[IC] - Bull of Excommunication

Moon Guard
A DECREE

IN THE NAME OF THE LIGHT


Be it known that Ashamal Shalah'aman has willingly and in full knowledge separted himself from the grace of the Church; and, after numerous attempts, has refused to repent.

The Church can in no way force itself upon another and since the circumstances be what they are, the Church decrees that Ashamal Shalah'aman is no longer under its protection.

Furthermore, the Holy Church in its loving mercy and desiring the sanctification of the entire people of the Light, pleads to those who submit themselves to the teachings of Ashamal Shalah'aman to turn from their heretical ways and return once again to the Light.

The Church, therefore, imparts warning to those guilty of aiding or abetting his practices that they may not share in the same punishment which the Church lovingly imparts.

MAY THE LIGHT HAVE MERCY

Johannes Moorwhelp, Bishop
Mellar L. Servus, Bishop
Björn looks over the decree and sighs defeated as there is no faces to put silly mustaches on...
"Good," Stormshield mutters, "The bastard'll have no-one to hide behind when somebody finally catches up with him--be it us, or Dawnlight's men." The paladin makes a rough, almost amused sound before saying, "I hope, for his sake, that's it's somebody wearin' blue."
The lady Evenflare paused as she caught sight of the parchment, and strayed closer to skim through it.
Hm, she thought with a lofted brow. Pity. Such a name could only belong to a kaldorei, and perhaps the Light was better off without those xenophobic moon-worshippers anyway.
Her eyes lingered on 'after numerous attempts.' How kind of the Church to be so forgiving and so encouraging, even to the obstinate.
It was probably more kindness than they deserved, after all.
Bellsa Stonekin purses her lips at all of the mentions of the Church. "Said it before, said it again, don't remember the Church o' Ironforge statin' an opion, jes' the Stormwind clergy." She took a deep breath and continued on with her day.
Rennali sighed as she looked out over those who had begun to reconstruct on her land. It was a peace that filled her breast and left a feeling of warmth indescribable. Elves, men, many were coming together in such a way that she felt the Light's praises melt upon her and shower her home in its glory; colors were brighter, smells were sweeter and laughter was louder.

"I take it you read the bull?" Asked a male voice in all-too-familiar a tone. Gavriel asked her in his best, albeit lowest form of Thalassian in an attempt to appease his lady's ear. Glancing over her shoulder, she nodded.

"It has taken them this long to figure out he is a staunch Elunite?" She asked with a bubbling laugh. "I must say that it is a dark day when those who preach tolerance cannot act upon it. I am no fan of Marshal Shalah'aman's tactics; ones that fall under militaristic jurisdiction and less religious, yet, I cannot help but see this as hypocrisy."

"Hypocrisy, Lady Phoenix?" The old man asked as he sat in the chair with relative ease. Rennali smiled and waved her hand in the air as if to dispel smoke from between them. Gavriel noticed the gesture and laughed a bit. "And you think yourself above them? I am certain they would find a sin in that."

Rennali smirked as she slowly walked the marble floor. "I am certain they would. I am no more perfect a person than they."

"I detect a 'but' in there," Gavriel noted.

"It is in our nature as mortals to destroy ourselves. Perhaps it is both our imperfections that make us strong and weaken us - simultaneously. Three lives of men I have lived and yet for all of my experience, I have not accumulated the wisdom that would help me see why we do it and to what end."

Gavriel leaned a bit to one side to study the tall, elven woman before him. "Perhaps it is our nature to live in both darkness and light?" The man's words made Rennali stop and acquire a thoughtful expression. Her blue eyes shifted toward the open balcony doors to the scene below of her people toiling as if nothing could affect the momentary bliss they had made their own.

"We are our own battle," she mused to no one in particular.

"If that is so, then perhaps we are both victorious and damned." Gavriel continued the thought. "And if we are to play on that logic, is it not by your own prophecy that they would not stop with you?"

"What would you have me do?" Rennali asked as she sighed.

"Nothing, my lady. Nothing that you haven't already the mind to do." He cooed to her in a soothing voice. Glancing to the old cleric, the two of them exchanged knowing glances and veiled smiles.
She took several minutes to read the decree, torn between wanting to comprehend every word and not wanting to draw undue attention to herself. Every few moments she kept glancing down at the small silver mirror tied to her sleeve, confirming that the borrowed face she wore was still convincing. She was still only an adept of the arcane, and her skills had been stretched to their limit recently.

A small patrol passed close by and she took this as her cue to leave, her lip curling.
Grunting with no small measure of discomfort Manstein shuffled his way up the great steps of the Cathedral, a menagerie of clerical aides, templars, and judicial bureaucrats fluttering about him as he proceeded upwards.

