The Formation of the Order
The Ancient Order of the Knights of the qaptaQ, unto whom the keys of the gates to the kingdom, of the Ancient Uncaring Ones, were vested by the deeds committed in that kingdom by the founder of the order, and by the words he spoke to his heirs: I give unto you the keys to the kingdom of the Ancient Uncaring Ones, and unto you alone the power to command the access to those gates and the passage through such gates by the dwellers of either or both sides. By the power of these keys, I make the order of the qaptaQ, by these keys I make you the masters of the twin secrets.
But seeing that until this day, the sovereign council of the order, the Supreme Elder Masters of the qaptaQ, have alone possessed the keys to the secrets and the power over the several realms, I, founder of this sacred order, being moved by a profound sense of the manifest destiny of our most glorious race and of this order, do now in the following works, communicate to the several original scholars of this order, whom I know to be honorable, the methods, rites and rituals of invoking and controlling the ancient uncaring ones. The same being the forms, which must be used in such cases as, may be presented.
Heralds of this our great and noble warrior race, unto all and each of you, my venerable fellow members of this order, SeQapu’, Initiates, veSwI’pu’ and meychapu’, I wish all Honor and Glory.
In those days when our founder first walked among our race, being the first to be known as qaptaQ and being the master of our order, we as a race bore witness to his great achievements, the power and skill he showed in daring to do battle in the kingdom of the gods. Which power was also transmitted upon his return unto the senior and most trusted of his assembled scholars by these words: Upon this library shall the order grow, upon this base of learning shall it feed and strengthen itself, upon your shoulders shall the mantle of the order fall. This statement was made to those scholars, as they should be the first to bear the title meycha.
We then who stand now before our noble race and glorious order, despite our generations of removal, have succeeded to the position and do now bear the title meycha of the qaptaQ, and as rightful heirs to the leaders of this noble order have had the keys to the twin secrets of the gates to the kingdom of the Ancient Uncaring Ones committed unto our hands. We then desire to communicate these solemn powers which oath has been reserved for us alone, and we did alone enjoy. Wishing in accordance with the third great law, to impart this wisdom in whole or in part unto a new assembly of scholars, being made entirely of our most venerable brethren warriors.
And being aware that in the active controlling of the gates and the keys thereto they might otherwise be appalled at the loathsome and hideous beasts sent forth by the Ancient Uncaring Ones, lest also they should be insufficiently learned in those methods and rituals which must be observed and followed, and that those of full and noble tlhIngan blood may not be tortured or possessed by the Ancient Uncaring Ones or those they command.
I have included in this my treatise to the assembled scholars of this noble order the manner of ritual used in the fostering of the tlhIngan spirit, which same must be observed inviolably. Because it is the right and the responsibility of all who hold the title and position of meycha, that they should be knowledgeable about the twin secrets and the true nature of the Ancient Uncaring Ones, I, founder of this order do now depute unto them all powers which I now possess in virtue of my discovery of the great keys, and I require of them to observe what follows inviolably, lest by some dishonor, unworthy of one of their status, they should draw down the wrath of the dwellers in the kingdom of the Ancient Uncaring Ones. RETURN
A Kuve With Two Masters
There is an old tlhIngan proverb that states: He who serves more than one master does not truly serve any master. For many years this was thought to apply only to straave, kuve and toy'wI''a', but most tlhIngan scholars now see this as a falsehood. The oath of the empire states: I was without purpose before this day and without purpose shall I remain if I cannot serve thee now. When this statement is coupled with the much quoted tlhIngan proverb: I serve my Empire but I am not its servant, it takes on a whole new meaning.
If your Kuve also served your neighbor or worse your enemy, you would not permit this atrocity to continue. The Kuve would probably be made to forfeit his life for such action. Yet even as we would be concerned with such behavior from Kuve and toy'wI''a' we can hardly expect such beings to live up to tlhIngan standards. As tlhInganmey we must however live a life of honor, we should be held to that higher standard that is being tlhIngan. A military commander should not have to wonder if his troops will answer the call of battle. Should he have to wonder if his lowest Ensign is his enemy's Highest Admiral? As tlhInganmey we should remain loyal to our own honor, and each should find that honor on his own. However one can only walk down one road at a time without breaking his legs. While it is surely the responsibility of tlhIngan leaders to inspire loyalty it is still the responsibility of the individual warrior to provide that inspired loyalty.
The old proverb about serving several masters applies just as well to Warriors as it does to Kuve. When a warrior chooses which road he will take then he should stand tall and walk down that road proudly as befits his place in imperial society. A warrior should never slither between two paths like a serpent worm. It was once said that you could tell a warrior by his decisions. It is also true that you can tell a warrior by his indecision as well.
