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Author Topic: The d'ktagh in ritual  (Read 16121 times)
Revolos55
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« on: 04 13, 2004, 08:06: AM »

I was writing up part of a log, and I know there are painsticks in the Ascension ritual, but I was wondering if there was any ritual that involved a warrior cutting himself with his d'tagh?
« Last Edit: 11 24, 2005, 02:22: AM by Kesvirit » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 04 13, 2004, 01:53: PM »

AFAIK, the only time I have ever seen a Klingon cut himself was in an episode of DS9, when the Klingon in question (Martok, I think) wished to verify that everyone present bled, and was therefore not a shapeshifter.

As a personal thing, if you are thinking of doing a pain ritual yourself, involving a blade, I urge you to reconsider. Home cut jobs are risky and prone to a whole mess of probable infections. They are also very easily misconstrued as a mental health disorder, and in some states, cutting yourself is grounds for being committed against your will. Not exactly a desirable route, to say the least.

If you are eighteen or over, why not go with a less risky option? Why not get a piercing? And if it must be painful (for whatever reason), the piercer can tell you the most sensitive areas on most people's bodies, and you can go from there. There are scads of websites that can tell you what to look for when you go to a peircing place, so I won't repeat all the info here.

And if you're under eighteen, you MUST HAVE parent/ guardian permission before doing anything to your body.

Ultimately, it is your body, but as a survivor of the raving-mosh-pit-"I'm-more-Goth-than-you " nineties, I can tell you there are smarter ways to do bod mod.

And if you're not thinking of doing anything like this, just take this as the mad ravings of an overly-cautious old man. }}: )
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« Reply #2 on: 04 13, 2004, 10:44: PM »

Quote
AFAIK, the only time I have ever seen a Klingon cut himself was in an episode of DS9, when the Klingon in question (Martok, I think) wished to verify that everyone present bled, and was therefore not a shapeshifter.
Martok also used the d'k tagh {Daqtagh} in the ceremony to adopt both Worf and Alexander into his house.
Further there is the ceremonial suicide that Worf tried to commit, although I am not sure he used a d'k tagh there...

Quote
As a personal thing, if you are thinking of doing a pain ritual yourself, involving a blade, I urge you to reconsider.
Although I understand your concern, might I point to the following:
Quote
I was writing up part of a log,
Which to my ignorant eyes means one needs a bit more info for a back-story or story...

Quote
And if you're under eighteen, you MUST HAVE parent/ guardian permission before doing anything to your body.
And if you decide to take your life, to name something many kids younger than 18 consider, you are definately telling your parents...

I see this is a discussion that needs to go away from the Klingon Rituals section, or maybe even should get out of the Forums at all, but presuming someone is contemplating self-inflicted bodily harm just because they talk about said bodily harm, is not pedagogically sound, if you ask me, again presuming one talks to a child at all.

Quote
Ultimately, it is your body
Let that be clear.

Quote
but as a survivor of the raving-mosh-pit-"I'm-more-Goth-than-you " nineties,
Quote
And if you're not thinking of doing anything like this, just take this as the mad ravings of an overly-cautious old man. }}: )
Maybe it's me, but I've survived those nineties without getting into any of that weird goth-nonsense... I must be older still   cool
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« Reply #3 on: 04 16, 2004, 04:51: AM »

I just recently had a similar discussion on use of blades in ceremonies. The goal was to find a way to do the adoption into a house ritual without drawing blood. My sugestion was instead of treating it as a mixing of blood, do something where the blade is laid across the palm, and this is seen as a sign of trust between members of a house. A sign of the bond between family members. Perhaps this is even reciprocated with the new member being shown the same trust by the house leader. Just a thought.

 
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« Reply #4 on: 04 16, 2004, 09:14: PM »

Actually, The way I would read that is that blood is not needed to adopt(there was no adoption ritual in The Final Reflection when Krenn was adopted).  But because it was both Worf and Alexander(the only known remaining warriors of the House of Mogh) that the ritual bound the blood and merged the two houses into one.

---------
I realise this is not what was asked, but it seems on topic enough to post.

    To fully understand the Daqtagh in ceremony, you should not exclude the more often uses that don't involve anyone getting cut.  They can establish identity,  and represent freedom, will and fate.

