The Dark Horde Ninja in Fable and Fact
NINJA! The word conjures up images of silent infiltrators, assassins poised to strike from the shadows, waiting only the word that the time has arrived. In the kingdoms, the idea persists that Hordesmen infiltrate all levels of the Society, plotting and scheming, working toward the Tomorrow that will belong to us. That IS part of the reason the word was chosen years ago--it fits well into the atmosphere the song 'Sands of the Gobi' creates--but it doesn't reflect the truth of the matter, not perfectly any way.
Hordesmen style themselves as resident aliens in the lands wherein they dwell, participants in the same activities, the same struggles, sometimes the same goals, but still a people apart, a nation that is landless (for now, for now, with a smug, careless smile). For this and other reasons--including the unsavory, obstinate, conniving, etcetera, reputation we cultivate--we are not always welcomed with unguarded glee. In fact, believe it or not, there have been times Hordesmen were denied the right to participate fully and freely in the service of the Society precisely BECAUSE they were Horde. And a Hordesman MUST serve the Society and the ideals it embodies, as he best believes he can, to BE a Hordesman. The Horde serves the Society, not any branch or order, not the BoD. The Society as a whole, and then itself.
Therefore, very early in our History, a custom arose by which a new Hordesman might be offered a choice whether he (or she) would make that status known or keep it secret--to the Cha'gua. The known Hordesman form our visible face, interact with the kingdoms as representatives of the Horde, hold most of our publicly-acknowledged offices, and generally do the things Hordesmen must be SEEN to do. The others, the so-called 'Ninja', go about their business, serving the kingdoms, the Society, and the Horde in their various roles, orders and circles, never letting on that secretly they wear somewhere the same red-and-black cords as the rest of us. All serve the Society as we must, and sometimes, in our opinion, as only we can.
All have full voice and vote in our Khuraltai, the annual gathering of ALL Hordesmen. All are sworn to mutual support and protection, including the protection of the identities of those who 'ride Ninja'. So visible Hordesmen will often deny the existence of Ninja--either earnestly or with tongue clearly in cheek--and will never give any real clues as to identities or numbers.
"Of course we have no Ninja planted in the Curia! None to speak of, anyway..."
And those who ride Ninja will only reveal themselves if they decide they wish to, or that their service to the Society or the Horde demands they do so. Since the rest of us stand ready to act openly upon any information they choose to supply, this is a very rare occurrence. When it has happened in the past--Surprise!--they were often among those believed to be our most ardent and vocal opponents. I leave it as an exercise for astute readers why Ninja Hordesmen would cultivate such a reputation.
Above even the Society, Hordesmen serve Justice, and Truth, and Honor. But as we have often stated, our concepts of Honor may vary from those of the kingdoms.
"To feed an enemy a lie, Is just if Justice gains thereby."
Still, you should not consider Horde Ninja spies or assassins. In fact, you shouldn't consider them at all. After all, your chance of ever knowingly encountering one is very small.
Don't worry about it ..........
How many are there?
Who are they?
Time and Tomorrow will Tell.