NPS 040

On the Conquest of Caranacorcus

Now in the days that the holy Travancus dwelt in New Tradicarus, they received emissaries from the town of Caranacorus, which lies three days journey to the southwest; for in those days that town was not among the lands over which  the holy Prophet-in-Council reigned, by right of heaven and not by usurpation, as it is in these here days, but in those days it was reigned over by one King Trelexibis. Now having received these emissaries, and extended to them every hospitality, and received their gifts with thanks, he in turn sent emissaries unto the King Trelexibis; but these emissaries brought not only gifts of silver and gold and other fine things, but also the gift of truth, of the truth of the Cause and of the true nature of things, the truth of our Great Mother, from whom all have divided and unto whom all shall return, true knowledge of the truly good and the truly beautiful, and knowledge of the law of heaven and the law of the Cause, and they began to bestow this knowledge in the town of Caranacorus and the lands surrounding it.

And they sent messengers back to the holy Travancus, to report on the progress of their mission, and among the many reports which they sent, they reported the following: Now the King Trelexibis has decreed, that none shall be executed, save those who favour executing people on grounds other than that those to be executed favour execution, but those who favour execution on grounds other than that shall be executed. And he has called up all the people of his town and of his land, to appear before him, and those who will not come freely are compelled to attend. And he asks of them, Do you favour the penalty of death in any circumstance? And those who say, I oppose it in every circumstance, they are permitted to go free. But those who respond, I support in it some circumstances, of those he asks, Do you favour it in any circumstance other than the execution of those who support execution in circumstances other than this? And if they respond, I do not favour it in any circumstance other than that, then they are permitted to go free; but as to those who say, I favour it in circumstances other than that, upon those he pronounces the sentence of death. Now those whom he has sentenced to death, they are taken to the prison, but they are not executed immediately. For three months they are kept in the prison, and every day they are brought before him, and he asks them if they renounce those views which they formerly expressed to him. And if they do so renounce those views, then they are allowed free immediately; but at the end of three months - and by the calendar of Caranacorus, as in ours, a month is of twenty-eight days, thus at the end of eighty-four days - if they still refuse to renounce their views, then they are executed. And anyone among them, who having spoken  a word regarding this goes renounces their word, if that renouncement be heard by the servants of the King, or by anyone who is faithful to him, then it is reported to the King, and the person is called back before the King, or compelled if they will not freely present themselves, and they are called upon to deny that they expressed those views, or to renounce them if they expressed them; but if they admit to having expressed those views, and refuse to renounce them, then begins the eighty-four days, at the end of which they will be executed, if they do not avail themselves of the eighty-four opportunities for mercy with which they are presented. And when they are killed, they are killed quickly with the sword, and not in any painful or gruesome manner; and even among those due to be killed, upon some of them the King shows his mercy, and spares their life, in spite of his laws; upon the young and old and foolish. And as to those, who when taken before the King, neither speak for their acquittal, nor for their conviction, but remain silent, or speak only of irrelevancies - they are taken to the prison, and are kept there until they agree to answer the questions which by the King they have been asked. And anyone who promulgates any scripture, which provides for the penalty of death, in any circumstances other than these, the King will demand that they denounce this scripture, or at least those parts of it which speak as such; but if they endorse it, they will begin the eighty-four days; and if they neither denounce nor endorse it, but remain silent or speak only irrelevancies, they will be kept imprisoned until they answer the question which they have been asked. And this was the law in Caranacorus for many years under the reign of King Trelexibis. Now the people of the Cause were harmed not by this law, for whenever they were asked by him, Do you favour the penalty of death under any circumstances? They all replied, No, not under any circumstances whatsoever. Nor did they promulgate any scripture which approved of such things.

