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The Bridge

Book III: The Starhell Mutiny

by euhal allen

The Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism

Table of Contents

Our people have fought many battles, but the greatest have been within themselves. Yet we gain a victory in knowing the wisdom of the Qwom-Sor, for it tells us that the mind, while guided at times by the heart, must always rule; must always protect that which is weaker even should it cost one’s life. To die in protecting the weak is to die with honor. Book 1, Phrase 1.

At first I was going to pass this on bit by bit as they were translated from my home tongue, thinking that A little wisdom is better than none, as is a little life better than death. Book 1, Phrase 2, but the translation became a challenge that I could not interrupt so, even thought it has taken longer than I had hoped, it is now here.

There is the question of why the home tongue word shanan’eveer is translated Duelism and not dualism, since there seems to be nothing in them about fighting to the death, one-on-one with deadly weapons.

The Qwom-Sor tells us that: Gentle water feeds life: angry water kills.

Of all the words in the Qwom-Sor lexicon shanan’eever is one of the hardest to translate. It can, indeed, be construed to indicate a duel to the death just as it can be translated dual of purpose. But both of the translations do not catch the full meaning as it is used in the Manuals of Duelism.

Here the meaning is dealing with a question of thought. Such questions should be answered with answers of thought. Our people were people of two facets. We were rippers of flesh, But, also we saw that some flesh is better not torn.

Many of my people are, in their hearts, still rippers of flesh, and they act within the shadows of anger. Those who took the path of the Qwom-Sor, took the path of the mind and sought betters ways of dealing with others than in anger.

It is not the same as, say, Light and Dark on some worlds, or to be thought of as two sides a coin. The mind is always the superior in the Qwom-Sor; the heart always the reluctant seeker.

Yet, all of us, even those who sought the wisdom and control of the Qwom-Sor, are still participants of the struggle between mind and heart. It is, sad to say, a duel that ends only with the final breath. Climbing one’s own mountain is the greatest test.

Droneen da Laich

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism:  Book 1

1: To die in protecting the weak is to die with honor.

2: A little wisdom is better than none, as is a little life better than death.

3: Success is the product of perseverance: Perseverance is the product of a trained mind.

4: Down with the sun, up with the sun: one lives in light.

5: Live with fairness, die with honor: all else is Fel.

6: In a world of sand, glass can be made.

7: Consult not a fool for his wisdom is cheap.

8: Official garments are not the repository of wisdom.

9: Even the sharpest sword gains beauty when sheathed.

10: For life one must breathe out as well as in.

11: Chaos comes when one twists the obvious.

12: One with no shoes has bruised feet: One with many shoes has gained a master.

13: In life there is no Fel, for Fel is the substance of death.

14: Two is but one with a partner

15: Destroy the fingers and the mind still counts. Destroy the mind and the fingers lie still.

16: A road starting at Fel goes two ways.

17: To know evil, one must know good. To know good is complete in itself.

18: In the right place, even Fel has meaning.

19: ‘Why’ is the most important question; ‘how’ is its little brother.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism:  Book 2

20: Even Fel can have two sides.

21: No substance arises from Fel without direction.

22: Good hours fly. Bad hours crawl.

23: In the study of Mathematics, Fel has its own room.

24: Little things become great with love.

25: Things are made for comfort; they rule badly.

26: Two homes divide the heart as two thoughts divide the mind.

27: Youth is not counted in years; it is a condition of the heart.

28: The old become wise by listening when young.

29: In their courage the Givers of Wisdom also give us life.

30: In the laughter of children lies the beginning of music.

31: Our minds play the game, but our hearts betray truth.

32: Even Salnan’s arrows demanded direction.

33: Chance is a Gorkal anyone can ride; truth refuses fools.

34: Knowledge is either a painful mistress or a cruel master.

35: A Poet sees big things in little words.

36: In a sunrise there is hope; in a sunset, peace.

37: The corona of a sun is best enjoyed from a distance.

38: In the anger of women there is hunger.

39: When oceans roar, everyone listens.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 3

40: Argument often claws the face of the question.

41: Happiness and sorrow spring from choices: choose wisely.

