Friday, April 20, 2012


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Chax thought upon Precedence instead; the capital precept of the Craisht. That what had gone before should be preserved from error, that time-tested customs and the heroes who created them should be honored. That the world should continue to function as it always has.

Every spine of Susekho that bore an Oistrem name was a testament to this principle—the completest possible record of all that had gone before. Every Oistrem life, with foibles and failures, triumphs, ingenious solutions, bold deeds... wound neatly into sharp coils of words. To stand among them and listen to the wind soughing through the main branches was to stand in the middle of history, to feel the neat flattening of the past as it merged at each juncture with the present. It did make one feel small at first, but joyous was the knowledge that one was part of it, and that one's own life would be faithfully recorded as well.

Which gave Chax some pause. It made no sense to say that a traitor's spike was choked off and discarded. To do so would be to deliberately mar the sacred record. How could one even define what a traitor was, without examples from the past? The argument seemed conclusive, and Chax sighed with relief. Then, reflecting on why he felt relieved, he felt guilty instead. Whichever way he turned, it was hard to think.

Precedence was key... But Precedence said that an Oistrem could sometimes defy the Craisht, and be right in so doing. And that Chax was still alive at all implied that there was Precedence for an Oistrem journeying with a Strasmin, for Strasmin and Oistrem to, on certain occasions, not fight to the death. And that... No.

Chax did not want to think about that at all.

1 comment:

Hamachisn't said...

Precedence neither implies nor requires evidence. Just because Chax is accustomed to learning history by reading the spines of Susekho does not mean that all history is recorded there.

If you flip a (fair) coin a million times and it comes up tails every time, that does not mean it will show a tail on the 1,000,001th flip.

What happened to the spines that used to be where there are now scars? Did they fall off and rot? Disintegrate? Get reabsorbed into the main stem? It would be extremely useful if Chax could find one and read it before it vanishes; we could learn a lot.


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