594 – Chorka • 03

594 - Fight!

I Was Wrong.

And I’m man enough to admit it.

For years here I have defended the idea of gay marriage and derided it’s critics who said that it would ruin the institution of marriage for alla us straight guys. (Woof-woof-woof!) I said that line of reasoning was a stupid argument made by ignorant people who were merely repeating talking points handed down by cynical hate-mongers who knew they’d be foolish enough to buy it. But then… it happened.

Gay marriage ruined marriage for everyone.

In 2005 the Texas legislature passed an amendment to their state constitution with the intention of making it illegal for people who are different from themselves to enjoy the same rights and privileges as they have. Seems like a terrific idea on the face of it, so what could go wrong? Well, in their breathless rush to action legislators seemingly forgot to read the amendment they were passing, and signed this into law:

“This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

In other words, no one in Texas is married, nor has been for the past 4 years. (Marriage being more or less identical to marriage.) Clearly, if gay people hadn’t started getting married in other states, this never would have happened. It’s almost as if they think they’re as good as people! And now poor “straight Texas” is left in a “If’n I can’t have it, no one can… BOOM!” state of being… except… well… they could have marriage… before… they just can’t now…

Anyway, if those queers hadn’t gone and got so uppity the Texas legislature would never have gotten so upset that they banned marriage completely. It breaks my heart to think of all those good Christians who will ROAST IN HELL now that they are living in sin. And think of the children! The poor bastards.

The Texas Attorney General stands behind the law, and continues to defend his tragic, stupid mistake. No word yet on his own live-in arrangement with the woman he fraudulently claims is his “wife”, but I doubt it’ll last. Women like a sense of security Texas men can no longer provide.

Yes. I was so very, very wrong…

76 Responses to 594 – Chorka • 03

  1. ./giggle, I read about that on a website I frequent, and it’s been hilarious since day one.

    How the bloody hell did their legislature not catch that? I dunno, but I’m LMAO! 😀

    Edit: Oh, and stupid question… did bunker just BITE the guy’s sword in two?! (OK, so I almost missed the little ‘whoosh’ lines that showed he just cut the darned thing in two… the artwork still seems to almost suggest some kind of mouth-based attack is about to occur! Along with a punch… )

    • Oh, and stupid question… did bunker just BITE the guy’s sword in two?! (OK, so I almost missed the little ‘whoosh’ lines that showed he just cut the darned thing in two… the artwork still seems to almost suggest some kind of mouth-based attack is about to occur! Along with a punch… )

      Heh, I thought that too, at first. The shards from the broken blade and Bunker’s spittle are very close together, and Swillsberne looked so shocked, I really thought Bunker had taken a bite out of the sword, like the cookie monster demolishing a cookie. Nom nom. :mrgreen:

      Has my favorite rogue Swillsberne always been dual-wielding his blades, or did the unseen gamemaster upgrade him to two-weapon fighting?

      But… “STAB!”? Who stabbed whom between panel 1 and 2?? Probably Swillsberne stabbed Bunker, but didn’t manage to get through his gold-dragon-scale armor and it only resulted in making Bunker mad?

      But the phrase “mouth-based attack” is hilarious! :mrgreen:

      • Bunker SMASHED! Swillsberne’s sword in two. He does not have secret super biting powers.

        As far as the dagger goes, it occurred to me that many villains in the movies that use a sword also keep a dagger just to have an unfair advantage over the hero, who most often does not. Swillsberne seemed like just that kind of guy.

        • There’s also the fact that Swillsberne is using a one-handed sword, and except for Fencers, most people who used one handed-swords also used either a shield, a dagger or a swordbreaker.

          • Are you sure Chris?
            Shield’s are cool in battle but not so fun to carry when not doing guard duty.
            Swordbreakers hardly ever appear because while they can be used to catch a larger weapon, it requires a lot of skill to do and the leverage has to be correct and most importantly it distracts from the point of the fight (putting the sharp bit into the other guy). Always strike to cut.
            And daggers can be useful but do tie up a hand, don’t always prove to be immediately fatal, are seldom designed as good defensive weaponry and if you’re able to get in a scrap and shield is much more use (especially if the other guys might have archers). And finally, like the swordbreaker, they require substantially more skill and training to use (in game terms: suck for the hit w/ penalty on the primary).

