Love:

My clan has something of an origin story (or a “myth” if you prefer) that we like to tell whenever things feel hopeless.

In ancient times, before the Minmatar Empire, before the seven tribes of Matar, the followers of Sebiess lived in very small clusters (rarely more than ten people) in the mountains and caves of Mikramurka. A winter of particularly harsh storms kept them in those caves long enough to go stir-crazy. In the cold and dark, where the fires burned dim and lukewarm, it was hard to keep everyone motivated and cheerful and unstabby.

One cluster decided to venture deeper into the caves. They were led by an unscrupulous fellow with expensive tastes. We’ll call him Jim-bo.

For days and nights on end (not that anyone was wholly sure what the difference was), Jim-bo led his cluster among the stalactites and the narrow crawlspaces. They carried the last of their fast-dwindling supplies with them.

On the last day of their rations, they came upon a very bright cavern, within which a small but meaty creature was being roasted. The brightness came from a very tall campfire, with flames nearly licking the spit, higher and warmer than Jim-bo’s people had thought could be built in these caves.

The cluster gathered around this fire were more numerous than Jim-bo’s, and they were laughing and joking around before they spotted their visitors.

The leader of the fire cluster waved to the visitors. She was called Katsuro.

“Welcome! Please warm yourselves here,” Katsuro said, her tone and words soothing like the light. “I’m not sure this small friend will yield enough flesh to feed us all, but we’ll share what we can.”

The kin of Jim-bo inched toward the fire with wary, mistrusting steps.

“You were lucky to find even that tiny beast,” Jim-bo remarked.

Katsuro chortled. “Luck had nothing to do with it! We scoured these caverns, friend. But these creatures are crafty. They stay on the move and protect one another. Sometimes we find rams, which make for a much better meal. Even caught a whole anhanguerid once.”

“In the caves?” one of Jim-bo’s kin exclaimed before he could stop himself. This was Fariz.

“Better believe it!” Katsuro grinned. “Fed all the neighbors with that one. Shame we hadn’t come across you good folks yet.”

“We even found a place where the soil isn’t so frozen,” a sister of Katsuro added. “We’ve been growing legumes there.”

The visitors grew more comfortable, and they chatted with Katsuro’s people for many hours, sharing in their meal. Soon it was time for sleep, and everyone stretched out around the fire for a light doze. A couple of Katsuro’s people stayed awake to monitor the fire.

Jim-bo stayed awake as well to chat with the guards.

“Yeah, the garden’s just around the corner from here; you take a left at that strangely phallic stalagmite. And if you go to the right and pass through three rooms, you’ll reach the place where we found the rams,” the guards explained in response to Jim-bo’s questions. “We gather wood from up the mountain and dry it out a bit before we use it. Say, what’s that you’ve got behind your back?”

“Nothing at all,” Jim-bo said, shifting the dagger into his other palm. “I just like to stand this way.”

“You’re weird. But that’s okay,” the guards said. “So, how have you and your folks been surviving in here? Any tricks to share?”

“So many tricks,” Jim-bo replied. He went on to explain how he’d told his cluster that only he knew the proper way to build fires and how difficult it was to do in caves because oxygen or whatever, and how he’d been keeping his own rations for himself to make his people think they were starving, all to make sure they would continue to follow him.

“Oh. We follow Katsuro because we like her,” the guards said. “She takes care of us. She tells great jokes. And she makes bat stew like no other. Don’t ask us what we do with the guano, though. Trade secret.”

“Maybe I’ll pry it out of you,” Jim-bo said, winking.

Katsuro suffered from a curious form of insomnia wherein she could not sleep if there was a lying, ignorant pissant threatening her kin.

“Hey,” she said, sitting up, “it’s been nice chatting with you and whatnot, but I’m afraid I’m gonna have to ask you to roll out. Your people can stay if they want—“

Jim-bo lunged at Katsuro dagger-first. She bitchslapped it out of his hand. His grip was weak.

“Like I was saying,” Katsuro stated, and a cold breeze chilled even the fire for a long moment, “it’s been real, but you gots to press on.”

Jim-bo awoke his people and informed them that Katsuro was kicking them out due to spite. His folks looked at him. Then at the fire. Then at Katsuro.

Katsuro shrugged. “It’s a long story. But he’s the only one who has to leave.”

Everyone was quiet. The hush was broken by a tiny voice. “I… think I will stay.”

This was Fariz.

“You’re a weakling anyway,” Jim-bo said, shrugging. “We’re better off without you. The rest of you, let’s go wreck their crops and rams.”

“Oh no,” the guards said.

No one followed Jim-bo to the phallic stalagmite.

“Fine! Be that way!” Jim-bo roared. “See what happens when I claim this garden! Then every single one of you will follow me!”

