So priests and the Statement of Principle.
Today I read a wonderful thing about how the Synods statement of principle at Empire did nothing.
Now lets be clear this is not an official Empire post of blog, its the random ravings of a lunatic with a PC, but its worth examining it as it is completely correct and also completely wrong.
The Synod Statement of Principle can be a bit confusing. Unlike the Law or a Senate motion, it wont make make people do stuff, they just say ‘we all think this is true’. That however is the key. They are a piece of paper that says ‘This mob thinks this and they are responsible for our spritual wealfare.’
First of all lets get some basic things out of the way:
*A priest can raise a statement of principle that can be upheld with a majority vote in a synod. This is not legally binding, but it does say that all the priests agree it to be true.
*Priests randomly using their rites on people can get them charged with misuse of priestly powers.
*A cardinal needs the votes of its synod to keep its power. Be very clear. If you win over the majority of a synod, no one gives a flying throne what a Cardinal thinks. As a Teacher I very soon learned that children only give you as much authority and control over you as they are willing to give you. The title is nice, but it is only meaningful if everyone agrees with you.
*No one likes a minority telling you they have a mandate to govern. The cardinals can be annoyed you set fire to a person they liked, but if the majority of the priests were holding your coat while you did it, they will be looking for new jobs if they look at you funny over it.
*The synod is the only institution than can permanently lock someone out of a job. If pushed the Synod could excommunicate every Archmage, with the conclaves only response being a strongly worded statement delivered to the Senate. Think about that for a second. Also if the senate doesn’t want to play ball? Revoke them. The synod has real power.
Ok lets do this.
If you pass a statement of principle to say bob is a greedy twat and leave it at that you have wasted your statement of principle. No one will care, but lets look at how this potentially could go wrong for Bob if you pile on the pressure
The statement of principle is an opening gambit, the way to say ‘I’m onto you and you are gonna burn’
You see once a majority in a synod has said Bob is unvirtuous you can go after bob. If your statement of principle is that Bob is ‘Dangerously Greedy.’ the next thing you better do is go and put a testimony on Bobs soul to that effect, with mates to make it hard to remove. Any complaints? Well you kept that piece of paper right? So if you get inquisitioned, the Militia knock on your door or your corrupt cardinal says no, well you can go ‘I have a clear mandate here.’ If Bob has it removed? Well you are going to insight Bob regularly? Publicly to remind everyone bob is a twat. If Bob does have it removed that you slap it right back on, but also get the militia involved because a priest who removed it abused their powers. ‘See here Magistrate I have a clear mandate here and Bob is corrupting priests’. You are of course going to point out to the Synod that Bob is laughing at them right? You are going to raise that judgement of excommunication, obviously with the proviso that if Bob mends his ways it will be lifted? Your doing it for his soul, and hes’ ignored all the other steps you have taken to help him….
Its not as easy as that, A lot of the work with things like this are down to role-playing, putting on a front and hardskill political knife fighting, but the point is a statement of principle is the first step the destroying someone’s career.
*Talk to people, you need a majority to nail bob. Make friends. The national assembly is the easiest way to nail someone, but the virtue assemblies are where you want to do it as they carry more wight due to the perception they are not tied to one nation.
*Even if you are not going to tattoo someone soul make sure you face to face tell the person, preferably in front of a mob why they are unvirtuous. Make a big song and dance, fire and brimstone. The civil service are not going to tell people the synod thinks Bob is a twat, you have to.
*Cut your teeth on easy prey. Find someone that is a sure fire win and do them first. Get a win under your belt. Get a rep for going after the unvirtuous. Catch some low hanging fruit and then testimony them. Once people accept it on someone who everyone hated anyway, its easier to go after the scum who hide it better (because you wouldn’t want to do it for political gain.)
*Keep copies of statements of principle. Got 5 for one person saying they are a twat? Well use them for the next attack, but this time have them tried for religious crime or excommunication, the weight of ‘evidence helps.’
*Don’t forget curses. A curse lobbed at someone who a majority of priests have decided needs punishing for a lack of virtue will be less likely to affront the Conclave. Curses are NOT illegal and the conclave is not going to say a priest having someone cursed backed by a majority of a synod is naughty. Well they could but then they are saying the Synod is wrong about a thing of virtue, and no one wants an angry Synod looking at you.
*You need to be the Daily Mail on crack. You have to make sure your statements of principle are known. Shouted, reported. Now you could go to a paper, but they tend to have editorial bias. Nope, hire a bard, a satirist or just a citizen good at gossip. Make sure people know. It will change peoples opinion. Also make sure you hammer it home all year with testimonies, inquisitions, and more statements. Your aim is to make the persons reputation toxic. Also make sure you go after their friends if they stand up for them. Isolate them politically.
*Have an end game. All of this power aimed at one person needs to achieve something. From changing their behaviour and saving their soul to getting a bribe to leave them alone. There needs to be a purpose to this.
*Nothing stops a private citizen from saying ‘well i cursed him because the synod said he was bad.’
I would humbly suggest that 5 priests working together should be able to weild more power than any title in the game, if, and only if, they are willing to talk to others, use the power they have and be willing to go after hard targets.
This is quick sketch of a very complex political system, however if you are new to destroying careers or just need to re-look at how to do it, I hope this helps.