helene "I am glad to hear it. Quite the change one day from the next. But sometimes thats how it works no? The heart can be a finicky thing like that." He shifts his gaze towards Philomene then "do you know that lady?" Anse asks Helene curiously "she seems nervous." There is a glance towards Gal and Fleur but at the moment he doesn't throw himself back into the debate and instead looks back towards Philomene "I'll be right back…" Anse leaves Helene's side to head towards Philomene and offer a polite bow "m'lady, can I help you with anything?"

Helene answers in a low voice, «Fickle, changeable, altogether surprising. Let us say I took advice that came from multiple sources. And that is the Viscomtesse de Chalasse, Philomene. She is a friend and I rather expect find air more difficult than most to remove her shoes.». Helene follows him as he walks over to join the elder woman, smiling softly.

Fleur lips twitch with barely held laughter. "Well now. Let me see. Last week it was a kitten, and this week it's a puppy. Next week it's as like as not to be a pony. Or a wardrobe of dresses." Her nose crinkles as she finally lowers her hood from her head, allowing it to pool upon her shoulders to expose her gleaming gold hair to the elements. "I was going to make an offering to Elua, did you want to walk to the statue with me?" Not that it's far, of course, but it would mean Gal having to remove his boots to do so. Fleur's own toes twitch against the frozen ground, and she shifts her weight with a barely imperceptible lean to one side which allows her to lift one foot and place it atop the other.

Philomène tilts her head a little as she's addressed, offering the tiniest hint of a polite smile. "How do you do. Thank you, assume I'm doing little more than shelter from the weather at present. Perhaps in itself that's heretical, but I have nothing to offer. Please, don't let me disturb you. Helene, how are you," she adds aside as the woman approaches.

Helene has partially disconnected.

"Oh, dang, last week I might have helped. You remember Ams, the Tsingano candle-seller down by the dock? He also keeps cats and sometimes has kittens to sell. I have—" Gal hesitates a moment, apropos of what, who can tell? "I have a new girlfriend, she bought two of the kittens and they're absolutely adorable." The invitation into the sanctuary proper he mulls for a moment, then shakes his head with tight-pressed lips. "I'd better not. I don't want to alarm anyone by going inside with my polearm… or be caught bare-footed on duty," he adds with a brief bout of laughter. "I don't think I ever told you I got put on barracks arrest for a month after I missed curfew too many times, so I have to keep my nose clean." Those girlfriends and boyfriends of his, keeping him out all hours. SMH. "Anyhow, go on ahead, I'll be here," he pledges.

Anse smiles at Philomene "you are always welcome at the temple m'lady Chalasse, it may not offer much shelter from the elements but perhaps it will offer shelter for the spirit. Besides, you dont need to bring anything or make an offer, this place exists so that hopefully you can find some peace and help if you need it. And if thats what you seek then I hope I can help in any way to assist." Anse glances back towards Helene "though sometimes things get solved seemingly by themselves, perhaps with some light intervention from the companions."

Helene gives Anse a nod before returning her gaze to Philomene, «The Brother here provided me wise words of counsel yesterday, and they helped me. He helped me to remember certain things I ought not have forgotten. So I am well, thank you for asking.». And she does look significantly more at peace than Philomene has seen her in a fortnight, perhaps even longer. The twinkle in her eye is slowly returning since events of the last month and a half.

Fleur places both feet back on the ground, and lifts herself onto the tips of her toes to dot a sisterly kiss to Gal's cheek. "Best not mention your girlfriend to Giselle, she always refers to you as her Uncle Gal." There's the glint of mischief lurking somewhere around the edges of her mouth, and without further ado she pads her way across the grass and towards the statue of statue of Elua with his unbound hair and the one raised hand. From within the folds of her cloak she extracts a bouquet of colourful anemone flowers, each of the blooms contrasted by the velvety darkness at the centres of their petals. She subsides to a kneel and disconnects herself from the rest of the world in its entirety, her offering placed at Elua's feet, before her head dips in prayer.

"I'm not, on the whole, given to peace, I'm afraid, monsieur," Philomene notes drily, "And shelter is the last thing my spirit needs, but the offer is appreciated nonetheless. I can appreciate, however, that you have been able to help Helene in her time of need, for which you have my thanks."

