Author Topic: University of Dementlieu - Work Publications  (Read 309 times)

foxtale

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University of Dementlieu - Work Publications
« on: December 15, 2021, 09:14:25 PM »
[A collection of essays that have been written by members of the University and made accessible to the public.]

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Index

Law and Justice

Overview of Dementlieuse Legal History - Dorian de Sauvre - Law/History


Warfare and Military

L’ART DE LA TARRASQUE - Rouen Chasseur - Fencing




If you have any inquiries or wish to have your own paper publicized by the university, write Professor Engels at bureau 201 in the arcane sciences faculty.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 09:37:47 PM by foxtale »
Mareike - "The alternative is saving only myself. I will go to any length for this."
Enora - "The Weald belongs to they that can take it."
Felise - "!em ton era uoY"

foxtale

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Re: University of Dementlieu - Work Publications
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2021, 09:15:57 PM »
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L’ART DE LA TARRASQUE
by Rouen CHASSEUR

Introduction
Captain Montte in his Treatise of Fencing Styles draws a general picture of fencing in Dementlieu, but the most valuable use of his treatise is in its ability to put names to complex motions and doctrines. In other words, it gives the reader some ability to recognize the style of an opponent, and to have an idea as to what to expect from him. Aside from that, it is not material rich in technical understanding of the Art. As a fencer of the Tarrasque school, trained in Châteaufaux, my treatise seeks to shed light on the inner workings of the Art through the lens of that particular style.

Captain Montte explains in his treatise that the style’s namesake is a legendary creature of folklore. It is true. The Tarrasque is a creature from days of yore and was said to awaken from slumber after long periods of hibernation that could span years, even decades. Once awake, it would terrorize the countryside with its all-encompassing maw, devouring the civilians which it hunted without mercy. Its hide was said to be thicker than plate armor, and its stomach so vast and dark that it was a cave from which no man returned. The Tarrasque was fearless and methodical. It did not hunt out of hunger, but out of nature. From its claws to its teeth, to its spiked tail, every aspect of its physiology was honed for one purpose: battle. If the style is derided as the “Falkovnian Style,” it is because a Talon on the battlefield fights much like the dragon. Honed from birth. Forged and tested for the same purpose. Captain Montte’s understanding of the Tarrasque school of fencing deserves greater detail.


Chapter I, The Fore & The Hind
The purpose of the Tarrasque school is to end a fight as soon as possible. The reason behind this singular purpose is that the longer a fight goes on, the higher the probability of making a mistake goes. There comes a time when the wheel ceases to turn and you find yourself wounded. It is the reason why fencing schools which prioritize offense over defense are superior in earnest combat, whether in the context of a duel, or of a skirmish. It is the simple truth that a dead man cannot threaten his opponent. If the problem the Tarrasque school seeks to answer is the avoidance of a lengthy fight, then the answer lies in its fundamental doctrine: seize the Fore. The Fore is a core concept of the Tarrasque school. It could be understood as the initiative. This concept can be found in dance as well, as the one who steps first leads the dance, meaning the other follows. In fencing, if I throw a cut to your head, you must first answer the threat before doing anything else. Failure to answer the threat leads to a grave injury. As such, the Tarrasque school is honest because every threat I present is real, not an illusion. What I do is laid bare. You may see it, but you have to answer, nonetheless.

If I am in the Fore, then you are in the Hind. It means if I throw a cut to your head and you parry, then you find yourself behind me, and so I am free to do as I wish. You do not have time to riposte. If instead of a parry, you void the attack by stepping aside, then my sword no longer threatens you. And you are free to seize the Fore and threaten me. A threat which I must attend to. This tug of war is the heart of fencing. With experience, you come to understand when you are in the Fore and in the Hind. As well as how to recover the Fore when you lose it. Failure to recognize the ebb and flow of a fight results in defeat. There is a caveat, though. If you and I both try to seize the Fore, one of us is going to end up in the Hind by accident. And so, sometimes it is better to end there by design. If I am uncertain as to whether or not I can keep the Fore due to my opponent’s superior mastery of the Art, then I may judge it wiser to accept the Hind and work from there. In fact, most techniques of the Tarrasque school are executed from the Hind because it is an inevitable point of arrival in the course of a fight, for the simple reason that the Fore is gained and lost with equal ease, and changes hands faster than a hot potato.