42: He who truly knows needs fewer words.

43: In our actions others see our truths.

44: There are those thought wise, who were only afraid to act.

45: The bravest of minds hide not themselves.

46: Envy consumes the mind that holds it.

47: One who does not wish to contend with evil denies its existence.

48: One’s counsel and example must reflect the same thoughts.

49: It is silliness to make things empty of value.

50: Only to the wise is life a mystery.

51: A plain face lets a wise man hide.

52: The greatest of wise minds relish humility.

53: That which is average is thought excellent only because more reach it.

54: One climbs great mountains with small, careful, steps.

55: Patience with oneself is the start of patience with others.

56: Never trust in serenity, for the pot is boiling beneath it.

57: Treat those around you with dignity but know how to lock your door.

58: It is our hidden sides that need work.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 4

59: At the day’s beginning, at the day’s end, red is the sky. It is order.

60: The end exists not, for the final chant of the Sirens of Girth has flown not forth.

61: Does not the light come from the sun’s yellow warmth? Light is wisdom.

62: Children seek wisdom in shallow streams.

63: To laugh as a child is to laugh without guilt.

64: A flower seems bright but its fragrance is stealthy.

65: A dish that is elegant is a flower to the soul.

66: One sees tomorrow in the eyes of a child.

67: Each day sings its own song.

68: When the clawed Ferenet flies the Rossal hides.

69: Walk not too much in the dark lest the light is forgotten.

70: One does not build a hut with stone: nor builds he a citadel with sticks.

71: When the enemy is cruel, kindnesses’ worth gains.

72: To sleep well is to live well.

73: A bed of rocks is softer than a captive’s couch.

74: Shame is sometimes the only teacher.

75: Pride is a sly fire that consumes its owner.

76: The Kndella tree gives home to all.

77: To speak loudly requires only air.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 5

78: To give an answer kills the question.

79; Those who seek Truth must be ready to find it.

80: Life is many questions unanswered.

81: There is no greater puzzle than a woman’s mind.

82: Men are ever seekers of toys.

83: The strength to cry is, indeed, a mountain.

84: No mother has hard hands.

85: In loving Truth one loves himself.

86: Dying for a friend is an honor, to die for an enemy is sublime.

87: Pleasure sometimes hides in simple places.

88: To sip a fine wine is to swallow a smile.

89: Always, Salnan’s vengeance is done with care.

90: Even Fel can die.

91: Gentle water feeds life: angry water kills.

92: Climbing one’s own mountain is the greatest test.

93: The trained mind sees farther than the eye.

94: To sing beautifully is to paint with sounds.

95: True mates see from the same eyes.

96: When love sets the course angry seas are smaller.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 6

As the Learned One sat beneath the Kndella a young seeker began to speak.

“Learned One, is not the Kndella tree a blessing?”

“The Kndella tree gives home to all.”

“Then the Kndella tree is truly good?” asked the young seeker.

“In giving home to all it lacks standards.”

“Ah, then the Kndella tree is an evil,” said the young seeker.

“In giving a home to all, the Kndella tree is not prejudiced.”

“I understand not, Learned One, if the Kndella tree is neither good nor evil then how do we judge it?”

“Remember, young seeker, Each day sings its own song.”

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 7

On the road to Shar Gan a young seeker sought to unravel the truth in the saying, “Men are ever seekers of toys.”

“Tell me Learned One, why this is so. I know many men who have no toys.”

“There is no greater puzzle than a woman’s mind.”

“I do not understand Learned One.”

“Do these men without toys have mates, or seek mates?”

“No, Learned One, none that I know of.”

“So, now you have your answer.“

“But I do not see it Learned One.”

One must do something when one cannot solve the greatest puzzle.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 8

“Learned One,” spoke a young seeker, “you sleep under the sky: you walk rather than ride, though many would give to you a Gorkal: you eat only simple things when many would feed you banquets.”

“Things are made for comfort: they rule badly.”

“Things are then Fel?”

“When things become too many they must be tended to, it is then that they rule.”

“How can such a thing happen, Learned One?”

