Of Swords and Sinners
Arx is abuzz, tonight. A lovely autumn noble wedding is always an event for the rich and powerful of the city, but this particular date has delivered something for everyone. Bliss Whisper makes public her accusations against Everard Telmar, and lays challenge to House Telmar itself, to make right the alleged injustice. House Telmar, by way of Ansel, has some choice words for her, in return.
The crownlanders, those practical Grayson sorts, say that Alarice would have admonished both parties to stop being dramatic and submit themselves for mediation, as surely some amenable compromise could be found. *Would have*, perhaps, until Ansel Telmar accuses Bliss of extortion, and chides the Whisper House to 'answer for' her. They think it's pretty obvious that when you stoop to character assassination, you know you haven't got a sturdy leg to stand on. After all, why would any commoner risk their hard won position, and even their safety, to publicly bring wholly false accusations before all and sundry, and the Gods to boot? No, that doesn't make sense.
The Redrain famously do not support the holding of grudges. Some are heard wondering why Bliss doesn't accept some recompense and let it go. After all, everyone suffered to some degree as a result of the treachery of Everard Telmar, didn't they? And while they understand House Honor as a concept, they think the Oathlands take it to impractical extremes.
The Thrax are very honorable in their own way - by their own standards. The traditionalists wonder why Everard was not wholly and publicly disowned, denobled, and his name erased from all public documents and histories. It's what Donrai would have done. While most can't approve of handing a Sword - any sword - to a woman, they think a blood price should be paid and then the embarrassment wiped from the record. Upon pain of death, probably. Because forget a half stepper.
The Oathlanders in Arx are somber. Some are angry. All are conflicted. Yes, it is dishonorable to wager a thing like a House Sword - something you cannot own - on a duel. However, it is also very dishonorable to go back on one's word, particularly for a knight. Particularly particularly for a Knight entrusted with the Sword of a Noble House. Everard was a traitor, and a scoundrel, but one cannot escape responsibility for the actions of one's family so easily. There are sayings, in the Oathlands. Sayings like 'No one can take your honor from you. You can only surrender it.' And 'If Honor was easy, any Lycene would have it.' They do not just SAY these things. They believe them.
And finally, we visit the ward of the Lyceum, where several verandas, taverns, and salons are alight with noise and laughter. Never fond of the 'patronizing' and 'self righteous' brand of honor claimed by the Oathlands, it's almost like someone declared a spontaneous holiday, and revelers offer each other empty glasses, entreating friends to drink deep of Telmar honor. Others amuse themselves proposing new names for the blade in question, since Vowkeeper is just so achingly on...point. Vowbreaker, perhaps. Or Empty Promise?