Quickly he pressed his cane down upon the next step and pulled upwards to the next step, wincing in pain as he spoke, "What do you mean, what should we tell him?! The entire city knows by now what has happened, if that fool wishes to sit in the dark on the matter then let him, for I am too old to coddle such ignorance."

The clerk who had spoken shrunk before the unusual venom in the old nobleman's voice, the events of the past twenty-four hours having visibly left a toll upon the Lord-Magistrate and Clergyman.

Reaching the final step, a cool breeze off of the harbor swept by Manstein's feet and ruffled his long and silken robes of office. The collection of papers, announcements and bulls posted upon the massive cathedral door fluttered up, a crinkling scream of sound rising from the pages as the wind kicked and hissed about them. Manstein looked over to the wall pronouncements, a few commoners meddling about the latest decrees and looking over the newest words of the church. Having regained his breath, the old man lurched forward with his usual hobbling gait, the noise and bleeting of his entourage of municipal and clerical attendants flowing to the back of his mind.

As he limped into the cathedral he gave the wall one last look, the recollection of the recently pronounced Bull still upon his mind. For a split second, he caught sight of one of the commoners assembled about the great wall of announcements, and... for just a moment.... the old human could have sworn he saw the peasant's dirty face shimmer with light, as if a candle was brought over a lake of stars.

Before he could think much of the strange glimmer of light, a messenger came rushing up to Manstein, the young boy's voice loud and pronounced as the Baron's attention was ripped away from the strange sight of the woman's face, "Legate Manstein, his Grace wishes to see you in the transept with all due haste. He says the matter is of the utmost importance."

"Report to his Grace that I shall be at his side soon," said Manstein in a rushed, if not entirely irritated, tone.

Turning back, Manstein attempted to look through his group of attendants, the small mass of bodies obfuscating and hindering his view. Quickly he beat about his cane at their feet and they scurried from his path, as birds before a beast upon the planes.

As they moved and the view was cleared, the peasant woman was gone.

Pursing his lips for a long moment, Manstein took down his monocle and wiped the glass eyepiece with a bit of silk cloth from within his robe. Setting the monocle back to its roost and returning the embroidered cloth to its home within his pocket, he grumbled to himself and turned to make his way to the transept, "I'm getting far too old for this."
Glory to the Grand Marshal and woe unto those who stand in his way.
The copy had fallen into another elfs hands indeed, the missive brought by one of the many messengers that visit the small encampment Qerrathien protects in Duskwood. A cursory glance of what was written had brought a sour expression to her stern face. It wasn't the first time the Marshal had committed murder, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. The highborne warrior gave a nod to the messenger, the errand boy had raced through the forest to the grove with not but a dagger, and flimsy leathers to protect him from the dangers of his travels. She dipped a hand into her belt pouch and slipped the boy a handful of coins, sending him back to better arm himself and for his services. "I do believe, it's time I speak with the Bishop to find out what sort of dealings has been going on...and a few letters to send out to friends and kin alike.." She started down the worn path in the grove, heading away from the ancient relics of an elder age, muttering under her breath. "If it's not crazed dragons, it's the clergy and lunatic cultists."
In a city that was rarely quiet, the sound of hammers ringing like a heartbeat, the hush of the Hall of Mysteries was an ideal respite for those of busy minds to seek peace. And for those in need of work for busy hands, there was always help needed to prepare potions and elixirs for those seeking aid from the healers of the Church of Ironforge. In a small alcove, Bellsa Stonekin furiously ground a bit of dried goldthorn, seeking serenity but finding it a difficult task at the moment.

"Did that goldthorn insult your family, sister? Perhaps tug on your father's beard?"

With a start, Bellsa's head popped up, blinking as she snapped out of her reverie. "Ah, Sister Tallowbright. My apologies, I'm... afraid that it's not much more than dust now." She took a deep breath, showing off the remains in her mortar with a wry smile to the much older priestess. "'Fraid my mind is elsewhere at the moment."

The Sister sat down onto a nearby bench with a grateful sigh, her 334 years seeming to weigh more heavily now than when she'd been teaching priests in training when Bellsa was small. She gave Bellsa a kind smile, "I often marvel that you did not become a warrior, dear. Tenacity has never been something that you've struggled to find. I suppose that you are concerned with the recent actions of the Church of Stormwind?"

Bellsa's shoulders sagged as she poured the ground goldthorn into a vial, taking out a new spiny branch, picking the thorns off one by one. "Aye, that would be it." Her Dwarvish was clipped, "I don't understand why we haven't submitted a response yet. Of course the outcome of a trial should be respected, as what are we without order, but to excommunicate a man who is not even a member of the Church, and to do it so publicly in our name?"

Sister Tallowbright leaned back against the cool stone, asking calmly, "And why do you disagree with their stance?"

"Because it was not the Church of Stormwind's place to bring personal feelings about a man into the Church's business. There was no need." She said, cheeks flushed.

