The Book of Uester
The Just War
1.1 Be it said that all war is not just.
1.2 Consider the ignoble prince who fights for wealth, he places the lowest of all values upon life.
1.3 Through his crooked fingers coins may flow like blood but his wealth shall buy him eternal damnation.
1.4 Those who raise the sword only to become as robber barons shall be undone by their greed.
1.5 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus greed is the first sin, for gold weighs less in his eyes than life and greed corrupts men and makes them unsuitable as soldiers.
1.6 Those who wage war for love of coin must be put to the sword.
1.7 Consider the noble prince who empties his coffers in the defence of his people, he places the greatest of all values upon life.
1.8 Into his heart shall be placed the love of men and gods and upon his brow shall sit wisdom.
1.9 Those who raise the sword in the defence of the common man shall be assured a seat on the right hand of the Lord.
1.10 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus self-sacrifice is the first virtue, for the home, and the land, and the people, must be protected from destruction.
1.11 The first duty of the soldier is in defence, so say I, so be it.
1.12 Consider the ignoble prince who plots the death of men, he would be an unprovoked destroyer.
1.13 In destroying the innocent you become unclean and your soul shall burn and writhe in hellís black fires for all time.
1.14 Consider the noble prince who defends his people, he would be the champion of the just war and all the hosts shall be to his hand.
1.15 He who lives in defiance of destruction is exalted, and righteous fury shall be his shield and sword and greatness shall be his armoured steed.
1.16 Consider the noble prince who pursues his wicked foes from the field and does slaughter them, his wrath is just and his conquest divine.
1.17 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus just wrath is the second virtue, for those who would be destroyers must themselves be destroyed both root and branch.
1.18 That which is wicked and does survive shall grow again, twice as thick, twice as wicked and intent on destruction.
1.19 But the noble prince is the wise prince also and does not repay like with like, for those who do not raise up arms or speak lies or secrets against you are not your enemies.
1.20 Though the people of the ignoble prince are punishable, they should not be punished.
1.21 Princes do make war with princes and not with the common man, for the prince who raises the sword against the common man shall be undone by a weight of years and the pitchfork and scythe shall be the heralds of his demise.
1.22 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus unjust wrath is the second sin, for the true warrior will attack only another warrior.
1.23 He who attacks the defenceless shall be flayed by horned demons until the end of time in the lowest layer of hell.
1.24 The second duty of the soldier is mercy, so say I, so be it.
1.25 Be it said that the only just war is a provoked war.
1.26 He who seeks war shall find it waiting, and better prepared than he.
The Prudent War
2.1 Be it said that all war is not prudent.
2.2 Consider the common labourer who makes war with another common labourer, it is so that the victor will be determined only by martial skill.
2.3 Consider the Tailor who sews fine clothes and the Baker who makes fine bread.
2.4 The Tailor does make war with the Baker and the Baker alone, and for his part the Baker does make war with the Tailor and the Tailor alone.
2.5 The Baker, who does make his own bread and shall feed himself with ease shall not soon come to starve.
2.6 The Tailor, who does make his own clothes and shall clothe himself with ease shall not soon come to freeze.
2.7 But without each other who shall more quickly come to harm?
2.8 The Tailor will sooner need fresh bread than the Baker will need new clothes, so it is the Tailor who does himself the first injury by going to war.
2.9 So it is that even were the war just it would not be prudent, and the imprudent war has been lost before it is even begun.
2.10 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus the third sin is imprudence, for the imprudent warrior invites defeat and defeat is its own punishment.
2.11 As it is for men, so it is for princes, and the prince who acts with imprudent justice shall not reign long and his enemies shall claw him down and make his just war for a mockery.
2.12 Consider the Tailor who can make his own bread, he has foreseen the war with the Baker.
2.13 Now it is the Baker who does himself harm by going to war, for he shall eventually need new clothes lest he become beggared and his name fall into disrepute, but the Tailor shall never require for fresh bread.
2.14 The wise man knows that the road he walks upon will bend, and knows that no journey is always easy.
2.15 The wise man knows that the road may be broken, and wears strong shoes, though he may take longer to put them on than the fool who goes barefoot; still it is the wise man who will finish the journey first and easiest.
2.16 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus the third virtue is wisdom, for the wise man wins battles before they are fought because he has foreseen the ways in which he may be defeated and prepared against them.
2.17 Fight thee thy wars with certainties, for the hearts of men cannot be known to men, and even so no war was ever fought well that was won by spirit alone, though bards would sing it otherwise.
2.18 Fight thee thy wars with swords, with armour, with food, and with strong horses, for the wise man can judge these things well and in advance and these things with the enemy also can he know.
