From A Children's Primer of the Way

The Path of Courage

Courage is a popular virtue amongst the soldiers of the Empire who must face bloodthirsty foes and the spectre of death. However, the Virtue of Courage has lessons for those in all walks of life. Courage calls for citizens to stand firm in the face of all that would cause them to falter. The senator whose conscience compels them to vote against the populist measure; the proud leader who must face the shame of a secret exposed; the general who must pass on ill news to their people – all of these must draw on the Virtue of Courage in their time of trial. It is easy for many citizens to pay lip service to the Virtue of Courage but harder to cling to when the challenge finally comes.

Guidance on the Path

Through meditation on the auras of Courage, and study of the lives of paragons and exemplars, the priests of the Way have gleaned insight into the heart of the virtue and how best to pursue it. There are collections of parables, tales, sayings and teachings that distill this for Imperial citizens to learn from. The following are a handful of teachings and sayings deemed to be essential to understanding the path:

  • The Virtuous face unwelcome truths as boldly as any barbarian charge.
  • Do not fear to act; only be shamed by inaction.
  • Cleave to what you know is true, even where others wish you to doubt.
  • Never accept defeat; adapt your strategy and try anew.
  • Despise cowardice which steers the spirit to weakness and inaction.

'I shall despise the cowardice that steers me to weakness and inaction. I shall face unwelcome truth as boldly as any barbarian charge. I shall not fear to act; only be shamed by inaction. I shall never accept defeat; I shall adapt my strategy and try again. I shall cleave to what I know to be true even when others wish me to doubt.'

A Highborn Litany of Courage

Paragons and Exemplars

Recognised paragons and exemplars of Courage include:

  • The oldest recorded paragon, Korl, whose legendary learned the secrets of metal in the darkest places of the world and used them to craft the first axe, with which he drove back the dark forest and slew the beasts who dwelt within.
  • The exemplar Permion of the Highborn who opposed the wicked power of the corrupt Patrician’s Council and empowered the Assembly of the Virtuous in its place.
  • The exemplar Gilda Ashwine of Dawn whose fortitude and commitment freed her family and brought down the corrupt earl who had enslaved them.
  • The exemplar Inga Tarn of Wintermark whose fearlessness and forthrightness inspired generations to seize the opportunities life presents.

Symbols, icons and trappings

The Path of Courage has many symbols and icons across the Empire, but one of the most common and prevalent is an axe. This is symbolic of Kord’s creation of both tools and weapons with which to tame the wilderness and overcome obstacles. Several priests and pilgrims who walk the Path of Courage carry axes for this reason.

Many who follow a less martial form of courage use the Blue Rose as a symbol, in memory for the influential role it played in Gilda Ashwine’s tale of unwavering resolve.

Some mystically inclined individuals point to the Wintermark rune Jotra, which represents battle and challenges, as a symbol of Courage.

Further Reading

  • You can learn about the various spiritual roleplaying effects created by priests dedicated to Courage here.
  • You can learn about the skills that priests can use to support the virtue of Courage here.

The Seven Virtues