This thread is inspired by this thread.
This is a place to fabulate on the Schism War. What is your take and how does it play a part in your saga? No RAW quotes are needed - at a minimum as inspiration only!
Players of the Sic Parvis Magna-saga are welcome here, but consider yourselves now warned that this might spoil you... (more than you already are hehe)
The Schism War is to me fundamentally a sad chapter in the history of the Order. And ultimately also what confirms that magi are human after all. It's a story with few true villainous architects, but with many innocent victims (on all sides). It's a story about the clash of convictions so dead-set that that, death, becomes their final destiny. Of a conflict escalated beyond control - or even blindly pursued - where no one had the clearity of mind or courage of heart to stop the storm before it swept everyone away and led to mutual destruction (more or less). It's the story about all the suffering created by uncompromising convictions that left no room for dialogue or settling things before they got out of hand. And it's the story about paranoia, prejudices and selfrightousness and what those can make you do. Yes - very human and very fallible.
And then it is also the story about authorities, in shape of the Guernici leadership, who decided to sacrifice not only a lot of people, but also their own values and ideals, to restore order (or restore the Order). About cauterising the wound in the middle of a chaotic and seemingly futureless time - and about the costs of doing that. The thing is, that in the same sense of things I've allowed this to actually still be a festering wound in the bowels of the Order, and in House Guernici more than anything. The question remains, and in fact not that far from present day conserns, how high a price are you willing to pay to create security and stability? Can you uphold the law by breaking it - or at least by curtailing its univesality? And what is the price for those who have to decide whether to do just that - what burden is carried by them?
In my saga things went out of hand. In a chaotic post-conflict time; The Diedne were too haughty and secluded in their stubborn refusal of investigation, the Tremere were too zealous, the Flambeau too belligerent, the Verditii too greedy, the Bonisagus too apathic in lifting the mantle of leadership, the Bjornaer too pidgeon-hearted to do anything put hide their head in the bush and so on.... A human tragedy.
In the conflict-ridden time leading up to the Schism War a covenant imploded on itself, in a perfect picture of the times at hand, the magi killing each other. That covenant was Calebais (in our saga called Lumen) and it had been known to be a mighty covenant - a leading light of its Tribunal (Stonehenge). It was a complete tragedy not only because of the meaningless destruction and the despair of the time, but because the quaesitors rightly feared that this might be the final symbolic spark to make the Order collapse upon itself - if even such a strong covenant could fall to paranoia and infighting. At the same time the case between Diedne and Tremere is rolling. The Diedne are not entirely innocent nor entirely guilty. But it makes for a perfect rallying cause. To unite the Order. To put the quaesitors back in respect and to make an example. But there is little in the way of "proof". After much debate and even more doubt, the Guernici leadership decides to tamper with the evidence/accounts of what happened at the covenant - and they present it as the main charge against the Diedne - that the covenant had been overrun by a sneak attack perpetrated by Diedne and diabolic forces in unison. Records of the place are eradicated.. But the ghosts there never find peace.. and they linger, their lives unsettled. Untill some young magi happen to find the place (led on their way by a mysterious letter from Cad Cadu). They've now been foresworn to secrecy to a senior Guernici and never to mention what they found there. They still know too little to be certain much less to prove anything, but they enough to doubt the history of the Schism War and the Nameless House. At the same time the few Guernici in the know are confronted with a horrible dilemma: do the sacrifice of their forebears warrant more bloodshed? What will be the greater cost - letting the truth be known with what repercusion it might cause or silencing the young magi? Can someone innocent be sacrificed for a greater good - and if so, who will want their blood on their hands?
And in the middle of all this, I still havent decided on my take on the Ex Miscellanea... in so many ways they have been key to what had happened, and what happens right now...
And oh, by the way, I'll readily admit a spurious influence on my take on the Schism War - that I have a twisted interest in genocides... I'm planning to write a thesis on humanitarian law in a years time or so, probably with an emphasis on genocide, and I'm rather curious on the underlying human patterns that make such things possible. Now I wouldnt necessarily label the Schism War as a genocide... but because I like to drag real-life interest into my storyguiding I'll be hard pressed not to portray some of the mechanisms of genocides in my portrayal of the Schism War - and especially of the mechanisms of post-genocide denial of the event...