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Quotes and Other FablesEdit

Book Title

Canon

Quote

A Terran's Guide to Liad

Local Custom

Any slight—no matter how small—requires balancing, lest the value of one's melant'i be lessened. Balance is an important, and intricate, part of Liaden culture, with the severity of rebuttal figured individually by each debt-partner, in accordance with his or her own melant'i. For instance, one Liaden might balance an insult by demanding you surrender your dessert to him at a society dinner, whereas another individual might calculate balance of that same insult to require a death. Balance-death is, admittedly, rare. But it is best always to speak softly, bow low and never give a Liaden cause to think he has been slighted.

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

Melant'i —A Liaden word denoting the status of a person within a given situation. For instance, one person may fulfill several roles: Parent, spouse, child, mechanic, thodelm. The shifting winds of circumstance, or 'necessity,' dictate from which role the person will act this time. They will certainly always act honorably, as defined within a voluminous and painfully detailed code of behavior, referred to simply as 'The Code.'

To a Liaden, melant'i is more precious than rubies, a cumulative, ever-changing indicator of his place in the universal pecking order. A person of high honor, for instance, is referred to as "a person of melant'i," whereas a scoundrel—or a Terran—may be dismissed with "he has no melant'i."

Melant'i may be the single philosophical concept from which all troubles, large and small, between Liad and Terra spring.

Local Custom

The best advice for any Terran with a yen to visit the beautiful planet of Liad is: Stay home.

Local Custom

The delm of any given clan, when acting for the Clan, is commonly referred to by the clan's name: "Guayar has commanded thus and so . . . " To make matters even more confusing, it is assumed all persons of melant'i will have a firm grounding in Liaden heraldry, thus opening up vast possibilities for double-entendre and other pleasantries. "A hutch of bunnies," will indicate, en masse, the members of Clan Ixin, whose clan-sign is a stylized rabbit against a rising moon. Korval, whose distinctive Tree-and-Dragon is perhaps the most well-known clan-sign among non-Liadens, is given the dubious distinction of dragonhood and a murmured, "The Dragon has lifted a wing," should be taken as a word to the wise.

Local Custom

The Lower Docks of Solcintra Port are the sphere of thieves, murderers, rogues and criminals of every description. Clanless and desperate, they have nothing to lose, and are completely willing to relieve the unwary of their purses and, often enough, their lives.

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

The most dangerous phrase in High Liaden is coab minshak'a: "Necessity exists."

A Young Person's Book of Trade

Local Custom

There are several million Traders in the galaxy, but only 300 Master Traders registered with the Trade Commission on VanDyk. Until recently, all 300 were Liaden. This has been changing slowly, as Terrans become more successful in the trade arena and able to afford the costly and extensive certification tests. Terran or Liaden, a Master Trader's work is exacting, requiring intimate knowledge of the regulations of a thousand ports of call, as well as a sure instinct for what will gain a profit at each. Master Traders often chart their ships' course as the trade develops, some running as long as five years between visits to the home port. Less exalted Traders most usually ply an established route, which has most likely been researched and planned by a Master Trader. The very best Master Traders are described as cool-headed, analytical, persuasive generalists who are filled with the passion to deal.

All About the Liaden Scouts

Scout's Progress

A statistically significant number of Scouts are reported eklykt'i—unreturned—every Standard Year. While some undoubtedly fall prey to the omnipresent dangers of their duty, there is reason to believe that most have simply found a world that suits them better than the homeworld and have decided to stay. There are those who argue that Scouts who are eklykt'i are the most successful Scouts of all.

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

Those who enter Scout Academy emerge after rigorous training capable of treating equitably with societies unimaginably alien, some savage beyond belief.

Scouts are by definition courageous, brilliant, supremely adaptable and endlessly resourceful.

Annual Census of Clans

Local Custom, Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

The number of High Houses is precisely fifty. And then there is Korval.

Anonymous

Mouse and Dragon

Friends are a costly necessity.

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

The heart keeps its own Code.

Aristotle

Local Custom

Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love.

Beam letter from Jen Sin yos'Phelium

Scout's Progress

Emergency repairs at Tinsori Light. Left my ring in earnest. The keeper's a cantra-grubbing pirate, but the ship should hold air to Lytaxin. Send one of ours and eight cantra to redeem my pledge. Send them armed. In fact send two. . ..

