“This is a good thing, right?” asked the Halfling lawyer, Dansey Bigbritches.
That question hung in the salon of the Grand Concordance of the Wise in the Citadel of the Light like an unpleasant smell that no one wished to take responsibility for.
“Well, of course, it’s a good thing,” tentatively agreed Vumto, the part-Giant.
“Naturally,” agreed Panthia, Elven lady of the Starlit Lands.
By the window, the Chief Diva of the Bard Guild strummed his lute and sang, “When the light triumphs, all free folk rejoice.”
“That doesn’t even rhyme,” snarked the Dwarven Priestess, Santun Shield-Breaker.
“Not all songs have to rhyme!” sang the Bard.
“Just the good ones.”
This set off some high-spirited debate on the nature of song, art, and some questions of parentage. It was cut off by Dansey giving a sharp, hand whistle.
“I would remind everyone here that we are the Grand Concordance of the Wise, let us not forget that we are here to defend the Land from darkness,” said the Halfling.
Apologies were given and accepted.
“We still have a problem,” stated Panthia.
“I mean, do we?” asked Vumto.
“We finally have peace with the Goblins, a thing my people never thought possible,” admitted Priestess Santun.
“And they carry no grudge, even though countess Goblins died over the ages,” pointed out Dansey.
All of them agreed that alone was a miracle.
“Let’s look at all the good fortune we’ve been given, shall we?” asked Dansey as he took out a notebook.
“Those who exploited the Goblins have lost a large majority of their military might. We now have a potential ally in the DHGOFG, and-”
“What is the DHGOFG?” asked Panthia.
“The Honorable Guild of Free Goblins.”
“Why does it start with a D?”
“In the Goblin dialect, the is pronounced ‘da’,” replied Dansey.
“I get that, but it’s still spelled ‘the’,” argued the Elven Lady who was a bit a grammarian.
“Let’s not get distracted by minor things that don’t really matter, shall we?”
“This is the sort of thing-” began Panthia.
“My Lady, if you would care to delve into linguistic matters, I’d be happy to indulge that impulse at a later date,” suggested the Halfling.
Everyone in the room had been corrected on some tiny discrepancy of language by this Elf and they all hoped she might be cool this one time.
“Very well,” she conceded.
“Gracious as ever,” said Dansey with a smile that looked warm but was entirely forced, “Moving on. The Adventures Guild is now reformed and its members are enjoying expanded benefits. Since we all are former adventurers and guild members, it’s a boon to us as well. Orc raids have all but disappeared, travel is safer, and trade is booming. Free folk can live without fear. It feels like all we’ve fought for is coming true.”
“These are all marvelous things,” concurred the Priestess Santun, “And I am grateful for this feast of light we are now enjoying…”
“There is the one thing,” she said, “This Goblin philosophy.”
“Talkocracy,” crooned the Chief Diva.
“That,” muttered the Dwarven Priestess.
“It seems… Unnatural,” whispered Vumto.
“I mean, we’ve been doing a pretty good job without it,” said Panthia.
“We are on the side of light,” sang the Chief Diva.
“And we are the wisest of the wise,” insisted Priestess Santun, “In fact, all these wonderful things happened under our leadership.”
Sounds of self-congratulation followed that statement.
“Except, we really aren’t responsible for any of it,” pointed out Darsey.
“I wouldn’t say that!” argued Lady Panthia.
“And what did we do to aid these lovely results?” enquired the Halfling Lawyer.
“Well!” said Priestess Santun, “I think that at the very least, we did nothing to prevent these things!”
Darsey sighed and countered, “Let’s be honest, shall we? While we can say we did not do deeds that actively prevented these events, we’d be lying to say we aided in any way, shape, or form.”
A shameful silence followed.
“Which brings us to the larger issue, there is a lot of chatter about making the Grand Concordance of the Wise a Talkocracy.”
“But the sacred charter, the history, the lines succession? Do they mean nothing?” sputtered Vumto, “My mother, and her mother before her, and her mother before her-”
Lighting his pipe, Darsey took a puff and said, “Like it or not, things are changing. We need to change with them.”
“We did well, did we not?” asked the Dwarven Priestess.
“It seems we could have done better,” answered Vutmo.
“How do we know this Talkocracy will work here? Maybe it only is good for already corrupt systems?” suggested Lady Panthia, who then paused and added, “Okay, that sounded so stupid as I said it.”
“So what can we do?” vocalized the Chief Diva.
“We can do one of two things. We can embrace Talkocracy and all the benefits that come with that or…” began the Halfling lawyer.
“Or we fight against it and become the villains of this story,” said Darsey.
Each considered this. Then finally, Lady Panthia asked, “I guess we’re supposed to vote? Is that how this works?”