Breaking the Speed of Sound

Undoubtedly, in the past, the visible defining characteristic of the Merchant Guild of Koguryo has been the inextinguishable blue flame that graces the top of our Merchant Staff. Our own history has extensive knowledge regarding such a staff of grace and maturation.

Yet, as we enter into new lands within our kingdoms and uncharted territories within our Guild, the Gods have fit to bestow upon our ranks…the Bullwhip. For some, the juxtaposition may be relatively jarring; the general images of violence the Bullwhip can connote certainly do not parlay with our mostly placid ranks. However, even the most logical and mathematical assumption would lead to the clearest solution. While we are in nature and profession, Merchants, in our core-our very essence-

…we are Rogues.


The Bullwhip, in many ways, mirrors the duality at times a Merchant exhibits both in private as well as public. Currently, only the highest-ranked individuals within the Circle have been given the honor and privilege of creating such a weapon. While we as a collective are notorious for our extensive knowledge of “supply and demand,” the sheer numbers within our ranks allow for the Daredevil to compete in underground battles, while the Tradesman is found within our Markets looking for the next great deal. The Bullwhip, while our newest treasure to grace our hands, is just as multi-faceted.


Former Elder, Scholar, and flagship Treasure Hunter Paladino, first hinted at the existence of the Bullwhip after meeting with Kyun, his treasure-hunting Master, during his numerous trips to Silla. (Note: Silla and Shilla, according to sources, are the same territories). These encounters, however, were not documented in our own histories for fear of the general public learning of his vast austerities. Indeed, Kyun was exceedingly private regarding the fruits of his own labor, and much was lost once Paladino left the Guild. However, during conversations with Durant, we have some evidence that such a weapon once existed, yet due to its age and some water damage from the lack of proper ventilation from Pond’s vault, much of the information Durant recorded was illegible:

“Yu…i 41, Fall- 6th ..ay, 6t… Mo…
Pa…ino…return…d……….Kyun….cited newly…
Kyun…allow…..view…aut…ities…one of whi…
…the in..f…ous…Bul..w..ip.

Due to the work of preservationists within the Guild, the majority of the passage was salvaged:

“Yu[r]i 41, Fall- 6th [D]ay, 6t[h] Moon[-]

Pala[d]ino return[e]d from Kyun. [He?] cited newly-
Disc[o]vered tr[easure] from S{h}illa.
Kyun allowed [me? To] view [his?] au[s]ter[ities,] one of whi[ch] [was?] the inf[amous] Bul[l]w[h]ip.

While the motives of our Gods is unknown at this time, one can simply assume that our dedication to preserving the memories of those before us while striving to continue towards the wealth we all seek, the Bullwhip has now fully become a symbol of permanence for our Guild.


The handle is ornately decorated from the gold and silver refineries of Silla. On one side of the handle displays the bearer’s name while the other side is laden with smaller, lemon-colored rubies and denotes a striking resemblance to Kubera. Once touched, the handle molds perfectly to the hand of the owner, ensuring that the Merchant chosen to wield such a weapon will forever do so.

The thong and fall of the Bullwhip are made from the supplest leather found within the kingdoms. While numerous animals throughout the lands would easily suffice for a supply of leather, the hide used comes from the magnificent, yet dangerous Gold Serpents found within the Woodlands. Once killed, these treacherous serpents molt “Beautiful Leather.” Yet, simply gathering enough of these pieces and braiding them are not adequate for such a priceless item. Once in the possession of the Merchant, these skins are taken to a Druid Elder in order to be blessed; certainly benefiting oneself through the harm to our kingdom’s fauna–whether loyal friend or beast–need the approval of the Followers of Nature to refine. Then, the careful braiding begins. According to those who are able to make one suggest that the process to complete the mid-section of the whip is tedious. The standard Bullwhip takes days to make.

The final portion, the cracker, known for its universal resonance, is the most recognizable feature of the Merchant’s weaponry. The string used for the tip, created by Legendary Fisherman Wim, is forged from thin strands of twine and bark from the Forever Tree. This gives the weapon its unforgettable reverberation as the length of the cracker breaks the speed of sound.


Unlike the Twenty-One Rudraksha Beads or the Nine Heavenly Items found in Kubera’s Treasure House, the general newness of the Bullwhip has not allowed for immediate study regarding spiritual forces or magical powers. However, since its inception, citizens have confirmed the unmistakable sound of a whip crack throughout the lands:

“…as I was coconut gathering on Gogoon,
I SWORE I hear some sort of whipping
sound coming from the Mansion…”

“Oh! I was at Casino about to buy a raffle ticket when I heard a whip of some kind in the Enclave! I hope no one was hurt!”

Hyul 32, 12th Moon: “…sounds of a crack could be
heard from the Yeonsu Dojang…”

“…a cracking sound emanating
from Kugnae Gathering…
cheers could be heard…”


Perhaps it is not important for the time being to discover any additional power for the Bullwhip. From historical accounts as well as members of the community, conceivably the immediate force of such a weapon comes from instilling a sense of wonderment and awe from members within our prestigious ranks as well as throughout our lands.

While one can only assume that the Bullwhip can be used to inflict pain or worse–fear in individuals, I am fulfilled knowing that the sheer allure and the enigmatic appeal of our path weaponry will continue to be an avenue of discussion and a means for continued discovery long after my departure from this world.

Sometimes a solution doesn’t exist…even for a Scholar such as me.

…and I am content.

Scholar of the MGK