By-laws of the Pilots Guild

Scout's Progress

There shall be four levels of pilot acknowledged by the Guild. The base level, or Third Class, shall be qualified for work within system and orbit, operating ships not above Class B. Mid-level, or Second Class, shall be qualified to lift any ship to Class AA within system and orbit. A pilot holding a First Class license shall be competent in accomplishing the Jump into and out of hyperspace. Master Pilot is one able to perform all aspects of piloting with excellence. This grade may undertake to train and test any of the lower three levels. For the purposes of these by-laws, Scout-trained pilots shall be understood to hold a license equal to Master Pilot.

Cantra yos'Phelium's Log Book

Scout's Progress

After the safety of the ship, the well-being of the passengers is the captain's greatest care.

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

He found it in a desert, so he told me—the only living thing in two days' walk. A skinny stick with a couple leaves near the top, that's all it was then.

I don't remember the name of the world it came from. He might not have told me. Wherever it was, when his Troop finally picked him up, Jela wouldn't leave 'til he'd dug up that damned skinny stick of a tree and planted it real careful in an old ration tin. Carried it in his arms onto transport. And nobody dared to laugh.

Local Custom, Plan B

Here we stand: An old woman, a halfling boy, two babes; a contract, a ship, and a Tree. Clan Korval. How Jela would laugh.

Scout's Progress

I ran co-pilot for Garen 'til she broke her skull, and the ship came to me, complete with a full load of trouble. I was young enough then to believe my skull was too hard to break—opted to run solo, and take care of the troubles as I met them. I wasn't looking for a co-pilot the night I found Jela, though I was old enough by then to know I could die. What I wanted was a glass and a roll in the blankets—one glass, one roll and an early lift out, headed for the Rim with a load of don't-you-care. Funny, how even simple plans so often fail to work.

Local Custom, Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

In an ally, considerations of house, clan, planet, race are insignificant beside two prime questions, which are:
1. Can he shoot?
2. Will he aim at your enemy?

Scout's Progress

Jela spent his whole off-shift rigging guy-wires and safety nets to hold his tree in what it thinks is proper position. He was going to run an orientation plate off the main engine, but I canceled that project. If that tree's got to be in the pilot's tower, it can damn' well take the same risks the pilots take.

Mouse and Dragon

Korval is contract-bound to stand as Captain to all the passengers until released by the Council of Clans, the successor to the Transition Committee. I should've written that contract looser, but who knew we'd even survive?

Scout's Progress

Pen vel'Kazik comes into the Pilot's Tower only when forced by her fellow Counselors, and stands as near the ladder as she may, sweating and wringing her foolish hands until the others declare their business done. The boy swears it's Jela's tree that frightens her. I say, if it is, may the gods soon afflict them all likewise.

Scout's Progress

Preserve your life, preserve your folk, preserve the Tree, no matter what the means. Grovel, if your enemy demands it; beg; swallow any insult. Stay alive, preserve you and yours. Watch close, stay alert. And when your enemy turns his back, kill him and run free.

Scout's Progress

The cops called young Tor An to bail me out, which he did, right enough, and all according to co-pilot's duty. When we were free of the place, he read me such a scold as I haven't heard since nursery. Puppy. He was right, too.

Scout's Progress

The delm must be a smuggler-class pilot—take from yos'Galan if yos'Phelium fails, as it likely will. I'm a sport, child of a long line of random elements, and Jela— Young Tor An's folk have been pilots since the first ships lifted beyond atmosphere, back among the dead Ringstars. yos'Galan will breed true. The best pilot the clan possesses must be delm, regardless of bloodline. This will be taken as a clan law. The delm's heir must be a pilot—of like class to the delm—and as many others of the clan as genes and the luck allow. There must be ships, spaceworthy and ready to fly: As many ships as it is possible to acquire. Such a number will necessarily require funds for maintenance—whole yards devoted to their readiness. Therefore, Clan Korval must become wealthy as Jela and me only dreamed of wealth. Serve the contract, as long as it's in force. The boy don't hold with oath-breaking.