"And why should the Church of Ironforge need to do the same?" At Bellsa's silence, the Sister smiled warmly, getting to her feet slowly. "Humans have short lives, Bellsa. They are great in spirit and passion, but ultimately, they are short sighted, at least in comparison to the older races. You will need to accept that they will work differently than us, Sister. You must keep Respect in balance with your Tenacity."

As the Sister began to slowly shuffle off, she was stopped by Bellsa's quiet response. "Does that mean I should not try to correct them when I feel that they are wrong?"

The Sister chuckled, continuing on her way after saying, "And leave an old woman without entertainment? Hearing of your exploits has been the most fun I've had in a while. It's been too long since a dwarf went to their Church and shook things up, and hopefully you'll remind him of those days."

With a deep breath, Bellsa listened to the Sister shuffle away as her thoughts began to finally quiet. "Nose to the grind, old girl." She murmured. "Back to work."

((You have no idea how hard it is to not write Bellsa with an accent in Dwavish))
"Remember, R.C., Stun only." Tinkaba LitzLogica scolded, shaking her finger at a small murloc clad in heavy blue armor and holding a large blaster type weapon. The pink-haired lady quickly navigated her way around a smoldering small carcass on the pavement, following her amphibious pet into the Cathedral district. Plenty of vermin there, what with all the guardian-deficient post-natal shriek-monkeys running about and refusing a good bath, she confidently told herself. While her pet pursued a rat nesting under the stone bench by the fountain, Tink winded through the legs of the usual miscreants gathered outside the Cathedral.

The gnome's astute hearing picked up a few words from the gossip above her, "Ashamal...heretic...Loving...Church...," but she dismissed the Locals' clergical politics from her mind while deftly hopping over a few death knight bloodworms wriggling behind their master, strutting into the Church. Calculating the odds that he was either going to pray or cast an unholy spell in the middle of the Sanctuary under her breath, Tink scooped up the last of his strongylus vulgaris followers into her specimen container. "Come R.C., we've found a new subject!" She called, beckoning the murloc away from its rat victim with a nod of her head while walking out to the Canal district, heading for her small laboratory in the Mage Quarter.
I suppose Aphel is really taking this bull...by the horns.
Posted on a wall:

To those behind this bull,

Having read your document, I find myself anxious for clarification on a few points. If you could put my mind at ease in regard to this matter, it would be a great help.

I have heard quite a few things about Ashamal Shalah'aman while in Stormwind and in the Cathedral district. It has been mentioned that he is a Night Elf, though I have not divined the truth of this for myself. I, myself, am a Night Elf and if Ashamal Shalah'aman is as well, then I feel the issues that affect him also affect me.

You write that Ashamal Shalah'aman has "separted himself from the grace" of your church and that he is engaged in "heretical ways." This implies that he was at one time of your religion and a part of your church -- otherwise you could not remove him from communion with that which he had never been joined.
If Ashamal Shalah'aman is a Night Elf and was a member of your church, then I hope your bull helps others to see the folly of joining these new-fangled religions when we have a perfectly nice goddess of our own. After all, whom would you really expect help from: a caring goddess or a source illumination? I understand why your "light" may appeal to beings that lack good night vision, but in my humble view, religion should be based around more than reading in the dark.
At any rate, if it is the case that Ashamal Shalah'aman was a member of your church, then I urge him to use this chance to return to the true religion of our kind.

The other posibility that exists, if Ashamal Shalah'aman is a Night Elf, and is not a participating member of your church and a believer in your light, would be that you consider the worship of Elune to be heretical which is, of course, nonsense. However silly such a statement may be, it is also offensive to our people and I doubt even if a Stormwind bureacrat would be foolish enough to write it.

As I mentioned, I have heard several vague things about Ashamal Shalah'aman in my travels and he may not even be a Night Elf. I have also heard, usually from little clusters of armored men huffing at each other in your cathedral, that he has broken some law or committed a some offense against order -- but I do not see how that, even if true, could have anything to do with this bull. This act of excommunication and the heresy cited as its cause are religious matters and no temporal issues were mentioned in it. In the end, I must conclude that Ashamal Shalah'aman has done something that has offended your religious sensibilities -- if that offense is the worship of Elune, then it is important for all Night Elves to know where your church stands on the matter.

I request clarification on the reasons for excommunication and of the authority your church believes it has over Ashamal Shalah'aman.

Sincerely,
A concerned Kaldorei
" The Worgen stares blankly in confusion, scratching the side of his jaw he ponders for a moment before finally muttering under his breath" Why would a Kaldorei care that he is no longer welcome to a church of the Light? They have their own Temple to go to." he chuckles softly before scribbling a couple of doodles on it before going on his way.

