As you enter the Fool's Rush Inn, you are greeted by a strange, lizardlike creature. "Salutations and fortunities, stranger!" it -- no, he -- calls to you. Giving you a crooked half-grin, he continues. "One might think you've never seen a t'skrang before! My Name is Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin, but if that is too long (as it is, for so many of you tailless races) feel free to call me Ark. Tell me your about yourself." As soon as you tell him your name, he proceeds to talk your ear off. "I myself am from the Ilarsadin Naill, as those with understanding of t'skrang Names would know. It is situated on a minor tributary of the Upper Reach of the Serpent River, which unfortunately is dominated by the vile Ishkari lapdogs of the never-to-be-sufficiently-despised First Citizen of Iopos, Uhl Denairastas. Their rise to power has truly darkened the outlook for the Syrtis Aropagoi, and for Barsaive as well.
"It is a time for heroes, you know. Like all of the most highly admired of heroes, I follow the Dancer's Discipline--that means I'm a Swordmaster, not an entertainer. We Swordmasters use the term metaphorically, to represent how we interpret the world, and our place in it, though it's said that there was a school of Troubadours, called the Torrelian Dancers, who were able to work magic through actual dance, and that one of the greatest of them was able to ... what? Oh, sorry, didn't mean to digress like that. We Swordmaster adepts (for we do have magic) are not like the simple killers who follow the Warrior's Discipline. It is our path to make the world more interesting, and in the case of my school, more just. Always ready are the 'eyes to pierce, tongue to lash, and sword to slash.' I gained my sword three years ago, and have already reached the Sixth Circle of the Discipline.
"You see, it's our task as swordmasters to create drama, which is what inspires others to take on their own problems with something approaching the panache, verve, gusto, and wit that we swordmasters display." His eyes go misty as he continues. "There is no higher calling than to be a worthy object of the adulation of the masses; respected and admired far and wide in one's inspiring greatness and unstinting efforts to aid people in resisting mayhem, evil, fear, and injustice." Suddenly serious, he adds, "Far too many Swordmasters, particularly those who have just earned their sword, neglect this aspect of the Discipline. They see the glory as the reason for pursuing the Discipline, rather than the natural result of following it properly.
"There are also far too many who feel that the best approach to all injustice is to beat upon it with a blade until it goes away. That's ridiculously simplistic, of course. While there are such evils, we swordmasters have far too many other gifts and talents for attacking the many-fold forms of evil which have nothing to do with physical injury to rely solely on such a single-minded approach. This is as it should be, of course; evil is rarely so uniform in its approach, either. I prefer engagement myself; while battle clearly shows the virtues of courage and steadfastness in a manner all can see and emulate, it is far from the most difficult way of expressing courage and steadfastness, particularly for one so skilled in battle as myself.
"Anyway, now that you understand a little better, feel free to call upon me in your time of need!"
I rarely, if ever, post links to other sites on my index page. But I recently read an article at the Chronicle of Higher Education about warrior ethos. It seems to me that the author is dead on target. In fact, she's left me pretty much without anything more to say on the subject. But I can highly reccommend it to anyone who thinks poorly of soldiers, or highly of "freedom fighters".
Well, I did it before, so here I am doing it again. This link might well be titled Hooray for the USA PATRIOT Act! As I'm sure all my readers know, I'm so very much NOT a fan of the USA PATRIOT Act... but it does reaffirm one long-standing part of my libertarian ethos: Never ever threaten anyone with harm.
You can email me any suggestions you may have, be it for articles, links, whatever. In fact, please do -- the address is "arkanabar at lycos dot com". Mention my site in the subject, or I might take it for spam and delete it without looking.
My stuff on the web.
My Links Page. Home to all manner of links .... or it will be. This page is perpetually updated.
NEW! Written March 2005, a rant on Terry Schiavo and the right to life
NEW! Written Dec. 2004, a rant on getting out the vote.
Faith Based Initiatives.
A rant on the right to be stupid
A bit of libertarian humor sent to me by the Advocates for Self-Government.
What is the proper Role of Government in Society?
Moral Courage and Libertarianism
My take on Dead Man Walking
Do we want, or need, a top CEO in the White House?
Do you hate lag and slowdowns? Do something about it.
Software Freedom and Linux
The Keep Etiquette and Roleplaying Guide. Written some time ago to help Keepsters explain to newbies how to behave and what to expect. Updated 19 Feb 2002 with improved navigation and response to new AUP, crises, &c.
I'm running an Earthdawn Campaign in the Keep, and this information is provided for my players.
A short article on gun ownership.
My review of Dungeons & Dragons™ Third Edition.
Fantasy, Role playing games, and the Christian Home
The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword because ideas, expressed in words, move people far better than force does. I've written an article on selecting a fine pen.