Local Custom

The dramliz want young Tor An's genes. Farseers predict twins from the match and offer the girl-child to us—to Clan Korval—as settlement.

Jela would say that a wizard on board tips the scale to survival—which remains sound reasoning, though we're planet-bound now and in honorable estate, or so the boy will tell me . . . As it transpires, Tor An met his proposed wife several days ago, through Dramliza Rool Tiazan's good graces, I make no doubt! The boy's smitten, of course, so the marriage is made. Perhaps the girl-child will fail of being dramliz . . .

Local Custom

The first attack was a hammer-blow at the Ringstars. A dozen worlds were lost at once, including that which was home to the dramliz and the place the Soldiers call Headquarters. There was rumor of a seed-ship—as high as a hundred seed-ships—sent out from Antori in the moment before it died. Much good it may do them. Jela says The Enemy means to smash communications, then gobble up each isolated world in its own good time. Jela says anyone with a ship is a smuggler, now. And every smuggler is a soldier. I've never seen anything like this . . .

Scout's Progress

We signed the final draft of the contract tonight. Thought they'd choke on Captain's Justice. Stupid groundlings. How do we know the length of voyage, assuming we even break out? How do we know there's any worlds left to run to? Situation like this, there has to be one voice that's law, not some damn committee. And that law has got to be in favor of the ship, and the greatest good. There can only be one captain. One voice. One law. For the best survival of the ship.

Scout's Progress

Your ship is your life. Stake your air before you stake your ship—and your soul before you stake either.

Book of Plain Thought 

Fledgeling

I am on a simple mission.

The Path is the journey and the journey is the Teaching. Those whose feet are upon the Path must neither be brought aside nor delayed.

The study of simplicity is not lightly undertaken, nor easily put aside.

"a rare simplicity"  from the Second Book (of Plain Thought ?)

Charter of the Council of Clans

Local Custom, Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

Each person shall provide their clan of origin with a child of their blood, who will be raised by the clan and belong to the clan, despite whatever may later occur to place the parent beyond the clan's authority. And this shall be Law for every person of every clan.

Local Custom

In the case of a clan's loss of an individual member through the actions of a person unrelated to the clan, balance-payment is hereby set forth. Such payment weighs equally the occupation, age, and clan-standing of the individual who has been lost. The attached chart shall henceforth be the standard by which all clans shall compute such balance-payment.

Local Custom

The delm shall be face and voice of the clan, guarding the interests of the clan and treating with other delms in matters of wider interest. The delm is held to be responsible for the actions of all members of his clan and likewise holds ultimate authority over these members. The delm shall administer according to the internal laws of his clan, saving only that those laws do not circumvent the Laws agreed upon by all delms and set forth in this document.

Cicero

Mouse and Dragon

A room without books is like a body without a soul.

Collected Poems

Scout's Progress

Kin and love

Comfort

Home.

Local Custom

The Universe adorns

a flawless jewel.

Solcintra.

Contract of Gift

Scout's Progress

. . .by this note convey said land and building to the Liaden Scouts for the purpose of establishing an academy and training center for future Scouts and those whom the Scouts deem it wise to train . . .

Courier Wildlife Guide, Fourteenth Edition

Mouse and Dragon

Norbear -- Size: 16 -- 22 cm; Weight: 121 -- 180 g. Furred quadrupedal mammal with a burrowing habit; soft dense coat, ranging in color from gray, brown, black, orange, white and mixed. Herbivore. Fearless and lively disposition, natural empath. Adapts well to domestication. Banned on certain worlds. Check port rules before importing.

Delm's Diary

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

I have today received Korval's Ring from the hand of Petrella, Thodelm yos'Galan, who had it from the hand of Korval Herself as she lay dying.

My first duty as Korval must be Balance with those who have deprived the clan of Chi yos'Phelium, beloved parent and delm; as well as Sae Zar yos'Galan, gentle cousin, a'thodelm, master trader. There is also Petrella yos'Galan, who I fear has taken her death-wound.

Sae Zar fell while defending his delm. All honor to him.

Chi yos'Phelium died of a second treachery and in dying gave nourishment to her sister, my aunt, who alone of the three was able to win back to home.

The name of the world which has fashioned these losses for Korval is Ganjir, RP-7026-541-773, Tipra Sector, First Quadrant.

