Summary:Imrama and Varanim discuss Lucent, and the temperaments of leadership.

XP:I1, V1


< A Good Accord | Sol Invictus Logs | ALL DEAD >

Varanim Varanim, through some alchemy of investigation that doesn't actually involve talking to anyone, seeks out Imrama in the Cascade one midmorning after the expedition to fix the Herald's work.

Imrama is to be found on this particular morning writing poetry amidst the orange trees in the Southern garden.

Varanim "I want your opinion on something," she says, sitting down without further preamble on a nearby rock.

Imrama looks up from his parchment and smiles. "My opinion is yours for the asking, Varanim."

Varanim frowns, looking off somewhere in the distance. "Things are peaceful enough between Lucent and I right now, which anyone can tell by the usual signs of us ignoring each other in public. But I have some news to give him, and I... would appreciate your estimation of how hard he's likely to take it."

Imrama puts down his quill. "From your tone, I assume that your news is not that he is your cutesy-wootsy, cuddle-wuddle bull."

Varanim folds her hands in her lap, smirks down at them for a moment, then looks up at Imrama. "Lucent wants a queen and a dynasty. I need to tell him that he's not going to have either from me."

Imrama nods. "That does sound like news he will not recieve well. Do you have anything to temper it with? What is he going to have from you?"

Varanim frowns. "If he was paying much attention, he'd know it without asking. I shouldn't have to tell him."

Varanim "Isn't it enough that I've come back, that I've stayed? Every minute I spend with him, I'm ignoring my work. Every inch I concede to him, he wants another. When will it be enough?"

Imrama "Love is a hunger that is never sated. Have you not found this to be true?"

Varanim Her eyes go distant into some memory, and she shrugs with a half-smile. "I was never interested in falling in love, so the question of what to do with it has never much occupied me."

Varanim "Which is really just a nostalgically-phrased way of saying that I'm not sure there's enough of a person left to fall in love with. That's sort of what the Void circle means, really--absent the work, the largest pieces of Varanim are gone."

Imrama cocks his head and raises an eyebrow at Varanim. "I will leave it to you to assess your emotional entanglement with Lucent, and whether or not you are or are capable of loving him. But when I brought up the ravenous nature of love, I was alluding to your relationship with your work."

Varanim is quiet for a moment. "In the beginning, I came to it out of both love and hunger. You think there's some parallel to things with Lucent?"

Imrama "I think that if you would like to understand how Lucent feels about you, your best model for understanding is your own drive to discover and to know. I see the same degree of passion in both of you, and the same....strained relationship with reason."

Varanim "That would be... unfortunate."

Varanim "But it answers my other question, which is whether he'll make some sensible arranged marriage and spare me the whole mess of spelling it out."

Imrama "My friend Lucent is posessed of many admirable qualities, but a preference for compromise is not one of them. There is a saying among the Varajtul that I believe applies: that he would would wish to slay his enemies, and also to eat them."

Varanim "Shows how smart he is--eating people is terrible for the digestion." She smirks, unfolds herself with some creaking of joints, and looks back at Imrama. "Is there any use trying to break it to him gently? I'm usually bad at that, but I could try."

Imrama gives Varanim a soft smile. "You could invite him to your quarters, instruct him once again in the numerous pleasures of your company, and then whisper to him sweetly in the night. Or, alternately, you could plainly explain that you will be too busy with your own kingdom to share rulership over his."

Varanim is giving Imrama a somewhat dubious look at first, then her eyebrows fly up. "My own what?"

Imrama shrugs and returns to writing position, breaking eye contact. "I assumed that you would take responsibility for the nation you have founded. Please forgive my error."

Varanim laughs. "Oh, you people think royalty is the solution to everything. People shouldn't do what I say because I wear a funny hat, but because I'm smarter than them."

Varanim "Thanks for your time, Imrama."

Imrama "You are welcome to it, Varanim. And I am sorry if I have offended you. But I do not value royalty for the sake of power or prestige. I simply brought up Hezed because if you do not stake out a claim as its steward, someone else inevitably will."

Varanim "You haven't offended me--that's actually much harder than it looks. The trouble is that kingdoms are a well-explored technique with very little virtue, and I'm not interested in making mistakes on a grand scale unless I can do so in at least an exciting or different way. What would anyone gain by them thinking I have all the answers?"

Imrama "There are a great many ways to approach leadership. One may wield a title as a cudgel, as a scalpel, or simply as an ornament. But the facts of our present world are plain: the strong will do what they will, and the weak will do what they must. If best lack all conviction, the worst shall rule by dint of passionate intensity."

Varanim "But laying hands on people's lives, forcing them to live well, is fundamentally similar in tone to all other naked tyranny. It's dressed up nicer, but isn't that just to make the ruler feel better?"

Imrama "It seems to me that your position on the use of force has, historically, been rather more flexible than you make it out to be. But if I grant you your premise, I still will not concede your apparent conclusion. For one may hold the title "King" and never make a single law, nor lay hands on the life of even a single "subject"." Imrama uses quotee fingers.

Imrama "For the there are two facets to the sovereign: the ruler, and the protector. And the two may be seperated, if that is your wish."

Varanim gets that glint in her eye that she occasionally has when she perceives a new way to annoy someone. "Hmm. An entire city of the dead, bending knee to the gentle and benevolent Solar necromancer purely to deny anyone else actually doing something with the seat. It's almost hilarious enough to try."

Imrama smiles and begins to write poetry again.

< A Good Accord | Sol Invictus Logs | ALL DEAD >

Page last modified on May 06, 2009, at 06:49 PM