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 Post subject: Discipline (Puella, Gaerlan)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:31 pm 
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In the days that follow Gaerlan's savage coupling with Arissa the Blackguard schedules additional time each day in private with the priestess. Their meetings behind closed doors are nothing new - between them they have monopolized most of the duties relating to the Horn - but the exclusion of Melrov is somewhat atypical. No doubt some talk has begun. No doubt some talk will follow. Few imagine the truth as Gaerlan wrestles with the more sadistic and murderous part of himself under Puella's tutelage. She finds him a diligent, if difficult, pupil, for the weakness is not in flesh.

When not occupied with the priestess, Gaerlan fills his days to the brim, always in the company of one person or another in the Horn. Schmit, Melrov, the Twins, Grace, the Paladin, Irulen, and even Grumblejack find him a more common companion. In particular he fills his nights with the discussions with Val, and more physical 'correspondence' with Traya. It seems there is never a night he is left alone. The only person who he seems unable to fit into his schedule is Arissa...

Still, his meetings with Puella continue...


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 Post subject: Re: Discipline (Puella, Gaerlan)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:44 pm 
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Late one night...

Gaerlan has been on his knees for what seems like hours. No other discipline yet this night... just kneeling, kneecaps upon Puella's uncarpeted stone floor. At first just a discomfort, but as time drags by, it has grown very painful indeed.

"Thea asked me for a dispensation from her rules today."

The witch is staring into her scrying mirror, whatever vision she is watching hidden from the blackguard. At an angle, all he can see is the dull red light, like embers, that is shining from it and lighting Puella's mask.

"I denied it, and had Herr Schmidt cane her."

She waves her hand, and the light from the mirror dims.

"Do you know why servitude teaches self-mastery?"

She turns, and Gaerlan catches a fading red gleam off of a light steel hammer in her hands, as the room grows dark.

"Lay your hand on the table, and do you answer me in calm and measured tones, boy."

******************

"Because the term self-mastery is a mistake. A misnomer. Just a name we picked to make our efforts seem more noble."

The Talirean slave is naked from the waist up, muscular and powerful, his back a mess of whipping scars, his preaching full of the passion and intensity of a new convert. His small, captive audience is a long chain gang of rustics, most on their knees in the cathedral, scrubbing laboriously away at long-dried nameless stains.

"It should be called self-servitude! I learned that from Her."

******************

"Any fool can play at being the Master of himself, sending empty commands into the future. Men do it all the time. 'I will give up drink.' 'I will save my money.' 'I will be faithful to my love.' A decision without action is only an empty idea, an empty command. It becomes real only through obedience. Only if the self of the future submits to the memory of the past."

She has not yet struck the hand laid before her, waiting for... something. For the blackguard to shift or flinch? For pain to show in his voice?

******************

"I used to think that what I needed was willpower, that I was too weak of will. But the truth is, in my other life I was ruled by my will. And, willful, I indulged in what I desired. Wine. Women. Wickedness. So strong were my wants, so unquenchable my will, that I could never bring my will to obey my ideas. No matter how much I prayed for chastity and continence, always when the test came I would break every promise, snap all the chains I had tried to lay upon myself."

His eyes burn with intensity as he preaches.

"What I needed were true chains, iron chains. She taught me to be a slave." He displays his scars proudly. "And now that I have learned how to be a slave - to serve another - it is equally easy to serve myself."

He brings the lash down on a naked back, and the whipped man groans. For this preacher may be a slave, but no longer is he a slave like the others. This is the first of a new class - the slave overseers of the Horn.

The sermon goes on. Some of the chain gang shake their heads angrily. Some work quietly, shutting out their overseer's preaching and trying to avoid the whip.

And some... listen.


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 Post subject: Re: Discipline (Puella, Gaerlan)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:08 pm 
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Gaerlan is good at ignoring pain, at tolerating hardship. What is difficult is the submission, is the service to her. Allowing himself to be addressed so, allowing himself to be commanded like a common servant... again. It is every ounce of his will to submit to this. To bow. He wishes she would bring the hammer down. The pain would distract him.

Still this is what he's asked for. What he needs. Control of himself. Discipline. Submission.

It's still a struggle to keep his tone even as he answers. It would be so easy to provoke the hammer and wash away the bile in his throat wish a flash of short term agony. He wants to comment on Thea's punishment. On the reasons for his order. Instead he answers the witch's question, "Consequence. It is at the root of your teachings. Actions and reaction. Cause and effect in the starkest terms."