            A metal backed glove is fair more useful and inconspicuous

  2. looks to me hes just countering his swing to stay balanced, I mean he did just hack a sword in two that had to take a considerable amount of force, hes also being really aggressive

    • Bunker’s been dealing with this yo-yo for years now, and this is the first opportunity he’s had to take him on in a stand-up fight. I’d be aggressive too!

  3. LOVE IT!

    I’ve waited YEARS (okay, maybe not quite) to see Bunker kick the crap outta that lame villain. Hell yeah Bunker, rock on! 😈

  4. Hm. I posted something just now on Wednesday’s page, but then I realized no-one probably gonna see it. So let me quote myself:

    “(…)while I understand that Vorpine is still Pope despite the goddess Berel being dead (Vorpine probably simply didn’t tell anyone), shouldn’t Vorpine and all the other clerics of Berel have lost their clerical magic powers? So no more resurrections. Unless Vorpine simply worships himself now. (Technically, at least in 3E, clerics could follow a “cause” or philosophy instead of a deity, very Planescape-esque, but I doubt that “Vorpine’s big ego” counts as a worthy cause.)”

    I guess we’ll find out soon. And the answer to the question, what are Swillsberne and Vorpine doing in the troll woods? Looking for the artifacts, too? But why? Do they even know Erias?

  5. Vorpine’s big ego. I love that.

    Why indeed are they in the woods in another country? That is a very good, and appropriate, question.

  6. Kev…is Bunker using a gladius of all things?

    Granted, it seems ol’ Swill is using a flimsy combo of rapier (although, as I can see, it’s of the cut & thrust variety) coupled with a main gauche for defense, although in this case it would be a rapier and a main droite, because Swill is a lefty.

    Sundering isn’t so difficult, given that parrying enough does that to various weapons. Notice how Bunker’s weapon’s edge has been dented, and badly dented at that. He pretty much ruined his edge in order to pour all of his aggression in breaking Swill’s rapier right around the middle. The things flowing from Bunker’s mouth aren’t bits of metal rather than saliva (but I think Kev has cleared that enough). Now, the fact sundering hasn’t returned (and perhaps might never return) to 4e remains kinda shocking, since that means either DM fiat or DM homebrewed power. Which…would still be on the wrong weapon.

    So…Bunker does a sundering power against Swill, breaking his ol’ friendnemy’s blade with a short sword (really, a short sword?) with his own edge, disregarding he has a much more solid edge in his back which would have protected his edge, albeit at the cost of weakening his weapon’s structural integrity.

    Yep, seems like a normal day at H.O.L.E.

    • I dunno. I chalk it up to people being really pissed not thinking as straight as they normally would. And it IS just a short sword as far as I know, so a replacement or repair shouldn’t be too hard to get for it.

      • Except Bunker looks like the guy who would use a greatsword of all weapons. Using a short sword seems a bit off.

        And then, he chips his edge off. He chips the edge of a Gladius.

          • Kev, it’s not as easy when you’re a sword enthusiast (you could have noticed when I mentioned all that pretty and smart-appearing stuff). And when, despite suspension of disbelief, you are threatening the strength of the actual party leader.

            What would happen if, somehow, Bunker lost his weapon permanently in an important battle? I’d…cringe. Bunker would probably be dead, his last thought being “I should have used the back side of the gladius when I handed Swillsberne’s buttocks to him last time…”

    • Come on Oscar if you want to play it like that, a training gladius problem one of the few things with the mass to snap a decent sword. (axes tend to be a little slow, most S-H fighting swords are only 1-1.5 kg total; maces, clubs and H&h swords much more effective).

      But really if you want to poke holes why is Bunker striking with the flat of the gladius in the first panel? (is he trying for first level? or striking to subdue (original rules))?

      There is no indication that Bunker notched his blade on that strike, especially since an edge-blocked strike would be less likely to sunder the weapon (which occured on this strike). Thus better to assume we have missed one or many strikes, showing Bunkers growing berserk fury at Swillsbutt. (ie you dent mai sword, I shall f..bust yours)

  7. this is exactly the type of stuff that makes me glad I’m not an american. No offense to you rational and sane Americans, but damn you’re crazy and/or stupid.
    Nice action scene, I wonder if I should read it as a metaphor to your blog, it does fit surprisingly well. I could have made a joke to Bunker being a biter, but I figure that’s going too deep.

