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【书籍搬运】Words and Philosophy 话语与哲理

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原文出处:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Words_and_Philosophy

翻译:pcsjx

瓦伦林地战士公会的前任大师,以及帝都的皇帝陛下亲卫队长,艾伦娜·贝诺克女士,现在正担任负责泰姆瑞尔士兵的剑术指导之职。因为写作这本书的缘故,我在三个不同的场合和她见过面。第一次是在王宫里她的套间内,一边在阳台上俯瞰下面的花园一边谈。

我差不多花了六个月的时间来准备这次访谈,当天也去得很早,不过她还是轻轻地嗔怪我没有来得更早一些。

“这些时间已经足够我修起防御工事了,”她说道,绿色的眼睛闪烁着微笑。

贝诺克女士是一位波兹莫,也就是木精灵,和她的祖先一样,她早年时也用弓箭做武器。她身手矫健,在十四岁那年,她就加入了她的部落的狩猎队,成为了一名狙击手,一位远距射手。在396年这个黑色之年里,帕里克部落在得到了夏暮岛的助力以后发动了战争,席卷了瓦伦林地的东南部,贝诺克女士也参与了保卫部落领土的徒劳的反抗。

“我第一次杀人是在我十六岁的时候,”她如今说道。“我记得不是很清楚了——他或者是她吧,当时就是个我弯弓瞄准的地平线上的模糊小点儿。这对我来说和射杀动物没什么区别。在那年夏天到秋天,像那样被我杀掉的人大概有一百个。直到那年冬天,我才真正有了做一个杀手的感觉,那时我才体会到从一个被你杀死的人的眼中能看到怎样的东西。

“那是一个帕里克部落的侦察兵,当时我在营地里放哨,他让我吃了一惊。我想,我们应该是都让对方吃了一惊吧。我随手抄起身边的弓,当时真是吓坏了,只想着要搭箭射他,而他离我只有半码远了。那就是我唯一知道要做的事情了。当然,他用他的剑先刺中了我,我在震惊之余倒在了地上。

“你永远都会记得死在你手下的第一个对手所犯的错误。他的错误就是因为见血了,我也倒下了,他就以为我死了。在他转身朝着部落的乡亲们睡觉的营帐走过去时,我朝他扑了过去。他猝不及防,被我把他的剑给夺了去。

“我不知道我刺了他多少剑。等到我停下时,下一班放哨的人过来接替我了,我的胳膊因为拉伸过度而变得又青又紫,而他的身上也没剩下什么像样的地方了。我把他给实实在在地碎尸万段了。你看,我对于如何格斗或者杀死一个人要费多少工夫完全没有概念。”

贝诺克女士,认识到了她技艺上的不足以后,便马上开始训练自己的剑术。

“你在瓦伦林地是学不到什么剑术的,”她说。“这不是说波兹莫不会用剑,不过我们大致都是自学的。我们的部落差不多无家可归了,被迫北迁,这虽然让人感到痛苦,却也有一个好的方面:这使我有机会见到红色守卫。”

在瓦德·阿’考尔的指导下,贝诺克女士学习着武器运用的各种技艺,并且进步神速。她成为了一名自由冒险家,行迹遍布落锤省南部和瓦伦林地北部的荒野,保护商队,冒着各种危险拜访当地贵胄和名人。

不幸的是,在我们要进一步谈论她的早年故事时,贝诺克女士被皇帝紧急召走了。这种事在帝国卫队里是家常便饭,并且在这种糟糕的年景里,较之过去有过之而无不及。当我试着和她联系下一次访谈的时候,她的侍从告诉我要等到他们在天际站住脚以后。又过了一个月,当我拜访她的套间时,我被告知她已经去了高岩省。

值得赞扬的是,贝诺克女士竟然主动找到我,在那年日暮月又进行了第二次采访。当时我在城里的一家名叫鲜血与雄鸡的酒馆里,这时我感觉到她用手拍了拍我的肩膀。然后她坐在简陋的桌旁,继续讲述她的故事,仿佛从来没有被打断过似的。

她又谈到了当年作为一名冒险家的话题,给我讲了她第一次对一把剑产生信心的故事。

“我那时用的是一把附过魔的大刀,相当不错,由迪德拉金属制成的。那不是一把原版的阿卡维尔刀,甚至连设计也不是。我可没有那么多钱,不过它确实实现了我的主要目的,花尽可能少的力气造成尽可能大的伤害。阿’考尔教过我如何击剑,不过在面对生死相搏的境况时,我总是退回到老掉牙的猛劈猛砍上去。