Now after many years of careful labour, many among the town had been vowed to the Cause; then the Prophet-in-Council issued its decree, that the days of the tolerance of the usurpation in that town be terminated. So the armies of the Cause were sent forth, and they were victorious in taking the town, and the King Trelexibis and his family were taken captive; but the holy Travancus had given strict instructions they were to be kept unharmed, and those instructions were obeyed in full. Then the holy Travancus, accompanied by Claretta his appointed Successor, and the greater number of the holy Council, arrived in the town of Caranacorus; and the Prophet-in-Council there seated did decree, That all laws of this town, not contrary to the law of Heaven and the law of the Cause, shall remain in force; but any and all of those laws contrary to these two great laws, shall be void; and among this, the penalty of death shall be totally prohibited, even for those who advocate its practice for reasons other than advocacy of its practice for reasons other than that. And he said, Those kept prisoner in this town, shall be brought before the Lords of Restriction we have appointed for this town; and whoever they judge should not be imprisoned, shall go free; save that, those whom the King Trelexibis imprisoned, for refusing to answer those questions which he asked, shall remain prisoners until they answer them in the manner in which he desired them to answer them; and those that were awaiting death under him, they shall live and not be killed, but nor shall they go free, until they give the answer for which he would have let them go free. Now some objected, Should they not have the freedom to say what they think? The holy Travancus said: Indeed, let all have that freedom; but it is a freedom subject to reasonable limitations. For indeed, let us grant all whatever freedom we can, but certain freedoms can only be enjoyed in harming the freedom of others. Thus we grant even the murderer the freedom to live, but we grant not the murderer the freedom to murder, for doing so would deny others their freedom to live. Thus the murderer is placed in the prison - not to punish him, not for justice - for justice belongs to heaven alone, and those who claim to work it upon the earth are guilty of vile blasphemy - but that he may not take the life of others, for he has demonstrated through his actions that he poses a grave risk of doing exactly that. And there he shall remain, until the Lords of Restriction are convinced that he poses such a risk no longer, or that he is innocent of that deed of which he stood accused, or likely to be so innocent. And if ever the Lords of Restriction find themselves to have ruled wrongly, to have believed that there was a risk that was not there, or that a risk was present in a greater degree that it was, or if for any reason they lose the certainty that they once had that such a risk was present, then they shall make true repentance for their misdeeds, and make every amends to their victim; and those proud ones, who will not repent, and who will not make amends, they are unsuitable for the sacred task of being a Lord of Restriction. For this reason, no act done by the Lords of Restriction is lawful, unless they denounce blasphemous justice, and express repentance for any misdeed they are about to commit, prior to committing said act; and all who are so appointed must vow the same, and renew their vow every year upon the appointed day. Now as to the limitations on freedom, just as we deny the murderer the freedom to murder, so do we deny the advocate of murder the freedom to advocate murder, for both are violations of the freedom to live. So there is no wrong in imprisoning those who refuse to denounce these heinous views. But while they are imprisoned they must be permitted good food, and good clothing, and comfortable bedding, and exercise, and wine, and entertainment - including art, and music, and literature - and the right to be visited by friends, family, and lovers - who shall even be permitted to remain overnight, in privacy with the prisoner - but the prisoner shall not be permitted to leave the prison except under supervision, until such time as they fully and publicly renounce the views which are the cause of their imprisonment.

Now they asked the holy Travancus, Why did the King Trelexibis enact this strange law? For we have never heard of a law like unto it in any land. And the holy Travancus replied, Behold, he has told me when I spoke to him alone: a spirit visited him, and commanded him to do this. But I tell you, he was visited not by one spirit, but by two. For he was visited by a spirit of the Cause, who commanded him to abolish entirely the penalty of death; but whenever the spirits of the Cause are speaking, so to are working the spirits of the Enmity, seeking to corrupt the true words of the spirits of the Cause into the falseness that they love. Now the desire of the spirit of the Enmity was that he reject entirely this word of the Spirit of the Cause, but such was not to be, for the spirit of the Enmity possessed insufficient power, as compared to the Spirit of the Cause, to bring such to pass; but it had sufficient power, not to entirely erase the message of the Spirit of the Cause, but to corrupt it. For the Spirits of the Enmity love the penalty of death, for it is a sacrifice unto them, and unto the most pallid Pandal their King. Thus it was their utmost desire that it not only be retained, but it be extended, and that it be practised as often as possible, for even the most trivial of reasons, against the guilty and innocent alike - for the death of innocents brings a special joy to Pandal's heart; and that it be carried out in as gruesome and painful a manner as it possibly can. But if it was to be reduced, this Spirit would prefer that it be retained if at all possible, to whatever degree possible; any blood is better than none in the eyes of this Spirit. So in the struggle between these two Spirits, neither won, but a certain outcome between the desires of each was attained - that the penalty of death be largely abolished, yet retained in part. And neither Spirit was entirely pleased, nor entirely displeased, for each had won part of what it desired, yet not the whole thereof; but happier was the Spirit of the Cause - as the general who has gained ground feels happier than the general who lost ground, even though the latter general be far from defeated. And yet, as yet, though each spirit knew it had in part won and in part lost, neither knew yet the precise manner of its victory or defeat - and when it was revealed, what a shock to the spirits of the enmity it was; for although he had not entirely abolished the penalty, indeed if he had used it more sparingly they would have been far happier, for he used it against its very advocates! Though the will of the Spirits of the Cause would be that he used it not at all, or if not that, that he used it less than he did, and yet, more grief was felt by the Spirits of the Enmity for what he did, for they would have grieved less if he had killed less, but killed those less dear to their hearts than these.

