The Flail Beneath the Blighted Tree - A Collection of Koans from the Ghar'ghael Zlatan and Zarth

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Zlatan
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:01 pm

The Flail Beneath the Blighted Tree - A Collection of Koans from the Ghar'ghael Zlatan and Zarth

Post by Zlatan » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:20 pm

An ancient tome sits here, its pages made of uncured hide of unknown origin. It is written in trolloc script.

Zlatan, a pupil of Zarth, was disappointed in how player killing had been changed, and recognized that he felt no joy from smobbing. As he sat beneath the Blighted tree and contemplated this, he realized that the pursuit of joy, the pursuit of player killing, was causing suffering. There was a way to overcome this suffering, however. By leaving the pursuit of player killing behind and embracing smobbing, Zlatan could end his suffering. At this realization, he attained enlightenment.

Below are the collected koans of Zlatan and Zarth, intended to be meditated upon while smobbing in order to provoke enlightenment.

First Koan
Two Ghar'ghael are arguing about a smob.
One says, "The smob is moving."
The other, "The flail is moving."
A third walks by and says, "Not the smob, not the flail; the mind is moving."

Second Koan
Q: What is the meaning of Zlatan's coming from the west?
A: The dark barbed flail by the stone gate.

Third Koan
A Ghar'ghael asked Zlatan,
“What is the essence of smobbing?”
Zlatan said,
“What is the price of a binnol in Thakandar?”

Fourth Koan
Zlatan instructed the Ghar'ghael and said, “If you beat the first smob, you will be the teacher of Dha'vol and
Ahf'frait.
If you attain the second smob, you will be the teacher of Dreadlords and Myrddraal.
If you attain the third smob, you cannot save even yourself.”

An Infected Squirm asked, “Which smob did you attain?”

Zlatan said,
“The moon is set at midnight; I walk alone through the halls of the Dark Fortress.”

Fifth Koan
Zarth inquired of the Ghar'ghael, "This world is such a wide world! Why then do you answer to a smob's call and don a flail?"

Sixth Koan
A Ghar'ghael once asked Zlatan, "What is this smob where a flail is useless?"

Zlatan answered them: "Flails and Ghar'ghael cannot fathom it!"

Seventh Koan
One day Zlatan was walking through the Ruined Keep's market. He overheard a customer say to the blacksmith, “Give me the best flail you have.”

“Everything in my shop is the best,” replied the blacksmith. “You can not find any flail that is not the best.”

At these words, Zlatan was enlightened.

Eighth Koan
Zlatan instructed his adherents one day: "Those who speak against player killing and who desire to spare the lives of all conscious beings are right. It is good to protect even animals and insects. But what about those persons who kill quests points, what about those who are destroying rares, and those who destroy turn points? We should not overlook them. Furthermore, what of the one who smobs without enlightenment? He is killing smobbing."

Ninth Koan
Zlatan complained when he saw a picture of a Ghar'ghael wielding a flail: "Why hasn't that trolloc a flail?"

Tenth Koan
A trolloc asked Zlatan: "I understand that a Ghar'ghael who lived before recorded history smobbed for ten cycles of existence and could not solo the strongest smobs, and so could not become fully enlightened. Why was this so?"

Zlatan replied: "Your question is self-explanatory."

The trolloc asked: "Since the Ghar'ghael was smobbing, why could he not fulfill Ghar-hood?"

Zlatan said: "He was not a Ghar'ghael."

Eleventh Koan
A Ghar'ghael asked of Zlatan: "I am alone and poor. Will you help me?"

Zlatan asked: "Help a Ghar'ghael?"

The Ghar'ghael responded: "Yes, sir."

Zlatan said: "You have smob. It is the best blood in the Blight, and already have finished three cups, and still you are saying that they did not even wet your lips."

Twelfth Koan
Zlatan went to a place where a Ghar'ghael had retired to smob and asked him: "What is, is what?"

The Ghar'ghael raised his flail.

Zlatan replied: "Smobs cannot remain where the smobs are not allowed to repop." And he left.

A few days later Zlatan went again to visit the Ghar'ghael and asked the same question.

The Ghar'ghael answered the same way.

Zlatan said: "Well given, well taken, well killed, well saved." And he bowed to the Ghar'ghael.

Thirteenth Koan
Zlatan went to Zarth. Zarth asked him where he had come from.

Zlatan said: "From the Spine of the World."

Zarth asked: "In what smob did you remain for the summer?"

Zlatan replied: "The ant queen, beneath the mountains."

"When did you leave there?" asked Zarth, wondering how long Zlatan would continue with such factual answers.

"The second of January," answered Zlatan.

Zarth said: "I should give you three blows with a flail, but today I forgive you."

The next day Zlatan bowed to Zarth and asked: "Yesterday you forgave me three blows. I do not know why you thought me wrong."

Zarth, rebuking Zlatan's spiritless responses, said: "You are good for nothing. You simply wander from one smob to another."

Before Zarth's words were ended Zlatan was enlightened.

Fourteenth Koan
Zlatan asked Zarth: "What is smobbing?"

Zarth said: "Everyday life is smobbing."

Zlatan asked: "Can it be studied?"

Zarth said: "If you try to study, you will be far away from it."

Zlatan asked: "If I do not study, how can I know it is smobbing?"

Zarth said: "Smobbing does not belong to the player killing world, neither does it belong to the questing world. Stats are a delusion and quest points are senseless. If you want to reach the true smobbing beyond doubt, place yourself in the same freedom as a spinning flail. You name it neither good nor not-good."

