The Appeal of Kent Worden
to the People of Mason Ridge
A1. Kent Worden was a wise and learned man who had studied history and
faith in the monasteries of The Just God for the greater part of his very
long life. Often called upon to adjudicate disputes between kings and
lords, his keen understanding of the purpose and meaning of law was well
respected throughout the whole of the known Realm, and his faith in The
Just God was beyond reproach. 2. Kent Worden had been journeying some
forty-four days throughout the northern Realm, learning what he could of
the people there and offering his humble services where they would be
useful. 3. When he found himself in the large town of Mason Ridge his face
was recognized in the town square, and people began to gather around him,
hoping to hear him share his well-earned wisdom or to grasp his wrist in
friendship and respect. 4. Kent Worden was obliged, then, to speak, out of
thanks for those who had honored him and out of his calling to educate
others in the ways of Justice.
B5. Kent Worden spoke before the people of Mason Ridge. 6. "The law is not
the ultimate expression of Justice, as many would ask you to believe.
Rather, the law is a flawed reflection of Justice. 7. The law is flawed not
because it is without merit, not because its fails at its basic purpose of
allowing civilization to thrive; it is flawed because it is a creation of
mortal man. 8. Justice is immortal. It is divine. It is the very being of
The Just God. 9. As a mortal could not stand before The Just God and
perceive Him in all ways, a mortal cannot speak of Justice with true
understanding of it. 10. The right of Judgment belongs only to The Just
God. It is the weighing of our souls. Judgment, in the true sense of the
word, is not the domain of man.
"C11. Must we then abandon the law as hopeless, knowing it cannot achieve
perfection? I say to thee we must not, and we may not! 12. We cannot look
upon the true form of The Just God, but we may still know Him! 13. We do
not wield true Justice; our hands are unfit to do so, but we are not
charged by The Just God to stand unarmed in the path of inequity and crime!
14. The law is our armament. It is not without tarnish, it is not free from
flaw. But its edge may still be honed to blessed sharpness. Its blade may
still be tempered by experience. Its hilt, gilded with the great purpose of
protecting the innocent. 15. As Justice itself belongs to The Just God, the
law belongs to us, His children, that we might seek His agency in the
"D16. The law, however, is too often misunderstood and misused. Too often,
shortsighted men have faith in it as an absolute, as an immutable truth, as
a dogma free from critique. 17. I say to you now, build not your courts out
of stone, but out of straw! 18. For when courts are built of stone, along
with them is built the belief that the law must endure unchanged. That it
is reason free from circumstance. That we as mankind cannot move forward
because our foundation is cold, dead, and still. 19. Better that our courts
are fashioned from straw! Better that each year the windy season tears them
asunder and forces us to rebuild, rethink, react! 20. Better that the court
is at times on hill and at times in dale, its perspective changed and
considered year after year! 21. For when courts are built from straw, along
with them is built the belief that our work is never done. That each
passing season will bring new challenge and new understanding. That our law
must grow and change as we do as individuals and as a people.
"E22. Mistaken are those who maintain that it is the job of man to decide
what is right and what is wrong. 23. Right and wrong are primal, ancient
things that are far beyond our ken. 24. Our understanding of them was
forged into our very being by The Just God. 25. When the world about us is
filled with right, it is not our minds that recognize the tranquility, it
is our hearts. 26. When a wrong has been committed, we recognize it not
because we decide in our rational minds that it is wrong; not because we
compare the occurrence to the volumes of law that we have accumulated over
the ages. 27. We recognize a wrong not in our heads, but in the very core
of our beings. Our mind does not recoil from the sight of it, our soul
"F28. Law then, is not the description of what is right and what is wrong.
Law, by its very nature, can only be a description of what is lawful and
what is unlawful. 29. If we say that something is right because of the law
or wrong because of the law, our reason is insufficient. 30. Rather, we
must say that something is right or wrong because of what we know in our
hearts! 31. This reaction, this instinct that gives us the wisdom to
discern right from wrong is The Just God's greatest gift. 32. How do we
best repay this gift, then? How do we use it to its fullest potential? 33.
When we craft our laws not out of duty to gold; not out of duty to kings;
not out of duty to building mighty empires; not out of duty to felling our
foes. 34. When we craft our laws out of duty to our hearts, out of duty to
the inclinations of our souls, out of duty to the sense of right and wrong
bestowed upon us; only then do we honor The Just God and show him thanks
for his greatest gift. 35. The law can only be a reflection of His Justice
if we make the best use of The Just God's gift!
"G36. How then must we construct our laws? How must we forge them from
this raw understanding of Justice, this primal regard for righteousness
that we inherit from The Just God? 37. Well constructed laws must have
three facets to them to best reflect the will of The Just God. Lacking any
of these facets, we must disregard any pretence that our laws reflect the
purity of His Justice.
"H38. The first facet of law is that the law must give all people,
regardless of their station or their means, equitable access to the law.
39. The part of our soul that understands Justice knows that it is blind,
that each of us deserves to receive fair and equal treatment in the eyes of
the law. 40. But the eyes of the law are human eyes. The eyes of the law do
not have a steady gaze. The eyes of the law do not have true sight! 41. The
eyes of the law are wanting. Their vision clouded by the trappings of fear
and desire and sorrow. 42. Justice, then, blind of the differences between
class and wealth, does not naturally come from the law. Rather, we must
strive continuously to insure that the laws we create and the laws that we
tend do not give way to this human failing. 43. Kings and farmers, knights
and sheppards. Each must feel free to step before the law and be heard! 44.