This shall be Korval's Balance: As of this hour, the ships of Korval and of Korval's allies do not stop at Ganjir. Korval goods do not go there; Korval cantra finds no investment there. And these conditions shall remain in force, though Ganjir starves for want of us.

. . .I note that my mother is still dead.

Scout's Progress

Remember who we are.
We are not Solcintran.
We are not derived from the Old Houses.
We are Korval Keep the Contract, protect the Tree, gather ships, survive.
But never, never, never let them make you forget who you are.

Local Custom

The last of those who had hand in Eba yos'Phelium's capture and shaming seven years ago is dead. Balance achieved.

Duties Roster of the Pilots Guild

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

The pilot's care shall be ship and passengers.

The co-pilot's care shall be pilot and ship.

H, L. Mencken

Local Custom

Love: the delusion that one woman differs from another.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Local Custom

Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well.

Korval's Account Ledgers

Scout's Progress

Delm's Discretionary Account Three, The Pilots Fund. Established for the aid and succor of pilots and former pilots, regardless of clan, race or lineage. Profit margin of funding stocks no less than forty percent.

Liaden Book of Dragons

Scout's Progress

A Dragon does not forget. Nor does it remember wrongly.

Mouse and Dragon

A Dragon will in all things follow its own necessities, and either will or will not make its bow to Society.

Local Custom

A Dragon will in all things follow its own necessities, and either will or will not make its bow to Society. Nor shall the prudent dispute a Dragon's chosen path or seek to turn it from its course.

Mouse and Dragon

Do not stand between a Dragon and its Tree.

Local Custom, Scout's Progress

The thing to recall about Dragons is that it takes a special person to deal with them at all. If you lie to them they will steal from you. If you attack them without cause they will dismember you. If you run from them they will laugh at you. It is thus best to deal calmly, openly and fairly with Dragons: Give them all they buy and no more or less, and they will do the same by you. Stand at their back and they will stand at yours. Always remember that a Dragon is first a Dragon and only then a friend, a partner, a lover. Never assume that you have discovered a Dragon's weak point until it is dead and forgotten, for joy is fleeting and a Dragon's revenge is forever.

Liaden Code of Proper Conduct

Mouse and Dragon

A clan's treasure is its children.

Local Custom

A Healer should be contracted to attend every birth for the purpose of keeping the mother's soul attached to her body and for easing the way through childbirth.

Such attention is doubly necessary in the case of one who has the honor to bear a child for an allied clan. In this instance, the child's clan must instruct the Healer in addition to blur memory and assuage any painful emotions the mother may otherwise experience.

A Healer should also be summoned before the one who gave the child-seed rejoins his own kin.

Local Custom

A person of melant'i deceives by neither word nor deed and shall have no cause to hide his face from the world.

Scout's Progress

As each individual strives to serve the clan, so shall the clan provide what is necessary for the best welfare of each. Within the clan shall be found, truth, kinship, affection and care. Outside of the clan shall be found danger and despite. Those whom the clan, in sorrow, rejects, shall be Accepted of no other clan. They shall neither seek to return to their former kin nor shall they demand quarter-share, food or succor. To be outside of the clan is to be dead to the clan.

Mouse and Dragon

Balance must be maintained in all things. Debts must be paid promptly and in full.

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

Be aware of those actions undertaken in your name. . .

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

Each clan is independent and each delm law within his House. Thus, one goes gently into the House of another clan. One speaks soft and bows low. It is not amiss to bear a gift.

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

Each one of a Line shall heed the voice of the thodelm, head of that Line, and give honor to the thodelm's word. Likewise, the thodelm shall heed the voice of the delm, head of the clan entire, and to the delm's word bow low.

Proper behavior is that thodelm decides for Line and delm decides for clan, cherishing between them the melant'i of all.

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

In the absence of clan, a partner, comrade or co-pilot may be permitted the burdens and joys of kin-duty. In the presence of kin, duty to partner, comrade or co-pilot must stand an honorable second.

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

It must be the ambition of every person of melant'i to mold individual character to the clan's necessity. The person of impeccable melant'i will have no goal, nor undertake any task, upon which the clan might have reason to frown.

