The mamihamur of Padihamurah Tuul in Westingbrooke conducted weekly classes in the Memory Hall there, sharing his learned opinion on the interpretation of the Hamurabash with orcs and a few human and dwarf converts after the weekly Memory Service.

Sheniqua Washington leaned in the doorway, listening silently. She could understand Orcish thanks to her stepfather, and Mamihamur Rulih spoke slowly and clearly for the benefit of those who were still learning or who primarily spoke other dialects.

“I have purchased a rifle and a kevlar vest in order to protect my home and my family,” said one orc. “Does that satisfy the requirements of the Hamurahash?

“Let us consider that question carefully,” said Rulih. “The Hamurabash sayeth thus: every man and unmarried woman must be prepared to defend themselves and their community at a moment’s notice, and must therefore have their axe and shield nearby. Which is the most important part of that statement: the defense of self and community, or the bearing of axe and shield?”

“I am not sure,” said the petitioner. “My uncle says that I have betrayed the Hamurabash as rifles and kevlar were unknown in Hamur’s time.”

“Let me ask you this, then,” said the padihamurah. “If Hamur lived today, and he wished to assault an encampment of heretics, religious proselytizers peddling the concept of an afterlife to the weak and the poor, what tools would he use? Keep in mind that the heretics, knowing no Hamurabash, would bear firearms and body armor.”

“Hamur would turn the heretics’ weapons against them, as he would use them in the furtherance of order and the memory of his forebears,” said the petitioner. “I mentioned this to my uncle, though, and he claims that it would be more in keeping with the Hamurabash for Hamur to use axe and shield; he would still surely prevail without sullying himself with the weapons of the infidels, and if we were to follow his example, our memory would be purer for our choice of weapons.”

“Think of it this way,” laughed Rulih. “We honor Hamur through the act of defending and committing memorable deeds. It is preferable to use axe and shield, surely, but sometimes this is not possible. I would therefore keep your rifle and kevlar next to your axe and shield, bearing one to obey the spirit of the Hamurabash and the other its letter. For even if the enemy are armed with rifles, if they close to axe range, you will be at an advantage for having followed the Hamurabash.”

The assembled people in the Memory Hall murmured in approval of Rulih’s logic, and the petitioner seemed satisfied.

He didn’t seem like a dangerous radical to Sheniqua, that was for sure.

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