MARCUS SECUNDUS: “On this first of May in the year eleven-hundred ninety-nine, as of this twenty-first hour, in this most ancient Alundrian chamber atop the summit of Mount Anvius, I, Marcus Secundus, as the chairman and most senior member of this council, by the demand of my peers and under the power of no conflicting authority, do hereby declare this one-hundred and forty-second congregation of the Elder Council of High Magicks: in progress.”
The council recognizes Harvey Silvers of Tonnenshire.
Harvey rises and walks to the center of the chamber.
HARVEY: I offer the greatest thanks to his eminence for honoring my request to speak in front of the brightest men of our age. It is only due to the collective wisdom and talent of those of you in this room that I am able to maintain hope in the face of the grave circumstance which brings me here.
As I am sure you are all aware, our worst fears have come to pass: the Dark Lord has risen from his thousand-year slumber. His undead armies now walk across the lands, slaying all they come across and gathering the bodies of children to feed their master’s horrible appetite.
I urge this council to draft an official plan of action in order to oppose and destroy the Dark Lord.
A murmur settles over the crowd. One councilor calls attention to himself with his hand
COUNCILOR 1: “Hold on just a moment. Neither I nor my colleagues in this council will be swayed by a rousing speech alone. A wise man must always verify the facts before rushing to the grimmest conclusions. What proof do you have that the Dark lord is really the terrible threat that you assert him to be?”
COUNCILOR 2: And furthermore, even if the Dark Lord does happen to pose a political danger to the current establishment, that doesn’t necessarily imply that opposing him is the most productive use of our time and energy. After all, political leaders come and go. Learning, technology, and magic are what really change the world."
HARVEY: Hold on, just becau…
COUNCILOR 3: “Wouldn’t it set a dangerous precedent if the council started deposing every political ruler it didn’t like? What if next time it’s the dark lord who convinces the council to go after YOU?”
COUNCILOR 4: Bah! Even in this council, none of you challenge the core premise of this proposal. Why is no one considering that maybe the Dark Lord’s in the right here? Just because he drinks blood and commands undead hordes - just because he’s different - doesn’t necessarily mean he would make such a bad ruler."
HARVEY: Are you rea…
COUNCILOR 5: I couldn’t agree more!
Listen, I know that we all tend to think that we know best, but we have to remember that human societies are far too complex for any of us to understand, and intervening, even with good intentions, can cause a lot of suffering. If the dark lord is taking control of lots of territory, maybe that’s just the most efficient way for them to be organized for some reason that we don’t quite understand."
COUNCILOR 6: Even if the Dark Lord is as bad as you say, should we really stoop to violence? How can you encourage the use of the same methods as the dark lord you claim to hate? Has anyone even TRIED engaging the dark lord in fair, rational debate?"
COUNCILOR 3: Exactly. That goes right back to my point: we need to use methods that we would be willing and happy to have our enemies use on us. Violence is really a tool of the Dark Lord, even when it’s not him using it..
COUNCILOR 2: A motion to call for a vote to engage the Dark Lord in debate.
HARVEY: This can’t be happening.
COUNCILOR 7: Motion seconded.
COUNCILOR 4: Just a minute. Before we begin the vote, I’d like to object to the Councilor’s calling violence a “tool of the dark lord.” I’m afraid this just shows the radical anti-dark bias of this chamber. People will never trust magicians until we can start to consider ideas from outside of our own echo chamber. Sure we might call the Dark Lord’s methods “violence,” but to his supporters, it probably just looks like justified self-defense against an elitist culture that doesn’t respect people it sees as “evil.”
COUNCILOR 8: With all due respect, I think you’re both just assigning too much value to the connotations of words. Violence has a bad connotation, but ultimately even justified self-defense remains violence - any time that people use physical force against one another, that’s violence, whether it’s justified or not.
MARCUS SECUNDUS: The allotted time for debate on this subject has ended. A motion to postpone further action until a later date.
ENTIRE COUNCIL: AAAYYYYYEEE!!!
MARCUS SECUNDUS: The council now calls upon Aurelius Cornelii, who has called for the council to revise its policy of exclusion of women on account of their lack of intelligence. The Councilor proposes that the council replace the word “intelligence” with “creativity and ability to solve complex problems.”