The Qun (kyoon) is a code of honor based on the writings of the Ashkaari Koslun. The Qun defines the role of everyone and everything in the society of the Qunari ("People of the Qun"), regardless of whether it is spiritual or mundane. For example, some Qunari are raised as soldiers from a very young age. They are expected to be strong, disciplined, and stoic, adhering without fail to the tenets of honor and duty as defined in the Qun. Fanatical in this devotion, the Qunari are prepared to wage war throughout their entire lives as part of their attempts to "enlighten" all other races in regards to their philosophy.
An important concept in the Qun is the idea of "Asit tal-eb"—"It is to be": the idea that everything and everyone in the world has a nature, and all these things come together to form a proper order—such as the locust devouring crops. It is every individual's choice whether or not they act according to their nature and the nature of the world, or oppose the proper order, and as such fight against themselves and the world. The individual is not truly "individual", but part of the whole. Their own nature contributes to the larger nature of the world, and so their struggle against self-balance disrupts the balance of the whole, thus hurting themselves. Because of this, society is not considered artificial, but part of nature.
Every aspect of the Qunari's lives are dictated by Qun, which they follow unquestioningly, and see it as their moral duty to forcefully "educate" those who do not comprehend (for to Qunari, the Qun is not "believed", it is "understood"). To the Qunari, the Qun is the true source of morality, and all societies that reject it will live in debauchery and suffering. To bring these societies to the Qun is to liberate them from their own self-inflicted torment. Even Qunari attempts at trade with other races and nations are done primarily to size up potential opponents, rather than to amass resources or wealth.
Qunari who have abandoned the Qun are called Tal-Vashoth and live away from the Qunari homelands, often working as mercenaries. All Qunari are defined by their social role, which is supposed to be a defining part of the person's nature, unchangeable and fundamental. Qunari value their tools highly and consider them part of their worthiness, as extensions of their role and duties. For example, a Qunari soldier must never be separated from his weapon; such an individual will likely be shamed and/or executed upon returning to the homeland, as it is considered the object that carries the "soul" of the individual (as opposed to the body, which is only a vessel).
Both the Andrastain Chantry and Imperial Chantry consider the Qun to be a threat to their teachings—a test of faith to be fought and vanquished. There have thus been several Exalted Marches declared on the Qunari by both of them. While the Qunari possess superior technology, they are far more reluctant than the Chantry to turn to the use of magic. This extreme dislike of magic helped push them to develop technologically, but as a result their knowledge of magic is very small, and their mages' power undeveloped. By 7:85 Storm, they had been pushed back to Northern Rivain and Par Vollen.
Extracts from the Qun Edit
- Shok ebasit hissra. Meraad astaarit, meraad itwasit, aban aqun. Maraas shokra. Anaan esaam Qun.
- (Struggle is an illusion. The tide rises, the tide falls, but the sea is changeless. There is nothing to struggle against. Victory is in the Qun.)
- (possible extract) "Doubt is the path one walks to reach faith. To leave the path is to embrace blindness and abandon hope."
- "To call a thing by its name is to know its reason in the world. To call a thing falsely is to put out one's own eyes."
- "Existence is a choice. There is no chaos in the world, only complexity. Knowledge of the complex is wisdom. From wisdom of the world comes wisdom of the self. Mastery of the self is mastery of the world. Loss of the self is the source of suffering. Suffering is a choice, and we can refuse it. It is in our power to create the world, or destroy it."
See also EditCodex entry: The Qunari - Asit tal-eb