“When you have a few things, more seems not bad. Hinfel is more repeated in many steps.”

“But surely one can see in time to stop, cannot one?”

A flower seems bright but its fragrance is stealthy.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 9

“Learned One," asked the young seeker, "why is it that you live in this hovel when we, your students, would have you live with us in the city? We would build you a house and serve you.”

“If I were to live there, would I be given food every day?”

“Of course, Learned One, three times every day, as is proper.”

“If I were to live there would I have a beautiful room in which to sleep each night.”

“Of course, Learned One.”

“If I were to live there, would I have many sets of clothes to wear?”

“Yes, Learned One, you are our teacher, you should have fine clothes.”

“Then I must be a poor teacher, for I have not taught you well.”

“I do not understand, Learned One.”

A bed of rocks is softer than a captive’s couch.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 10

“Learned One,” asked the seeker, “the Qwom-Sor says that a Woman’s mind is the greatest puzzle. Yet when you and your revered mate, Gentle Thoughts, speak, your words are twins. How can this be true if the Qwom-Sor is true?”

The Learned One summoned her of Gentle Thoughts and spoke to her in question: "What color, Gentle Thoughts, is the sky?”

“It is blue, husband.”

“On the Kndella tree there are many leaves. Can you count them?”

“No, husband, for they shimmer and move with the wind.”

“We live in a small house, should it be grander?”

“Husband, a grander house would be more work to clean.”

“There is your answer, young seeker.”

“But, Learned One, she of Gentle Thoughts said nothing of the twinning of your words.”

True mates see from the same eyes.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 11

The young seeker came into the Learned One and spoke of the Lord Governor’s visit to the village.

“Learned One, the Lord Governor gave candy to the children and blankets to the poor and executed the three murderers. Is that not good?”

“When, in the spring and there are flowers, and a strong wind comes down the canyon, young seeker, it scatters flower petals all over and some are thankful for the beauty; but it dries out the ground and flowering plants grow thirsty.”

“But Learned One, was I not asking about the good the Lord Governor was doing, and yet you answer about flowers. You cover my thoughts with mist.”

“Why, young seeker, does the Lord Governor come to your village?”

“To tell of new laws; to meet the people; and to collect the taxes, Learned One.”

“And do the poor pay those taxes, little one?”

“Yes, Learned One, 70 Sorgen as does everyone else.”

“How much does candy for the children cost?”

“Almost nothing, Learned One.”

“What, then, do blankets cost?”

“One can get a blanket for 3 Sorgen.”

To speak loudly requires only air.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 12

The young seeker began to speak of the glories of the Qwom-Sor, and how with these teachings men and women could truly live together. And the Learned One asked this little one why he spoke so.

“It is because I live in the village and I see friction between couples who have not learned the Qwom-Sor. Then I see you, Learned One, and Gentle Thoughts, and I see that the Qwom-Sor has made you one.”

“The Qwom-Sor is wisdom, true, but it is not that which brings peace to men and women.”

“That, Learned One, is the only difference that I see. They do not follow the Qwom-Sor and so do not have peace.”

“In saying this you have put the rodent in the place of Knacka bird.”

“I say only what I see, Learned One.”

“Then your eyes have become crooked and so they cannot see truth. The Qwom-Sor is of men’s making, Knowledge gleaned from the lives of many Masters. That which brings peace to a family is too large for the Qwom-Sor to contain.”

“Straighten my eyes, Learned One.”

When love sets the course, angry seas are smaller.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 13

Three young seekers were debating over the Neo-Qwom-Sor writings of Tam Zell. Each differed in the points they thought erudite and beneficial.

”Tam Zell,” said the first, “modernizes the Qwom-Sor, brings it up to date with new things we have learned, such as space flight.”

“No." said the second, "the Neo-Qwom-Sor gains in that those things obtuse are now explained. It is no longer a puzzle to understand.”

“But,” stated the third, "if there is no puzzle to solve, the answer comes from others not from our thinking.”

Learned One came up to seek to hear what wisdom they were discussing. After hearing all three he asked the first, “Have the new things made men less than, or more than, men?”

