Song of Silence

We had a curious thing happen in Burning Airships the other day. The three players have found a spiteful elf among the airship’s crew, and she’s now on trial. We resolve it as a duel of wits - Counterheck’s PC is the prosection, I’m helping, against the NPC accused. Sean’s Etharch is the judge, and the most relevant audience.

Cue weirdness - mindful that there might be other spiteful elves on board with mind-affecting magic (the accused allegedly caused several of our crew to leap to their deaths in madness), he starts singing Song of Silence under his breath.

Since this prevents him from being affected by any social skills or mind-affecting magic, it basically looks like the DoW result is non-binding on him. Pretty weird, since - as judge - he was much of the intended audience! (The rest of the NPC officers were the rest, and their opinion did matter.)

We resolved it without coming to fisticuffs - Sean offered not to help either side, and in the end he did abide by the result. But had Cullhir and I been pasted by the accused, it would have been very tempting for him to ignore the result.

Is this the intended use of Song of Silence? Seems legit, but… holy snot.

Yeah, the Song of Silence is brutal.
It grants the singer the ability end a DoW.
But I’ve always felt it’s as much a curse as it is a blessing.
Compromise can be a powerful tool. And the Song of Silence forgoes any discussion, negotiation or compromise.
Neither does it protect his friends. So an Elven Lord can make a very tough decision based on his own judgement, but his people might not be happy with it.

Since the DoW just aborts without a winner, I assume there’s an implication that neither side is allowed to start up an identical DoW right away. I suppose it’s like the DoW goes immediately to a no-compromise tie?

Let It Ride prevents any such nonsense. SoS result would ride.

As the player of the Althing, I think the more relevant part of the question above was: does SoS have to be sung with the intent to end the DoW to end it, or does its blanket protection from mind-altering mechanics make it mutually-exclusive with being audience for the DoW? I had sung it with the intent of protecting me from mind-altering Songs for the duration of the DoW.

Don’t have the book in front of me, but I think you check out completely when the spell is cast.

The book says “if sung as an action during a DoW, the duel ends.” Obviously that’s if you’re a duelist, but I’d say the most reasonable interpretation for an audience member is exactly what you settled on: it’s as if you weren’t there. The duel goes on, the rest of the audience is bound by it, but you have nothing further to do with it.

Reading the Song, I think “I want to listen to you guys and let your arguments sway me but without magic” is not a valid intent for Song of Silence. It’s really about sitting alone and making up your own mind. If you want to hear both sides of the story and then make up your mind, you wait until they’re done talking before singing.

I imagine the standard use is for the singer to demand the facts from all sides, then sing it and come to his or her own conclusions. It’s great for Solomonic rule in wisdom when you don’t want to be influenced by the cajoling of others. You just have to have that wisdom.