2.19 The third duty of the soldier is preparedness, so say I, so be it.
2.20 Be it said that the only prudent war is a considered war.
2.21 He that fights an imprudent war is lost, he that fights a war against an imprudent foe shall have victory always within reach.
The Speed of War
3.1 Be it said that all war is not swift.
3.2 Consider the prince who wages a war without borders and ends, who would drive his men to the utmost edge of the world still with their swords drawn for battle.
3.3 Yet there are few wars for which soldiers would not be paid, and only by the hand of the Lord can men be brought to battle without wages.
3.4 Know then that the coffers of princes are finite and that even those of the richest house will see their coffers bare before a long war has been fought and won.
3.5 Know also that if you fight a just war you fight for thy people, in their defence and know that thy people also are taxed for thy wars.
3.6 Know that no war can be just that would drive thy own people into poverty worse than thy enemy would force them to endure, the prince who would fight long wars would suit his people better to surrender.
3.7 A war which ruins all things, is a defeat to all men.
3.8 In battle also, the noble prince knows that war must be swift, for those who would fight all day must have twenty-thousand men to ruin on the field and twenty-thousand more to fight on.
3.9 Those who would needlessly ruin twenty-thousand men should themselves be put to the sword.
3.10 Yet those who would lose as many men in a hundred battles are no less guilty.
3.11 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus slowness of action is the fourth sin, for while princes direct long campaigns the thing which they defend does wither and die.
3.12 Consider the prince who wages the swift war, with justness, prudence and mercy ever his eyes, it is he who shall be exalted.
3.13 The swift prince shall achieve his victory in the morning, before the sun has reached its highest point, and the day shall be his.
3.14 The swift prince will have the love of his soldiers, for he has delivered back to them their lives which were his to use but by his swiftness did not.
3.15 The swift prince shall have the love of his people, for the wounds of swift war are not deep and swiftly so they shall be healed and forgotten while the long war shall be a cancer within the heart of man, never will it heal though a hundred years pass.
3.16 The swift prince shall have the love of his God, for he has delivered victory.
3.17 He that travels as if on the wind and strikes like the storm without warning, against him all swords are blunt.
3.18 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus, the fourth virtue is alacrity, in the swift war is done the least harm and is to be found the greatest glory.
3.19 Swiftness and preparedness must always be together, lest thy blade be battle worn and thy steed lame.
3.20 Swiftness and wisdom are son and father, let the wise mind be the guide to the swift blade as the keen eye always directs the deadly arrow.
3.21 The fourth duty of the soldier is speed, so say I, so be it.
3.22 Be it said that the slow war is the slow death.
3.23 The swift war may bring prepared forces against unprepared, the strong against the weak, the wise against the foolish and speed will dictate the terms of combat.
3.24 If all are wise and all prepared, the day shall go the to the swift.
The Enemies of War
4.1 Be it said that war itself does have enemies.
4.2 He who would not fight in defence of his people, though war be declared, is a coward.
4.3 The coward weakens his fellows in numbers and in spirits, for a defeat perceived by one may be perceived by many.
4.4 Fear is the enemy of the prince, for it walks among his men like a spectre, it is spread like disease by the leper coward.
4.5 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus, cowardice is the fifth sin.
4.6 All cowards must be put to the sword.
4.7 Consider the soldier who does not know fear, he is mad and unfit to be a soldier.
4.8 Consider the soldier who meets with fear as a man, and faces it eye to eye and does not flinch or turn from it, but accepts it and overcomes it.
4.9 It is within all men to overcome fear.
4.10 He that overcomes fear cannot be undone by it, for he knows its falsehoods and knows that the Gods have placed victory and defeat in the hands of men and not in those of phantoms which his mind can imagine.
4.11 In acknowledging fear and besting it a man becomes undefeatable; though he may be undone by skill of arms his spirit shall never be vanquished and his reward shall be in heaven.
4.12 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus, the fifth virtue is bravery.
4.13 The brave man finds a counsellor in fear, but not a master.
4.14 The fifth duty of the soldier is to conquer his fear, so say I, so be it.
4.15 He who does not conquer his fear, may always be beaten by it.
4.16 He who would let his limbs go slack and allow his body to rot around him is a weak man.
4.17 The weak man cannot defend that which he holds dear; the weak man is no champion of the people and his sword and shield shall in battle last.
4.18 The weak man diminishes his allies, for he will eat, sleep and demand payment as the strong man does, but in repaying that he will always give less than the strong man.
4.19 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus, weakness is the sixth sin.
4.20 A weak man is not fit to be a soldier and should be denied glory.
4.21 Consider the man who would remain strong, he knows the duty of preparedness and is mindful of it; he is exalted.
4.22 Battle shall always find him ready, and long will his sword and shield endure.
4.23 The strong man may do things which other men cannot.
4.24 The strong man deserves his full share in all things, though as much must be demanded from him in return.
4.25 Thus, in the eyes of Tempus, strength is the sixth virtue.
4.26 The strong man shall find his virtue will deliver unto him all earthly rewards.
4.27 The sixth duty of the soldier is in physical fitness, so say I, so be it.
4.28 The physically fit shall by their example and by feats of virtue be the champions of man and shall be exalted.
The Sins of War
5.1 Be it said that the sins against war are six in number.
5.2 Greed is the first sin, for it twists the spirits of men and makes them inconstant in loyalty and wavering of belief.
5.3 Unjust wrath is the second sin, for it twists the hearts of men and makes them keen for slaughter and unmindful of their duty.
5.4 Imprudence is the third sin, for with imprudence defeat is certain and defeat is its own punishment.
5.5 Slowness of action is the fourth sin, for with slowness of action the enemy shall be constant at your throat while your sword still is sheathed.
5.6 Cowardice is the fifth sin, for it twists the minds of men and makes them unfit for battle and inconstant of virtue.
5.7 Weakness is the sixth sin, for it twists the bodies of men and the weak cannot defend and cannot be soldiers in defence.
5.8 Though these sins be against war and should be minded by princes and soldiers alike, they are also the sins of the common man.
5.9 The common man who is not mindful of sin shall become its victim and through his actions he shall be the harbinger of death and defeat.
5.10 The seventh duty of the soldier is mindfulness, so say I, so be it.
5.11 The soldier must be mindful of sin, for sin does not march like the army in day with banners and drums, but comes like the thief in the night without herald or heraldry.
The Virtues of War
6.1 Be it said that the virtues of war are six in number.
6.2 Self-sacrifice is the first virtue, for he who gives of himself in the protection of others is a champion of the people, and of the land, and the praise of princes shall be his robes and the favour of God his crown.
6.3 Just wrath is the second virtue, for he who would destroy that which threatens him makes himself safe and his people safe, and the land safe, and all the rewards of hearth and home shall be his to enjoy until the end of his days.
6.4 Wisdom is the third virtue, for to the wise man all paths are clear and all ways made safe, the wise man shall lead the people and they shall praise him and wisdom shall be its own crown higher than those of princes.
6.5 Alacrity is the fourth virtue, for with swiftness of action all other virtues are magnified and glory is increased tenfold.
6.6 Bravery is the fifth virtue, for the brave man has conquered fear and can conquer all foes he meets.
6.7 Strength is the sixth virtue, for the strong can resist where the weak fall, and the virtue of strength shall deliver all worldly things.
6.8 These virtues must be those of the soldier and of the prince and also the common man.
6.9 He that keeps truly to the virtues shall prosper and he that does not shall die.
6.10 The eighth duty of the solider is in truth, so say I, so be it.
6.11 He that is true shall know himself and be able to judge his body, heart, mind and spirit, and in judging should he find imperfections he shall be able to correct them.
The Duties of the Soldier
7.1 Be it said that there are eight duties which the soldier must follow.
7.2 Defence is first among duties, for the soldier acts always in defence even though he attack first.
7.3 Mercy is second among duties, for the soldier is not cruel or evil, but does only that which must be done.
7.4 Preparedness is third among duties, for cunning enemies shall attack at your weak points, therefore the soldier must have none.
7.5 Speed is fourth among duties, it is owed to the people you defend to act swiftly and to the people you would conquer to do so without harm.
7.6 Conquering fear is fifth among duties, for the man who has not beaten fear is not a soldier.
7.7 Physical fitness is sixth among duties, for only strong soldiers are fit for battle, while those who are weak cast their lives into the fire for no reward.
7.8 Mindfulness is seventh among duties, and to be mindful against sin is the only defence against it, and the sins of war shall undo the unmindful soldier.
7.9 Truth is eighth among duties, for in doing all things, and in attending to all duties, the soldier must keep truth closer to him than his life.
7.10 Only with truth can all things be judged, only with truth can sins be resisted and virtues reached and duties maintained.
7.11 The soldier who does his duty earns earthly and heavenly reward.
7.12 The duties of the soldier are paramount, let nothing stand between he and them.
7.13 Never abandon your duty, though princes command it.
7.14 Die a hundred times before your duty goes undone.