“No, Learned One, we are still men, but now we have new doors to go through.”

The Qwom-Sor has been going through new doors for many lifetimes. There were always those who thought the new doors would make the light brighter. It has not happened.

Then Learned One spoke to the second one, saying, “What kind of words do you use to speak to babes?”

“Easy words, Learned One, words they can understand. It has always been so.”

“Do you use those words with adults?”

“No, our minds are more mature and we can us words with more meaning. We have minds to understand.”

And to the third young seeker he said, “You speak against the Neo-Qwom-Sor, why?”

“The Qwom-Sor sayings are made to fit many things, not just those easily explained. The meaning must be in the folds of the sayings so that we can ferret them out and make them our own.”

Walk not too much in the dark lest the light is forgotten.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 14

The Learned One sat under the Kndella tree. The Wilbracht bird sang of its winter home in tones of marvelous intensity.

The young seeker asked, “Learned One, the sun is high, should we not seek some to teach the way of the Qwom-Sor?”

Learned One listened to him not, for the Wilbracht bird was singing of its winter home.

“Learned One, the students await, we must go.”

“The students will come again tomorrow, the Wilbracht sings of its winter home. I have never seen its winter home.”

“It is a birdsong, Learned One, there are no words about the winter home.Π

“Tell the students to come and listen to the Wilbracht bird. Its winter home is beautiful.”

“How can you know, Learned One, it is only birdsong?”

To sing beautifully is to paint with sounds.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 15

There was a teacher of common things in the Learned One’s village. He was old and had no use for the Qwom-Sor, for the Qwom-Sor is not of reading and spelling and figuring; it is not of the common things.

Still, he and the Learned One were friends, and he often chided the Learned One as one who hid in the clouds and could not see the real things of this life. In turn the Learned One replied that clouds carried the rain that blessed the ground with its life. Besides, the old teacher also taught his students music, and the Learned One held that the old teacher reached the clouds with it.

The young seeker came to the Learned One and spoke slightingly of the old teacher’s skills and the mundane things of his lessons.

“Why do you seek his friendship, Learned One? He teaches only everyday things when he teaches at the level of the ground.”

“Young seeker, you judge things wrongly. Was he not your teacher when you were a child? Did he not give much to you?”

“Yes, he taught me of the common things, but you, Learned One, taught me things too great for that old man.”

Little children must learn to walk before they seek to run. He taught you the pleasure of walking. He is your first teacher. Also, did he not teach you to sing? Did he not give you the gift of music?

“He gave me that gift, Learned One.”

“He is a great man, for teaches children. He understands children; he must, for he laughs with them. Only a very great man can understand children so as to laugh as they laugh. And, in their laughter finds he music to teach us with. I still learn at his feet things I knew as a child.”

In the laughter of children lies the beginning of music.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 16

“Learned One, there is a seller of things in the village. He tells us he has a great new medicine to rid us of our pains.”

“Does he give this tonic a name?”

“Yes, Learned One, but it is a strange one, one I have not heard before.”

“You are young, there are many things you have not heard of. What is this name?”

“He calls it Beetle Salve. It has a good odor. Have you knowledge of this medication?”

“I do not. I will look it up in the search it out. Ah, you are shocked! There are always things even the wisest do not know.”

“Yes, Learned One, this you have said before, but I have yet to see it.”

“Then, young seeker, see it now... Or, do not see it. Here is an entry for Beetle Salve. Here, young seeker, read it and learn.”

Beetle Salve – The most inebriating intoxicant in the entire Universe’s eleven dimensions. Derived from the Beetle’s honey that exudes from the openings on the Queen’s body. It has been outlawed by every civilized world as too dangerous for consumption.

“It is a dangerous thing, Learned One. It is from another place and we have no knowing of it, It is important is what you will tell the people of the village about this ‘medicine’. I will tell them it is evil and to rid themselves of this seller of harm.”

“You have learned, You may be wise yet.”

The old become wise by listening when young.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 17

The young seeker was puzzled at the Learned One at times, for he would give long lectures on the wisdom of the Qwom-Sor, and then would go and play with the children in children’s games.