    From the same episode Martoq tested Sisco and Kira(?) to make sure they weren't shapeshifters(If it is ritual, it's a brand new one), Martoq gave Sisco the Daqtagh of the Klingon captain who he talked into standing down.  Without a word Martoq communitated that he had the captain killed, and Sisco was responsible for his death.  Because Sisco killed him, he earned the doomed captain's Daqtagh.

    K'mtar acquired the Daqtagh of a member  of the House of DuraS in order to implicate them in an alledged future crime.  The sisters of DuraS realised the dagger would belong to her currently unborn child.

   It is not difficult to extend these and derive other neotrek Daqtagh rituals such as:

A post-duel victory ritual, when a warrior claims the daqtagh of his vanquished enemy and displays it proudly to others who watched the duel.

A vengence/reconcilliation/resolve testing ritual where a warrior demands the return of the Daqtagh from his killer, who can chose to accept the end of hostilities by returning the weapon, or to continue the conflict by requiring the reconcilliator to fight for it.


A submission ritual where a Klingon would bow(or otherwise take a nonthreatening subservient pose) and offer his Daqtagh to his superior as if he had said, "My life is in your hands, I am at your mercy."  One would assume warriors, if not Klingons of other occupations would never go anywhere without thier personal Daqtagh.
 
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« Reply #5 on: 04 17, 2004, 01:59: AM »

Let us not forget when Gowron gave Worf back his house honor.... Worf cut his hand with Gowrons blade. I have a feeling that there is no one single dk'tagh (lets just call a levek a levek here) ritual but thhat a personal dagger is used in many rituals.

One aspect of Klingon rituals which I have dealt with fairly extensively is how to adapt what we have seen of Klingon religious practice to real life (or what passes for real life) fandom activities. The key to me has always been how to merge safety with the desire for it to not look like you are leaving part out.

One of the key facts we established for our club is that the qaptaQ do not believe in shedding blood needlessly. Cutting oneself in a ritual hall could weaken you for battle and that would be dishonorable. Blood is to be spilled only on the battle field, and even then it should be your enemy's not your own. Remember when considering self mutilation that only a fool fights in a burning house.
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« Reply #6 on: 02 07, 2005, 08:21: PM »

Then too, while knives have cutting or stabbing as an origin, once they become objects of ceremony, I see little if any actual cutting going on.  Possible non-cutting uses of knives could include (and need not be limited to):  Presentation of a knife, creation of a knife, and use of a knife to break or stab some inanimate object or even a ritual spilling of an animal's blood.

Heck but I would assume that Klingon opera has at least as many knives in it as do the human equivalent.  And I am reasonably sure that Klingons do not need a constant supply of sacrificial actors to perform in such dramas.
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« Reply #7 on: 02 08, 2005, 12:23: AM »

Good actors, might very well earn honorable reputations as good storytellers do.  Obviously this is not possible if they are killed during thier performance.

    Ritual spilling of animal blood is something we have not seen.   It seems a bit too barbaric and pagan even for Klingons, to waste animal blood for ceremony.   The blood of a game animal might be used in a ceremony, but it seems to me that you are dishonoring the animal and the hunt to let thier blood spill to the ground.    Not to mention needlessly messy...  (not that cleanliness is high on a Klingon's list of values)

     If, as I postulate every Daqtagh is personally made for if not by the warrior, I can definately see that there would be rituals in the creation of a new blade, and the presentation of the blade to the warrior it was intended for.   To what extend generic unpersonalized Daqtagh might be used is an open question.   Do all warriors have a personal Daqtagh?  Can you have more than on personal Daqtagh, and are there any limits to how many you can have and what you must do to earn them?   Do non-warrior types have them?
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« Reply #8 on: 02 08, 2005, 12:42: AM »

Wow sacrificial actor, now there is a neat concept. Talk about dying for your art. Not to mention the audience who would be able to say: I was in the opera house, the night the maestro died.

That not withstanding, I think that the personal blade is probably something warrior related, and there may be more than one owned under certain circumstances. Think of a young warrior receiving his first blade, he takes it, uses it, it serves him well throughout his career. Then an elder family member (father, uncle, Mother, Brother) dies in battle and wills thier own blade to the younger one. I can see one wanting to carry his fathers sword as it were, into battle.