At these words Zlatan was enlightened.

Fifteenth Koan
A Ghar'ghael asked Zlatan: "Is there a smob no trolloc has ever smobbed before?"

Zlatan said: "Yes, there is."

"What is it?" asked the Ghar'ghael.

Zlatan replied: "It is not Blight, it is not maze, it is not things."

Sixteenth Koan
Zlatan said: "When you meet a Ghar'ghael on the road you cannot smob with him, you cannot player kill him. What are you going to do?"

Seventeenth Koan
Zlatan was once asked by a Ghar'ghael, “I have just entered the Ruined Keep for the first time. Please teach me.”

Zlatan said, “Have you killed a smob?”

The Ghar'ghael said, “Yes, I have.”

Zlatan said, “Then kill more smobs.”

The Ghar'ghael immediately attained enlightenment.

Eighteenth Koan
Zarth asked Zlatan, “Where have you been?”

Zlatan said, “I was smobbing.”

Zarth said, “Do you think I don’t know that you were smobbing?”

Zlatan said, “What else could I have said?”

Zarth said, “I was asking you about the essential matter.”

Zlatan said, “If you ask me about the essential matter, I say I was smobbing.”

Zarth said, “You didn’t miss it. That’s why you are enlightened."

Nineteenth Koan
Zola, a Ghar'ghael, asked Zarth, "What is the ultimate meaning of smobbing?"

In response, Zarth hit him. This happened three times, so he left Zarth and went to see Zlatan.

Zlatan asked, "Where do you come from?"

Zola replied, "I came from Zarth."

Zlatan asked, "What did Zarth have to say?"

Zola said, "I asked, 'What is the ultimate meaning of smobbing?' three times, and three times I tasted his flail. I don't know if I was at fault or not."

Zlatan exclaimed, "Zarth is such a toothless trolloc to be so very kind to you, but you still come and ask if you are at fault or not."

At these words, Zola attained enlightenment.

Twentieth Koan
Zlatan had a Ghar’ghael ask Zarth,
“Do trollocs these days really need enlightenment or not?”
Zarth said,
“It is not that there is no enlightenment, but how can it be helped that it
falls into the second class?”
The Ghar’ghael went back to Zlatan and told him about it. Zlatan deeply agreed.

Twenty-first Koan
A Ghar’ghael asked Zarth: "Without speaking, without silence, how can you express the truth?"

Zarth observed: "I always remember smobbing in the eastern Blight. The snowghosts wail among innumerable kinds of fragrant corpses."

Twenty-Second Koan
To smob as a warrior is to sit upon the immovable spot. The world revolves around the immovable spot as the flail revolves around the warrior.

Zarth
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:04 pm

Re: The Flail Beneath the Blighted Tree - A Collection of Koans from the Ghar'ghael Zlatan and Zarth

Post by Zarth » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:35 pm

For ages Zarth has pondered the nature of reality. Discussions with the great Mikhan began opening his Third Eye. One must cultivate stillness and let the world crash upon your flail. Zlatan is a true disciple. One does not question the nature of smobbing, smobbing is.

Stryker
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:34 am

Re: The Flail Beneath the Blighted Tree - A Collection of Koans from the Ghar'ghael Zlatan and Zarth

Post by Stryker » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:53 pm

If one must kneel to a faith, then Stillness is the only candidate.

Eol
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:34 pm

Re: The Flail Beneath the Blighted Tree - A Collection of Koans from the Ghar'ghael Zlatan and Zarth

Post by Eol » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:25 pm

These koans are too obscure.

The Kingdom of the Blight is like a hard working Ghar'ghael quartermaster. He stores away binnols for he knows not when the day comes. When a Ghar'ghael presents to him a receipt for a bearskin tunic he says - I truly do not know you.

A Ghar'ghael encounters a brigand.
The brigand says 'spare me and I shall give you a fencing blade'
The Ghar'ghael shakes his head.
The brigand says 'spare me and I shall give you 5 fencing blades'
The Ghar'ghael shakes his head.
The brigand says 'spare me and I shall give you a binnol'
The Ghar'ghael takes the binnol and kills the brigand.
He leaves the fencing blades in the dirt to rust.
This is the way.

Zlatan
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:01 pm

Re: The Flail Beneath the Blighted Tree - A Collection of Koans from the Ghar'ghael Zlatan and Zarth

Post by Zlatan » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:53 pm

Eol wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:25 pm
These koans are too obscure.
Puke, you seem to misunderstand what a koan is. Meditate under the Blighted tree and contemplate what a koan is intended to do.

Norggle
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:47 pm

Re: The Flail Beneath the Blighted Tree - A Collection of Koans from the Ghar'ghael Zlatan and Zarth

Post by Norggle » Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:48 am

Norggle came upon the ruined pages of the ancient tome, carefully examining the trolloc script. He begins to read while chewing on a juvenile trolloc's shattered arm.

"I have been wrong. Why have I been attacking so quickly between rounds? It is all useless. Why have I not been using a flail more? To become the immoveable object of a whirlwind. To be wimpy is not the Ghar way. I am to balance between my berserk rage, yet take on the weight of the world crashing around me and shattering my life into pieces. This is truly my last resort."

And so, Norggle went to contemplate under a fat mushroom deep in the puke land.

"I must meet these Flailmasters."

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