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A Story of Honor

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  • A Story of Honor

    Long ago this story was shared with me by a man whom no longer walks these Halls, but still I wish to share this with you now as I do believe many of us seem to forget what Honor is and what it means.

    Once there was a young man who inherited three treasures from his father,
    gifts from the God Paladine. They were three treasures, in three locked chests.

    The first was large and heavy. It was marked "Talents,"
    and was filled with gold, platinum and steel, a fortune that could buy him the world.

    The second chest was larger and heavier still. It was marked "Compassion,"
    and it was filled with countless magic rings. Each ring let the wearer feel
    emotions of one person or creature in the world.

    The third chest was the largest and heaviest of all. It was marked "Honor,"
    and what it held, not even the young man knew.

    You see, the young man had two keys, one for the box marked "Talents," and the other for
    the box marked "Compassion." His father had said that Talents were meant to be used,
    and compassion was meant always to be at hand and available in plenty.
    But Honor was a thing too easily squandered. To have it, the young man must find his own key to open the box.

    Then, the young man took the large, heavy chest of Talents
    and carefully, wisely, spent it. For each talent he spent, he received
    title to a man's parcel of land. In so doing, he came to possess the world.

    Then, the young man took the larger, heavier chest of Compassion.
    One at a time, he placed each ring upon his finger so he could
    understand the hopes and fears of all the people and creatures in his world.
    When he was done, he loved them all, and became a great ruler, a champion of Justice.

    He went out into his world, then, taking the final box with him
    and searched for a key to open it.
    Wherever he went, he commanded his people to bring every key they had
    and to try each in his lock. Many people offered to break the box
    open for him, but the young man refused, for violence could not be the
    key to Honor.

    He thought, they were hiding it from me. I will find it yet.

    He went out into his world again, this time taking also his chest of Compassion.
    When his people brought to him more keys, he found a ring for each person
    and slipped it on his finger, searching their hearts to see if they hid a special from him.
    Many offered again to break the box open, but the aging man refused.
    In twenty years, he crossed his world twice but he did not find the key to Honor.

    He thought, I own the world, and I own the hearts of all who dwell in it,
    and still I cannot find the key to Honor?
    How can a man with no Honor rule a world and all its hearts?

    So he went out into his world again, this time taking along
    also his chest of talents, full of deeds. He called his people
    to him, one by one, and gave each of them the deed to a parcel of land, and
    a ring to each of their hearts. And he said to them, "I have not found the key
    to Honor, and I cannot rule this world or the hearts of her people if I have no Honor.
    Many offered again to break the box open, but the old man refused.
    In forty years, he had gone through all the world three times, and by now
    was a very old man. Now, he had only the three chests, two of which were
    empty, and the other, which could not be opened.

    He thought, once the world was mine, and all the creatures in it. Now my Talents
    are gone, my compassion spent, and I have nothing to give my son except this box I cannot open.

    But when his hand touched the box it sprung open, and he saw that it held two locked chests, once marked
    "Talents," and the other "Compassion," and a key to each chest.

    He thought, now I understand. Honor is not something to be spent or used, but to be kept.
    The key to Honor is to keep it, always, and pass it on as a heritage to one's son.
    How glad I am that I never tired of the burden and broke the chest open!

    He carefully lifted out the large, heavy chest marked "Talents" and the
    larger, heavier chest marked "Compassion," so that the heaviest chest of all,
    "Honor," was empty and terribly light. But when he closed the lid and locked it again,
    the chest was once again the heaviest of them all.

    Then he called his son and said to him, "Son, I am very old, and I want you
    to have these three treasures....."

    (ooc-The story above is an excerpt from "Vinas Solamnus", Lost Legends Volume 1, written by J. Robert King)
    Finna Moon, Courtier to Her Majesty's Court