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The Way of the Ranger/Chapter 1

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No one ever claimed that being a Ranger was easy.

Wuaoi Yai-Zhio



Here are some of Wuaoi Yai-Zhio's comments on this subject, taken from Ranger assemblies held between the years of Jena 2580 and 2599, gathered by Ba'Ruly Wiser, Wuaoi Yai-Zhio's scribe, and reported here in the form of a conversation.

A young homin who aspires to become a Ranger approaches Wuaoi Yai-Zhio who is meditating in the Ranger Circle of Almati Wood [...]


The first day


Aspirant: Master Wuaoi, I come to ask you how I may become a Ranger.
Wuaoi: I am here to help you discover the way.

Aspirant: What do I need to do?
Wuaoi: You need to disengage yourself from any allegiance to a Nation or a Power, and you must wish to be truly neutral in your dealings with both of them. The Rangers favour no one Nation nor one Power. We treat all equally.

Aspirant: Is that all?
Wuaoi: No, you need to raise your fame with all Nations and Powers by your deeds. You also need to study and practice the Precepts of the Rangers.

Aspirant: What are the Precepts of the Rangers?
Wuaoi: They are six in number:


Memory: We honour the memory of Oflovak Rydon.
Preservation: We preserve the Path for all Homins.
Service: Discipline and duty give us strength.
Diligence: Never rest until the job is done.
Tolerance: Other Homins may believe and act as they wish.
Balance: Weigh consequences before acting.



Aspirant: Where can I find these Precepts written down?
Wuaoi: They are painted on a banner at the Ranger Circle in Almati Wood, and they are carved into amber cubes that are given to Ranger Aspirants when they reach that rank. The cube also has a meditation for each Precept.

Aspirant: What are the meditations?
Wuaoi: They are simple questions to initiate contemplation of the Precepts. They are not answers, but rather doors to understanding. They are:


Memory: Who was Oflovak Rydon? Why do we remember him?
Preservation: What is the Path and why do we preserve it?
Service: What is the might of a Homin alone? What is the might of Homins united?
Diligence: Of what use is a work half-finished?
Tolerance: You are free. Would you not wish that for others?
Balance: If I act, who benefits? Who does not?



Aspirant: Which is the most important Precept?
Wuaoi: There is no most important Precept. They are equally important. If you throw a cube on the ground, some face of it will end up on top, but that does not mean it is more important than the other faces. See? I roll my cube and Preservation is on top, I roll it again, and now it is Service.

Aspirant: It seems very hard to have so many Precepts when the Nations have only three or four.
Wuaoi: No one ever said being a Ranger was easy. It is not easy, and if you think even a little bit, you will come to the realisation that the Precepts may come into conflict with each other. No, that's not right. They WILL come into conflict with each other. As a Ranger, once you reach that status, you will always be aware that you cannot completely succeed in keeping all the Precepts, at least not all the time. You just have to do your best.

Aspirant: How long does it take to learn how to keep the Precepts?
Wuaoi: If you study diligently and practice them in your every action, it will only take you the rest of your life.

Aspirant: The rest of my life? How will I ever become a Ranger then?
Wuaoi: Think about what I have just said. Did you think that becoming a Ranger would be the end of learning?

Aspirant: (Is silent for a long moment.) I think I understand. But for now I have so many questions.
Wuaoi: I am here to help you to seek the answers.

Aspirant: The cube on the ground shows Service on the top. "Discipline and duty give us strength." Will you speak to me of Service?
Wuaoi: As a Ranger, and even as an Aspirant you will be called upon to perform tasks or undertake duties. You will serve not just the Rangers but all of Hominity. That much is obvious: observe, report, assist.
Sometimes you will serve alone, but a Homin alone has limits, as I am sure you have realised. If one Homin sees something strange, it is just one Homin. When they share the knowledge and call for assistance, they become stronger. Discipline and training mean that groups of Homins have power far beyond that of a single Homin, but this is only true if all members of the group work towards a common goal and perform their individual tasks.

Aspirant: I have been in teams fighting the Kitins and large beasts. Ten Homins with the same thought means harmony and victory. Ten Homins with different thoughts means disarray and disaster.
Wuaoi: Correct. However, since no one Precept is most important, it follows that all the Precepts interact. Go now and mediate on the Precepts for the rest of the day. Remember that the questions of the meditations do not have one answer; they have many answers.



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