Meet the Character: Provost Varuni Arvel

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Originally published 10/17/2017. Original article can be found here.

Provost Varuni Arvel stands as a beacon of faith, a leader within the Clockwork City’s Congress of Calibration, and one of the key figures you’ll encounter when exploring the Brass Fortress. Learn a little more about her past and rise to the rank of Provost with our next Meet the Character!

AIOS vox-transcript 1066421: Provost Varuni Arvel character evaluation [Session 12]

[begin transcript]

Alienist Arolosea: Greetings, Lector Arvel. Or should I say Provost? Let me be the first to congratulate you on your upcoming promotion!

Varuni Arvel: Thank you! I do have a bit more to do though. Another lecture in the Loqutorium, one cycle in the devotional laboratory, and this evaluation!

Alienist Aralosea: Indeed. No one could accuse you of idleness, that much is certain. Now, to business. Please understand that this is a simple formality. You’ve proven your dedication to the Clockwork God many times over at this point. But rules are rules, am I right?

Varuni Arvel: That sounds suspiciously like the first question in this evaluation.

Alienist Arolosea: [laughter] Luciana said you were clever. Yes, that is the first question. What are your feelings on rules and regulations?

Varuni Arvel: Well, that’s the central paradox of our order, right? Regulations, scholarly dictates, rigid schematics—they form the foundation of the Apostleship. But then, the Tourbillon’s sermons tell us to smash the old machines—to reject all laws and restrictions so that our engines can be made clean. So our spirits can grow.

Alienist Arolosea: [inaudible] … seems you favor regulations over disorder.

Varuni Arvel: How is that?

Alienist Arolosea: Your record contains zero citations. No disciplinary notices. No sequential admonitions. Nothing.

Varuni Arvel: With respect, I think that indicates extreme diligence, not a lack of ambition. I’ve pushed back against scholarly restrictions on several occasions. Just a few cycles ago I conducted a pressure test in the Machine District, despite the travel restrictions.

Alienist Arolosea: But you notified the Proctor before leaving, isn’t that correct?

Varuni Arvel: Only to prevent a panic. Luciana is a friend. I would have conducted the test regardless.

Alienist Arolosea: I see. If you don’t mind my saying so, I detect some sensitivity on this subject. Does the implication that you favor caution over discovery bother you?

Varuni Arvel: [inaudible]

Alienist Arolosea: Come again?

Varuni Arvel: I think it’s a misreading of the facts. I’ve advanced through the ranks faster than anyone in the history of the city. I’ve published sixteen dissertations, discovered four heretofore unknown aurbic elements, conducted twelve separate Radial surveys …. You can’t accomplish all that without taking risks.

Alienist Arolosea: Then how do you explain this spotless record? Previous provosts received hundreds of disciplinary citations on their path to power.

Varuni Arvel: I guess I’m just better with people.

Alienist Arolosea: By that you mean …?

Varuni Arvel: I try to keep my fellow apostles informed. I value their input. I listen to their advice. Honestly, I think we could all do a much better job of listening to each other. That’s something I’d like to change once I receive my promotion.

Alienist Arolosea: Fair enough. It says here that—

[Vox transcript corruption: 12 minutes, 34 seconds lost]

Alienist Arolosea: –see you’re very diligent about attending prayer services.

Varuni Arvel: I’m very committed to the faith, yes.

Alienist Arolosea: Care to expand on that?

Varuni Arvel: Lord Seht is my hero. I try to model my life on his example. Attending prayer service brings me closer to him. Helps me focus.

Alienist Arolosea: Interesting. What aspect of Lord Seht’s character do you most admire?

Varuni Arvel: [laughter] Where to begin? I admire his wisdom, his architectural prowess, his mastery of virtuous maths …. I could go on, I guess?

Alienist Arolosea: That won’t be necessary. Now, what aspects of his character do you most detest?

Varuni Arvel: [long pause] Excuse me?

Alienist Arolosea: What aspects of his character do you find most repellent? What elements of Lord Seht’s personality make you uncomfortable?

Varuni Arvel: I don’t … [inaudible]

Alienist Arolosea: Does this question make you uncomfortable?

Varuni Arvel: Yes, of course it does.

Alienist Arolosea: Just a moment ago you said you were comfortable with pushing back against regulations and taboos. Should I adjust my notes on that point?

Varuni Arvel: No … no, it’s fine. I … [long pause]

Alienist Arolosea: Take your time.

Varuni Arvel: I guess it bothers me that he’s never around.

Alienist Arolosea: Go on.

Varuni Arvel: I … I mean, I’ve been a member of the clockwork apostles for over a century, and I’ve still never had an opportunity to meet him.

Alienist Arolosea: And that bothers you.

Varuni Arvel: I didn’t … I mean, yes, a little. But I would never cite that as a failing on his part. If anything it’s my fault for being impatient. He no doubt has important things to do in the Cogitum Centralis. He’ll emerge eventually–when he’s ready.

Alienist Arolosea: Very well. It appears that our time is up. Thank you for indulging me. We’re done!

Varuni Arvel: Good …. Good.

[end transcript]

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