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.
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.