To the Three August Divinities of Great Forks,
This letter of understanding is intended to describe the rights and responsibilities of nations sworn to the Deliberative, and beings devoted to the Faith Ecliptic. We wish to welcome you and your people into this great effort as equal partners and free entities. To do so, we must be honest and direct with each other, so that we can best understand our respective needs.
The Exalted Deliberative exists to defend Creation against enemies foreign and domestic, to protect humanity and its allies, and to spread the message and support the work of the Faith Ecliptic. It is a conference of Exalts, each of whom is entrusted with a subset of the Deliberative's larger charge. Some of us act as caretakers and advocates for the nations sworn to our great enterprise, while others oversee our collective military, industrial, diplomatic and other such concerns. The nations that have pledged to us are our sacred trust: their survival, prosperity and freedom are our responsibility.
The Faith Ecliptic is a system of understanding between the living and the gods built on truth and mutual respect; the first such system to be enacted in the history of Creation. In exchange for the righteous exorcise of their offices, gods of the faith are afforded due worship, in quantities far greater than under the chokehold of the Immaculates, and far more sustainably than through divine tyranny. It is a system that rewards merit rather than corruption, and which benefits from the fact that the prayers of the free are far sweeter and more robust than the forced-offerings of slaves.
At the time of this letter's writing, the membership of the Deliberative is in a state of constant growth, but the following is a tentative roster:
The Solar Exalts:
The Elemental Exalts:
In swearing loyalty to the Deliberative, Great Forks would gain a representative in this assembly - to speak first in all matters concerning your nation, and to act as its advocate and steward. The government of Great Forks, comprised of its Trifecta of patron deities, has the right either to ask some existing member of the Deliberative to expand their portfolio to include responsibility for the city-state, or to offer a new Exalt of their choosing to serve in this capacity. New members of the Deliberative must be approved by the existing membership, but sworn nations must also approve their advocates: the candidate must be acceptable to both sides.
The nations currently sworn to the Deliberative are:
In addition, we enjoy treaties and alliances with the following states:
Our diplomatic efforts, and the evangelical efforts of the Faith Ecliptic, are, of course, on-going. The Deliberative honors the treaties and agreements made by its member states, but also places certain basic restrictions on such agreements. No member, state or individual, may conspire with the Yozis, the Neverborn, the Fae, or their agents against the living, the gods, or any part of Creation. Member states enjoy mutual protection and aid, preferential access to vast markets and resources, the expertise and arcane might of several of Creation's most powerful beings, and a comprehensive development program, set to bring the Third Age to the height of wealth and power enjoyed in the First Age, and beyond it.
The Faith Ecliptic, which promises earned worship to gods, honorable divine accord to the living, and the just and peaceful settlement of disputes among and between both, is built on a doctrine of freedom for both spiritual and physical beings. The faith lists the following divinities among its ranks:
Grala, Mistress of the Endless Hunt is also an ally of our movement, though negotiations regarding her relationship to the Faith have not yet been finalized. The Immaculate Dragons have also expressed general support for our mission to protect and redeem Creation. We are presently engaged in the full-scale reform of the Immaculate Order, and expect this to drastically increase the number of adherents to the Faith Ecliptic among both mortals and divines.
This is the rough shape of our offer to you and your nation. I would be very pleased to receive word of your needs and concerns, should any of them go unmet by my words above. Should you wish to proceed, as I hope you will, I would also ask for the details of all current political, religious, military and economic agreements in which Great Forks is enmeshed, as well as your selection for an advocate on the Deliberative. Until then, I remain,
Your Friend and Neighbor, Imrama Stormfound
Having carefully reviewed your proposal, we, the Trierarchs of Great Forks, are intrigued by elements of what you offer and the platform of governance which you describe. With this letter, we wish to tentatively express our intent to enter into a representative relationship with the Deliberative as well as to join the ranks of deities exulted by the Faith Ecliptic (dependent, of course, in both cases, on the specifics of the final contractual language -- of course.)
Great Forks currently engages in extensive trade with other nations and city-states across the entirety of the East, with particularly strong relationships with Nexus, Calin, Melevhi, and Greyfalls. In addition, during the recent conflict we opened up significant trading relationships with nations we had previously never treated with: especially Haslanti and what is now known as Arcadia, in the combined Linowan-Haltan territories. These relationships are vital to our ongoing prosperity and it is important that we be able to maintain these relationships. We also hold a variety of non-aggression treaties, including with several of the aforementioned cities, the former Lookshy, and all of the nations (The Unruly Plains, Jerrahi, Ith Ben-Lur, We-Dikune, Xachi -- and the Walker's Realm) which border our city's lands; several of these arrangements include limited mutual-assistance agreements. These allegiances, too, have been vital to Great Forks' continued prosperity and it would be very difficult to enter into an agreement that would force us to void them.
Regarding the Faith Ecliptic, we wish to speak directly regarding the specifics of how the worship that you suggest will be provided to us shall be meted out. As the representative leaders of a great, powerful city, as well as deities of deeply vital topics relevant to every one of Meru's residents, we believe that we are properly entitled to a truly vast quantity of this worship, and a prominent place amongst the upper pantheon of the Faith. Who will be responsible for crafting the specifics of doctrine regarding the relative importance of participating deities, as well as their position and proper manner of worship? The specifics of this issue will again directly affect the nature of our participation in this enterprise.
For representation on the Deliberative, we shall be sending you an Exalt of Dayshield named Japhir Hegedon. A child of our city's God-Blooded classes, he has been a ranking figure within our houses of nobility, as well as served with distinction as a leader of men within the Great Forks military, including a position of field command during the recent conflict. We trust that he will be a suitable entrant into the Deliberative's ranks.
We hope this missive finds you well and that our cooperation at the dawning of the Third Age will be fruitful for all parties.
-- Talespinner Dayshield Dreamweaver