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Kuragari

Posted on the Outside and Inside of the Inn.

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To the citizens and adventures of Pinedale;

 

Since my arrival here in the free lands from Gersh I have noticed that there are no formal actions taken when looting and dispensing of the dead. This is simply

Unacceptable.

 

Many of you paw and scavenge through the Corpses like some sort of carrion beast feasting every scrap of loot that you come across. This often happens before the battle is over, and the fallen brought back to their feet.

 

It is no wonder that the undead ravage this area at night. After seeing the Way you have treated the dead it is easy to see that they will continue to do so

until things change. It is time that many of you find some sense of honor in your Life, and if you find that it is to hard to accept there are those among the community now that will teach you.

 

Here is my proposal;

 

1)The dead should be treated with some honor and disposed of properly. This can be done by burying or burning the bodies, or saying a prayer over their fallen shell.

 

2)Ensure that the field is clear of all threats, and the wounded are being tended to before rummaging through the pockets of the fallen.

 

3)The quick hands of thieves on the battle field will no longer be tolerated. If the battle is one by multiple houses, rewards earned should be pooled and split evenly amongst the surviving adventures. If it is found that you continue to loot corpses like thieves then you will be treated like one.

 

These are very simple rules that we can all abide by to ensure a healthy community. Any questions, comments, or suggestions can be left with any of the Inn staff.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lord Kuragari

House of the Cherry Blossom

and Ordained Member of the Sept.

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Magpie, black and white,

Sneaky, thieving, filthy bird.

Gluttonous and fat.

 

Heaven demands the deaths of thieves.

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I keep my hands away from dead bodies as much as possible. I don't often feel I've contributed enough to a fight to deserve a reward, nor do I feel it is my job to rummage through dead orc flesh. In the end, I don't defend my friends and fellow warriors for the bloody coins of bandits. I spend my post-battle time caring for the wounded. Someone else can pay me if they feel I've done my job.

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Did not the Master once say, "Riches and honors are what men desire. If they cannot be obtained in the proper way, they should not be held. Poverty and meanness are what men dislike. If they cannot be avoided in the proper way, they should not be avoided."

 

Let me ask you, if a superior man abandon virtue, how can he fulfill the requirements of that name?

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*Scyriss begins to read one of the posts. Shortly after, takes it down and reads it on a walk in hopes of finding Kuragari*

 

 

Lord Kuragari, I cannot help but feel this is a direct response to the "incident" on Saturday, first of the month?

 

Once again, my stature as an upstanding citizen of Pinedale seems to have faltered in many eyes as of late, for no apparent reason whatsoever.

 

I would just be interested in letting you know, anything the beasts had, I saw nothing of. Now, I'm not complaining, but I felt our confrontation put me in the position of the thief when it appears I'm one of the many not to be concerned about. There was no troubles left to to deal with, And I contributed to the slaying of the beast I was searching itself. I had all intentions of splitting what was found as I have always (Which can be verified by, damn, almost anyone that knows me personally in town?), I suppose I'm just curious, who better than I to search the dead? Clearly whoever was didn't seem to do well enough to let me in on whatever he "didn't" have.

 

Really, I'm just curious on what actions you suggest the people of Pinedale take. As it was said, my friends were few at the time, and yours many. If ever we run into that situation again, My choice can be none other than yours.

 

 

I apologize for any misunderstandings I might bring, my way with words is always troublesome.

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Aquilla cannot help but overhear Scyriss' dilemma.

 

"We once had a horse stolen from our estate, and the Tables of Civen mandated that I, as the owner cut off his right hand. I can't imagine the punishment for looting corpses however. Such indecency! I'd imagine the punishment would be far worse."

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The lord looks cooly at Scyriss as he approaches with the note. Setting his cup of tea down on the table and steepling his fingers as the man aproaches.

 

"As you can see the letter clearly does not address any one person. But instead addresses an issue we of the Tuq Vo' Ying Hwa have fallen 'victim" to since our arival in Pinedae. Many times now we have entered battle in the protection of this town. We spilled the blood of the army that surrounded the town, the battle where Lord archibold died and recieved nothing. We joined in the battle on the hill top on the day you speak of. Again we spilled the enemies blood at much personal cost to ourselves. And recieved not. Lord Daizo and I joined the legion and several other groups to rescue the guildemember..and still recieved not."