    • I’d like to claim it Lavister, but the two were written at entirely different times with no regard to each other. Just serendipity I suppose.

  8. I don’t know that this is necessarily a bad thing. Maybe making it so that the state doesn’t recognize marraige but instead some other institution will make it so that the religious conotations involved will finally not be associated with the new state version of the union.

    • I heard some straight couple in England is suing the state to be allowed to have a non-married civil union. I think that’s awesome. Kinda wish it had been an issue when I was getting married, for the very reasons you mention.

  9. Since marriage has long been a social and religious union, there’s no reason for it to have to be a government-endorsed state as well. Any church, temple, circle, family, or individual can bless or condemn any union; as far as the state or federal government is concerned, it’s just a contract between adults.

    And…damn, Bunker can kick Swilly’s butt! Does Swilly have a dirty trick up his sleeve? And will Bunker fall for it, since he’s just a straightforward kinda guy?

    • At issue are the associated privileges, like tax breaks and visiting rights, as well as insurance and inheritance. (It is not at all uncommon for a homosexual surviving partner to have their wealth stripped away by an estranged yet “legal” family.)

      Bunker’s pretty hot, but the fight ain’t over yet.

      • See, all those privileges are part of the contract. Basically, it’s a contract to form a “family unit”, because that’s exactly what a marriage does. A legal family unit is the only concern of the government, not how many of what sex are involved, nor what any of thousands of different churches say about it.

        • While that seems logically so, the government is run by people who are elected by people who think it’s icky when two boys kiss, and they see this as an opportunity to express their distaste. At this point, despite what opponents of same-sex marriage may tell you, this is all about people’s “uncomfortable feelings”, and thus far those people seem to be in the majority.

          However, this will eventually change. Every generation gets a little farther removed from the original hatreds and bigotries that make this seem okay to folks, and eventually today’s gay-bashers will be seen in exactly the same light as yesterday’s oppressors of blacks.

          • To be replaced with some new hatred and bigotry we don’t even notice.

            Betting pool on what it is. $2 on politicians.

        • All contract law lies on a fundamental premise of “what is in the public interest”.

          Thus same-sex unions = no offspring (or worker units for Church or State).
          Thus they are not in the best interests of the public, so the legal executive isn’t supposed to allow that contract to have recognised legal status; and also that means all attempts by private citizens (that do not involve due-procedure limited to begging their local politician) is actually illegal in the eyes of the law. Although The Law is magnanimous in dealing with the smelly populace and lets them have certain leeway in expression in the matter.

          Of course, it is those with the greatest resources, and the backing of large resourceful organisations (Churchs, Unions, Mob, Military) that get to be the Government and they are the ones who get to decide what is “public’s best interest” (ie that which makes said resources even more tightly controlled).

          Remember Happy WorkUnits don’t work as hard.

          • By that reasoning, straight couples should be required to produce a child before they can get married.

            Actually, marriage has other benefits for society. Married people are less likely to end up on welfare and share resources with their spouse efficiently. Statistically, they also get sick less often and generally get into trouble less. It’s all the benefit of having someone else looking out for you. More importantly, the government is supposed to be here to serve it’s people.

          • Replying to Goshen, since it appears we have max thread depth of 4.

            If you check your history you’ll see that the couple is/was expected to produce their first offspring (hopefully the heir) as soon as possible. This was important enough that the marriage [contract] could be put aside if it turns out that this was not possible. eg barren/infertile, either party’s continual refusal to consumate the marriage, engaging in extra-curricular ‘consumations’, homosexuality. In fact much of the stigma of the latter item is because of the whole marriage=family-empire concept and that having a homosexual child representing a huge burden of upbringing and security of the child, yet produced no heirs to further the line/empire. And back then, and in many Muslim countries today, business == family.

            They would have to wait until after marriage [contract] otherwise there would be no contract in place to cover the whole gestation event. So either party could fail/walk away from what is supposed to be a large family/business commitment (business as in the business of joining/merging two otherwise separate empires)

            As for the government is for the people. LOL. It always cracks me up when I see the plebs trot that one out. You’ve been sold friend. That’s why if there’s a war you and your neighbours kids get to go on the front line, and the governments kids get helicopters to bunkers and cushy behind the lines officers jobs. That’s why they get contacts, contracts and a trust fund, and you get a 10×8 cubicle (if you’re lucky). Any government for the people will be immediately overcome by a government which watches out for its own power structure. The former by it’s nature would weaken itself, the latter by its nature accumulates resources.