“有一群兽人从梅迪提当地的一位酋长那里偷走了些金子,我一路追踪他们,追到了那个地区乡间到处都有的某个地牢之中。那里都是一些寻常的老鼠和大蜘蛛,而我则是个经验相当丰富的老手了,轻轻松松就把它们打发掉了。等到我发现自己走到了一间伸手不见五指的黑屋子里的时候,出事了,我听见了兽人的咕哝声越来越近。

“我四处挥了挥剑,却什么也没碰到,只听到他们的脚步声离得更近了。不知怎么,我又克制住了我的恐惧,想起了阿’考尔大师教过我的那些简单的练习。我仔细倾听,侧步,挥剑,回环,前冲,圆舞,转身,侧步,又挥剑。

“我的直觉是对的。兽人们在我身边围了个圈,等到我找到光亮的时候,我发现他们全都死了。

“那时我正在聚精会神研究剑法。我真是够傻了,傻到需要一次差点丧命的体验才了解到了实践的作用,你看。”

贝诺克女士用访谈剩下的时间,用她典型的直言不讳的风格,一五一十地讲述了许多她和她的事业中的各种轶闻。说她在决斗中战胜了瓦伦林地战士公会的前任大师并取而代之,这事是真实的,那人是帝国战斗法师叛徒杰卡·萨恩的爪牙。而说她对瓦伦林地的公会两年以后的土崩瓦解有责任则是不实的。(“实际上,瓦伦林地当地会员之间关系很好,不过泰姆瑞尔的整体氛围是不利于一个无派别的自由战士组织继续存在下去的。”)说她第一次在皇帝心中留下印象是在她保护哨卫城女王阿珂瑞丝免遭一个布莱顿刺客毒手的时候,这话是没错的。不过说那个刺客是受雇于匕落的宫廷某高层人物就是扯了。(“至少,”她挖苦道,“那从来没有被证实过。”)说她与侍奉了她十一年的前任仆人乌尔肯结婚了(“没有人能像他一样懂得如何保养我的武器,”她说。“这是个很实际的问题。我要么给他加薪,要么就嫁给他好了。”),这话倒也是真的。

唯一一个我向她求证,而她却既不承认也不反驳的故事是关于皇帝的私生子,卡拉克萨斯的。当我提到这个名字的时候,她耸了耸肩,表示对此一无所知。我继续深究故事的细节。卡拉克萨斯,尽管不在继承权的序列之中,不过仍然得到了独一无二的大主教一职:那可是在帝都非常有实权的职位,就算是在全泰姆瑞尔只要是信教的地方也都能吃得开。不过风言风语也立刻传开了,说卡拉克萨斯认为众神对泰姆瑞尔的世俗统治感到恼怒,尤其对于皇帝。甚至还有人说卡拉克萨斯主张发动全面的政变,要将神权置于帝国之上。

这是确实无疑的,我继续推进着,皇帝和卡拉克萨斯的关系已是狂风骤雨一般,而且限制教会权威的法律也被通过了。如此这般,直到卡拉克萨斯突然失踪、连他最亲密的朋友都没得到通知。许多人说贝诺克女士和帝国卫队在教会的圣器密室里暗杀了卡拉克萨斯大主教——一般还认为日期是在3E 498年(原文如此)的日暮月29日。

“当然了,”贝诺克女士用她那神秘的笑容回答道。“我没必要告诉你帝国卫队的职责是王权的捍卫者,而不是当刺客。”

“不过也显而易见,如果要执行这样一个敏感的行动也没有人比卫队更值得信赖了,”我小心地说。

贝诺克女士承认这点,不过也只是说像这样的她的职责的细节必须作为帝国安全事务而保密。很不幸,她次日早晨必须要离开了,因为皇帝去南方有事——当然,我不可能被告知更多详情。她许诺等她回来会给我捎个话,这样我们就可以继续访谈了。

结果这件事情反倒变成了我自己在夏暮岛有事情要做了,编纂一部关于赛伊克修道会的书。三个月以后我又出乎意料地在第一要塞又见到了女士。我们设法推开了我们各自的工作,来完成我们第三次也是最后一次的访谈,我们沿着横穿城市内皇家公园的大河迪瑟托河散步。

话题本来是她最近的工作和任务,我想这恰好是她不愿意回答的,于是我转回了剑术技巧。

“弗兰达·汉丁,”她说。“列举了三十八种握法,七百五十种进攻方法和一千八百种防御姿势,还有差不多九千种步伐,都是要成为剑术大师所必须掌握的。只会劈劈砍砍的寻常菜鸟只知道一种握法,主要就是避免他的剑掉了而已。这种人也只知道一种进攻方法,就是冲着他的目标直攻过去,只知道一种防御姿势,就是逃走。对于丰富多彩的战斗节奏与变化,这种人更是一窍不通了。