If you are going to serve the Empire than serve it well, for to do less would be dishonorable. Most tlhIngan leaders would prefer to go into battle with 10 dedicated warriors than with 100 or even 1,000 that lack the conviction of their cause. If the one chooses another cause than the one must also serve it well, but one must always remember that half a heart cannot pump blood through even the smallest of bodies. RETURN
The qaptaQ do not have the crude custom of non-bonded Consortship as do other tlhInganmey. The only marriage open to the qaptaQ is that of traditional bonding. This creates a bond of honor, which is good until the death of the first of the parties to die; this also creates the possibility of immense responsibility for the individual. Under the doctrine of qorDu' wa'DIch or family first, the qaptaQ male who enters into a bonding does so at the risk of his own honor. The male is forever bound to support the female and any offspring that result of the Bonding, regardless of the social or political standing of the female. As such if the female holds Military rank, the male must still maintain a residence for her even though the state will house her for as long as she remains in the military.
If the female’s line is of higher status than the males the male must still support the female, although he need not support her in the same state of luxury as she knew prior to Bonding. The female does after all enter into the bond of Consortship as a willing participant. This is another difference the qaptaQ have from other tlhInganmey, Consortship for business and or political reasons is strictly forbidden, as most often such relationships would not produce offspring and as such would dishonor the line by failure to continue or Khesterex. qaptaQ males may have as many consorts as they can support; however they must support each consort and the respective offspring separately and equally. qaptaQ females can only be bonded to one male however because to accept support from a male other than one’s husband after Bonding would be a dishonor to both the husband and to the wife herself so subsequent bondings are not permitted.
qaptaQ males must support any offspring that they father by a non bonded female, however such offspring may not inherit in their own right. In the event of the Father’s death his line must support the offspring until the age of ascension at which time they must support themselves. Such offspring may not hold any title within their Father’s line but may start their own line with all honors.
qaptaQ may take bonded mates from other races or species as long as they are genetically compatible however offspring of such a bonding may not inherit political or military titles or holdings (without special Imperial intervention). Such offspring may not use honorifics or the line name of the father but may hold Position and Title within the line.
In the event of a crime of honor by either party to a bonding, the bond may be dissolved by a meycha, upon agreement of the Epetaipu’ of both lines. If the bond is dissolved the dishonor goes only to the criminal and his offspring but not to the consort, if the bond is not dissolved then the consort shares the dishonor. Neither bonded party may initiate such proceedings; the line must bring them about. Dishonored tlhInganmey may not be bonded in any way and loose all status in the qaptaQ.
Should a bond end with the honorable death of the male, the female will be supported for life by the male’s line, so long as she resides within the family properties and takes no other husband. If the female chooses not to reside with the male’s line then she is owed nothing more by the line, but will always be treated with honor. If a male takes an additional wife, that he can not support, then he is dishonored. In such cases at the discretion of the head of the male’s line the bond may be dissolved and the female is released from obligation with no loss of honor. This does not effect the status of any previous bonds but is considered a crime of honor on the part of the male. Any Bonds, which existed prior to the dissolved bond, must still be honored or dissolved by the usual method. RETURN
A Call to Knighthhod
The fact that our order, as it is known and practiced at this day, arose from an Scholarly Pursuit and within the sanction of a development from certain houses which prior to that had their titles in the past forms of the Order and recognized its Old Charges. It would seem outside the reasonable likelihood of things that less than a generation after the foundation of the Order, Knightly Offices should begin to be heard of developing under the aegis of the Order, their titles in some cases being adapted from the older institutions.
It is this, however, which occurred, and the discoveries were so successful that they multiplied on every side, from age to age, new denominations being revealed when the existing titles were exhausted. There arose in this manner a great tree of Ritual, and it happens, moreover, that we are in a position to affirm the kind of root from which it sprang. From these very roots we undertook to the spirit of the time by the creation of Rites and Degrees of qaptaQ Knighthood.
The fraternity of our Order became the rage in dark times as people searched without ceasing for the proclaimed Brotherhood of the warrior life. Some seekers wished to join the Brotherhood, but others sought the Order to destroy it. The situation has changed little even today, but the follower of the warrior’s path isn't likely to suffer death, torture, and imprisonment from our enemies for adhering to this path.
Yet we find ourselves in a situation expressed admirably in the quote: "Many have called themselves of your band; many spurious pretenders have been so called by the learned ignorance which still, baffled and perplexed, is driven to confess that it knows nothing of your origin, your ceremonies or doctrines, nor even if you still have local habitation in the empire."
The heraldry was a call to the learned and wise of the day to join with the Brotherhood in a universal formation. The world has seen much reformation since that time. The Order cannot take credit for all these changes, but we do claim to have been an ever-present help in working toward them. The place or state wherein the true veSwI’ lives is far too exalted and glorious to be described in words. Exercises of the imagination for the purpose of drawing logical inferences about the unknown, ceases, for in that light is the realm of pure knowledge; to live there is to perceive, and to perceive is to know. Into that paradise of noble consciousness nothing impure can enter. No room is there for worldly flesh and blood; but the spiritual beings which inhabit that realm are made of the flesh and body of "glory," in other words, of the substance of the honorable soul. RETURN