Mouse and Dragon

The delm is the face and the voice of the clan, representing the interests of the clan to the world and solving those problems presented by the members of the clan. The clan's whole honor and melant'i reside with the delm.

Local Custom

The giving of nubiath'a, the parting-gift, by either partner signals the end of an affair of pleasure. The person of impeccable melant'i will offer and accept nubiath'a with gentleness and grace, thereafter referring to the affair by neither word nor deed.

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

The guest is sacrosanct. The welfare and comfort of the guest will be first among the priorities of the House, for so long as the guest shall bide.

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

To be outside of the clan is to be dead to the clan.

Liaden proverb

Mouse and Dragon

A scholar is illuminated by the brilliance of her students.

Mouse and Dragon

Happy is one who finds a friend on every port.

Mouse and Dragon

The wages of spite are well-earned.

Manual for Learning Module No. X5783

Mouse and Dragon

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The Learning Module utilizes intense, direct-brain stimulation to impart pre-programmed information. Direct-brain stimulation is painful, even dangerous, to some individuals. Always run a compatibility test before logging into a full Learning session.

In no case should a Learner undertake more than one six-hour session of moderate intensity within one twenty-eight-hour period. Cerebral vesication may result from overuse of a Learning Module.

Scout's Progress

The Learning Module is intended for use as a supplement to conventional learning. It is not intended to replace conventional learning, nor should it be utilized in this manner. The best use of the Learning Module is in review of old material, in order to sharpen details in the Learner's mind. The Module also has value in laying baseline information, upon which the Learner will then build. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The Learning Module utilizes intense, direct-brain stimulation to impart pre-programmed information. Direct-brain stimulation is painful, even dangerous, to some individuals. Always run a compatibility test before logging into a full Learning session. In no case should a Learner undertake more than one six-hour session of moderate intensity within one twenty-eight-hour period. Cerebral vesication may result from overuse of a Learning Module.

Marquise de Sevigne

Local Custom

There is nobody who is not dangerous for someone.

Marriage Customs of Liad

Local Custom, Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

On average contract-marriages last eighteen Standard Months, and are negotiated between clan officials who decide, after painstaking perusal of gene maps, personality charts and intelligence grids, which of several possible nuptial arrangements are most advantageous to both clans.

In contrast, lifemating is a far more serious matter, encompassing the length of the partners' lives, even if one should die. One of the pair must leave his or her clan of origin and join the clan of the lifemate. At that time the adoptive clan pays a "life-price" based on the individual's profession, age and internal value to the former clan.

Tradition has it that lifemates share a "bond of heart and mind." In view of Liaden cultural acceptance of "wizards," some scholars have interpreted this to mean that lifemates are "psychically" connected. Or, alternatively, that the only true lifematings occur between wizards.

There is little to support this theory. True, lifematings among Liadens are rare. But so are life-long marriages among Terrans.

Scout's Progress

Typically, the clan which gains the child of a contract-marriage pays a marriage fee to the mating clan, as well as other material considerations. Upon consummation of contract, the departing spouse is often paid a bonus. Contract-marriage is thus not merely a matter of obeying the Law, but an economic necessity to some of the Lower Houses, where a clanmember might be serially married for most of his or her adult life.

Preamble to the Healer's Guide

Scout's Progress

A Healer is one who may look into the heart and mind of one who is in pain, soothe the pain and restore the sufferer to joy.

Private letter

Local Custom

Er Thom fell from the Tree this morning. I hasten to add that all is well, though of course he took damage. A matter of broken ribs and dislocated shoulder—that's the worst of it. Nothing beyond the auto-doc's capabilities. I cannot for certain say how far he fell, for all Daav can tell me is that the pair of them had "never been so high." Er Thom was craning for a better sight of the Port when an end-branch broke under his weight. He was caught, twig-lashed and unconscious, by the big by-branch about seven meters up—you know the one, sister. The luck is in the business twice: The child doesn't remember falling. Daav saw the whole, and kept a cool head—far cooler than I should have kept at eight Standards, and so I swear! 'Twas he climbed down, fetched me out of a meeting with dea'Gauss, and showed me where Er Thom lay. Nor would he be parted from his cha'leket, but kept vigil at 'doc-side and bed. I at last persuaded him to lie down whilst I kept watch, and he fell instantly asleep—to wake a quarter-hour later shrieking for Er Thom to come back, "Come back! The branch is breaking!" I await the Healer as I write this . . .