He tries to avoid eyeing the hammer.


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 Post subject: Re: Discipline (Puella, Gaerlan)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:42 pm 
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<Puella> "A good answer, boy, but incomplete. Stay as you are, and listen."

<Puella> The witch speaks...

<Puella> http://dicefreaks.freeforums.org/discipline-puella-gaerlan-t473.html

<Gaerlan_Cimo> Fury burns so close to the surface. On his knees. One can almost see the black blood flowing through his pulsing veins. And still Gaerlan maintains his composure as best he can. He blocks out pain in his knees on the stone floor, ignores it for what seems like hours, before finally fidgeting.

<Puella> Puella had seemed to drift off, but he learns then that the witch's vigilance is not easily lulled away by passing hours. The hammer falls with a wince-inducing crack upon his shield hand, the delicate back of the hand between knuckles and wrist.

<Puella> "And that brings us back to the begining, boy." she murmurs softly. "Consequence."

<Gaerlan_Cimo> To his credit Gaerlan does not cry out. Instead his gaze falls upon Puella. Hatred and gratitude burn, and he nods. Consquence. Discipline. Control. He will not be so easily manipulated by the harlot of the horsemen.

<Puella> "Go now, boy. Lord Cimo is needed."

<Puella> "Tomorrow night I will see you again."

<Gaerlan_Cimo> Gaerlan rises. The wound to his hand will not last the morning, but that was not the lesson. He embraces Puella once, as an equal. "Tomorrow night then. I shall call upon you late in the evening."

<Gaerlan_Cimo> He turns to leave. "And thank you."

----------------------------------------------

Days of lordship and nights of discipline pass on, and meanwhile the Horn swells each week, fresh waves running through its halls and corridors till finally, cresting and receding, each leaves behind a new layer of human wrack in the narrow prison cells.

The Pious One, it turns out, is not the only prisoner who seeks to build a new philosophy to guide and console him through this sudden, oh so wrenching change of fortunes. One night, as the Pious One preaches to his school - it is verily a school, now, a knot of slave men and women, and even a few free soldiers, gathered to hear the new gospel - one night as he preaches to his school gathered in a circle of lamplight, a debate breaks out, and grows into an argument, and then, very nearly, a fight, as a new philosopher arises to challenge the preacher and his insistence on the elevating power of pain and punishment, the path to self-mastery through the crucible of self-servitude.

Tiny in scale though the preacher's church still is, the schism is nevertheless passionate, and soon there are two rival congregations, the older and larger still cleaving to the Pious One, the newer and smaller following the new monk who calls himself The Heavenly One. The teachings of the Transcendants, for so they begin to call themselves, run in sharp reaction against those of the older school, now formalizing itself as the Disciples. The purpose of the Horn's torments, they teach, the reason for their punishment, is not to foster self-betterment through the punishments themselves, but instead to inure the victims against pain, to achieve self-betterment by rising above the power of base physical sensation.

"What do I care for your suffering?" the Heavenly One preaches. "Heed not only Her words. Has not the Lord Teeg taught us that all of us, all that we think and feel, is mere reactions, caused by stimuli? Pain, then, even agony, is no more than information before the senses, data translated into the tongue of the mind. The lesson from this is simple - heed pain only so far as it conveys useful data. Our bodies are but tools - pain and pleasure merely guides to their use. Self-mastery comes not through submitting to pain, but because through mastering pain we can learn to transcend it - learn to rise to a new plane of consciousness far above its reach."


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 Post subject: Re: Discipline (Puella, Gaerlan)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:03 pm 
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One night, amid these gatherings, Gaerlan simply appears among the crowd. He is silent, saying nothing, but smiling at the Heavenly One's words.


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 Post subject: Re: Discipline (Puella, Gaerlan)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:14 pm 
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And what reaction did this sudden appearance draw, Dear Readers?

That student of discipline went on with his sermon quite unperturbed, save for a nod acknowledging the Lord's presence. It would take more than that to rattle the stoic preacher.

It caused quite a stir among the audience, though, and some murmured questions as the "congregation" breaks up at the sermon's end. It became evident that not every listener was taken with the Heavenly One's ascetic message inspired by Teeg, but neither were they ready to return to the Pious One's unforgiving precepts.

"Maybe Lord Gaerlan came to remind us that he too has a path to offer. A third way." was a thought on several lips as the slaves dispersed.


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