Fore. Hind.

Chapter II, Timing & Distance
From the Fore and Hind emerge the concepts of Timing and Distance. Those two things are essential senses which one must develop in order to grow as a fencer. Timing is simple. If I throw a cut to your head and you throw a cut of your own after me, my cut reaches its destination sooner than yours. And so, your timing is wrong. If instead, I prepare to cut, but you sense my intent based on my posture and footwork, and throw a cut of your own preemptively, you strike me before my cut is complete. That is good timing.

Distance is simple. If we stand far apart enough that I cannot reach you with a step and a cut, and vice versa, then we are both safe. The moment we enter measure and threaten each other, we are in danger. Consider the previous example I used. The reason you can recover the Fore is because you void rather than parry. It is because voiding can maintain distance. I extend, miss, and so you buy enough time to strike me before I recover. The void, in this instance, is superior to the parry because it saves time which you otherwise spend on a parry.


Fore. Hind.
Timing. Distance.

Chapter III, The War
The blade of the sword is divided into three sections from the tip to the guard. The weak, the middle, and the strong of the blade. A cut is best delivered from the first third of the sword, the weak, because it is the part of the blade that is furthest away from the body. A parry is best delivered from the last third of the sword, the strong, because it is the part of the blade that is closest to the body. In short, cut with the weak and defend with the strong. The reason is a matter of mechanical levers. Strike a tree with a stick and you notice that the strike is stronger if you hit with the furthest part of the stick. Strike the same tree with the part of the stick positioned right above your hands, and the strike is impotent. This is important because it is inevitable that our swords collide in battle, in a clash of sharp edge biting into sharp edge. That moment in space and time is called the bind, also known as the War. And War is a dangerous position because swords can meet at any point along their lengths. From the War emerges the concepts of Weak and Strong. Consider the following. Our swords clash middle to middle, and so we are at War. But it remains to be seen which one of us is strong or weak. If I wind against your sword so the strong of my sword pushes against your middle, then I am strong in the bind, and you are weak. If you wind so your middle pushes against my weak, then you are strong. Knowing when you are strong or weak in the bind is valuable information because if I am strong in the bind and you are weak, and you do not recognize it, then your sword does not threaten me, but mine threatens you. If you recognize your position of weakness, then you know to use one of several techniques of the Tarrasque school in order to turn the tables. Whether weak or strong, there are techniques to capitalize on the position. Just like there are techniques to recover the Fore. On that matter, there is an instance much like a previous one which should be addressed. If our swords meet strong against strong, then we are both strong. That is not a good result because anything can happen. For the same reason that if we both try to seize the Fore, anything can happen. Never leave things up to chance. It’s a perfect way to end up dead. The correct answer, if we are strong against strong, or weak against weak, or middle against middle, is to feel the bind. The Feeling is the sense that lives at your fingertips. It is the sense that informs you of the mechanics of the bind. With proper Feeling, I know whether you accept the bind or seek to leave it. I know if you are Hard, or Soft.

If I am weak in the bind and you are strong, I sense whether you are hard or soft. If you are soft, then I maintain the bind and wind to a position of strength. But if you are hard, then I know not to meet the force of your arms head-on. If we are strong against strong, and you are hard in the bind, then I go soft so as to circumvent you. An exercise to understand this concept lies in arm wrestling. The act of arm wrestling is a bind strong against strong. If the moment we begin, you push against my arm as hard as you can, then I give in a little because you expand energy while I preserve mine. And when your impetus dies down, I go hard and overcome your arm. Understanding when you are weak or strong, and when to go hard or to go soft, are the keys to mastering the War. And mastering the War is mastering the Art because all Art stems from the War.


Fore. Hind.
Timing. Distance.
War. Weak. Strong. Feeling. Hard. Soft.