Anse offers Philomene a small smile "it can be hard to reach peace. It is easy believe too that we don't deserve peace in our life, but we have to hope that no sin is so great it can be unforgiven no? I will at least pray for your peace m'lady, as long as it doesn't bother you." There is a kind smile to Helene "I think you speak a bit too highly of me m'lady, I believe you were already well on your way to those answers" A glance up towards Fleur "M'lady de la courcel, I would very welcome these children to the temple in the spring, its a much more inviting place when the flowers are alive and blooming."

"Mmh, yeah, I made that mistake once before," Gal recalls the ill-fated effort to introduce one of his boyfriends to the kids, only to have that relationship implode within a few weeks thereafter. "Oh, and uh— while we're not mentioning things? That barracks arrest? Dad really doesn't need to know about it… does he?" he tosses a wavering, comical smile of hope afer Fleur as she goes, after which he takes a moment to take stock. Helene is here. The boyish charm in his eyes dims, and if he catches her eye again, he gives her a rather more solemn nod from where he's posted.

Helene chuckles softly, "You helped me to be open to something I did not believe possible.

<FS3> Gal rolls Perception: Success. (3 2 8 5 1 6 4 3)

And you helped me to see that I had much more to be grateful for, than to grieve for, even in those people I was grieving.". She turns to Philomene and says, "And you helped too. You may not realize it, but you did, so thank you.". She looks to Fleur and inclines her head, intoning, "M'lady." She also looks to Gal, not far away and gives him a half smile, though her expression softens, and the grief enters again, but only for a few moments.

Fleur eventually rises, small muddied patches on both the skirts of her gown and previously pristine white of her furs bearing testament to the fact that she's visited Elua's temple today. It's a fact that her maids will sigh over on her return to the Valais residence as they work to rectify the damage wrought, and she looks perfectly serene and at peace with herself as she makes her way back to where the others still stand. "My lips are sealed as always, Gal," she confirms to her brother-in-law, having apparently caught his quietly made plea a few minutes before. A smile to Hélène at her greeting. "I don't believe we've met, my lady. Fleur Valais de la Courcel."

"I think perhaps the good brother here might offer you the peace you want, and the wise and calming words," Philomene responds to Helene, tone dry, "while my contribution has only ever been toward the practical. I don't claim to be wise, but I do claim to be pragmatic, at least." She falls silent as Fleur approaches, taking the time to look the woman up and down, considering her with a close scrutiny one might more reasonably expect of a sergeant on the parade ground.

Gal can't say much more to his sister than his smile does in lieu of words, grateful and conspiratorial all in one go when Fleur pledges to keep his secret from dad. Can you even imagine him coming down here to chew out his son on fucking up even in this most basic of functions and duties? The ladies are then talking amongst themselves, and he's happy enough to let them at it, keeping to his watch, even if his watch includes watching them.

Anse smirks a little at Philomene "ah, i was unaware peace couldn't be practical" Anse says playfully "my mistake m'lady." He inclines his head towards Helene "I do appreciate those kind words, and I am happy that things have already begun looking better for you. Though if the temple is no longer enemy ground for you, does that mean that we're going to have to pick new neutral ground to meet at?" Anse muses towards Helen

«I am not saying that is safe for me yet, not wholly, on,y that I am getting there and my offering was a part of it,» Helene answers pointing to the yellow flower she laid, a symbol of grief and friendship. She answers Fleur next, Helene Verreuil, Baronesse de Poumarous.» There is something uncertain in how she says her title, the newness still on her tongue, and the cost still present. Then, "And this is Ohilomene Chalasse, Viscomtesse, and a friend of mine. And there were indeed practical applications of your words, and they were as helpful. I assure you.»

Fleur inclines her head to both Hélène and Philomene. "It's always a pleasure to make new acquaintences, my ladies." Her voice is bright, and she lifts the hood of her cloak back to her head, a drift of the fragrance that's caught within her hair just escaping as she turns next to Gal. "I need to visit Naamah's temple now.. I have a particular offering which I need to make there. Might I tell the children that they can see you on your next day off? Bastien so wants to practice his sword with someone that doesn't yelp with every strike to their shins."