I think as for non-warriors, there is probably at least as much ceremony, but perhaps not the same type of items. I remember seeing a TV chef once talking about receiving his uncles bread paddles as a gift. In his culture breadmaking was the responsibility of the head of household, and such a gift was a significant comming of age rite.  
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« Reply #9 on: 02 17, 2005, 01:07: AM »

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Then an elder family member (father, uncle, Mother, Brother) dies in battle and wills thier own blade to the younger one. I can see one wanting to carry his fathers sword as it were, into battle.

    But then it will still be the Father's sword or the Brother's blade.  It would still have the original owner's mark, instead of the one who inherited it.  Even though these weapons would still be prised and loosing possesion of them to another warrior would be a mark of lost honor, they are still a symbol of thier original owner rather than the respectful relative.

    I was thinking more that a warrior might recieve one from the one's family upon reaching adulthood as a warrior, perhaps later might commision another more suited to a warrior at the peak of thier fighting years.  Another could be received as a gift from an ally who has learned to make thier own weapons or a spouse to seal them together under one House banner.   Weapons do break and can become displaced, destroyed or abandoned.

    Perhaps a warrior left a House to found a new one.  That warrior's personal Daqtagh would have the one's personal symbol on it which would be based in part on the old House and/or Line.   What would be done with the old weapon?  Is it destroyed and recast?  Kept as is?  Modified with the new personal icon?  Left with the old House?  Merely destroyed and a new one made of all new materials?   Or might more than one of thses be an option depending on the reason the warrior left to form a new House and the circumstances of the seperation?
 
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« Reply #10 on: 02 17, 2005, 11:59: AM »

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   Perhaps a warrior left a House to found a new one.  That warrior's personal Daqtagh would have the one's personal symbol on it which would be based in part on the old House and/or Line.   What would be done with the old weapon?  Is it destroyed and recast?  Kept as is?  Modified with the new personal icon?  Left with the old House?  Merely destroyed and a new one made of all new materials?   Or might more than one of thses be an option depending on the reason the warrior left to form a new House and the circumstances of the seperation?
Reading the last paragraph, I could imagine that when a warrior would use a different Daqtagh depending on whose honor he is defending too...
This depends ofcourse also on said circumstances of his leaving his house...
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« Reply #11 on: 02 18, 2005, 10:03: PM »

I too can seetimes where there would be a point to use a specific weapon. If one was avenging the death of a relative, I can certainly see killing the enemy with the relative's blade. I can also see that family blades might well take on a more ceremonial use as time goes on. While I would carry my own blade into battle, when adopting a new family member I would think that the oldest family blade avalible would be appropriate.
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« Reply #12 on: 02 26, 2005, 12:44: AM »

If one wanted to utilize a blade for rituial puropses might I suggest the process we used in Terra GDaq' of old.
 a solitary blade was heated over a flame. it was then cerimonially grasped between the hands of two warriors, thus symbolizing the sacrific of brother hood.
Also ritualisic cutting or scarification is a very accepted practice in les puritan teran cultures..
 
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« Reply #13 on: 02 27, 2005, 07:26: PM »

I had forgotten about the flame heated blades. I guess the scars have finally healed. Overall I do like that idea, although as with everything Klingon, the senior members must make sure that safety is adheared too, because some of the newer members are a bit over-zealous. They will submit to almost anything rather than loose face.

I once wrote a ceremony that includes a blade used by one partcipant as a sign of independance. The language used is actually a direct response to a practice that I had seen in other non-blade related ceremonies that I didn't like. The blade never cuts the participants but does cut through an object, to signify that the object is nothing but a hollow symbol, andis not needed.
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« Reply #14 on: 06 01, 2005, 05:48: PM »

I am Jumping in here a Bit Late, (Still Discovering Many Threads)...<Grin>...

Any way, Three Points:

1- We Have a "Consortship" Ceremony Which was Used Frequently Prior to The DS9 Episode Featuring Worf and Daxs' Wedding... In that We "Simulate" The Letting of Blood By Using A Dull Resin Prop Blade Rather than a Live Steel One... Problem Solved...

2- I Like the Idea of Using a Flame Heated Blade, and Reccomend Additional Simulation by Having One of those Heatless/Flameless Fire Pots (Like The Ones Commonly Found in Stores Like Spencers around Halloween), As a Central Prop... The Simulated Blade Could then be Thrust into the Simulated Flames...