Chapter IV, The Instant
We wage War middle against weak. Through Feeling, I sense that I am strong and that you are weak. But I do not press, I merely maintain the bind, so your sword does not threaten me. It means that I am soft. I sense that you decide to go hard to recover the upper hand. Think of each of those insights and the speed at which the mind interprets them, and you understand that such decisions happen within fractions of a second. It leads us to the concept of the Instant. The Instant is what happens once you understand the War through Feeling. It is what comes next, as the War is not eternal. There has to be a resolution. If I cut to your head and you parry with the strong of your sword, we are at War. But while other fencing schools teach you to riposte, the Tarrasque school teaches you to respond in an Instant. The reason is because it saves time, and saving time is how the Fore is recovered, and ultimately, how victory is claimed. Rather than linger in the bind and give you time to riposte, I Feel the War and decide to drop the tip of my sword beneath your parry, thereby leaving the bind. And so, I threaten your face with a thrust. This technique is the change-through. In this instance, it lets me maintain the offensive by threatening you further. If instead, you Feel the War with more skill than I, then you can seize the Fore by doubling. To double, in this scenario, you turn your edge away from my sword, so it faces me rather than it, and cut to my head. Instant is a vital term because Instant is the change-through. Instant is the doubling. Instant is the mutation. Instant is the run-through. Instant is the slice. Instant is the wrestling. Instant is the taking of the sword. The Tarrasque understands the Instant, and through it masters all of those techniques which happen at War, so he wins the War and wounds his opponent without being wounded in turn.


Fore. Hind.
Timing. Distance.
War. Weak. Strong. Feeling. Hard. Soft. Instant.

Chapter V, The Four Quadrants
There are more peripheral concepts to cover. In previous examples, each cut has been aimed at the head. It is the case because a blow to the head is the most lethal blow that you can receive, but it begs the question as to how the Tarrasque sees his opponent when he faces him. The thing to remember is there are four quadrants which are the broad target zones of an attack. Imagine a man stands in front of you. Divide him from head to groin with a vertical line. Then divide him with a horizontal line between the chest and abdomen. The four squares which remain are the four quadrants. Upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. The reason the opponent’s body is divided as such is tied to the original doctrine of the Tarrasque school of fencing, which is that the ideal outcome of a fight is to win as soon as possible. The link between those two things lies in speed of thought. In other schools of fencing, the opponent is divided by many target zones. Styles which are focused on the use of the rapier, for example, consider that the opponent presents his profile. And so, the target zones are more specific, such as the face, the bicep of the dominant arm, the forearm, the thigh, the throat, the flank, the armpit. In combat, under stress, those are very specific things to look out for, and so it is a thought process that is unwieldy. If I aim to wound you, and my mind must cycle through a dozen target zones which I must analyze separately to decide where to strike, then my speed of thought is slow. The Tarrasque has no time to waste, and so, the Art interprets all possibilities through the four quadrants. A cut to the upper right quadrant ideally hits the head, but it can also hit the jaw, the neck, the shoulder, the arm, which are all favorable targets. A cut to the lower left could hit anywhere from the shin to the thigh, to the hip, to the flank, but because all of those outcomes are favorable, they fit snugly in the model of the four quadrants. The Tarrasque, as a result, has but to analyze four target zones to figure out which is the most vulnerable, and which is least vulnerable. As a rule of thumb, a successful assault is relentless and constitutes of multiple attacks. Strike with intent to kill, but do not be surprised when you are parried or displaced. Simply direct your next cut or thrust to the nearest opening. Always target the nearest opening. To do so forces your opponent to follow in the Hind, until he is eventually struck by one of your blows. If he cannot recover the Fore, it is a matter of time before he is wounded.