Justice exists for all people under the care of The Just God. So then, must
law exist for all people, be them great or small!
"I45. The second facet of law is that the law must exist to protect what
is righteous, and not to provide a safe haven for the wicked. 46. When laws
are codified, we have no choice but to do so using the tools of human
language. 47. But the tool of language is imperfect. It is a blunt,
imprecise instrument that lacks the ability to convey true meaning. 48.
Evil men gain license to act immorally when they find recourse or exception
to do so within that law. But that is not Justice! 49. Justice does not
provide a shield for the wicked to hide behind! The purpose of Justice is
to deprive wickedness of its power. 50. Knowing that our language carries
with it that fault, we must be vigilant of the evil that hides within the
law. 51. We must empower our laws to find exception within themselves to
punish the wicked and protect the righteous!
"J52. The third facet of law is that the law must find purpose outside of
itself, and not simply exist as its own end. 53. Too often we become wed to
the laws that are made. We hold them up as sacrosanct and have faith in
them as the only fortification against chaos and fear. 54. In truth, law
does have the power to stave off discord but we must be careful to what
extent we do so. 55. To make too many laws, to make them without regard for
brevity or intention, is to slowly trade away our freedom for security. 56.
Each law we make binds ourselves to its consequences. Each edict restricts
our ability to choose our own fates. 57. It is not the will of The Just God
that we live each moment of our lives governed by strict code, but rather
each day of our lives be our own quest to walk a path of righteousness. 58.
To act with morality simply because we fear the law too much to do
otherwise does not bring us closer to The Just God. 59. Each law we codify
must be chosen carefully and considered thoroughly.
"K60. Only when we craft our laws in accordance with these wishes of The
Just God can we have faith that he will smile upon us and bless us with
wisdom and strength. 61. But then we must ask ourselves, with our laws
constructed though His will, how best do we act as agents of The Just God
in this world? 62. How are we called upon to act in the name of The Just
God? How can we, not as magistrates, not as kings, not as knights, how can
we as humble men and women further the cause of Justice throughout the
Realm? 64. In order to live a life blessed by The Just God we must conduct
ourselves according to three maxims of worship.
"L65. The first maxim of worship is to be a champion of Justice in the
world. 66. Justice exists in many forms, both great and small, and it is
only through pursuing that Justice in all ways that you do honor to The
Just God. 67. In the most humble way, you act as a champion of Justice when
you choose to live your life within a lawful society built upon trust and
faith. Your calling, however, is greater than that alone!. 68. Always deal
with others honestly and promote equity in all things. 69. Never take from
another more than you have earned through effort and skill. 70. Respect,
always, the laws blessed by following the facets of The Just God. 71. As a
champion of Justice, the mark of The Just God sits well upon you.
"M72. The second maxim of worship is the be an agent of righteousness in
the world. 73. The purveyors of evil and wickedness spread easily their
poison into the hearts of the people of the realm, sowing fear and
bitterness amongst men who are otherwise good and pious. 74. This seed of
evil takes root when, because of that fear, men lose their hope for a life
of order and virtue and law. 75. As an agent of righteousness, you are
tasked to keep that hope alive in the hearts of men! 76. Oppose evil and
wickedness in all of its many forms. 77. Call to Judgement those who are
harbingers of malevolence. 78. Guard with unwavering duty the goodness all
around you. 79. As an agent of righteousness, the sword of The Just God is
yours to wield.
"N80. The third maxim of worship is to be a speaker of truth in the world.
81. Much of our existence is choked with the miasma of lies and falsehood.
Men surround themselves with layers of deceit, not so much to commit evil
as to protect themselves in a world they do not trust. 82. The return of
that trust, the power to transcend that falsehood, lies in speaking the
word of The Just God! 83. Be not false to those around you but let them
understand the truth of who you are. 84. Openly proclaim yourself as a
worshiper of The Just God and strive to bring others to His side by leading
them with your example. 85. Teach others of the purposes of The Just God
and tell them of the greatness they may achieve in seeking Him. 86. As a
speaker of truth, the plan of The Just God has a role for you to play.
"O87. My good people of Mason Ridge..." Kent Worden paused and considered
the people before him. The righteous and the Just, the pious and the
diligent. 88. He knew them to be honest, worthy people who worked every day
in their own humble ways to further the influence of The Just God in their
lives. And as he summoned up the strength in his aged lungs to complete his
speech, Kent Worden felt something else, something much greater, flowing
through him and gathering in his breast. 89. Kent Worden spoke one more
time before the people of Mason Ridge, and it was as if he had never spoken
a word before as the word and will of The Just God echoed in his voice. 90.
All those assembled understood and felt the presence of The Just God
amongst them and knew that they were greatly blessed to have heard His
voice once in their lives.
"P91. Faithful Men And Women Of Mason Ridge. Go Forth Now. Champion
Justice. Promote Righteousness. Speak Truth. I Am With You, Always." 92.
And the moment was over, and silence hung in the air of the town square,
and the elder Kent Worden, spent with the effort of speaking for The Just
God, collapsed to the ground. 93. And the good people of Mason Ridge,
dutiful and kind, bore him up and took him to rest.