3- Anyone who Does not Appreciate the Symbolism involed in Simulating the Act of Committment involved in a Role-play Ceremony is Probably Not Someone that Needs to Be Playing with Live Steel or Open Flame anyway... Not in My Presance at any Rate...<Chuckle>...

4- A Cautionary Tale: Right after the DS9 Episode that Folks have been Discussing above, (With the Cutting of the Palm to "Prove" Non-shapshifter Status), An Overly Eager Member of the Club Used this in Ceremonies at a Con... He Used a Live Steel Blade and ended up Cutting Himself perhaps Deeper than he had Intended... Although He Did not Cause any Permanant Damage, He Did Pass out... He Has NOT Lived this Down to this Day!

5- Was there not a taj (Knife) used in the Novelization of 'Klingon', during the Declaration of a Blood Feud?
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« Reply #15 on: 11 21, 2005, 01:58: AM »

There has been much discussion as to which d'ktagh(s) should be used when. A Klingon is likely to be carrying multiple weapons, and when their use is warranted said Klingon grabs whatever is most accessable or advantageous. Different combat situations call for different measures, and one cannot always pick one’s battles. Factors such as the ratio of allies to opponents, restrictions of the space available in which to fight, and the time available in which to fight (are you in a hurry to get past an opponent to complete your task?)  must receive due consideration. The individual who carries forward with a d'ktagh when a meqleH or disruptor is called for may not last long enough to carry out their objective, let alone pass their d'ktagh on to someone else.

Quote
quoth Klythe Feb 16 2005, 06:07 PM: I was thinking more that a warrior might recieve one from the one's family upon reaching adulthood as a warrior

One informal custom (as opposed to ritual) that I have incorporated is that while growing up, an individual may be given items upon special occasions and accomplishments that will aid them in whatever path(s) their lives (and families) appear to be taking them. These may come from teachers and fellow students as well as friends and family. 

One who is expected to take over running the family farm and has trained a particularly difficult beast may be given a fine piece of tack, or perhaps the animal itself as a foundation animal. A scientist-in-training may be given an expensive piece of equipment upon scoring well on a particularly difficult or important exam, or the completion of a major project.  Warriors may receive a piece of armor towards "the full set" or be given a well-crafted blade or holster, and the like.

(This all began when I noticed that a lot of geology students get Brunton compasses as graduation presents.)

I have this as a regional custom that is one of the few reminants of a long-past religion, the vestiges of some ritual or other.  This allows the youngster to build up a sort of working trousseau that will see them into independence from their families or into a position of leadership. This is also how many family heirlooms get their start or are passed on to subsequent generations. qoSagh's example of the chef receiving his uncle's bread paddles fits this pattern nicely.
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« Reply #16 on: 11 21, 2005, 03:33: AM »

For those on the East Coast who know about APEX Technical School you will see the humor in getting a piece of Armor towards the full set. That not withstanding, I do think that the basic ritual of being given some type of item is likely practiced by most Klingons. The specific ritual (or lack there of)  involved in the presentation would depend on the individual religion. In the qaptaQ we do not have a ceremony for the presentation of a weapon, but we do have one for the dedication of a weapon. In this ceremony the warrior brings forth his new weapon, and along with the meycha dedicates it to its noble purpose, of combat.
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« Reply #17 on: 11 22, 2005, 06:06: PM »

qoSagh,

I Really Like this Idea... As it Serves at Least Two Purposes:

1- This Allows Newer Players to Show off their New Toys...

AND

2- Lends to the Historical Documentation of the Organization, and Persona Backgrounds... Presumeably a Longtime Warrior (Fan) Could Recite the Battles that a Given Weapon had Been a part of... (Special Events, Cons, Fund Raisers Etc)... Which By Extension, This Recitation Could be Included in a Future Presentation of that Weapon were it to presented to another...