You may wonder where the hands fit in all of this. After all, any battlefield physician can tell you the most common sword wounds requiring treatment on the battlefield are blows to the head because they are fatal and blows to the hands because they cripple a man’s ability to hold a sword, neutering him for life due to the fragile and complex nature of hand muscles, tendons, and bones. The short of it is that you should go for the hands as much as possible for two reasons. As said before, they are fragile. And more, when your opponent’s arms are extended, the hands become the closest target you have access to. With experience, you come to see the moments when you can strike at the hands. Many fencers lead cuts with their hands due to poor training which means you can easily cut them and neuter their assault in its inception. Cuts must lead with the tip, so the blade threatens, and the cross guard covers the fingers. For now, consider this. If there are four universal quadrants, it is because there are also four universal guards.


Fore. Hind.
Timing. Distance.
War. Weak. Strong. Feeling. Hard. Soft. Instant.
Quadrants.

Chapter VI, The Four Guards
The first is the Wrath guard, which is to hold the sword above the shoulder of the dominant hand. If right-handed, above the right shoulder. Always assume the Wrath guard from your dominant side. A Wrath guard can also be to hold the sword over the head. The second is the Fool. To assume the fool, hold the sword low. It can be anywhere from pointing straight to the ground, to slightly raised. As long as the hands are low and the point does not threaten the opponent, it is a Fool’s guard. The reason it is called so, is either because it is foolish to assume such an unthreatening position, or because the man who falls for it is a fool himself. The last two guards are Plough and Ox, which are hanging guards, meaning the blade hangs and the tip faces the opponent. And they share another commonality. It is that you can assume them both on the left and the right. The Plough is a hanging with the hands low and the sword’s point high, whereas the Ox is a hanging with the hands high and the point low. Always, the tip tracks the opponent. If you assume the Plough on your left side, it covers the lower right quadrant, from my perspective. It means that were I to cut toward the lower right quadrant, your sword would be positioned to receive it. If you assume the Ox on your right side, it covers the upper left quadrant from my perspective. Again, were I to cut there, your sword would present an obstacle. One thing to note about the Ox, is that it is not an Ox if the hands are not above the head. Failure to cover the head results in an inevitable death. The reason why I mention which quadrant each permutation of those guards covers, is because it relates to speed of thought and target analysis. Each guard covers some quadrants and liberates others. It is the nature of things. Your hands cannot be everywhere at once, and so your sword is not omnipresent. It means if you hold a Plough to your left side, my mind cycles through all four quadrants, all four guards, and in an Instant, I know where you are most vulnerable and least vulnerable. And I also know that if I threaten your most vulnerable quadrant, you will move to cover it, thereby freeing the quadrant you were guarding until then. Which makes it an interesting target for the second attack of my assault. As a general rule of thumb, if your sword is held in the general vicinity of one quadrant, that quadrant is most protected. The opposite quadrants are less defended due to the fact that to defend them, it would take time for you to move your sword there. If I stand in the Fool’s guard, I can quickly defend my lower quadrants because my sword is already low, but I am slower to defend my upper quadrants, which makes my upper quadrants obvious openings for you. The opposite is true for the Wrath guard as well. If I hold my sword high, I am vulnerable low.

Note that a guard is not a static position. It is dynamic between sword placement and the body. If you sit in a guard and wait for me to strike, then I have all the time in the world to devise an offensive, against your most obvious openings, and wound you, by virtue of common sense. On the other hand, if you move from guard to guard as we enter measure, then you keep me guessing as to where your sword is. It makes it harder for me to analyze your openings, because your sword becomes more unpredictable than the shadow on a sundial. And so, you reveal and conceal openings by design, not by chance. Of course, if you rotate predictably, then I strike the opening the moment you leave your guard. Another example of good timing. If the sole purpose of the guards were to defend the quadrants, there would be no Wrath or Fool guard, but that is not the case. The hangings of Plough and Ox on either side cover lines which you use as often as the familiar, well-worn trails of a forest. They also happen to be the primary end points of parries and thrusts. Imagine a circle whose diameter is my height. From that circle, a cone extends toward you. The apex of the cone is where the tip of my sword remains, ever threatening the thrust. The volume of the cone is my sphere of influence. Anywhere within the cone, my hangings can meet your sword while keeping my point ready to thrust. Should you fail to neutralize the point when advancing toward me, then I run you through. If you cut to a quadrant and I meet it with a well-timed parry into a Plough or an Ox, then I catch your cut to the strong of my sword while I skewer you with the point. In an Instant. Another example of an Instant action. The Tarrasque wastes no time. If I attack, I am also defending. If I defend, I am also attacking. Always seek the actions which allow you to do both in the same Instant. Why parry when you can counter cut with better timing? Another purpose of the hangings is the following scenario. I cut to your upper right quadrant, and you parry with an Ox. We are at War. My weak against your strong because, remember, I cut with the first third of my blade, and you parry with the last third of your blade. You threaten the thrust, but I see it, and so I go hard in the bind, and wind to displace the point offline. Rather than going hard on the bind as well, you go soft, allowing me to displace without resistance. In that moment, our swords move in the same direction. Because you are soft and I am hard, you use my impetus to come around behind my sword and cut to my head. Because you circumvent my sword in an Instant, I cannot answer. And so, I bleed. That is good Art.