Jim-bo marched around the left corner, and he found a garden of sorts. This was the room where Katsuro’s people repaired their hunting traps.

When the nasty weather let up, Katsuro led her cluster and their neighbors back onto the land. They built a village that became a town. They became known as Clan Ramijozana, or roughly “they who wield power through grace”. Katsuro and Fariz married, and my family line was born.

Jim-bo reappeared years later, still limping. He was accepted into the clan. Later on he got cannoned into the waters off the northern coast, but that’s a story for another time.

7 Likes

There are multiple morals to that story, but the one we’re usually going for when we tell it is that when trouble calls, love wins out.

When faced with adversity, people split along three different lines: those who search for meaning through love, those who search for meaning through fear, and those who trudge forward without meaning, indifferent.

We tend to see fear in the upper levels of government. It’s much easier to hang onto absolute power through the fear of your subjects. When you rely on your subjects’ love to keep you on top, you have to keep working to earn that love. Fear is a one-off thing; a hound bites you once and you’re like to remember it. But love has to be nurtured. You have to keep performing good works. You have to keep putting others first. And ■■■■ is that difficult.

My clan leads through love. It is, of course, our founding principle. Everyone along our line has held fast to it, from Katsuro and Fariz on down to Chief Tiama and her late husband, and Emilio and Joanna, my parents. And soon, me.

(My dad was a super dork. His words at his Voluval ceremony were “I think I will stay,” and no one got the reference.)

This is, at the root of it, why Clan Ramijozana opposes rule-through-fear everywhere we find it. We choose love. We choose the love of our kin, our homeland, our Matar, our Republic, and—vitally—ourselves. The spirits that surround us amplify that love. They shield us and provide for us, and that is why we love them too, such as it goes.

We reject the notion of a power-grabbing Sanmatar. We had similar worries regarding Karin Midular, but through all her faults, at least she tried to lead through love, even though she herself was afraid.

Shakor knows nothing of this. I’m sure he loves the people close to him, and, as a general whole, the Republic. But he lets his fear—his trauma, as Arrendis once put it when speaking of the modern Matari experience—rule over him. And so we wind up being led not by a man, not by kin, but by a specter of fear, not unlike the spirits of evil we’ve been discussing elsewhere. Perhaps Brute never shook off those artifacts after all.

The fear trickles in and infests everything it touches. Institutions like the RSS and Matar Planetary Security. Organizations like Ushra’Khan. It fuels us toward war and harm, blinds us to suffering, blunts our compassion. Somewhere, someone has to stand up to it.

It’s okay to be afraid. And to be angry, hurt, frustrated. We have suffered, and still do. Our sisters and brothers still suffer in bondage, no matter all the attempts to downplay and excuse slavery. There is much to justify that trauma of ours. But we cannot let that fear overtake us, moving our limbs, shaping our minds. We can’t afford the costs that fear demands.

My clan still hasn’t recovered from the occupation. We see the footprints of the oppressor every day. But we persist in love, because the meaning we’ve found is in the well-being of other people.

I’m about to save both of you a ton of time and currency.

There is no “origin point” of the “salvation” or “forgiving-God” idea. Or the “origin point” is beyond the EVE gate. The idea has always existed. It’s grown right alongside your idea, been fed through the ages beside your heroes and sefrim. But until now, your idea of an angry, unforgiving God who rules through fear and relies on the empress/eror to deliver compassion has been the dominant one, shouting over everything else. (Because love is quiet, until it isn’t.)

What changed? For one, we had Heideran to steer the Empire along a more compassionate route. For another, we have the Federation and the Republic. The former has given us GalNet, the holo-industry, and very shouty ideas about putting the people first. (Not that they’re the absolute picture of love in leadership, mind you.)

The latter has always been what it is, but now it has capsuleers. People all over the cluster can see for themselves… oh. They aren’t workhorses. They’re actually just like us. Why are we enslaving them again?

Thus did the they’re working towards their salvation! excuse for slavery blossom into prominence.

And the idea has some pretty brilliant champions, who happen to be really cool people and throw really great parties. Love comes with the best amenities. It’s so nice.

Meanwhile, the rest of you seek comfort in your fear—fear that love will upend everything you know and everything you hold dear. And it will. That’s why it’s so amazing.

It is absolutely incredible to be filled with love, to love and be loved freely and without conditions, to wield a sword that shines bright with the light of love and burns away all fear but leaves everything else unharmed, improved.

Lots of people get that. That’s why they want a forgiving God. Honestly, who wants to be scared of the being that created them? Who wants to be trembling on their knees because that’s what feeds their God? I’d much rather have a god who returns my love, who I feel like I could have a great chat with over a rich coffee. But maybe that’s a personal thing.