"'Course," Gal grins, happy to be invited over, as ever. "I mean," a cheeky little grin is accompanied by a slight angle of his head, "No promises about the yelping, but I'll do the best I can," he sends his sisterperson off with a little jest at his own expense, then, more seriously, but no less in good spirits, "I'll see you guys then."

Philomène shifts her weight a little, expression carefully neutral, then gives a small nod of approval towards Fleur. Apparently she's passed inspection, somehow. Attention switching back to Anse, she smirks, raising a brow. "Peace in itself is not at all practical, monsieur. Practical is having lunch, sleeping well, bathing, putting on clean stockings," she insists, amused. "Peace is a concept, not a checklist of tasks to complete. I'll take those tasks over a nebulous idea any day of the way, when I'm looking for guidance."

Another smile blossoms upon Fleur's lips, and a quick touch is given to Gal's arm. "Let me know when, hm?" And with that she turns to leave the temple, a pair of guards in the livery of the Valais family materialising from whence they'd parked themselves. She only delays herself long enough to slide her feet back into her shoes, because horror of horrors, it'd not do at all to walk barefoot down the streets.

Fleur leaves, heading towards the Temple District [O].

Fleur has left.

"And peace can be found Philomene through the enacting of all of those things, through devotion to duty, and concentrating on what is best for others. There is comfort to be found in the monotony of life. One place I found peace was in the work of my Barony.". There is something else there, yes, but it also clearly a truthful response. She turns to Fleur and inclines her head, "Goodday Lady Fleur"

"One could argue that the checklist exists and its quite simple, and that is to do no violence." Anse says and then there is a smile towards Helene "or that. One can find many checklists to follow towards their own peace. Perhaps mine is simpler than the ladies, though perhaps its also something each person has to decide on their own.." Anse glances towards Fleur and Gal at the mention of playing swords but he doesn't launch back into a leacutre, at least not this time.

"Mhm!" Gal agrees t' let his sisterperson know his schedule, then watches her departure with fingers taut upon the shaft of his polearm, waches her until she meets up with her own guard, then lets out a breath of air into puffed-out cheeks, and, thence, into the outside world from between tensely pursed lips.

Philomène chops a hand into her opposite palm, shaking her head. "Not doing something is the very opposite of guidance what to do, monsieur, do you not see? How can one complete the task of not doing something? There is no definitive end point. There is no time when you can objectively state that you have completed your goal, that you have achieved peace. You can only fail, or postpone that failure." She lowers her hands to her sides, consciously making the effort to relax both inside her dismal, brown cuffs. "What you describe is a goal, but not a practical method of achieving it."

<FS3> Gal rolls Perception: Good Success. (5 6 1 8 7 3 6 8)

"And what you describe is bitterness at a life only half lived," Helene answers a bit more sharply than she might have intended. "Finding peace is not once and for all, no, but there is nothing to say that finding it where one can is made less worthwhile for the fact that one tries to find it again. And some things, not all, some things bring longer peace. I can make peace with what has happened, and that is a small victory."

Anse laughs good naturedly "I like you m'lady. This has been a fortunate meeting I think" he says towards Philomene before quietly watching while Helene gives her counterpoint. He looks back towards Philomene then "and can't not doing something be exactly guidance sometimes? Besides, not all things have end goals anyway. Or why even make everything be about goals and end points? Isn't the journey itself, the act of thngs part of it as well?"

"Don't think about fish," Philomene counters, smiling faintly as both react in somewhat different ways. "And now I would venture that both of you have fish in your mind. No, I'd argue that if you intend to be practical about peace, you'd have to give an alternative. So rather than 'do no violence', the practical suggestion would be that 'when you would do violence, instead offer your hand'. That, then, becomes less abstract and more concrete. It is achievable. It has a fixed trigger and end point. It is something at which you can succeed and measure success, where 'do no violence' has no definitive way to do either. A journey is all very well, but a journey consists of many small steps along the way, and those can be measured and achieved. Even if they are not necessarily the steps on your original plan."