          • Replying to Mist’s above post ( currently #34), since we seem to have a thread depth limit of 4.

            You’re over exaggerating the effect of class, or at least assigning things directly to it rather than indirectly.

            While it is true that the family of high ranking officers and government officials tend to get ‘cushier’ positions (for the sake of this argument, let’s limit this to the war front discussions you mentioned) such as helicopters and bunker-based positions, in general this isn’t a direct effect of their relationship. Like it or not, higher class individuals tend to insist that their children get a better education, and as a result those children are better suited to be officers and otherwise hold rank. There is a certain degree of ‘class’ at work here, true, but the military works hard to insure that a person holds a position based less on who their family is and more on what their ability, training, and experience warrant. There may be (hell, lets admit it, there are) exceptions, but those are failures of the system, not the rule of the system.

          • To Mist: Your point about traditional marriage requiring kid production is well taken, but it doesn’t change the fact that even childless marriage is a Good Thing. In fact, society is NOT spending extra money or resources grant people marriage rights. It actually saves money.

            As for government: Government is a big ornery horse. More like a riding warg, actually. You gotta let it know who’s boss, rule it, and ride it right. People create and maintain governments for all sort of reasons. Originally and mainly to survive against other large organizations of people and against the elements. Even people living under tyranny are supporting the tyrant out of some collective instinct. The minute they get pissed off enough, the tyrant is toast.

            And good guys win too. One of ways the old Inca empire grew was by pointing out to neighboring people just how good the Inca people had it, comparatively. They gained much territory through peaceful accession. Interestingly, the European Union is currently growing that way, exclusively.

  10. Seems to me the State Attorney General needs to get on the ball and start prosecuting all those people who fraudulently claimed a marriage deduction on their state income tax returns.

  11. Heh heh. Being as Bunker’s “sword” is so stubby, it’s no wonder Violet didn’t walk away from their little tryst with a Happy Belly. I like the look of shock on Swillsberne’s face. I never once thought it looked like Bunker was biting his sword, I just figured it was a primal shout of rage into the face of a hated enemy. I’m thinking this fight may last another comic or two, and I think though he may get his ass kicked, Swillsberne will likely walk away from it. Or at least run away with his tail between his legs. I’d hate to think he won’t be coming back though. He’s just so much fun.

  12. Wait I thought you can’t sunder in 4e on account of it being a stupid 3e rule that they needed to get rid of. Anything so situational and destructive of treasure could not possibly have a use.

    • “Anything so situational and destructive of treasure could not possibly have a use.”
      Oh wow, sounds like 4E was written by and for whiners.
      So, has the “disarm”option disappeared, too? Sounds like several “Aragorn LotR maneuvers” aren’t possible in 4E anymore: beheading orcs, sundering their weapons etc. Perseus could never have cut off the Medusa’s head, either. It’s annoying enough that D&d never had proper parrying rules, body hit locations, or rules for knocking someone out with one punch.
      Cinematic combat vs rules-lawyer battlemap & miniatures combat: 0:1

      • The rule at my table is if the players can justify it, we run with it, no matter what game system. I like 4e a lot, but wherever it fails, imagination can always step in.

      • Dunno if anyone is still reading this but… Yes, disarm has disappeared too, and the designers quite specifically gave the reason that I did. Anyway it was a joke poking fun at 4e special attacks. I don’t mind 4e too much but the lack of verisimilitude irks me to no end. DMs and players can sit down and say “okay, anything you describe well can happen, and we’ll stop the game for a couple minutes to jimmy rig some mechanics” but in practice this is rare. Better to say you like the simpler mechanics but you fluff it up with flowery description whenever you feel like it, as long as it has no actual mechanical effect.

        Oh and, no, neither 3e or 4e have damage location tables.

      • Did I make fun of Texas? ‘Cause I thought I was making fun of idiot, pandering, homophobic legislators. I suppose if that’s how Texas identifies itself then point made, otherwise this could wave happened anywhere man.