The Wrath and Fool guards are not hangings because my point does not threaten you when assuming these positions. That is because their purpose is to cut. A strong, ideal downward cut begins in the Wrath guard with the sword over the shoulder of the dominant arm. When I propel my sword toward your head, the trajectory it draws is an arc that begins in the Wrath guard and ends in the Fool’s guard. This ideal cut bleeds you from face to groin. And so, you see how the Wrath guard is the beginning point of a cut. The Fool’s guard is the end point of a cut. And vice versa if I decide to cut upward from the Fool’s guard. If a strength of Plough and Ox is the ability to hang the blade so the point remains threatening, is not a weakness of the Wrath and Fool? The answer is no, because presenting the point is not always the right decision in a particular moment. There is a time and place for everything. This old adage is truest in fencing. If the Art stems from the War, and I deny you the point, then I deny you the War. And so, I deny your Art. You may cut and thrust as you like, but if I maintain distance, then they are futile endeavors. This is useful because I retain the choice to wage War when I please. I can enter measure and bait a reaction. I can toy with the edge of your reach until you extend so that I may void and cut unhindered. I can miss a cut by design to provoke a counter cut, and so, you enter my designs. Because the Art is a race. You and I race to each other’s openings. We race to the Fore. We race to Feel the War and to act in an Instant. If I succumb to your designs, I die. If you succumb to mine, you die. And so, we race to kill one another.


Fore. Hind.
Timing. Distance.
War. Weak. Strong. Feeling. Hard. Soft. Instant.
Quadrants. Wrath. Fool. Plough. Ox.

Chapter VII, The Pre-Fencing
While all Art stems from the War, it is not the only moment in a fight. There is something that comes before. And something that comes after. In chronological order, the phases of the fight are the Pre-Fencing, the War, and the Grappling. The Pre-Fencing happens at long range, or wide measure. I can throw a cut at you from wide measure, but you can void with little effort. Your thrusts can test my defense, but I can easily maintain distance and displace them safely. We are not particularly threatening to each other. But like two dogs circling each other, we analyze. The Pre-Fencing is the phase of analysis and preparation. In this phase, my objective is to learn as much as I can about you. I launch a rapid offensive that I do not fully commit to and can easily recover from, so as to see how you react. Maybe you backpedal rapidly. Maybe you meet me head on. I extend the point in invitation to gauge your reaction. Maybe you maintain distance, sensing a ploy. Maybe you are eager to wage War. Such tests allow me to gauge what type of fencer you are. Some fencers are aggressive, others cautious. Some are intimidating, others deceptive. Any insight is valuable. If you are unsure how to interpret your opponent’s behavior, due to lack of experience or because he conceals his intentions well enough, look for the happy place, also known as the palace. That is to say, look for the guard he assumes by force of habit, or by reflex. Because everyone has a guard that they feel most comfortable assuming when under threat. If you can provoke your opponent with different non-committal attacks to reveal his palace to you, then you know what guard he is likely to assume when you attack him, and so you have an idea of what he may do to respond. The key is to experiment with different stimuli and see if the reaction is the same each time. The result can be something like this. Say you and I are in the Pre-Fencing. I thrust your way and so you displace through the Plough on the left side. I disengage and re-engage with a cut to your head. You continue to parry through the Plough on the left side. I disengage and try again, this time I thrust again, but to your right, so you must leave the Plough on the left and parry through the Plough on the right. Which I anticipated because you revealed to me your comfort with the Plough on the left. With a thrust to your right, you are forced to abandon your palace in order to respond. Which is predictable, and so my follow up attack is to the lower right quadrant, which you were guarding until then. I needn’t contact your parry because I change-through, and so I deny you War and wound you. You see then, how identifying the opponent’s palace in order to take him out of his comfort zone is a valuable insight to gain during the Pre-Fencing and can be immediately exploited. Something to note is that few fights end in the Pre-Fencing, due to the distance. Your opponent effectively needs to flee or surrender for that to happen. Instead, most fights reach their climax and resolution in the War, which you know much about by now. But sometimes, that is not the case. Sometimes, the fight carries on to the phase of the Grappling. If your opponent dons plate armor, as is the case of many Falkovnian soldiers, it is a certain indicator that the fight will need to transition into the Grappling for it to end on your terms.