Helene laughs rightly, her head shaking, "There is more than one kind of peace. I do not agree with the abrother on the matter of violence. I have seen it, and seen its need, but I would not lean on it first before alternatives. I speak of finding peace within oneself, and making peace with what has happened. Otherwise the pain can eat you up, which I have been learning, unfortunately. Fortunately though, I have been having help, and good friends along the way. I struggle wi how the loss of my father and the loss of my relationship are entwined with one another. And now I am learning how finding my footing as Baroness, and being open to actually being happy once more are equally entwined. I was a better leader and trade manager when happier, and taking care of myself, than when turned in on myself and unwilling to feel anything."

Anse clicks his tongue "lady Verreuil is correct, there are different means and measures of peace. I am disapointed by her view on violence, but I believe that most people feel that way as shameful as it is." Anse turns his head towards Philomene "to do no violence is a great deal of measurable small steps even if it is in the refute of something. But I do think me and the lady Verreuil are speaking on different subjects so its not fair to split the difference and debate two different things. I will keep my thoughts on material peace to myself and for that young guardsman for the moment I think."

Philomène turns the full force of her gaze on Anse. "Shameful? There is no shame to be had in fighting for your comrades, for your family, your province or your land, monsieur. Would you argue there's shame in protecting a flock of sheep from the wolves? I would ask, monsieur, that you rethink your words." She draws herself up to her full height, back absolutely straight and voice eerily soft. "While you sit here deciding that it is shameful to fight, there are good men and women standing up for you on the front in Camlach. The shame, monsieur, is to be getting fat and lazy in the south, without a moment's thought or appreciation for those people who keep you safe from harm."

Helene simply sighs, her green eyes turning gently o a Philomene. No, she does not disagree, but she is too held in, too controlled to push any further here of all places. "I think that perhaps this is not the best place for this conversation," well argument. She looks to Anse and says, "Even Eula accepted the protection of Cassiel and th role of Camael in ensuring the safety of the companions and their children."

Anse looks Philomene back in the eyes "It is shameful, to take anothers life. to believe that the only way we can exist is through the death of others. It is shameful that you say we must fight and so many others think just the same instead of asking how we could not fight. How we could end the cycle of violence. What we could do so that young men aren't raised with blades in their hands and sent off to die in camlach. Raised with story of the glory of war. A thing in which there is no glory and only pain and lost friends and lost family and lost sons and brothers and fathers. What goodness is there in that bloodshed? In encouraging it and not looking for another way? How am I the one who lacks the thought or appreciation for those on the border when it is I who am trying to make it so they dont have to be there in the first place? For it is a task no one should have to suffer through m'lady."

"Would you open the gates and let the wolves in freely, young man?" Philomene responds with barely disguised scorn. "The nature of the wolf is to hunt the lambs. The duty of the shepherd is to prevent that. What goodness is there in bloodshed? That bloodshed, monsieur, keeps you safe in your soft bed every night." She holds up a hand. "No. Enough of your idealistic foolishness. But you will withdraw your statement that our troops are in any way shameful, if you've any common decency in your body."

Helene just stands back now, letting the two have it out. She shakes her head slightly and looks to Gal, her shoulders falling as she remarks, "And today looked so promising when I woke up this morning…"

Anse shakes his head at Philomene "I am sorry you feel that way m'lady. In my pilgramage I have met so many like you, truly I know that my opinions on this are the outsider, but through blessed Elua I hope to make even a few more people realize that bloodshed only begets more bloodshed. We've no war with Aragonia or Alba, the people of Caerdicci trade with the southern tribes of Skaldia do they not? Could not perhaps we also find common ground with Skaldia and not bloodshed? Could we not also try and make peace? Could we not try and make a better world rather than accepting that such bloodshed must happen? That is the world I wish to create m'lady. So no, I will not apologize that I find it shameful that my kin have to die on the border, for I think it is a great and terrible shame that so many must die in any circumstance." He turns his head to offer a small bow to Helene "m'lady I apologize, I know that you didn't ask for this argument."

Gal isn't very much invested in the argument one way or the other. He certainly doesn't feel it as a personal attack, and he doesn't mind a bit of philosophical debate, even if most of it is simply going in one ear and out the other as he watches over the crowds without the temple and within. Helene looks to him, and he returns the look with a moonlit serenity in his night-sky eyes. "There's still time," he offers, by way of encouragement.