 

Take a deep breath and exhaling he calms himself before continueing.

 

"We will not sully our own hands by touching the flesh of the dead. It is the lack of courtesey by those who do, and do not at the least offer to share that brands them as theives."

 

Turning his head towards Aquilla, to address his question.

 

" In the lands of Gersh, where ice and snow teach the harshest of lessons the penalty for dishonoring yourself with petty theivery is death. So to will the Tuq Vo' Ying Hwa share this lesson with any battle theif we come across."

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As this is a matter much discussed in The Fissure, I will impart to you the words of the Master. Heed them, and learn them. If one cannot grasp the meanings, one should seek me out; it is the duty of all adherents to spread understanding.

 

The Master said, "'It is according to the rules of propriety,' they say. -- 'It is according to the rules of propriety,' they say. Are gems and silk all that is meant by propriety? 'It is music,' they say. -- 'It is music,' they say. Are hers and drums all that is meant by music? He who puts on an appearance of stern firmness, while inwardly he is weak, is like one of the small, mean people; -- yea, is he not like the thief who breaks through, or climbs over, a wall?"

 

You good, careful people of the village are the thieves of virtue! To tell, as we go along, what we have heard on the way, is to cast away our virtue. There are those mean creatures! How impossible it is along with them to serve one's prince! While they have not got their aims, their anxiety is how to get them. When they have got them, their anxiety is lest they should lose them. When they are anxious lest such things should be lost, there is nothing to which they will not proceed.

 

The Master said, "Anciently, men had three failings, which now perhaps are not to be found: The high-mindedness of antiquity showed itself in a disregard of small things; the high-mindedness of the present day shows itself in wild license. The stern dignity of antiquity showed itself in grave reserve; the stern dignity of the present day shows itself in quarrelsome perverseness. The stupidity of antiquity showed itself in straightforwardness; the stupidity of the present day shows itself in sheer deceit."

 

The Master said, "Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with virtue."

 

The Master said, "I hate the manner in which purple takes away the luster of vermilion. I hate the way in which the songs of Chang confound the music of the Ya. I hate those who with their sharp mouths overthrow kingdoms and families."

 

The Master said, "I would prefer not speaking."

 

Tsze-kung said, "If you, Master, do not speak, what shall we, your disciples, have to record?"

 

The Master said, "Does Heaven speak? The four seasons pursue their courses, and all things are continually being produced, but does Heaven say anything?"

 

 

Do you understand?

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Scyriss sits rudely in silence for a minute, thinking deeply

 

Scyriss turns to Xingfeng

 

 

I think I do understand, Lord Wei. If this is your masters teachings, then I do understand my falter in your friends eyes upon the first of Saturday. Anxious, is the perfect word to describe many of Pinedale.

 

Scyriss turns to Kuragari

 

 

I believe it was many of the day who bestowed me the look of the thief, one of them I thought was you. It is clear to me that is not the case now.

 

 

Anxious, is the perfect word to describe Scyriss of Pinedale. I seek to search the dead for my meal at the inn, and my sword at the smith. When that is constantly threatened by the "swift hand of the thief", one such as myself resorts to being quick. Perhaps next time I will respect the ways of your house, knowing now the masters teachings.

Scyriss smiles

 

As Scyriss begins to leave, he stops, and turns around with a blank look

 

I do interperate the words of your master correctly, right?

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Master Scyriss, did not the Master also once say, "The wise are free from perplexities; the virtuous from anxiety; and the bold from fear."

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Master Scyriss, did not the Master also once say, "The wise are free from perplexities; the virtuous from anxiety; and the bold from fear."

 

 

Scyriss looks upset, but tries to smirk

 

Well, Your master isn't mine, but I have been thrown into fear, perplexed on multiple occasions, and I do not deny anxiety.

 

 

Scyriss downs the rest of his mug

I suppose it is good I was not born in gersh under service of your master, for if you are wise, virtuous, and bold, then I don't know what to call myself.