Could you Describe the Basics of the Ceremony that You Folks Use...
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« Reply #18 on: 11 23, 2005, 05:01: AM »

Basically it is a ceremony where the weapon is dedicated to new purpose with it's owner. It could be a new weapon or a captured weapon or even one given as a gift. What is important is the relationship of the weapon to the warrior, not the weapon itself. It starts with the meycha giving a brief opening about weapons both mental and physical, then has the warrior(s) approach and present the weapons. The meycha inspects the workmanship, then places the weapon aside and there are a few relavant readings. Then the weapon is dedicated by the meycha to the service of the individual warrior and to his house or in our case the order. Then the warrior proclaims that the weapon is dedicated to the komerex zha. and that he accepts the newly dedicated weapon as his own. Then the meycha gives a closing that reminds everyone that it is the warrior and not his armaments that will win wars.

Yes, showing off new toys is an added benefit. One thing that is good is that  at almost every con someone buys a new toy, this ceremony can be used as filler if things run short or plans change. Since all of our ceremonies are modular specifics can actually be changed on the fly if needed. Although changing in the middle of a module is tricky, other modules can be added or deleted from the basic with great ease.
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« Reply #19 on: 11 23, 2005, 10:55: PM »

Inspection of the Blade for Craftsmenship by Whomever is Conducting the Ceremony is a Nice Element... And For Role-play in Particular I Could see this Serving Several Very Practical Purposes;

1- An Experienced Warrior Can Tell rather the Craftsmanship is Suitable to the Use for Which the Weapon Will be Used. This in Particular is Important where the Weapon shall be Used in the Defense of the Empire, as an Inferior Weapon Would be Unwanted for Combat.

2- I Would say that Klingons Would Respect the Art of Weapon Creation. So This Inspection Process Could Identify A Potentially Unknown Resource for the Empire, if the Weaponsmith themselves was as yet "Undiscovered".

3- A Particularly well Made Weapon Might Give the meycha some Insight as to the Resources and Connections of the Individual in Question, since Presumably their May Be Some Weaponsmiths Who Only Create their Best Work for Specific Families or Houses, or Perhaps Whos Skills Can only be Afforded by Affluent Klingons...

4- From a Survival Perspective, the meycha by Knowing What Weapons their Fellows Employ, Might Gain Perspective on the Warriors Prefered Fighting Style... This Could be Critical Should Conflict with that Individual become Neccessary in the Future...

5- Along the Lines of number 4 above, Knowing any "Special" Properties of a Given Weapon, (Especially Unconventional Elements such as Poison Dispensing Blades, or other Springloaded gadgets that might be secreted within a Weapon), Could be Important to Know, and By Having Such Ceremony these Less than Honorable Additions might be somewhat "Discouraged", Especially for Dueling Weapons...

The More that I Think about this the More I am Warming to the Idea of Such Ceremonies... Thank You for the Concept, I will have to Think on this Some more...
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« Reply #20 on: 11 24, 2005, 06:26: AM »

Wow, you read more into that than I wrote. I must say however that I like your points. As for the meycha gathering all this information, there is one aspect of the role playing that could be problematic. There are many NPC meycha (as we have always portrayed ourselves as a large organization within the Empire) so there is no certainty that a warrior would always have the same meycha dedicate his weapons. While there would be a neighborhood meycha, like a parish priest, I would think that a Klingon who acquires a new weapon would want it dedicated quickly and would seek out whatever meycha was nearby.

As for the potential future need to fight the individual, that is not much of an issue. Since the qaptaQ believe in taking Klingons at face value, honor is always assumed unless proven otherwise. We therefore do not mention the possibility of dishonor in any ceremonies. The best example I was given on this was from our Grand meycha, who said if I warn you of what will happen if you break your oath, I must accept the possibility that you will break your oath. That calls into question my administering the oath to you in the first place.

The inspection process as a whole was done because a meycha is a master of the art of war, thus in role play one should know a bit more about weapons than most others, including other Klingon warriors. However the inspection is done very quickly, so as not to become boring. I try to keep any ceremony (or group of ceremonies) limited to approximately 45 minutes.
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« Reply #21 on: 11 25, 2005, 04:23: PM »

It is always interesting how Perspectives Vary from Klin to Klin...  Smiley

Your Point about their being a Much Larger Network of meycha within the Empire is an Excellent way of Looking at the Fictional aspect of the Universe we are Playing in... (Which is a good method for eliminating that Cheesey "I am Soo Important, and Unique to the Empire" sort of Role-playing that makes things less interesting to those who want to have Fun)...