"I doubt I would change your mind or your philosophy, monsieur," Philomene insists, still in that exceptionally soft tone, "You are young, and therefore believe in ideals, you believe that change can be wrought by just wishing it. I would suggest that you imply that nobody has considered diplomacy before, and your ideas are new and groundbreaking. I have better things to do with my time than disabuse you of being young. However, I will not stand down until you withdraw your statement that those who fight and die for you are shameful. I ask no apology for your ideals, for we could be here until the cows come home, but your implication that those men and women are somehow less than you is unacceptable."

Helene nods to Gal, "I shall see what I can salvage. It is good to see you again." She turns to retake her shoes at last and depart.

"You, too…" under better circumstances, well, it hardly needs be said, or should be said, or is useful to say, except in calling up bad memories, and who wants any of that? Gal only issues Helene a kind smile and waves her good-bye.

Helene has left.

Anse raises an eyebrow at Philomene "m'lady, perhaps you misunderstand what I say. The actions of war are in themselves shameful. The action of taking another's life is shameful, the idea that there can be no other way than war on the border that is shameful. But I could not say that the men and women of Camlach are less than me for I am a man of Camlach. I could not cast those kind of judgements on those guarding the border without casting them on myself."

"Perhaps, monsieur, you should be more careful in your choice of words," Philomene insists, shaking her head. "There are many ladies and gentlemen who carry the blood of Camael in our veins who would be far less lenient than I. Speak your nonsense in front of most of my family and you'd have a blade in your guts and a second with a lot of explaining to do before the sun rises."

Gal is just… will just be over here, huh? His lips move as though he might add to the conversation, but he makes no noise, and his eyes are elsewhere, a shepherd in the bucolic, with a polearm for a hook. If one would mark the metronomic time of his head, tipping to the side a degree or three with every beat, one might realize that he is in the possession of a song running through his head, and his lips are forming the lyrics.

<FS3> Gal rolls Perception: Good Success. (8 2 5 1 5 8 4 1)

Anse opens his hands and shrugs a bit to Philomene before speaking, his words coming slowly as he mulls them each before speaking them "M'lady I've plenty of experience dealing with my kin on this matter. It is where I was raised and where I joined the temple and where I lived most my life. If my kin would so soon stab one of their own for wishing that they didn't have to wage war, then I believe that goes to my point, that too many of us are far too willing to commit acts of violence I am deeply aware of the burden placed on my kin m'lady. I dont want to see any more of my kin die nor do I want them to have to do terrible acts to stay alive. Peace can someday be achieved m'lady, and I will not cease speaking on it."

"Are you being wilfully obtuse, monsieur?" Philomene responds shortly, eyes narrowing for a moment. "I couldn't give two shiny shits if you wish for the sky to be pink or a cock the size of a donkey. Wishing is your prerogative. You do understand the offence you cause, don't you? You understand that you impugn my entire family and legacy with your hasty words?"

Now that's enough to get Gal's attention, if only to turn his head in the direction of the argument and consider, first, the notion of Anse with a cock the size of a donkey's cock, then, contrariwise, with a cock the size of an entire donkey. The mind of a sixgteen year old d'Angeline boy is a true filth-hole, isn't it? Still, the both of them have his attention, now, should things progress to the point where he needs to stop staring at Anse with one brow aloft, intrigued, and actually say something. That point doesn't seem to have been met, yet, though.

"I am not being obtuse m'lady. I think perhaps we are at an impasse. Perhaps it was the way the conversation started, perhaps something else. But I believe I have been clear in what I've said m'lady. The act of violence your kin and mine have had to take part in year after year, generation after generation, is a shame for to suffer through those things is a terrible burden put on your kin and on mine and everyone else who has to deal with it." Anse is still speaking calmly and slowly to try and mull over the words before speaking them. "I think you truly want an apology from me of some sort, but I don't believe that these words should be stiffled. I want your family to not have to die on the border. I want my family to not have to die on the border. I want young men and young women to not have to take anothers life, for taking anohters life is a great and terrible burden that is so very hard to carry. And nor do I want those peoples lives to be taken away. Violence is the shame, the circumstances which put the people of Camlach there are a shame, but the people are the people and I believe that we are at an impasse where you believe I am casting judgment on the very people I wish to help rather than judgment on war itself."