  13. I am from Texas, gay, and married. My husband and I took a very Texan attitude towards the whole thing by having a huge extra-legal wedding in Austin at a beautiful venue run by lesbians. We had both families and all our friends, and it was great. Why was this a Texan thing to do? Because we didn’t wait for the government to tell us what we can and cannot do. Of course, it’s better for gay marriage to be legal and we will push for that, but we know we are married.

    I love Texas, but I’m afraid we got some arrogant idiots in the legislature who are now refusing to believe how badly they screwed up. They call themselves conservative, but I don’t hear them offering to reduce gays’ taxes even though we get less government services, i.e. marriage rights.

    This too shall pass. Gay people will eventually get the same rights as everyone else as the anii die off, replaced by the more sensible younger generation.

    • ” Gay people will eventually get the same rights as everyone else as the anii die off,”

      I’m thinking the individual gay families will die off faster…

      But I dont see why the State awards married people any extra recognition… after all don’t the Church and Government claim that marriage is a “sacred” and “religious” institution?

      • Gay families will never die out, because homosexuality appears to be a recessive trait in the human genome. Always a certain percentage of any population are gay, or want to be. Why this is, nobody really knows, although it may have something to do with the fact the humans evolved in groups of 50-100. Maybe there is some advantage to have a few homos around. More likely, gender orientation and differentiation only needs to be 9x% accurate for the species to do just fine.

        Your point about having NO government involvement is marriage is quite interesting. It would certainly be just, but maybe not the most efficient public policy. As I said before, there really are economic benefits for a society to have people marry. I guess the problem is the entanglement of legal and religious marriage.

        • Twin studies have shown that homosexuality is not based in the genes. In a pair of identical twins one might be hetero and the other homosexual. Instead, it seems to have a strong epigenetics component.

          Epigenetics: The relatively new study and hot topic of how gene activity is regulated within a cell, such as by controller genes and inhibitor genes or by histoproteins, if and how position of a gene along the arms of a chromosome plays a role in its activity (important in “jumping genes”), and how genes can be “marked”, that is activated or silenced through the addition of methyl-groups. Gene activity in turn regulates the production of proteins and enzymes, influences hormone-levels, etc. And some of these “markers” apparently can be inherited from mother to offspring. Parasites, illnesses, stress, even nutrition, can all influence the regulation of gene activity.

          As for homosexuality, according to a study I read researchers found a statistically significant correlation between birth order in boys and male homosexuality in families where women had born a lot of boys. The more older brothers someone has, the higher the chance that he will turn out to be gay. Apparently, the body of a woman who has already been through several pregnancies with boys reacts to the hormones of the male fetus and the mother’s hormones will influence brain development in the unborn child. Alas, there’s no study about girl births and female homosexuality. But both homosexuality and transsexuality seem to develop prenataly, in the womb.

          Homosexuality has been documented in dozens of animal species by now. Biologists in more prudish decades were prone to explaining it away as an “abberation”, but these days it’s accepted that homosexuality is part of nature. The main sociobiological explanation is the so-called “helper at the nest” hypothesis, based on the fact that in many species, including us, not every individuum will have offspring anyway, and sometimes two parents aren’t enough to raise offspring to adult age. In fact, in some species, again including some human cultures, only the oldest sibling is allowed to have children at all, and younger brothers and sisters are forced to stay childless and instead work as “helpers at the nest”. In fact, offspring is more likely to survive and thrive if relatives of the parents help caring for it. Of course, to do that these relatives must not have offspring of their own to care for.

          The stupid preoccupation religions have with breeding, may have to do with their desire to “outbreed” a rival religion. This day and age, all it causes is overbreeding.

          • Stupid question, but didn’t the same study that showed that identical twins could be ‘split’ between gay and not gay also show a 2:1 ratio (i. e. 2/3rds of the time) where the identical twins shared sexual orientations?

          • @Rilber: The studies I know about showed that identical twins were 50% to 70% likely to have the same sexual orientation. It shows the homosexuality is a genetic potential which is not always expressed.

          • I see a lot of homosexuality in my current line of work. One of my business units is (primarily) a dairy farm, and there’s huge amounts of homosexual activity between the animals (majority within the same species). It seems to be a normal sexual response to hormone levels and social structures. I haven’t taken much notice outside the mammals tho. Interestingly enough amongst the bovines homosexuality is more acceptable, although strict non-hetrosexuality is considerably less common. It is very common for SS events many hours before a mating attempt is accepted/attempted, and afterwards as well.
            Judging by the non-verbal signals in those animals and also the human animals the social order very much alters how internally acceptable such an activity is, also I would be surprised if passive and agressiveness didn’t reflect a similiar trend and also certain socially expressed ideals, as the younger members tend to be more sheltered in some ways and lower expectations on their behaviour.