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Master Scyriss, the Master himself admits his shortcomings. Did not the Master once say, "The way of the superior man is threefold, but I am not equal to it. Virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear."

 

Only you can examine yourself; the words of others are but the rustling of leaves in an autumn wind. When you can look inside yourself and have no fear, then, you have become the superior man.

 

But I caution you, even the rustling of leaves can grow tedious. Were we not having a scholarly discussion, and hence be outside the protections of teacher and student, I might take offense at your words. For did not the master also teach that respectfulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes laborious bustle; carefulness, without the rules of propriety, becomes timidity; boldness, without the rules of propriety, becomes insubordination; straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness.

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If the master does indeed admit his shortcomings, then I have confused myself and apologize.

 

Scyriss smiles

I can --and have-- examined myself, but that is for me.

 

The ways of Gersh are strange to me, and I take heed to heart only to better our relationship as fellow members of Pinedale.

 

However strange, he who has taught you is exceptionally wise.

 

Scyriss looks curious

 

Who is this master of yours? I'm interested in learning about him and the teachings he brings.

 

Insight could prove itself useful... should I ever need to know what the respectful man would do in a specific situation

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Alia bites her lower lip and looks uncomfortable. She thinks of all the times she would have starved had she not looted bodies. These men must not know what it's like to survive alone, without food or help. To be unable to walk the streets without fear of a sudden attack. Who are they to talk about thieves and clean hands? How many years did they spend hiding in corners of a crowded cell; competing with murderers for a scrap of bread? She clenches her fists and grinds her teeth. She forces herself to relax as she recites her thoughts.

 

"I apologize ahead of time if my words offend you:

 

Grey in black and white

Dirty hands can feed the poor

A life for a life"

 

She turns to Aquila.

"How did you feel about being forced to do this act? Did you feel the man deserved such punishment? I'm not judging you, just trying to understand."

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Marius waits for a pause and looks to those assembled around the edict. "I'll do my best to join this conversation with an open mind. I need to learn more about our varied cultures and stations and how they pertain to this discussion. Please forgive my ignorance in what seem to be hidden nuances in this matter. I'm going to describe this scenario as it appears to me and I hope that someone could help to set me straight if I'm missing something pertinent.

 

The first two points addressed in this edict are matters of honor, cleanliness, respect for the dead, and safety. Both are examples of good post-battle practices, neccessary for everyone's physical and spiritual health. I do not mean to dispute the first two points because they are simple requirements I make of my men on a daily basis.

 

As to the third point in the list I am puzzled. What is it exactly that you desire? Do you wish a share of what is salvaged from a field of conquest or not? If trophies are all you desire, then take trophies, or pay someone to take them for you. If I am to understand properly, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but those in the House of Cherry Blossoms do not have want or need to profit from the fallen.

 

You, Noble Ones, feel you have been stolen from and threaten to maim and kill for what is found on the ground. I am obviously failing to see the logic in this. If you of the House are above taking what is left after such a battle, why are you concerned? If you are concerned with the petty monies and salvage that we of lesser station rely upon, why can you not take from the field yourselves, or by proxy? Since you are wealthy and hold influence with many crafts there is little that you could lack for in material wealth. You and yours are rightly either loved or feared and recieve tithes.

 

Either you want to be above the claiming of material resources that simple warriors oft have to survive upon, or you wish to be included in the business of daily life that simple swordhands lead. As a mercenary this is the way my men are fed. Either we are paid to do a service of protection or violence or we keep down brigands and live on what little we find so that we may continue to serve the safety of a community that cannot always afford to feed us.

 

I understand that you may have bled or used valuable potions and consumables in battle. It would seem that you desire to be reimbursed. In my country and in Vlean the nobility don't ask to be reimbursed when they protect their holdings or the lives of their lessers. I would not presume that you desire payment as if your valor were a service.

 

Instead it seems that there is a threat of dismemberment or death upon those who would try to feed themselves before the Noble Ones have had a chance to recover from battle. It seems that this edict is a threat with a contradictory cause. Either the House desires some of what falls to the ground and takes part in that business, or they walk above the common swordhand and can enjoy the honor of clean hands and pure valor.