I choose to believe that your God is a loving God, by the way. Know why? Because the greatest, closest example of Him I’ve found is also loving. He loves me and he loves that God—and it’s a genuine, profound love, not just born of fear of Him.

That’s the biggest selling point for me. If I were to accept your God, it wouldn’t be out of fear. Try to reclaim me by the sword, and I’ll run a talon through your heart. Try to convince me with words, and I might listen (if I like you) with the interest of an academic. Convince me through love, and you just might sway me.

Hey, did you know a thread title also has to be 5 characters long?

5 Likes

Only a Ramijozana can tell themselves stories of kinship and twist them to justify their romances with the Enemy.

3 Likes

I think, Else, that it’s more that she’s taking stories of kinship and finding in them a reason to find kinship with those outside her prior associations.

5 Likes

It’s research about the Concept of Forgivable Generational Inherited Sin. This is a much more narrow and specific concept than the ones you bring up there. And even if it is not a new concept per se, it’d still be interesting and helpful in many regards to find out when exactly and in what specific context it arose within current Amarr culture.

1 Like

You’d think, in a culture that’s relied on recording history since literally the moment their prophet led them to their current world… things like that might be recorded!

I liked the story.

Wish I’d get dick so good that it would make me turn to a new religion.

6 Likes

I am quite sure that it is. It’s more likely a finding a needle in haystack, in a barn filled with haystacks, on a farm filled with barns issue than a lack of records issue.

1 Like

Just seems odd that in all this time, nobody’s come up with a good way to index things in Amarr recordkeeping.

They have. There are many specialized systems and many tools for accessing the trillions of documents in one form of storage or another. I expect the process to take years of work, even with the most state of the art tools and the best researchers.

2 Likes

This is a Southern Bushlands Ebony Ivory Jab-ra Rushte Terrier Lesser Farcical Marshlands Canine. This is a much more narrow and specific breed than the dogs you pet normally.

—-

… look, we’ve actually had an intelligent conversation or two, so I’ll explain why I’m sassing you:

Aside from the fact that you’re coming off super condescending, your and the Chapter Master’s explanations have meant nothing to me. Doesn’t matter what you call it to help yourself sleep well at night. As long as you’re using it to explain away why your Empire still keeps my siblings in bondage, it’s straight ■■■■■■■■. Nothing more.

2 Likes

Telling people that you’re “about to save both of you a ton of time and currency” and then nonchalantly telling them, that you don’t really care what they care about, because you think it’s something they use “to explain away why your Empire still keeps my siblings in bondage” - when in actuality we criticize a concept that is used to do so…
Well, that seems at least as condescending to me. Maybe also with a pinch of ignorance thrown into the mix.

1 Like

Those statements are from two different posts, with the second arriving as a response to yours.

Better luck next time.

Yah, my point being, you did start strong with the condescension and then didn’t weaken a bit.

The responses to this thread seem so factional and petty. Arguments about betrayal, history, sin, and whatever… I’m glad you’ve found Love. Love is universal. Love is good.

5 Likes

I’m sure that’s what she tells herself, too.

It’s pretty clear what’s going on there, though. It’s not like it’s a new story.

1 Like

The Empire theologians have been talking about the need to devise different ways of conducting the Reclaiming.

Guess they found one.

3 Likes

You’re totally right. The pettiness, especially on my part, weakens the points of my first two posts. I apologize to everyone who was irritated or upset by those replies.

Maybe we can talk about love instead, for once.

(Edit: While reading through replies, I realized that saying “anyone who might have been irritated or upset” seemed to put the onus on everyone else, instead of myself for being an asswipe. So I changed the phrasing to “everyone who was irritated or upset” to better reflect my meaning and take ownership of myself as the problem.)

3 Likes

I’ll find time for love once all these Sarum forces on Floseswin are dead. In the mean, I’m busy trying to help save our people from these monsters you so claim to ‘love’.

3 Likes

Let’s talk about love.

Love is like wine.

It is fun to drink, and more so in company.
It can be sweet, or bitter, it can be spicy, or mild. There are many tastes and varieties.
It brings warmth and joy and fun and laughter and closeness and intimacy.
It springs forth secrets and makes us inclined to share.
It relaxes the stressed and loosens up the prudish.
It defies the binds of custom and it draws away the veils prejudice.

And when drank in excess, it kills you.
It stifles your sense of duty, it diminishes your feelings of kinship.
It makes the youth disrespect their elders, and the adults indulge the unmarked.
It distorts your priorities, raises itself above all other ties, makes you thirst for it alone.
It devours all other passions and turns you away from your Fate.

Love, if you can.
But do not make yourself a slave of love.

7 Likes