“战士之路从来都不是最轻松的路线。人们根深蒂固地认为战士四肢发达头脑简单,原型就好像一提起法师就想到聪慧,一提起盗贼就认为机灵一样,其实并不总是这样。过去有关于哲人剑客的描述,他们是舞剑的艺术家,还有红卫人中的剑歌者,据说可以用意念创造和挥舞刀尖。天才的挥剑者们和过去的荣光相比,现在还差得远呢。”

我不想用一段酸腐的句子来结束我们的访谈,于是我想请艾伦娜·贝诺克女士给刚刚开始职业生涯的年轻剑士们一点建议。

“如果和法师对阵,”她一边说着,一边将坎斯里夫花的花瓣投到迪瑟托河中。“靠近了,再狠狠地揍丫的。”

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Words and Philosophy
An interview with a Bosmer master swordsman about her life


Lady Allena Benoch, former master of the Valenwood Fighter's Guild and head of the Emperor's personal guard in the Imperial City, has been leading a campaign to reacquaint the soldiers of Tamriel with the sword. I met with her on three different occasions for the purposes of this book. The first time was at her suite in the palace, on the balcony overlooking the gardens below.
I was early for the interview, which had taken me nearly six months to arrange, but she gently chided me for not being even earlier.
"I've had time to put up my defenses now," she said, her bright green eyes smiling.
Lady Benoch is a Bosmer, a Wood Elf, and like her ancestors, took to the bow in her early years. She excelled at the sport, and by the age of fourteen, she had joined the hunting party of her tribe as a Jaqspur, a long distance shooter. During the black year of 396, when the Parikh tribe began their rampage through southeastern Valenwood with the aid of powers from the Summurset Isle, Lady Benoch fought the futile battle to keep her tribe's land.
"I killed someone for the first time when I was sixteen," she says now. "I don't remember it very well -- he or she was just a blur on the horizon where I aimed my bow. It meant no more to me than shooting animals. I probably killed a hundred people like that during that summer and fall. I didn't really feel like a killer until that wintertide, when I learned what it was like to look into a man's eyes as you spilled his blood.
"It was a scout from the Parikh tribe who surprised me while I was on camp watch. We surprised each other, I suppose. I had my bow at my side, and I just panicked, trying to string an arrow when he was half a yard away from me. It was the only thing I knew to do. Of course, he struck first with his blade, and I just fell back in shock.
"You always remember the mistakes of your first victim. His mistake was assuming because he had drawn blood and I had fallen, that I was dead. I rushed at him the moment he turned from me towards the sleeping camp of my tribesmen. He was caught off guard, and I wrested his blade away from him.
"I don't know how many times I stabbed at him. By the time I stopped, when the next watch came to relieve me, my arms were black and blue with strain, there was not a solid piece of him left. I had literally cut him into pieces. You see, I had no concept of how to fight or how much it took to kill a man."
Lady Benoch, aware of this deficiency in her education, began teaching herself swordsmanship at once.
"You can't learn how to use a sword in Valenwood," she says. "Which isn't to say Bosmer can't use blades, but we're largely self-taught. As much as it hurt when my tribe found itself homeless, pushed to the north, it did have one good aspect: it afforded me the opportunity to meetRedguards."
Studying all manners of weapon wielding under the tutelage of Warday A'kor, Lady Benoch excelled. She became a freelance adventurer, traveling through the wilds of southern Hammerfell and northern Valenwood, protecting caravans and visiting dignitaries from the various dangers indigenous to the population.
Unfortunately, before we were able to pursue her story of her early years any further, Lady Benoch was called away on urgent summons from the Emperor. Such is often the case with the Imperial Guard, and in these troubled times, perhaps, more so than in the past. When I tried to contact her for another talk, her servants informed me than their mistress was in Skyrim. Another month passed, and when I visited her suite, I was told she was in High Rock.
To her credit, Lady Benoch actually sought me out for our second interview on Sun's Dusk of that year. I was in a tavern in the City called the Blood and Rooster, when I felt her hand on my shoulder. She sat down at the rude table and continued her tale as if it had never been interrupted.
She returned to the theme of her days as an adventurer, and told me about the first time she ever felt confident with a sword.
"I owned at that time an enchanted daikatana, quite a good one, of daedric metal. It wasn't an original Akaviri, not even of design. I didn't have that kind of money, but it served my primary purpose of delivering as much damage with as little effort on my part as possible. A'kor had taught me how to fence, but when faced with a life or death situation, I always fell back on the old overhand wallop.
"A pack of orcs had stolen some gold from a local chieftain in Meditea, and I went looking for them in one of the ubiquitous dungeons that dot the countryside in that region. There were the usual rats and giant spiders, and I was enough of a veteran by then to dispatch them with relative ease. The problem came when I found myself in a pitch black room, and all around me, I heard the grunts of orcs nearing in.