They said unto him: Surely his law is foolishness! For whoever says, those who favour execution shall be executed - must execute themselves! But the holy Travancus responded, Indeed, but suppose he had said: Those who favour execution for treason shall be executed - he need not execute himself, for he is favouring execution for those who favour execution for treason, but he himself is not favouring execution for treason, but only for those who favour execution for treason, and thus by his own law, he need not execute himself. And thus he has ruled: Those who favour execution for reasons other than favouring execution. Thus, he need not execute himself, for although he favours execution, he favours not execution for reasons other than favouring execution, but only for those who favour execution for reasons other than favouring execution. But, this is the law of Heaven, and the law of the Cause: that none be executed, not even those who favour execution, not even those who favour execution for reasons other than favouring execution. For that reason has this law of his been cancelled.

Now in the town of Caranacorus the Prophet-in-Council appointed a Diocesan Prefect; for in those days, although the existence of Provinces had been decreed, none had as yet been erected, and thus all the Dioceses were directly under the Prophet-in-Council seated in New Tradicarus. But he permitted King Trelexibis to remain upon his throne, and to enjoy the life to which he had accustomed; but all laws were issued henceforth in the name of the Prefect-in-Council, and not in the name of the King. Now Trelexibis had four children by his wife Montagrena, and the eldest was a daughter Velana, then a son Hepertus, followed by two further daughters, Murella and Cerana. Now the holy Travancus instructed Claretta to go on to the daughters of Trelexibis and befriend them, and so did she. Then she said unto them: What shall happen when your father dies? Who shall take his place? And Velana asked, Shall anyone take his place? Or does your lord and uncle intend to abolish the Kingship when our father is deceased? And Claretta responded: He has instructed me otherwise; that is not his intention, nor is it mine; who then shall succeed him? Velana said, Then our brother, Hepertus, he shall succeed our father as King, as it would have been before your arrival. Claretta said, Why him? Why him and not one of you? Velana said, For the law of our kingdom is that the eldest son inherits the throne. Claretta said, Why the eldest son, and why not one of you? And Velana said, Why should he take the throne, when I am elder than he? Is it that woman are unfit to rule? And Claretta responded: When the Prophet departs this realm, I am to succeed him in this office, and to rule in the very same way which he rules. Then Velana said, shall you make me then Queen in place of Hepertus? Claretta responded: That would be fairer, in not giving preference to either gender: but would it not still be unfair to your sisters, Murella and Cerana? Is not giving preference to the elder as wrongful as giving preference to the male? And Murella and Cerana both agreed. But Velana said, How can three all at once be Queen? Claretta responded, They all can be Queen, and your brother a King also. Velana said, But if one makes one law, and the other the opposite law? Claretta said, The power of making laws has been taken from you, and it belongs to those whom we appoint. But while being deprived of the power of royalty, we are pleased to permit you to retain the title thereof. Velana asked, But is one Prophet succeeded by one or many? Must you not then choose, the eldest over the youngest, or the youngest over the eldest? Claretta responded, Travancus is without children, so there is no eldest or youngest among them; yet he chose me not that I was his niece, but that he knew that I was of the right mind to succeed him. And if I take his place, when he departs unto glory, then if I depart also unto the same, I will leave not any children either. I will appoint as my successor whoever I find to be the best for the task, be they of my blood or not of my blood, be they of my love or not of my love; and if I can find not one to appoint, then I will leave the choice to the council.

Then Claretta said: This is what Travancus has instructed me, if you would agree to it: that the Kingship of Caranacorus shall henceforth pass not to anyone child, but to all his children equally, regardless of their gender or order of birth; and each shall hold an equal share of it. And then in turn, each of them shall divide their share among their offspring, and thus in your blood shall remain the Kingship of Caranacorus, but it shall be divided equally among your blood, and not go to one part and not another. And whoever possesses even the smallest share thereof shall be entitled to be known as King or Queen of Caranacorus; but among those holding a share, the precedence among them shall be based on the size of the share that they hold. Now ones share may not be sold or gifted, nor may in any circumstances it be taken from you, even though your debts overwhelm you, no matter what wrong you may have done, but it shall pass to all your children equally upon your death; and if you die without descendants, then be divided equally unto your siblings, or if you have none, or if they died without descendants, then to revert to the parent from which you received it, to be divided among their siblings and the descendants thereof. And if a person's mother and father be both of royal blood, they may receive a share from each of them, and thus those two shares be merged. Now, such shall our Prophet-in-Council decree, if you would agree to it. And Velana and Murella and Cerana agreed thereto; and furthermore the holy Claretta converted them to the Cause. And incensed was Hepertus when he heard of this, for he said, The Kingship is to be mine alone, and belongs not to my sisters. But Travancus said unto him, Be silent, and honour your sisters as they ought to be honoured; for if you do not, I will take your share of the Kingship from you, and give that share to your sisters, and they shall be Queens, and you shall be nothing. And Hepertus was silenced, for he knew that unto Travancus now belonged all power in the town of Caranacorus, and as to Hepertus and his father King Trelexibis, they had none but Travancus was willing to grant them. And Travancus said unto them, Another conqueror would come, and sever your heads; yet I permit you to remain in your fine palace!