To the Holy Hapalan,
Speaker for the Guardian of the Meek.
Blessed of the Restorer and
Daughter of the Lady of Truth
It was very gracious of your Ladyship to respond so quickly. The town of Coranan is a pleasure in which to work and live. The trials we face are only proof of our own devotion. Those who have heard only rumors of the way of life here and have never had the honor to live among the accused otherwise misinformed your ladyship. The people here are as warm and hard working as the devout anywhere under the Light of Truth. They have a different way of doing most things but their intentions are the same; to work hard, provide and care for their families.
I am most honored to answer your questions as to my fellow Ebasethe here in Western Harn. To make ourselves more Thardic is the furthest notion from our hearts and minds. Those of us born in this country are Thardians but before the nation of our birth is our religion. We perform the toils our Lady puts before us day by day. Still there is more to Western Harn than one mere republic.
The country of Rethem is a feudal kingdom in great trial. The faithful there suffer regularly beneath the lash of the Breeder of Plague. The reports received from our sisters and brothers in that dark country are of regular work, fertile lands and honest efforts. Their biggest problem is communications. The reports come to you through merchants and the occasional group of "raiders" sympathetic to the Lady of Light. Even in darkest Rethem no hand is directly turned against the faithful.
The country of Kanday is as different from Rethem as the day is from the night. Its lower classes are faithful, for in Kanday our religion is honored and protected. Yet the faithful do not flee from the dark into the light. So life in the dark still pleases the Guardian of the Meek. For the faithful are always needed to till the land, tend the beasts and till for the riches of others. And in the grace and love of our Lady even the oppressed can find gladness, protection and comfort from our brothers and sisters.
The true difference from east to west is in the method of our labors, as I am certain your Ladyship has already guessed. Our churches are still divided, but we allow Ebasethe to marry and live as husband and wife in blessed union. They are the only care for orphaned children and councilors to the newly wed. While it is always a personal choice, those who do so choose are the shining examples of love and devotion for the community. In addition they are better appreciated as councilors of this holy state.
Other Ebasethe take on the rolls unfilled in the communities in which they live. Herbalists, bakers, healers, any skill that the community requires they perform. But I worry greatly that you think we do this to earn coin. The tasks they fulfill require some coin to retrieve the basic elements. For example, when acting as the baker - they need flour from the miller, milk from neighbors and eggs too. Few rural temples have enough chickens, or goats, to provide the requirements. And the amount of flour needed, if taken, as donation from the miller, would be detrimental to the miller's way of life. So some coin or other barter goods are required to assure that all that provide the basic elements for the craft are not harmed or hungry. No Ebasethe craft ever operates at a profit, and much of their needs are met through donation. One farm wife may not be able to give the temple 20 eggs each week, but 20 farm wives certainly can. Unfortunately few towns have more than one miller.
Many of the married Ebasethe have taken up such crafts in the poorer towns and villages throughout Western Harn. With their efforts the quality of life in these poor places has improved. Were there no need in the community for such crafts by the Ebasethe, they are expected to help till the fields, not for their own food, nor on their own lands, but on the lands of the most needy. The goal of such is the same as with the crafts - to help improve the community any way they can. Nothing else. At your ladyship's bequest I have included testimonials of several married Ebasethe and landholders where these same Ebasethe practice crafts.
I strongly disagree to calling their crafts "businesses" for they make no profit.
If communication is difficult from Rethem into its neighboring countries, it is nigh impossible to communicate with the Mepelen. It is far easier to send a letter by boat and caravan to your blessed presence, than to assure its safe passage to Kaldor. Only on or two caravans a year manage to pass through the trade route from Tharda in to Kaldor along the Salt Route. And those that do, do not pass unhindered; for the wilds and those who inhabit them take strong object to the caravans. Our missives are often lost, or greatly delayed. It would be wrong of me to say I understood the conflict, for indeed I do not. And my slight understanding of the situation shames me deeply. Our protectors tell me it is essentially over the ownership of the land. We await the return of the missionaries sent into the wilds two years ago, who hopefully will shed the Light of Truth on the subject.
Until then I am sending two copies of this missive-one to you and one to our Mepelen. One by land and one by sea. Hopefully one will reach you before you are forced to make your decision on the question whether to divide the Worship of Lady of Truth on Harn into two.
Faithfully, in the name of the Lady of Truth may my humble words shed light upon your confusion.
Ebasethe of the Temple of Coranan
In the day of our Lady, 23 Iven, Seven Hundred and Twenty.
The Worship of The Lady of Truth is in trouble on the isle of Hârn. The Meplana of Hârn resides in Kaldor. Sister Anna, an Ebasethe who lives and works in Coranan, has become the spokeswoman for the Worship in the Thardic Republic. Representatives from Rethem and Kanday often meet with her in the city of Coranan, or at an abbey in Kaldor to discuss current missionary works and the plight of the poor (serfs, slaves and vaigrants) in Western Hârn. Unofficially the Worship of Peoni in Rethem, Tharda and, to a lesser extent, Tharda form the Order of Mikkel.
The Order of Mikkel works in three ways:
Their efforts have come under close scrutiny from the Worship on the rest of Hârn. Many have begun accusing the Order of Mikkel of becoming more Halean than Peonian in their outlook and dealings with the faithful. This charge has not gone unanswered, but communications between the Meplana and the Ebasethe of Western Hârn is difficult and time consuming. It is almost easier to send messages directly to the Holy Hapalan on mainland Lythia than it is to send a message to the Meplana in Kaldor.