"I waved my sword around me, connecting with nothing, hearing their footsteps coming ever nearer. Somehow, I managed to hold back my fear and to remember the simple exercises Master A'kor had taught me. I listened, stepped sideways, swung, twisted, stepped forward, swung a circle, turned around, side-stepped, swung.
"My instinct was right. The orcs had gathered in a circle around me, and when I found a light, I saw that they were all dead.
"That's when I focused on my study of swordplay. I'm stupid enough to require a near death experience to see the practical purposes, you see."
Lady Benoch spent the remainder of the interview, responding in her typically blunt way to the veracity of various myths that surrounded her and her career. It was true that she became the master of the Valenwood Fighter's Guild after winning a duel with the former master, who was a stooge of the Imperial Battlemage, the traitor Jagar Tharn. It was not true that she was the one responsible for the Valenwood Guild's disintegration two years later ("Actually, the membership in the Valenwood chapter was healthy, but in Tamriel overall the mood was not conducive for the continued existence of a nonpartisan organization of freelance warriors.") It was true that she first came to the Emperor's attention when she defended Queen Akorithi of Sentinel from a Bretonassassin. It was not true that the assassin was hired by someone in the high court of Daggerfall("At least," she says wryly, "That has never been proven."). It was also true that she married her former servant Urken after he had been in her service for eleven years ("No one knows how to keep my weaponry honed like he does," she says. "It's a practical business. I either had to give him a raise or marry him.").
The only story I asked her that she would neither admit nor refute was the one about Calaxes, the Emperor's bastard. When I brought up the name, she shrugged, professing no knowledge of the affair. I pressed on with the details of the story. Calaxes, though not in line for succession, had been given the Archbishopric of The One: a powerful position in the Imperial City, and indeed over all Tamriel where that religion is honored. Whispering began immediately that Calaxes believed that the Gods were angered with the secular governments of Tamriel and the Emperor specifically. It was even said that Calaxes advocated full-scale rebellion to establish a theocracy over the Empire.
It is certainly true, I pressed on, that the Emperor's relationship with Calaxes had become very stormy, and that legislation had been passed to limit the Church's authority. That is, up until the moment when Calaxes disappeared, suddenly, without notice to his closest of friends. Many said that Lady Benoch and the Imperial Guard assassinated the Archbishop Calaxes in the sacristy of his church -- the date usually given was the 29th of Sun's Dusk 3E 498 [sic].
"Of course," responds Lady Benoch with one of her mysterious grins. "I don't need to tell you that the Imperial Guard's position is as protectors of the throne, not assassins."
"But surely, no one is more trusted that the Guard for such a sensitive operation," I say, carefully.
Lady Benoch acknowledges that, but merely says that such details of her duties must remain secret as a matter of Imperial security. Unfortunately, her ladyship had to leave early the next morning, as the Emperor had business down south -- of course, I couldn't be told more specifics. She promised to send me word when she returned so we could continue our interview.
As it turned out, I had business of my own in the Summurset Isle, compiling a book on the Psijic Order. It was therefore with surprise that I met her ladyship three months later in Firsthold. We managed to get away from our respective duties to complete our third and final interview, on a walk along the Diceto, the great river that passes through the royal parks of the city.
Steering away from questions of her recent duties and assignments, which I guessed rightly she was loath to answer, I returned to the subject of swordfighting.
"Frandar Hunding," she says. "Lists thirty-eight grips, seven hundred and fifty offensive and eighteen hundred defensive positions, and nearly nine thousand moves essential to sword mastery. The average hack-and-slasher knows one grip, which he uses primarily to keep from dropping his blade. He knows one offensive position, facing his target, and one defensive position, fleeing. Of the multitudinous rhythms and inflections of combat, he knows less than one.
"The ways of the warrior were never meant to be the easiest path. The archetype of the idiot fighter is as solidly ingrained as that of the brilliant wizard and the shrewd thief, but it was not always so. The figure of the philosopher swordsman, the blade-wielding artist are creatures of the past, together with the swordsinger of the Redguards, who was said to be able to create and wield a blade with but the power of his mind. The future of the intelligent blade-wielder looks bleak in comparison to the glories of the past."
Not wanting to end our interviews on a sour note, I pressed Lady Allena Benoch for advice for young blade-swingers just beginning their careers.
"When confronted with a wizard," she says, throwing petals of Kanthleaf into the Diceto. "Close the distance and hit 'im hard."

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