"If we can agree that those who fight on our behalf deserve our respect, monsieur, then?" Philomene suggests as a compromise, shifting her weight once again, expression unreadable. "I wish you every success in spreading your ideals, even if I lack the faith that they will ever be more than just that. But I will not stand for any man or woman who cannot or will not respect the devotion of our families and friends who fight to keep us safe. Can we agree on that?"

Oh, we're back to philosophy. With no further penises to keep his attention rapt, and at least the promise of a compromise on the table that is tending the conversation toward de-escalation rather than the opposite, Gal satisfies himself to fight a yawn that's tugging on his jaw before it makes him open his mouth. Nobody wants to look at a guardsman's tonsils.

Anse smiles at Philomene "all people deserve respect m'lady. We're all equal in the eyes of the companions. Farmers feed us, as low as that job is considered where would we be without them? But I think if I go too far down that road you may actually hit me." Anse says with a laugh "I dont ask that you stand for me m'lady, that you back or agree with my ideals. If anything this has been an interesting conversation that I have appreciated. It is always best to learn and discuss ideas like this. Of course I respect the people not only on our border with Skaldia but who sail the seas in our navy or guard the city streets" Anse says with a nod towards Gal. "Respect them, but also feel and fear for them." Anse says still looking at Gal "some day he may have to use that sword or that spear, and I know the burden that will place on his soul."

Philomène rubs at the bridge of her nose, shaking her head. "Oh my goodness. No, no, it's not worth the fight. Monsieur, I was born an Aiglemort and fought as a soldier, and now am a Chalasse. And a farmer. As low as you consider that, perhaps you might consider your words before you speak?"

It's true, in fact. Gal has never yet had cause to draw his sword except in drills— and the polearm, well, that's just decorative, and to let people up and down the way know where the guardsmen are, he would hardly be able to bonk someone on the head with it with any accuracy— and he honestly doesn't know whether he could go so far as to take a life. De-escalate, disarm, and, if needed, disable— those are his three priorities, in order, when faced with a situation while on watch. But that day might come. What will he do? Guess you'll have to tune in next week to find out. Same Gal time, same Gal channel. Penis.

Anse sighs at Philomene "m'lady I believe you are misinterpreting my words and this time perhaps on purpose. I do not consider anything low. I consider us all equals, beyond even terre d'anage all people in all places are equal. But to say that the nobility considers farmers as highly as priests or soldiers, and then considers priests and soldiers as highly as the nobility would be a mistake. Perhaps not you m'lady and if that is true that brings me happiness because more people should think like that." Anse pauses for a moment before saying "m'lady, I believe you are putting infirences on things I am saying that are not there. I would be more than happy to speak with you on these at some other time but for today I think there is too large a gap and some time must be taken. I consider my words m'lady, I take my task very seriously. I was too once a knight of Camlach and I dont want any more young men to have to bear the burden than you or I bore. I am sorry that my words have been taken so poorly, and a great deal of that I am sure is on me. I've been a priest much shorter than most. If you would be inclined to do so m'lady, perhaps another time we could speak, and start fresh with less misunderstandings."

Philomène dips her head an almost imperceptible amount. "I would argue your philosophy with you another time, young man, certainly. I can appreciate your fervour, if not your ideals. But perhaps if you might be so good as to consider your words three times instead of twice. Our farmers are good, honest people, who don't have the luxury of being able to take on their foe with an axe or a spear. Their foes are blight, drought and wireworm, and their struggle should not be made light of, being easily as hard a life as any this country has to offer. They, also, deserve our respect. Certainly a damn sight more than some of the idle nobility you see here, wasting their time and money on trivial fripperies."

Anse grins a little at Philomene "I think as long as I wont end up dead in your garden m'lady I am very much looking forward to our next conversation."

Philomène nods once to that, offers a second more formal nod in Gal's direction, and, back straight and face masked to hide all expression, she turns with that odd limp and makes her slow, painful way back out into the cold.

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