Proverb

Scout's Progress

Duty is not indulgent, nor does it seek vengeance.

Scout's Progress

Feed a cat, gain a cat.

Remarks before the Council

Scout's Progress, Mouse and Dragon

"Liaden Scout" must now be seen as a misnomer, for to become a Scout is to become other than Liaden. It is to turn one's face from the homeworld and enter a state of philosophy where all custom, however alien, is accepted as equally just and fitting.

We are told by certain instructors that not everyone may aspire to—nor all who aspire, attain—that particular degree of philosophical contrariness required of those who are said to have "Scout's eyes".

For this we must rejoice, and allow the Scouts full honor for having in the past provided refuge for the disenfranchised, the adventurous and the odd.

Local Custom

There are those Scouts—and other misinformed persons—who urge that the Book of Clans be expanded to include certain non-Liaden persons.

I say to the Council now, the day the Book of Clans includes a Terran among its pages is the day Liad begins to fall!

Romeo and Juliet

Scout's Progress

What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.

Sam Tim's Ugly Day

Ghost Ship

"So, What will you do now, Sam Tim?" His Grandmother asked. "Will you go to the Delm of Korval?" Sam Tim took a breath, and got up on his feet. He looked down at the mug and the spilled tea. He looked up to his Grandmother's smile. "No," he said. He picked up the mug. "I can solve this for my self!"

Terran proverb

Mouse and Dragon

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Mouse and Dragon

Home is where the heart is.

Local Custom

If fate decrees you'll be lost at sea, you'll live through many a train wreck.

Mouse and Dragon

Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Mouse and Dragon

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.

The Case against Telepathy

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

The Guild Halls of so-called "Healers"—interactive empaths—can be found in every Liaden city.

Healers are charged with tending ills such as depression, addiction and other psychological difficulties and they are undoubtedly skilled therapists, with a high rate of success to their credit.

Healers are credited with the ability to wipe a memory from all layers of a client's consciousness. They are said to be able to directly—utilizing psychic ability—influence another's behavior; however, this activity is specifically banned by Guild regulations.

The Gazette

Local Custom

Accepted of Clan Korval: Identical twins, daughters of Kin Dal yos'Phelium and Larin yos'Galan.

Accepted of Line yos'Galan: Petrella, daughter of Larin.

Accepted of Line yos'Phelium: Chi, daughter of Kin Dal.

The Lectures of a Visiting Professor

Local Custom

Liaden clans are primarily social organizations, amended by centuries of ever more exacting usage. Some Terran investigators compare them without amendment to military organizations, perhaps not realizing that the line of command is to some extent fluid, with variation due to considerations of melant'i. Though the delm is "supreme commander" and the thodelm his "second", an adroit junior with an agenda may at times be as much of an impediment to those commanders as any external enemy.

The Struggle for Fair Trade

Local Custom

Relations between Liad and Terra have never been cordial, though there have been periods of lesser and greater strain. Liad prefers to thrash Terra roundly in the field of galactic trade—a terrain it shaped—while Terra gives birth to this and that Terran-supremacist faction, whose mischief seems always to stop just short of actual warfare.

The Trickster across the Galaxy: A Retrospect

Local Custom

"Of course you are my friend—my most dear, my beloved . . . " Shan el'Thrasin leaned close and cupped her face in his two hands, as if they were kin, or lifemates. "I will love you always," he whispered, and saw the fear fade from her beautiful eyes. Achingly tender, he bent and kissed her. "I will never forget . . . " she sighed, nestling her face into his shoulder.

"Nor will I," he promised, holding her close as he slipped the knife clear. No whisper of blade against sheath must warn her, he told himself sternly. No quiver of his own pain must reach her; she was his love, though she had killed his partner. He would rather die than cause her an instant's distress. The knife was very sharp. She stirred a little as it slid between her ribs, and sighed, very softly, when it found her heart.

Vilander's Proverbs, Seventh Edition

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

Love is best given to kin, and joy taken in duty well-done.

William Arnot

Local Custom, Mouse and Dragon

If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime.

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