Fore. Hind.
Timing. Distance.
War. Weak. Strong. Feeling. Hard. Soft. Instant.
Quadrants. Wrath. Fool. Plough. Ox.
Pre-Fencing.

Chapter VIII, The Grappling
It is tricky to pinpoint the exact moment in which the War becomes the Grappling. My experience is that it begins, in most cases, the moment you or your opponent uses his off hand. In many fencing schools where the use of two weapons is prescribed, such as the use of a main gauche, a cape, or a pistol, the off hand is much too occupied to be used for grappling. Which is no bad thing, because such off-hand weapons and accessories imply that the sword in the main hand is lengthy, as is the case with the rapier, and so it is reasonable that the doctrine of the fencing school favors fights happening from a distance, with the thrust as the main attraction. In the Tarrasque school of fencing, that is not the case, even if the doctrine and techniques can be used with any sword regardless of its shape and size. Personally, I favor the two-handed sword, but a one-handed sword and a free hand work just as well. The reason I renounce accessories and off-hand weapons is because the open hand is by itself a remarkable tool which shines greatly in the Grappling. Consider this. You cut to my head, so I parry, and then I wind so we wage War strong against strong. As I explained before, that scenario is not beneficial to either of us, so anything can happen. But the reason I do that, in this instance, is to transition to the Grappling. I do this by taking my left hand off the two-handed grip of my sword, and I rest it over the guard of your sword. Then I apply pressure. What does this accomplish? It impairs the movement of your hand. You cannot move your hand freely if I am actively pressuring it, and so I deny you the War, and I deny your Art. In the meantime, my own sword hand is free to move. I may cut and thrust as I wish. The Grappling is where the taking of the sword, or disarming, becomes a probability, which is the following scenario. We wage War middle to middle. I use my off hand to pinch the crossing of our blades, thus forcing our swords to remain together. Then I push my main hand past your sword, over your arms, and yank backward. Not only do you find yourself disarmed, but you are now trapped in an armlock, while I retain control of my sword and the tip threatens your chest. The closer you are to your opponent, the easier it is to transition to the Grappling. Sometimes all it takes is to grab the opponent’s blade to buy a precious second to strike him. You may find these examples dangerous, as they involve touching a sharp blade with a hand, but you should know by now that a still blade cannot cut. It either cuts like one would cut into a tree with an axe, or it slices, which is the sort of cut one uses to cut cheese with a pushing pressure. It can also slice by being drawn, or pushed, such as the seesaw motion of cutting bread. Knowing these things, grabbing a sword is safer than you may think. Of course, there is also a way to ensure that your fingers are not subject to a draw-cut and dismantled like bread. You must pinch the flat of the blade between your palm and your fingers so that the edge of the sword does not touch your fingers. Try this exercise. Take a piece of paper and pinch both sides of the page without creasing it, with a single hand. Now that you do so, you understand how to grab a sword in the proper manner without risking injury. Remember that however you decide to grapple with the opponent, you must ensure that the blade does not threaten you. Or that, if he abandons his sword, he does not resort to a knife at his belt or in his boot. Such an occurrence is unlikely in an honorable duel, but on the battlefield, men have more knives than they have teeth.


