Dear Ashtan:

PUBLIC NEWS #19400
Date: 04/07/2014 at 15:58
From: Sestina Senz'ombra
To : The City of Ashtan
Subj: Dear Ashtan:

It seems that I have struck a nerve somewhere, Ashtan, but I cannot say for certain where. Allow me to share with the world the letter that was mailed privately to me.

Sestina,

You're a fool. Cyrene bows down to Targossas because the Light rules over the city in the form of the Diaspora. How quick the Heart of the Vashnars is to please their Eastern Overlords, lest your precious city lose what little devotion you cling to.

Perhaps Cyrene should think about the merits of Freedom. Perhaps Cyrene should stand on her own, instead of being a shadow to the glorious Light that you're so eager to stand behind.

Thank you for kindly illuminating that once again, Cyrene kneels for Targossas, just as she did for Shallam.

Your city shall remain in rubble until you formally choose to renounce the Light. If you don't want to be involved, then perhaps you shouldn't get involved.

* * *

Now, then...to address this, I would first like to make one point clear: it is my opinion that anything worth saying is worth saying aloud. To me, this letter is nothing more than proof of Ashtan's folly and cowardice. A furtive threat mailed privately to me in response to a public statement? Shall I brace myself for assassination attempts next? No doubt they will be successful, as I am not nearly as mighty as Ashtan's fighters. Indeed, they shall be successful, but meaningless, because they will be the acts of fools and cowards who think that 'Freedom' resides in the edge of a blade or a well-placed spell and is a thing to be enforced. So firstly, to the one who mailed me this letter: Freedom, you epistolary coward? You have no right to speak of it. It is my Freedom that guides me to speak out against what I perceive to be unjust. It is my Freedom to take a stand against a bully. It is my Freedom to defend the city I love with what little I have to offer, and it is my Freedom to defy you. That is my Freedom, and I will bear it against your Freedom to skulk in the shadows and send me ill-informed missives. Step down, as you give Freedom a poor representation.

Secondly, let me make it abundantly clear once again: Cyrene's values and Targossas' values lie in different directions. I will not say that they are opposing, nor will I say that they are parallel, but I will say that they are not the same. That is what I said in my previous news post, and I fail to see how anything I wrote at all indicates that Cyrene has 'bowed' to Targossas. The Light, ruling over Cyrene? You are sadly mistaken. We are Cyrene. We are the Heart of the Vashnars. We uphold our own laws, defend our own virtues, and rule ourselves with respect, courage, and justice. Targossas and Cyrene may occasionally find ourselves aligned with one another. Just as occasionally, we find ourselves clashing. I cannot make this any clearer to you, my lurking letter-writing friend: Cyrene bows to no one. What we choose to respect and accept is yet another example of our Freedom, which you have so carelessly chosen to disregard.

Ashtan, I suggest you find the one who sent me this letter and reprimand them, as they clearly do not know what they are talking about.

And as always, clarity keep.

Penned by my hand on the 11th of Chronos, in the year 651 AF.