~The Merchant Staff~
Since the founding of the Merchant Guild of Koguryo, there has been but one enduring symbol representing the unity and character of our family: The Merchant Staff.
Those who have been around the kingdoms even for a short time have no doubt recognized the Wicked Staff as a distinguishing characteristic of the Merchant Guild of Koguryo. Every Merchant who has proven his or her commitment and attachment to the Guild is awarded a personalized staff, symbolizing their full commitment to our family, securing their position as a true Merchant, and granting them full membership in our Guild.
It is a rather simple staff, with very limited capacity to inflict harm upon others. The shaft is forged of a special variety of Marble, shipped in from the rich quarries of Shilla, which while maintaining the sleak appearance and smooth qualities of normal marble is tinted a light blue. The base and head are encrusted with small enchanted emeralds, which grant the staff it’s minor magical qualities. A small blue flame burns at the top, seemingly vulnerable to the faintest gust of wind; but this is no ordinary flame. This little blue fire burns eternally, whether doused in water or deprived of oxygen, it perserveres so long as the staff remains in honorable hands.
This staff is by no means an exclusively Merchant item, in fact a number were also sold to a rather reclusive, cave dwelling mage in our fair city of Kugnae. This no doubt resulted in it’s classification as “wicked”, as this fellow is now rumored to be a practitioner of dark magics.
Yet, the staff itself is of little importance, it is but the vessel for the position of honor and respect granted to those who are awarded their own Merchant staff sanctioned by our guild. In fact, in the early days of after our founding the simple Long Spear served as the Merchant Staff. At the time, we had an entire “uniform” of sorts for guild members, including a blue dye and scale mail. When this uniform proved very similar to the new uniforms granted the Koguryo Royal Army, we decided it was time for a change to avoid confusion.
The choice for the Long Spear’s replacement came down to two staves: The Star and Wicked. When all things were considered, the wicked was the clear choice, out of both it’s practical and symbolic similarities with our guild, and the disadvantages of the Star-staff. Some of these include:
-The Wicked staff is quite durable, and does not crumble should it’s bearer be incapacitated. The Star-staff does not share this quality, and has been known to shatter quite easily.
-The Wicked staff can be wielded by all members of the MGK, whereas the Star-staff requires training above the minimum for membership in the guild.
-The blue tint of the staff matches the official dye of the MGK.
-The blue flame which burns at the top of the Wicked Staff cannot be extinguished, burning eternally. This was decided to be an excellent symbol of the perseverance and eternal presence of the MGK through times of trouble. This flame is also small and passive, representing the commitment to non-violence of our Guild.
-The Wicked staff is not an effective tool for combat, further symbolizing the MGK’s pacifist nature.
And so, it was decided that the Wicked Staff would serve thereafter as the official symbol of the Merchant Guild of Koguryo.
Forever after, those Merchants given the chance to wield their own staff were secured as true members of our guild, and given a position of respect awarded only to those who have proven their honor and commitment.
Scholar of the Winds