This post has the following content warnings:
May 21, 2022 3:05 PM
vanda nosseo meets the jianghu
+ Show First Post
Total: 309
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

"Huh," says Nelen. "But anyway, the point of having a law against murder isn't to make it so you have to let powerful people walk all over you."

Permalink

"Assuming that by 'polity' you mean all of the jianghu and not simply the Wei sect, I think you'll encounter difficulties because the jianghu doesn't in fact have... laws or any mechanism to create them. --Unless you mean the laws the Emperor makes, which cultivators have agreed to pretend bind us as long as the Emperor doesn't do anything unreasonable like try to enforce them."

Permalink

"- we can send more teams down if it's necessary to deal with all the sects individually," says Nelen.

Permalink

"There is a chief cultivator-- currently it's Nie Huaisang-- but he only handles interclan affairs. Divisions of territory, resolving disputes, organizing night-hunts and cultivation conferences, that sort of thing. Individual clans and sects have their own rules, and rogue cultivators are bound only by the fact that wherever they go belongs to some clan or other and that clan may take offense to some kinds of behavior on its territory and choose to punish the malefactor with the torture or murder you wish to make illegal."

Permalink

"To be clear, we do have ways to handle thieves and such," Nelen says, "and would be more than happy to take over the sentencing for any clan that wants to join Vanda Nossëo but feels their hands would be tied by the rules - our practices just don't include those options."

Permalink

"...I suspect with that pitch no sect will ever take you up on Vanda Nosseo membership. I am glad that you see us as a different polity because I would hate for the jianghu's reluctance to get in the way of more money for the peasants."

Permalink

"Well, as long as we haven't sent envoys to any other sects yet maybe we can work out a more appealing pitch," Nelen says, "what about it is the issue?"

Permalink

"If a sect gives up the defense of its land to outsiders in exchange for money, it's saying that it's weak and poor. I can't imagine anything that would make them lose more face. Most cultivators would rather die than be so humiliated."

Permalink

"Ah." One of those. "...the fact that you're coextensive with the non-cultivators complicates things, since the land in question would, if they joined, be entitled to defense from us."

Permalink

Lan Su is BORED. Grownups talking is BORING. Being quiet is EVEN MORE BORING. She wanders off.

Permalink

He sips his tea. "And the cultivation clans are offended, because you've stolen our prey, or because you take offense to our demands for tribute, or because a cultivator has killed or raped someone and you executed them-- and then we go to war with you and eventually you subdue us, I think, if you can travel from another star, but not without tremendous loss of life--"

Permalink

"We don't execute people, and tribute's potentially negotiable, and I'm not sure many people would in fact die if it came to open conflict, but it does seem like it might be very messy. We'd appreciate your guidance on how to approach this."

Permalink

"There has been a war and an almost-war in my lifetime. Two major clans and many minor clans were almost entirely wiped out. I would very much like to avoid mess. --I will send my martial uncle a butterfly and ask him to come out of seclusion, he has the shrewdest political instincts of anyone I know. In the meantime, perhaps I should explain the current situation?"

Permalink

"Please."

Permalink

"Most cultivators are members of clans or sects-- clans are related by blood, sects aren't. A clan or sect has a certain territory. In that territory, they protect the peasants from monsters and fierce corpses and other cultivators, in exchange for tribute. The tribute is generally sufficient to make any reasonably successful clan extraordinarily wealthy. --Even setting aside the protective talismans, my robes would cost as much as a peasant makes in a year, and I own dozens. The Lan and the Wei are both quite wealthy, and I am a first disciple, but we are far from the richest sects in the jianghu."

Permalink

Nelen nods.

Permalink

"We must provide a certain level of protection to the peasants, or they will ask another clan to protect them. It is considered quite shameful to fight a peasant-- it's pathetic, it shows you don't expect to win a real fight. And chastity, male and female, is valued among all the clans with good breeding. But-- if a cultivator is insulted by a peasant, he will take revenge. And it isn't as rare as it should be for a cultivator to force a peasant into sex, nor is it particularly considered more vicious than going to a prostitute."

Permalink

Nelen winces.

Permalink

"And among each other-- Sect Leader Jiang disliked the existence of demonic cultivators and so whenever he caught one he tortured them to death. No one stopped him, because he's a strong cultivator and from a major clan and everyone was scared of demonic cultivators anyway. Sect Leader Wei killed eight thousand people and now he's alive again and has started his own sect and no one is really happy about this, but they can't do anything about it because he and his husband are probably the two most powerful cultivators in the world who aren't currently meditating on a remote mountaintop. The ordinary thing to do, if someone kills someone you love, is to kill them back; if they're too powerful for anyone to kill them then they escape punishment or there's a war and thousands of people die."

Permalink

"Interrupting - cycles like that - is one of the things we optimistically hope to accomplish here."

Permalink

"The Wei sect is--"

Permalink

"Ah, a-Yuan, child of my youth, how could you do this to me? People from the stars! And you leave me in my workshop! When I gave birth to you from my own body--"

Permalink

He stands and bows. "Sect Leader Wei."

Permalink

"At least a-Su is a filial child. They didn't teach you shit in the Cloud Recesses. --Hi! I'm Wei Wuxian, better known as the Yiling Patriarch. Although I have lived in Qinghe eight times as long as I lived in Yiling so I don't know why I'm not the Qinghe Patriarch now."

He is wearing black robes, his long hair tied back with a red hair ribbon. He has two corpses flanking him, both of whom were quite pretty women before they started rotting.

Permalink

"It's nice to meet you," says Nelen, "I'm Nelen Utopia -" And he introduces the others too.

Total: 309
Posts Per Page: