THE AXIOMS OF GUDAKH
1. The Five Axioms of Battle
i) Victory in battle is glory, and glory is a building block of honor.
Defeat in battle is disgrace, and disgrace destroys honor.
ii) There is but one law in battle, and that is to defeat the enemy.
He who meets defeat should never meet it alive, for he has broken the single law of battle, and has no honor.
There is no such thing as a tie or a draw, there is only victory or defeat.
Should neither side be able to claim victory, then both sides must claim defeat.
iii) There is no such thing as a “fair fight” or an “unfair fight.”
In battle, there is only victory and defeat, preparedness and unpreparedness.
He who enters a fight unprepared deserves defeat and the disgrace that follows.
iv) The victor is entitled to the properties of the defeated.
The victor claims the former honor of the defeated as his own, as well as his home and his family.
Should the family of the defeated find the victor to be dishonorable, the only recourse is for the family to forfeit their lives and die with honor.
v) Honor is symbolized by the trophies of the kill.
All who see them will know the honor of the victor, the glory of the battle and the shame of the defeated.
2. The Five Axioms of Honor
i) A man without honor is nothing.
It is better to die honorably than to live without honor.
Should a man lose all of his honor, he is an Outcast.
ii) A man’s honor is tied to his property and his ability to provide for his family and his tribe.
A man’s property is anything he can reasonably defend and claim as his own.
A man’s wives and daughters are considered to be his property.
Should a man lose property, by theft or disaster or war, he has failed to defend it and has lost honor.
Should a man lose all of his property, by theft or disaster or war, he has failed to defend it and has lost all honor.
A man’s properties are forfeitted him and his family should he lose all honor by means other than total theft or destruction.
Should the man regain his honor by dying honorably, his properties will be returned to his sons if any still live to claim it.
Should a man fail once to provide for his family or his tribe, he has lost half of his honor.
Should a man fail twice to provide for his family or his tribe, he has lost all of his honor and is named an Outcast.
iii) A man without honor cannot disgrace himself, for he has already lost everything.
He can only redeem himself and his family by choosing to die honorably.
Should a man be unable to redeem his own honor because he has died in a dishonorable manner, his eldest son may elect to die in his stead.
Should the eldest son die honorably and redeem his father’s name, honor is restored to the family.
iv) Small losses of honor can be redeemed by great glory and great success in battle or in the hunt.
Great losses of honor can be redeemed only by honorable death.
v) The patrician’s honor is carried by the sons, whether great or small.
A family’s honor is only as great as its patrician.
Should the patrician lose a part of his honor, his sons also bear the weight of his shame.
Should the patrician lose his honor entirely, the family shall be shunned and their name cursed by the tribe until the family’s honor is redeemed by the sons.
Should the patrician die honorably, his honor is transferred to the eldest son.
Should the patrician have no sons, his honor is transferred to the husband of his eldest daughter.
Should a man have no children, his honor is transferred to his primary wife, and to the man that takes her as a wife afterward.
Should a man have no wives, his honor dies with him.
3. The Five Axioms of Family
i) The patrician is the Absolute Authority of the family.
The eldest son is the Second Authority of the family when he reaches full tribal status.
The younger sons are the Third Authority of the family when they reach full tribal status, their rank dictated by the order of their births.
The primary wife is the Fourth Authority of the family.
The sons shall retain their positions of authority until such time as they marry and begin their own family.
When there are no sons, the primary wife is the Second Authority until such time as a son is born.
ii) The patrician is to the family as a farmer is to his stead.
The farmer who plants the seed but tends not the sprouts deserves only starvation and knows nothing of honor.
The farmer who makes no effort to fend off the wolves deserves no sheep.
The farmer who works the soil and tends his animals and crops with vigilance and care shall reap rewards greater than even the sum of his efforts.
iii) The patrician shall take as many wives as is his pleasure, but the first wife he chooses is the primary wife.
The patrician shall remain faithful to his wives, and the wives shall remain faithful to the husband.
Should the husband commit an infidelity, he shall be punished by the tribe, according to tribal custom, and shall lose honor.
Should any wife commit an infidelity, she shall be killed to satisfy the lost honor of the husband.
Should the primary wife die, the patrician shall immediately name a new primary wife of his current secondary wives.
Should the primary wife die and there are no secondary wives from which the husband may name a successor, he shall take a new woman as his primary wife.
iv) When a boy is born, he will receive the blessings of the tribe and be marked on the belly and the back.
When the boy survives his first hunt or his first battle, he shall receive the honors of the tribe and be marked on the arms and the legs.
When a man has achieved full tribal status, he will be marked on the face and head.
He will then heed the counsel of his father and select a primary wife.
When a man has married, he will be marked on the hands and feet.