“Learned One, he asked, why is it that we who are your students must often wait while you play children’s games with those who do not yet have the ability to understand the Qwom-Sor?”

“Do you have friends, young seeker?”

“Yes, Learned One.”

“Do you spend time with them?”

“Yes, Learned One, but they are of my own age and intellect. We can discuss the Qwom-Sor, and our lives and things of importance.”

“Ah, I see. And I am an old fool because I speak to the children of children’s things?”

“I meant that not, Learned One.”

“When I am with the children, young seeker, I see new things, things I once thought old. But, to the children they are new for their eyes new. In seeing things as new, as if it were the first time, they become new to me also and they excite me.”

“But, Learned One, it is only an illusion for you. You have lived around those things all your life, so the newness you see is false.”

“It is not false to the children. For they are seeing with seeking eyes. In seeing with them I remember how to see with seeking eyes. So the newness is real, it is a part of my memory, of what I saw then and have forgotten.

“When I am lecturing about the Qwom-Sor to you Old Ones, we speak of intellectual puzzles and nod our heads and see the wisdom that is there. When I play with the children it is my heart that gains, for it becomes light and happy, and I am again able to take the medicine of laughter. It is this light and happy heart that gives me the courage and strength to seek to teach the Qwom-Sor to such wise ones as you, young seeker.”

Youth is not counted in years, it is a condition of the heart.

Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism : Book 18

In a world of sand, glass can be made. Yhe young seeker read this thing and was upset. Of course, in a world of sand, glass would be very common. This was not great wisdom, this was just everyday knowledge.

“Why, Learned One, is such common knowledge passed off as great wisdom? Glass is made from sand, this is known by all.”

“Is it, young seeker? Then why is it that you do not know it?”

“I understand not, Learned One, I just told you that I know it.”

“Words often say things that the speaker does not hear. You show that you do not know the meaning of the words when you question their wisdom. You have taken the words as you hear them, not as they speak. Tell me, young seeker, why is glass to be preferred over sand?”

“Glass lets the light though it and thus shows it purity and beauty; sand hides its beauty and shuts out the light. This we learn as children, Learned One.”

“Then why did you not learn it? Did you not hear also that the beauty concealed in the sand sometimes has out shown the beauty revealed in the glass?”

“That was told us, but it never made sense, for if it was concealed it could not outshine that which was revealed.”

“Tev’Ker, in the village, is he glass or sand?”

“He is sand, Learned One, common and vile. He is a child in his mind.”

“How makes he his living?”

“He is, as you yourself know, a maker of shoes. Not even fashionable shoes, but plain ones. I prefer the more colorful and lovely shoes of Tev’Li Kan.”

“Tell me, who makes the shoes for most of the village?”

“Tev’Ker, his are cheaper.”

“The villagers work hard and walk much. Walk you as much and work you as hard?”

“No, Learned One, I am a seeker, it is not in my occupation to walk and work as much as those in the village.”

“How often need you buy shoes, your ‘lovely’ ones from Tev’Li Kan?”

“Three times a year, maybe four, Learned One.”

“How often do the villagers need to buy their ‘plain’ shoes from Tev’Ker?”

“Only once a year, sometimes less. But they have no beauty, no delicacy. Beauty is to be paid for, Learned One.”

“The villagers, who work much harder than you and walk much farther than you, who have little to live on, in getting these good shoes from Tev’Ker have gained what is glass in their lives, it shines with real value and care.

“You buy sand, piled in pretty little mounds, but, last only as long as the winds of life do not blow to hard.

“It is Tev’Ker, the one you call sand, the one that has the looks of sand that produces the beauty of quality for the village. It is from his sand that his glass is made.

“You will never Master the Qwom-Sor until you can learn to see the meanings hidden in the sand. You have yet to learn to look at the sand and see the glass.”

In a world of sand, glass can be made.

Thus ends the Qwom-Sor Manuals of Duelism as far as the wisdom was saved from the misuse of the years. It is only a small remnant of what was. Still, little as it is, it was saved and can now be used by others.

Droneen da Laich

Copyright © 2005 by euhal allen

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