Fore. Hind.
Timing. Distance.
War. Weak. Strong. Feeling. Hard. Soft. Instant.
Quadrants. Wrath. Fool. Plough. Ox.
Pre-Fencing. Grappling.

Chapter IX, The Recital
The Fore and the Hind teach the ebb and flow of combat. Timing and Distance teach when to act and from where. The War teaches the crossing of swords, as well as how to act in an Instant. The Quadrants and Guards teach the thought process, target zones, and defense. The Pre-Fencing teaches the reading of the opponent, and Grappling teaches to secure the kill. All of that knowledge contributes to Victory, which is ultimately measured by the two following rules, in their prescribed order. First: do not get hit. Second: hit the opponent. Now that you know the teachings of the Tarrasque, you may now understand the following recital which affixes Art to your heart.


Follow not behind. Seize the Fore
In Art, those two things are the core
Feel Weak from Strong, and Soft from Hard
Wage War. Wind. And leave him scarred

Speed: slower than Distance and Time
Instant act. Your Art is sublime
Know the Quadrants. And know the Guards
Four of each are your deck of cards

Chase where he was. Not where he will be
Break the rhythm by striking in three
In Pre-Fencing, besiege the palace
Force him out of his fortress

Grappling begins with a raised hand
Grab. Disarm. Pull to the sand
A sword alone may sing few rhymes
But Art rings true. A thousand chimes
Mareike - "The alternative is saving only myself. I will go to any length for this."
Enora - "The Weald belongs to they that can take it."
Felise - "!em ton era uoY"

foxtale

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Re: University of Dementlieu - Work Publications
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2022, 09:32:10 PM »
Quote
On Imperial Lucinian Law, the Interregnum, and Leon the Great's Reforms: an Overview of Dementlieuse Legal History
Graduation lecture by Dorian de Sauvre (Major in Law, Minor in History)

Introduction

When discussing Imperial Lucinian history, it is always difficult to find and validate sources, to say nothing of attempting to interpret them relative to one another. The chaos that followed the fall of the Empire into the Interregnum lead to many records being destroyed in whole or in part; archivist standards became lax and different name- and date-keeping practices arose in different cities and at different times. For example, accounts naming a "Henri Dupond" may refer to a father, son, or grandfather, or even great-grandfather, as often first-born sons were named after their father. Moreover, a secondary account referring to "Henry Dupont" could theoretically refer to the same individual; or indeed to his father, or his son...

To infer meaning from sources, it is necessary to hypothesise connections between them, building a growing network between these sources. Inherently, each hypothetical connection added to the network makes it more tentative: like building a house of cards, each card that is out of alignment, even slightly, makes the entire edifice more fragile and prone to collapse.

Thus all suppositions and conclusions presented in this lecture are presented with this in mind: even more so than is expected in the historical profession, we peer back at the Lucinian past with spectacles framed by our assumptions.

The Three Periods

As detailed in "The Fall of the Lucinian Empire", we divide history before the establishment of the Council of Brilliance into three periods; in reverse chronological order, these are: the Reunification, the Interregnum, and the Empire. Each period had a very different political structure, and consequently very different laws.

The Reunification period is both the closest and the clearest to understand: it was a period marked by the re-centralisation of power into Leon the Great's Council of Brilliance as he united the disparate feudal lords that had ruled Dementlieu during the Interregnum. Leon's legacy is our present: a nation unified, with the nobility retaining certain rights and privileges but ultimately bound by the sovereign law of the Council of Brilliance.

The Interregnum, by its nature, is the most innately chaotic: with no centralised rule, there was consequently no unified and codified system of law. Each feudal lord ruled their domain and thus established their own law. While some were well-meaning and just, many were arbitrary: this was a period defined by disunity and conflict. Might usually won out over right. Pertinently, the Interregnum gave us a legacy of certain noble privileges: their ability to raise retinues, for example.