A man so marked shall have the blessings of the tribe to start his own family.
v) The sanctity and prosperity of the patrician’s household is the primary concern of the wives and daughters.
The sanctity and prosperity of the patrician’s household is the seconday concern of the patrician and the sons, after the sanctity and prosperity of the tribe.
4. The Five Axioms of Tribe
i) The tribe is the chief concern of all men, above all things.
Those men who cannot actively defend the tribe against its enemies shall support it by feeding, clothing, mending and otherwise supplying and aiding those who can, as women do.
Those men who are too weak to support the tribe as women do are permitted to forfeit their lives and die honorably.
Those women of child-bearing age who can neither support the tribe nor bear children shall forfeit their lives.
Very old orcs may retain their honor despite physical infirmity, for they support the tribe with Wisdom and Sage Counsel, even if the orc is a woman.
Those very old orcs who are taken by senility are permitted to forfeit their lives and carry their honor to the Afterlife.
ii) The Elder Chief is the Absolute Authority of the tribe.
The Elder Council is the Second Authority of the tribe.
The Warrior Chief is the Third Authority of the tribe.
The Warrior Captains are the Fourth Authority of the tribe.
The Warriors are the Fifth Authority of the tribe.
The Hunters are the Sixth Authority of the tribe.
The Craftsmen are the Seventh Authority of the tribe.
The Farmers are the Eighth Authority of the tribe.
The Eldest Sons are the Ninth Authority of the tribe.
The Lesser Sons are the Tenth Authority of the tribe.
The Primary Wives are the Eleventh Authority of the tribe.
The Lesser Wives are the Twelfth Authority of the tribe.
The Daughters are the Thirteenth Authority of the tribe.
The Honored Guests of the Tribe are the Fourteenth Authority of the tribe.
The Slaves are the Fifteenth Authority of the tribe.
The Prisoners are the Sixteenth Authority of the tribe.
The Livestock is the Seventeenth Authority of the tribe.
The Outcasts must answer to all other levels of authority.
The Shaman lives outside of the authority structure and is not subject to the heirarchy, though they still command authority over Outcasts.
iii) The Elder Chief may be contested for Absolute Authority at any time, by any full-status man of Tenth Authority or higher.
The Elder Chief must accept any valid challenge to his authority and defend his position.
Should the Elder Chief claim victory over his challenger, he has claim to all properties of the defeated.
Should the Elder Chief be defeated by his challenger, the challenger shall be recognized as the new Elder Chief, and shall have claim to all properties of the defeated.
Should the Elder Chief lose all honor and become Outcast, his position is forfeit and may be claimed by any worthy of his title.
In the event that the position of Elder Chief is contested, and no Elder Chief exists to defend it, the title shall be granted to the man who can prove himself most worthy in a tournament, according to rules set forth by the Elder Council, and according to the customs of the tribe.
The Elder Chief can contest the position of any tribe member at any time and strip them of their rank and property.
The Elder Chief shall appoint the lesser offices at his discretion, as counselled by the Elder Council, and according to the custom of his tribe.
The Elder Chief must uphold and exemplify all tribal law and tradition.
The Elder Chief must lead his tribe by example, in battle and in all other things. An Elder Chief who refuses to join his warriors in the battlefield is an honorless coward who must be deposed.
The Elder Chief must heed the advice of the Elder Council and the Shaman, though he must decide himself if such advice is in the better interest of the tribe.
iv) The tribe must endeavor to hold its lands and its properties against its enemies.
The tribe must deal with any known threat to its existence in a decisive and timely manner, as counselled by the Elder Chief.
The tribe that neglects to deal with a threat because of fear or ignorance deserves the doom that threat will surely bring.
The tribe must not take more animals or other food from its lands than the lands can reasonably maintain and replenish for ten years to come.
Should the tribe grow beyond the land’s capability to support it, the tribe must proportionately expand its territory.
The Hunter who kills without discretion is an enemy of the tribe.
The Forager who gathers too greedily without leaving seed behind for future harvests is an enemy of the tribe.
The Farmer who deadens the soil so that nothing will grow is an enemy of the tribe.
The Farmer who does not destroy diseased livestock in a timely fashion, before it spreads to other animals and makes them unfit for consumption or use, is an enemy of the tribe.
The Hunter who allows wild beasts to kill livestock is an enemy of the tribe.
v) To oppose an orc is to oppose his tribe.
Those who oppose the tribe are enemies, and shall be afforded no mercy.
Those who would steal from the tribe are enemies, and shall be afforded no mercy.
Those who would poison the tribe are enemies, and shall be afforded no mercy.
Those who would threaten the safety and sanctity of the tribe are enemies, and shall be afforded no mercy.