Saturday, September 17, 2022

Quote of the Week: What the Ruling Classes Are Good At

There followed a massacre conducted in strict order of precedence, the second shot being taken by Berlauda's mother, the next by Floria firing her caliver from horseback, and so on. Such women as chose to fire seemed all to be practiced shots. The bracing scent of gunpowder floated free in the air.

I was not bothered by the bloodshed or the butchery, as I had grown up with animals being killed and cut up as a matter of course, and the difference between this and my father's occupation was one of degree, not intention. Yet in this ritual display that brought all of these glittering people to the killing ground, I felt there was more than assuring a supply of meat for the night's supper. I reflected on how these noble families had gained power, and for the most part it was war, as with Emelin who had slain other kings, or at least some form of combat, as with Roundsilver's ancestor who slew the dragon. The nobles had achieved preeminence through combat, and this ritual bloodletting wasn't sport only, but practice for war.

 - Walter Jon Williams, Quillifer, p.265-66

No comments:

Post a Comment