 

With such an edict in place it would be convievable that such acts of violence could be acted upon whenever the desire for a share exceeded the call of honor associated with being above such things. Please illuminate where the House of Cherry Blossoms would stand. It seems to me inconcievable that your Noble Persons would desire to be involved in this business."

 

Lt. Marius turns coldly to Aquilla. Blue eyes harder than the walls of the Fissure itself. "You and I need to talk. Soon."

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Alia cannot help but smile and the lieutenant's comment. She turns her head so no member of the House of Cherry Blossoms can see the look of contentment in her eyes. Her anger was slowly dissipating and turning into a feeling of amusement.

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Kuragari quietly listens to the Lieutenant attempt at understanding the point of the posting. It is obvious his Civen up bringing weighs in heavily on the way he thinks.

 

“Lieutenant, you mix words better than a merchant and politician combined.”

 

There is a hint of jest in his voices and offers a smirk before continuing.

 

“The first point I would like to address is this. It is true that the nobles do not ask for reimbursement from those that serve them. Nor do they ask for reimbursement for protecting what is theirs. But Pinedale is not ours. And the inhabitants have not sworn fealty to us. Though if Pinedale were ours, and its residents our sworn vassals and servants, then the items left behind by the dead would still belong to us. Of course we would allow you to keep a generous portion, we are neither greedy nor selfish. We have but 2 holdings here; our pagoda and the Inn. If it is your wish that we simply ignore the rest then please say so and we will refrain joining the rest of the town, and seek honor and glory on our own.

 

Secondly, this isn’t an issue of monetary gain. This is an issue of respect. Respect for those of higher station as well as ones peers. You are right that we will not scavenge through the corpses of the fallen for what has fallen to the ground, but we do expect the respectful offer of what is ours by way of our actions. It is our choice to then turn it down or refuse said gifts. And it is not just our respect that is being slighted, but a lack of respect you hold for each other.

 

You talk of “looting” as being the only way to feed your men. Then you of all people should be understanding when I talk of thieves. These people are taking the food from your men’s mouths, unless your men are quicker than the thieves themselves. They line their pockets with the gold of the dead, as though it never existed.

 

I find it somewhat amusing how quickly the value of what “falls to the ground” changes within your words Lieutenant. Yet I see you carry a full rack of potions on your leg. And your alchemist carries a case full of supplies. And that is but 2 members of your company. The rest of your soldiers wear finely crafted armor, and your men are all well equipped. Surely with such wealth to afford such a large quantity of supplies, you and yours could be considered above the need for the scraps that fall to the ground after a battle.”

 

The noble sips his tea waiting for a response from one of the others collected in the Inn.

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The Zhuhao eyes Alia sidelong, and speaks softly,

 

Birds with sharp eyes see,

worms and grubs down in the dirt.

Which one would you be?

 

All men make a choice:

honor or depravity.

Hear your inner voice.

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"My apologies, Alia," Aquilla says. "I seem to have been lost in a daydream. To answer your question, the punishment was just, and rightfully required. With the exception of the most recent incident at Lootsville, I've always prided myself on adhering to the letter of Civen's law. The boy recieved due punishment. The Tables have stood for generations... there's no reason to doubt their modern validity."

 

Aquilla turns towards Marius, who leans against a nearby pine. He clears his throat and dons a smile. "Ah, Lt. Marius. I barely heard you approach. I'll gladly hear your counsel. Shall we retreat to someplace more private?"

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"Graceful is the bird

Her foul prey squirms in the ground

Even grace must eat"

 

She smiles widely at Zhuhao Wei Xingfeng

 

"Your tongue carries wit

Beauty in opposition

Still I disagree"

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"Forgive me I must attend something for a moment. I'll return shortly."

 

Marius bows with respect and leaves.

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Scyriss, clearly tipsy stands up abruptly

 

Three word Haiku

Will make you

Try another Haiku.

 

Please god, stop

I can't take

So much culture.

 

This conservervation has clearly left me behind. I'll take me leave.

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