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As a people dominated by the oral word, with the written as back-up, the Orlanthi have a large number of sayings and precedents which can cover almost any given situation. It should be no surprise that it can seem contradictory.


Adultery

  • Do not blame the calves for the bad behavior of the bulls.

Bandits

  • The silver-kingfishers dove beakwise into our sun-dusted river.  Gagarth's followers' blade of speech is not Humakt's sword.

Bravery

  • What kind of hero sits around reading scrolls all day?

Carls

  • The carls furrow the soil now, they will carve man-furrows later.

Cattle

  • You can't get cheese or cream from a horse.
  • Cows smooth every wrinkle.
  • The cow is mightier than the sword.

Communication

  • Anyone wanting to convince a wyrm must be able to think like a wyrm.
  • Music is the universal language. I will go sing to them, and learn why they are here.

Cunning

  • She is wily; like a dragonewt, she will speak from her throat as well as her mouth.

Curiousity

  • Curiosity is like an alynx. If you do not scratch it under the chin, it will claw you.

Death

  • We are born of Earth, live in the wind, and by fire are transformed back into Earth.
  • In the end, death tricks us all. (Eurmali saying)
  • It is at times like this that our thoughts must turn to the gods, who were the first to experience the pangs of loss, and thus laid the way for the rest of us.

Diplomacy

  • Words bear power like the wind carries birds aloft.

Dragonewts

  • Never trade with a dragonewt.  He might follow you around for life, resenting you for giving him a sense of obligation.

Dwarfs

  • There is a good reason to seek the favor of the dwarfs.  They fight without fear, and deploy bizarre and powerful weapons against their enemies.
  • They are of the earth, but not the giving earth.

Elves

  • Although they resemble men, elves are really plants.  They hate and fear mankind, because we clear and burn their forests.

Equality

  • When he made the laws, King Heort said, "Men are not superior to women, and women are not superior to men.  Each must respect the other."

Enmity

  • We are throwing a snake and a weasel in the same pit, and asking that they behave themselves.

Evil

  • To quote Oskul's Saga, "From evil people, one can expect only evil."

Friendship

  • Never slap a hand outstretched to you in friendship.

Gods

  • What is worthy in sacrifice is not the value of the goods, but the honesty of the worshipper's intentions.
  • Our gods are infallible.  This is not true of spirits, or those who interpret the signs they give.
  • Men are foolish, but the gods are wise.

Heroes

  • It is a sacred duty to help heroes meet gods.

Heroquest

  • Isn't the main Elmali heroquest about getting the dung kicked out of you?

History

  • Ancient stories have power, for they tell us what to expect when we enter the realm of the gods.

Hospitality

  • The wise guest knows how to deal with those who taunt him at the table.

Inevitability

  • She is smart enough to feel which way the thunder rumbles.

Influence

  • If I am in your pocket, and you are in mine, who is wearing the pants?

Kingship

  • By ruling well and practicing generosity, we can keep the crown.

Kites

  • Like knifed swallows the air-flowers sailed, visiting Orlanth's fleeces.

Law

  • Hiring foreign magicians to vex one's foes is not illegal.
  • None of Heort's Laws obligate us to aid the victim of a haunting.

Leadership

  • None better than a ring-giver to be a ring-maker.

Love

  • It is bad to raise one's love of one's work above one's love for Ernalda and her family.

Maps

  • Maps made by people who forget that the world is always changing can be dangerous.

Marriage

  • Marriages should end wars, not start them.

Peace

  • Although it leaves no such relics, peace is to be celebrated over war.
  • It is easiest to make peace before the war has begun.

Persuasion

  • Better to cook with honey than ashes.
  • Honey is sweeter than blood.

Poetry

  • Cows die; land can be seized.  But a good poem lasts forever.
  • It is easier to compose a hateful poem than an amusing one.  Harder still to turn hard hearts soft.

Prophecy

  • Our lives are ruled by omens, both good and bad.
  • Sometimes the blind see the farthest.

Spirits

  • Almost anything that is holy has its own spirit.  Not all spirits are friendly.
  • The world is full of spirits.  Some are good; others are bad.  Most of them have their own selfish goals, just like people.
  • You can't trust spirits; they are outside Heort's Laws.

Theft

  • It is good to be robbed now and then.  It teaches humility.

Thralls

  • A thrall is easy to take but hard to keep.

Time

  • The gods cannot protect us from what has already happened, for they are as bound by Time as the rest of us.

Trade

  • Treasures come and treasures go.  The important thing is that they circulate through the world, encouraging good trading.

Tradition

  • What she suggests is contrary to local tradition.  But all traditions were innovations once.

Travel

  • Eat a big meal before you travel, lest your stomach grumble when you visit neighbors.

Tricksters

  • The first thing you do when you find a trickster is look for rope to hang him with.
  • Tricksters are earthy, but they are not of the earth.

Truth

  • The truth has many virtues, but it does not help you sleep at night.

Tusk Riders

  • Tusk Riders are half human, half troll, and all nasty.

Vengeance

  • Orlanth established the first weregilds.  But he himself often chose vengeance instead.
  • Vengeance is like a snake swallowing its tail -- its end is never in sight.

War

  • A well-phrased satire stings longer than a sword; its bite can linger for generations.
  • He who chases the wolf before it howls feels its bite.
  • Slap her until she sees the light of day. If she slaps back, she will be a fine warrior.

Wisdom

  • The wise guest knows how to deal with those who taunt him at the table.

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