I Should Rather think however, that as Religious Leaders, Those who Value the Wisdom, Experience and Council of the meycha, may well seek out such Councils from a Known, perhaps Local and trusted Source first, hence it seems likely too that these Community Based Priests would be the Ones that a Given Klin would most likely Go To for the Performance of Personalized Ceremonies... While it Would Certainly be an Honor to Have a Trully Distinguished Personality Dedicate ones Blade, It might be Like Having the Pope Baptise ones Child, for a Dedicated Chatholic it would be an Incredible thing, (And Highly unlikely), but Most will seek out and Utilize their Local Resources...

Now Certainly, (To once again use Human Perspective in a Klingon Discussion), there are those whose Views of Marriage say, would allow them to Use a Drive up Chappel in Vegas to Get Married. There are a Larger Number of People (I Think), who Have a lot more Personal Interest and Investment in Who they Choose to Perform Such a Ceremony, and Possibly Even Where that will Take Place...

Maybe there is Not a Lot of Point to this Really, except to Exress that I Can see How those Who Place a Great deal of Significance on Incorporating Ceremony into their Lives, may also put similar significance on "Who" performs them...?
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« Reply #22 on: 11 25, 2005, 05:12: PM »

The view of our place in the much larger Empire is always better for role-play, otherwise many of us would be in really small and unimportant houses. While I can see returning home for some ceremonies, weddings among them, I can see some ceremonies being performed whereever one is. Remember that in a starfarring military, one may be a great distance from home when they get that new weapon. If ceremony is an important aspect of your life, which is better, to have the weapon dedicated locally and use it right away, or to wait until one travels home and then either delay it's use or use it without the important ceremony? I do see who performs the ceremony as an important factor but to the truly devout I do not see it as the most important.

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qoSagh qlIStIy
meycha of the qaptaQ www.qaptaQ.org
Prothonotary of the Desert Rite
"I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile."
Abbot Nej vIt
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"I Will Take the Conquerer Ceasers Salad... Now!"


« Reply #23 on: 11 25, 2005, 06:19: PM »

Philosophically I Very Much Agree with Using the Weapon at a Time of Need...

I Think that I Am Trapping myself in a Larger Argumement... To be more Specific, I Will Differentiate between Club Level Role-play and the Larger Fictional Universe that has its own History and Kulture...

For Club Level Role-play, I Guess my Perspective Would be that a Member Who Wished to have a New "Toy" Dedicated Would Probably do So at an Event that afforded Representation by their Fellow Warriors (Club Members)... Since this would be Very Meaningful to that Particular Group... Hence, it would probably be Officiated by One of those Members...

BUT, You have a Valid Point in that Not Everyone Would Choose to Wait. Lets say at a Con that was away from Home, An Individual were to Buy a new Prop, the Warrior (Fan) might be Inclined to Wear it Immediately if Appropriate to the Weapons Policies and so on of the Event... Thus Refelecting the "Need" to Employee Such a Weapon Right away... Of Course the Likelyhood of Finding a person to Dedicate the Weapon on the Spot would be Small... So Perhaps a Brief Verbal Assertian of the Weapons Intended Use Could be Held in Reserve for Such "Emergencies"... "I Vow to Use this Weapon Only with Honor and Loyalty to the Empire in My Heart!!!" or some Such, until the Item Could be "Officially" Dedicated?

I Have myself Found Nifty Gadgets At Cons Which I wanted to Use as soon as the Purchase was Complete.

Obviously, The Historical Fiction of the Trek Universe Might have "Other" Likelyhoods, as those NPC meycha could perhaps more easily be Found...
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« Reply #24 on: 11 26, 2005, 04:47: AM »

Well I was thinking more in line with the larger fiction when I talked about immediate need. For club purposes, I can see waiting until a larger number of members were gathered to hold such a ceremony. Since the overall availability of a meycha is much greater in that larger fiction, immediate needs might be tended to by a ships chaplain, or garrison chaplain instead of waiting for a return to ones world of residence. Since the availability of a meycha for live action is dependant on one of us being present at the event, there could well be a purchase made with no ceremony available.
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qoSagh qlIStIy
meycha of the qaptaQ www.qaptaQ.org
Prothonotary of the Desert Rite
"I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile."
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