(( Ya first time ever doing an IC response and that's what I come with.=P))
Baarin eyes the decree with scrunched brows, slowly shaking his head in disgust. Before mounting his Gryphon, he yells a select few words in front of the Cathedral.
"Glory ta 'eh Grand Marshal, Ashamal Shalah'aman!"
-Berenal just blinks-

Don't night elves worship Elune..?


-he'd walk off, sighing.-

((Damn it Ravendane stop beating me to it XD))
Sets his mug of mead down, as he converses with the barmaid. AS he picks his mug up to drink he notices the piece of paper stuck to the bottom. After reading the paper in its entirety he crumpled it up and set it ablaze wowing the barmaid "Well I didn't know the Church had the power to dictate the will of the Light." he would think to himself as he flashed the woman a cocky grin. "Now how about you bring me something stronger and I'll show you some real magic."
With a sigh of relief Manstein gently propped his cane against the great reading table before him. Slowly, he slid down into one of the many chairs scattered about the cathedral library. Never forget. The stiffness, the pain, the quick and grasping breaths, the memory. A momentarily wince of pain flashed across the man's face before he could banish it from his countenance.

He was sitting now, he was still, the pain was gone. His great smile returned to his wizened and withered face, both his smile and his eyes settling upon the young squire before him.

"Now, Squire Thomas, you were inquiring as to what, exatly?"

The boy approached the table with a measure of confidence, his face twisted in slight confusion before he began to speak, "Well, Baron Manstein, whilst I've been doin' my errands about the church, I've heard all sorts of rumors un' such about what the Bishops did. To be right honest, I don't know much about it myself..."

"Do not be embarrassed by your question, dear Thomas, for all inquiries make for excellent learning opportunities. Now, do tell me, what exactly brings you confusion on the matter of this Bull?" Manstein spoke with his smile, as he almost always did, the expression a near constant on the strange old nobleman's face.

"Well, I dunno how the church can rightly excommunicate some who ain't a part of the church, your Lordship. This night elf, far as I know he weren't a part of the church of the Light, so exiling him from it doesn't rightly make a whole lot of sense to me."

The clergyman nodded to Thomas, sitting silent for several long moments before he took in a deep breath to speak. Trapped. Constricted. Sharp needles of pain as his lungs pressed against his long shattered ribs.

His smile twitched, ever so slightly about the corner.

"Excommunication, dear Thomas, is not simply the expelling of an individual from the church, it power, its symbolism is far greater. As you have noted with the Kaldorei, they are a people who worship a goddess known as Elune. So here you ask, if this man worships Elune, what good does an excommunication do?"

Manstein paused for several seconds his smile and gaze settled on the boy as he allowed the question to permeate into Thomas' mind, "Excommunication, Thomas, in addition to banishing one from the church, completely snuffs out the Light from said person. To excommunicate a man is to, quite literally, remove the grace and mercy of the Light from him. The Light shall not aid him, shall not protect him, shall not heal him, and shall not guide him. To be removed from the Light's grace in this way is tantamount to being cast into utter darkness, far from the protective illumination of the Holy Light."

Boom. Spittle. Rage. Heat. The hammer. A sudden look to the side, a nearby clergyman had dropped a tome upon the floor, its fall and collision with the marble sending out a resounding boom through the quiet hallways.

Forcing a slight chuckle, Manstein turned once more to Thomas and continued, "As such, young Thomas, it matters not who this Kaldorei worships. What does matter is that the Light shall no longer be with him in his travails. He has been cast out from Its grace and, until he comes forth and atones for his sins, he shall remain a wanderer in the dark."

Thomas nodded, his lips pursed for several long moments before he spoke once again, "What about what that dwarf lady, Chaplain Stonekin, said to the Bishops the other day? Is this all just... what was the word she used..."

"Political?"

Thomas nodded.

Manstein chuckled once more, this time a genuine smile curling about his face, "Some within the church, primarily those who where not taught the orthodoxy of the College of Canons, believe that for the church to do anything other than heal the wounded or cry out liturgy is to act political. What those do not quite comprehend, and I do not begrudge them for it, is that the church has a role as a shepherd does to a flock. When one of the sheep strays from the noble and Light given path, it is the duty of the shepherd to chastise that sheep."

Continuing his lecture to the child, the old man placed a delicate hand upon the head of his cane, the fresh leather of his glove screaming as he tightened his grip upon the walking stick, "In this particular case, at least, from what I have been informed by the Bishops, this particular sheep has strayed from the path many times and only the latest event was the last straw to the church's exception of his recalcitrance. It is so that, try no matter how much, that those black sheep who refuse to take a humble place must be cast out into darkness, least the darkness come into them and, through such a vessel, unleash its tendrils of doubt, dismay, and disharmony upon the unsuspecting faithful."

"That, dear Thomas, is what excommunication really is." With that, Manstein pushed himself up from his seat. Pain

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