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The Book of Anger
This is a collection of aphorisms, stories and short essays all concerning the proper conduct and discipline of a banda warrior. It was complied by the best of estimates approximately 900 BC in the Lasa City-States in western Berg. The Book of Anger became a staple of banda culture among all the Nacateca people of western Berg, including the Ancita. After the Subanei campaigns that spread Shufrantei religion and Ancita culture all over Bergonia, the Book of Anger became a classic. Its archaic context became utterly irrelevant to later, more cosmopolitan ages, just as the modern world is remote from the Bronze Age context of the Old Testament. And the values of vengeance, obedience and cruelty often discomfit people of our times. Nevertheless, every Bergonian high school student must still read it, and every atrei's speech contains expressions ultimately derived from it.
The Book of Anger was written in part to praise the feticinai. To understand the Book of Anger and the banda ethos one must understand a little about who the feticinai were. In the earliest years of Ancita culture the banda warrior class had not yet coalesced. Early Ancita society largely consisted of shepherds and farmers, and centered around hilltop temples attended by an increasingly influential priesthood. Some of the richer shepherds became prominent by acquiring bronze arms, and became fractious competitors for influence and control. Some of them however were religious and ethical and resolved to protect both the temples and the unarmed majority of shepherds and farmers. They would join together for the ad hoc purpose of avenging a temple desecration or some other serious wrong. They were committed to the protection of temples and the priesthood. In these times temple desecration was not uncommon as different sects competed, with some priests urging their armed supporters to attack another sect's temple. In time the feticinai became the template and the inspiration as the men of arms coalesced into the formally designated banda warrior class. The feticinai were the most self-sacrificing of warriors, and the Book of Anger records many of their stories.
The Book of Anger also contains many aphorisms. Some examples:
§ Love the Gods, but never trust them.
§ To earn honor, act with honor.
§ The greatest glory that a warrior can do to his honor is to give his life in the defense of those he loves and serves. The only true and pleasing sacrifice is the sacrifice of self, whether it be the sacrifice of vocation, devotion, time, or life.
§ A warrior should carry few expectations.
§ On the day of battle, we warriors find that we fight, not for lords or states or causes, but for the man on our left, and for the man on our right. We find that we fight for our brothers who face death with us. (c.f. the White Feather)
§ Let each man fully finish what he has chosen to start. A man who fails to complete a campaign is worse than the man who never undertakes one.
§ There is too much tension in the world, caused by too much greed, competition, rivalry and passion. The banda serves humankind by resolving the matters that give rise to tension. Where ever the banda goes, he resolves matters.
§ One aspect of resolving matters is restoring matters to a pristine condition as much as possible. It is simply a matter of the carpenters cleaning up after themselves after building a house. Likewise, the banda cleans up his campfire, leaving no chance for a conflagration, and leaving no easy sign for his foes to track.
§ Tread lightly, run swiftly, work quietly.
§ The warrior's art is the art of movement.
§ Watch a cat. See how the cat makes only moves necessary to his purpose. See how quietly the cat moves, how softly, without leaving prints. The cat glides around things and find ways through them, so that he passes without knocking over anything, without leaving a sign.
§ Evil emerges from obsession. Beware your own passions. Even in passion for good and wholesome things there lurks evil
§ Evil acts sometimes result from good intentions.
§ Liquor slays the banda as surely as the iron tip, just more slowly, and without honor.
§ Trusts your own eyes, not another man’s tongue. Your own eyes will lie to you often enough; think how much more the liar is the other man's tongue
§ The feticinai does not profit from haste. He best achieves vengeance with patience. Patience will allow him to outmatch superior strength and overcome superior numbers.”
§ The moment shall come upon you, step by step, and when the moment arrives you shall accept it as just a last step."
§ Do not think too much of what you do. It is best if you carry your memory in your muscle.
§ A warrior, at least he who lives, will not hesitate; one cannot ponder flying arrows.
§ A brave man accepts death when it comes, but only a fool hurries it.
§ Every act a man or woman can do is improved with the application of skill and sense. There is skill in story-telling. There is skill in running. There is skill in martial endeavors. There is skill in breathing, and most certainly in thought. There is a refined and improved way to do everything. He who teaches otherwise merely wishes to justify his own mediocrity.
§ If you cannot prevent an attack, a rebellion, a movement, you may at least control its timing and its direction.
§ A man is blessed who has a good lord or a good cause to serve.
§ The best of men remain mannered in every situation. The best banda retains his bearing in the worst situation.
§ Small weeds if left uncut will grow into entangling brush. A servant who filches a cup of grain today will steal a sack-full tomorrow."
§ A warrior should never leave for battle with things lying about the house.
§ The story of "the fellow who lay badly cut on the battlefield, who got up and died while striking down another foe, figuring he would die if he had just remained lying on the field.
§ Here you stand, here in this situation we Gods contrive, such as it is, with obstacles and opportunities, but with the sword you have the means to make the most or least of it.
§ The banda, not any spirit or demon, controls the banda's hands. The banda, not some thing called fate, controls the direction of the sword.
§ A warrior is permitted to weep once (or twice) in his life.
§ The sword is the least of the warrior's weapons.