The young must not be abandoned to forgetfulness. There are always enemies beyond the borders, and if none exist in truth, then one must be fashioned. Old crimes dug out of the indifferent earth. Slights and open insults, or the rumors thereof. A suddenly perceived threat where none existed before. The reasons matter not - what matters is that war is fashioned from peace, and once the journey is begun, an irresistible momentum is born. The old warriors are satisfied. The young are on fire with zeal. The king fears yet is relieved of domestic pressures. The army draws its oil and whetstone. Forges blast with molten iron, the anvils rings like temple bells. Grain-sellers and armorers and clothiers and horse-sellers and countless other suppliers smile with the pleasure of impending wealth. A new energy has gripped the kingdom, and those few voices raised in objection are quickly silenced.

People do not understand power. They view it exclusively as a contest, this against that; which is the greater? Which wins, which fails? Power is less about actual conflict – recognizing as it does the mutual damage conflict entails, with such damage making one vulnerable – less about actual conflict, then, than it is about statements. Presence is power’s truest expression. And presence is, at its core, the occupation of space. An assertion, if you will. One that must be acknowledged by other powers, lesser or greater, it matters not. Now, if you still insist on simplistic comparison, then I tell you, power is as a stone in the stream. The water may dream of victory, may even yearn for it, but it had best learn patience, yes? Consider every dried stream bed you have seen, and judge who was the ultimate victor in that war of patience.

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Shadowrun (4th)
52 other campaigns in this setting
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