Imperial Law

Some listeners may be asking themselves, "If Leon the Great unified our laws under the Council of Brilliance, what relevance does Imperial law bear on the present?" This is an excellent question: Leon the Great's reforms didn't start tabula rasa and invalidate Imperial law, but rather built upon this ancient foundation; it was an effort of rationalisation and centralisation, not a complete transformation. Thus, unless overruled by modern Council decree, many old Imperial laws remains valid. As clarified at the start of this lecture, it is difficult however to know the truth of the Lucinian Empire's history, and therefore of its laws, through the lens of the Interregnum kaleidoscope.

It is widely accepted that the Lucinian Empire fell when Leon XVI disappeared aboard the Chariot d’Or. It is reasonable to surmise from this that the Lucinian Empire was a highly politically centralised authority, at least at the time of its fall, as the removal of this central figure was catastrophic to the Empire and to Port-à-Lucine. This centralised political authority suggests an unified code of law, and indeed, many accounts appear to corroborate this. Moreover, we have testimonies of judges ruling over criminal and civil trials, suggesting that this distinction between criminal and civil code already existed then.

Yet there are contradictions, the most glaring discovered by Professor Nausgant, who noted some accounts where modern crimes such as murder were prosecuted not as criminal cases, but as civil cases pressed by the victims' families; moreover, it appears that these trials were prosecuted publicly, with attorneys using oratory to whip up the public to demand justice from the judge. The Professor theorises that the late Imperial criminal code itself arose from an earlier period, when most laws were civil and rhetoric was the defining ability of a lawyer.

However, Professor Gordeur offers a competing theory: these testimonies do not represent a transition, but rather isolated instances where the criminal legal system failed, and the victims' relatives sought compensation through civil justice. As to which theory is sounder, I shall provide references that you may decide for yourself.

Conclusion
What is the pertinence of bringing Imperial Law to the courtroom? The Prononceur or Magistrate may be presented with competing interpretations of Imperial Law pertinent to a trial at hand, and will decide which interpretation has greater validity to the legal question being tested.

No student of law should be ignorant of the Republic's Imperial legacy. Though we are fortunate to live in an enlightened era where laws are made by the duly elected Lady- or Lord-Governor, Leon the Great's legal reforms stand atop, not aside, Imperial law. Thus, in representing their client, a lawyer may be required to carefully consider not merely fact-based evidence and modern law, but also legal historiography referencing the Imperial period. The historian is the lawyer's natural ally: a well-rounded legal team should consider retaining at least one trained research archivist.

Floor Questions
Question 1 (Warden Abigail Shuttleworth): Are there any recent examples of a Lawyer making use of an otherwise forgotten law to change the outcome of a case?

Answer 1: The most recent example is one where it failed. The trial of the Duchess d'Ameranthe Agnès de Mortigny, née Gauthier. The defence tried to invoke the notion of assisted, honourable suicide. However, the attendant Magistrate dismissed that argument based on the evidence at hand.

There are relatively few recent examples of one where such a case was successful. Something to bear in mind; invoking Imperial Law successfully may prevent a trial for a client entirely. Thus the examples that we do see are somewhat biased towards failures.

Question 2 (Mlle. Mariah Parsons): How are these laws verified when brought up in court?

Answer 2: Historical documentation must be presented into evidence. It is considered testimony; so consequently knowingly providing false historical evidence is perjury.

Magistrates are supported by their own staff to resolve these questions. They work out of the Palais, therefore have direct access to the Palais archives. A Magistrate will thus reach a judgement with this support.

References

[Despite the author having made great, thorough efforts to lend some clarity to his sources, the long list of referenced articles, books, and journals remain a byzantine web of inference that would challenge even the most avid and determined truth-seeker to untangle.]

Mareike - "The alternative is saving only myself. I will go to any length for this."
Enora - "The Weald belongs to they that can take it."
Felise - "!em ton era uoY"