Kingmaker

Letters on the Founding of the Ecclesiarchy #7 – by Katya Rastilov, High Priestess of Ursundova

Lessons from the Lizardmen

We live in a world of many nations, peoples, races, and religions. As much as we would like to believe that humans and human-kin have should have mastery of the world, our knowledge of pre-history tells a much different story. Before us there were other kingdoms, gods yet unmade, legends of dragons and those things that dragons fear. Our kind are not the first intelligence to roam this earth, and I am sure we will not be the last. Therefore we must consider how we should interact with those who are different from us in worship, creed, and values.

Recently, my friends and I were faced with the threat of a lizardman king known as Vesket. It seemed Vesket had decided that he would use his command of a lizardmen tribe to do war upon humanity, starting with the Kingdom of Ursandova. It was a mad plan to be sure, as Vesket clearly lacked the strength to carry out his ambitions. Still, I’ve heard it said that a mad man loves and hates most passionately of all. This was certainly true of the lizard king.

We were given little choice but to depose Vesket, for the safety of Ursandova’s citizens as well as the region at large. We were given the choice then whether our solution would rely solely on violence or attempt to find an alternate answer. When we intercepted a lizardman patrol in the woods, a warrior named Sketmit described their leader’s descent into madness. From his description, it became clear that Vesket’s kingship would only end with his death. Knowing this, we allied with Sketmit to see Vesket overthrown.

Our ally Sketmit delivered us into the village without incident, and we were able to best Vesket with no loss of life among the Vesket’s loyalists. After the battle I was able to heal the wounded among them back to some semblance of health, though I’m not sure if I did them a favor in the long run. Sketmit made it clear that he intended for Vesket’s loyalists to be put to death. It was his kingdom at that point, and so we accepted his decision.

Which brings me to my lesson. The ways of foreign peoples or unknown creatures may seem odd or disturbing to us, but it is not our place to judge them. Surely I would like it if all peoples saw the light of Erastil and prayed to our divine pantheon, but it is not our place to bring such enlightenment to others. Only a free person can choose between right and wrong. Our ruling aim then should be to give the ability to choose.

Ursandova is growing every day, and not just because of human births or migration. As we continue to thrive, I swear that I will protect those that are different from myself, even if such protection is difficult or uncomfortable. We will not tolerate worship of evil gods, but neither will we persecute unfairly. I, and the priestesses who follow me, will work to see that all people are protected to worship and think as they see fit.

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