Mantras, restrictive guidelines or not?

Codes of honor, or mantras are common in both fiction,  and real world history. Are they useful in fiction, or do they limit the actions of your characters?

Personally, I would say there are cons and pros to using one, or not using one. Creating one can be simple in some parts, and other parts can be more complicated.  While you could take inspiration from famous historical code like the Code of Chivalry, the Samurai Bushido code, or the virtues of the Vikings.  On the other hand you could take inspiration from fictional warrior codes, like the Jedi or Sith, or even the Gunslinger Code from Stephan King’s Dark Tower. Most of those I mentioned can be seen in the pictures below.

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While I was writing my short story, that I’m still working on I realized something. That my character would benefit from it, since the world I was building has a post-apocalyptic atmosphere. That allowed me in a sense to create a mantra from scratch, or relatively close to it. The “Bladeslinger,” mantra I made is below:

“One is not a destroyer, one is a peacekeeper

We don’t seek vengeance, we seek justice

One is loyal to the order of steel and lead

Our second loyalty lies to the people

We serve by choice, not by force

A bastion of hope in a broken world

Clad in leather and steel, we walk

Steel, lead, and iron at our hips

One hand on the gun,

The other on the sword

Remembering our ancestors,

Along with our brothers and sisters

Bonds sealed in blood, iron, lead and tested by steel

Doing out best to keep the world just

From abuse of power, and technology of the old world

We roam, as agents of order.”

I’m curious to see how much ingrained code will change my writing, and character building, or if it will limit his actions. What are my fellow writers, and followers thoughts are warrior code? Useful, or limiting? Please post your comments below, I’m curious to see what you think. If you any thoughts on the Bladeslinger mantra, feel free to comment as well.

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One thought on “Mantras, restrictive guidelines or not?

  1. Pingback: Alignment and Symbolism, are they separate or intermingled? | Christopher Scott Author: Strange new worlds

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