          • On the religion issue: For a lot of religions it was about seeing to the growth of the tribe. In primitive society with little machinery to amplify the results of a person working and moderate specialisation then there is going to less excess resources (to care for the old, to undertake work, to mince about praying and gazing at navels) and there is going to be little available for those who cannot work (old, injured, ill, lost crops/late season, or later professional soldiery). Population == man power. Population also == more incubators to replace those who die in childbirth. Especially before medicine advanced enough to tip the scales (and also meant less robust individuals would propogate)

          • Wow! Thank you, mist, for that interesting information, especially about exclusive homosexuality being much rarer (no pun) among cows than simple homosexual behavior. In the well-fed environment of the farm, the extra energy spent on same-sex fooling around is unlikely to be a problem. It certainly doesn’t affect their birth rate.

            On religion and procreation, the key is not the reproduction rate of the average individual, but the birth and survival rate for the tribe as a whole. It is possible that having a small number of homosexuals doing other things, like being shaman, which help the group’s overall survival rate. If the male shaman is exclusively homosexual, there are still plenty of other males around to do the husbandly duties. Lesbian woman can have sex with a man simply to get pregnant, although today it’s usually by some artificial means.

  14. Question for the DM (might I suggest the implimentation of a suggestions box? or at least a Q’s for the DM box? 🙂 )

    Some DM’s go to a lot of trouble to make realistic worlds, and give people realistic type motivations…
    In those situations shouldn’t the NPC Magic Users have something more useful memorised (not to mention the NPC fighters & guards not sitting down to lunch in full kit). And perhaps not even full quota memorised?
    After all how often does one need MM or fireball during a routine day, or cone-of-cold for when their beers to warm. Why memorise Timestop, I mean just what kind of things is it going to be used for in a normal wizard guild/university?

    Thus to the question :
    Is it worth putting together some “daily routine” magics for MU’s to learn? And are there any suggestions?

    Where I’m thinking is it adds a new dimension to the whole stealth/subtle approach. Bandits etc are waiting for a scrap but are often low level, where picking bigger fights it adds some interesting possibilities if not every encounter is at battle stations every minute of the day (and thus has to be played at Int=4 if the party is going to survive contact)

    • I have always loved this idea. One of my favorite wizards I ever played entered at 3rd level party at 1/2 level, when all he had to cast were cantrips. (2nd edition) It was a LOT of fun making his seem powerful and threatening with spells for spicing food and changing the color of your socks.

    • Timestop, I’d say, is a spell that is ALWAYS useful.

      “I don’t expect to see combat today but – HOLY COW HE’S KNOCKED OVER MY PRICELESS VASE-FROM-ANOTHER-TIME-LINE-THAT-WILL-NEVER-BE-MADE-NOW-BECAUSE-OF-TAMPERING-ADVENTURERS- timestop it’s all good.”

      Expeditious retreat, teleports, create X, polymorph, stat buffs (bull’s strength for a weakling wizard, of course it makes sense on a day-to-day basis), Tensor’s Floating Disk, etc. I expect higher level wizards to always cart a few of those combat spells around in their mind, though, because chances are they’ve made some enemies and it’s not like they’re hurting for spell slots anyways.

  15. First off, Kevin I owe you an apology. I am sorry about my comment on “Black Friday”. I am glad that you are comfortable with your life and I did a stereotypical response.

    Now with gay marriage. Our government has no real control over Marriage. Marriage is a religious event, Check your Websters. What most gay people I know want isn’t religious marriage (which happens even in states that have banned it) but civil unions. I know, I know, ” A Rose is a Rose no matter what the name”, but what actually is happening the government can’t control marriages, only civil unions. I can be married in the eyes of the church and the creator, but not in the eyes of the government. I love how we try to separate Church and State when it suits us, but then fall back when we can’t handle it. I asked a catholic priest about this once (I am not catholic, but I like to study all sorts of different opinions) and he said that the marriage license isn’t necessary for you to be married, only so you get the benefits like Kevin mentioned earlier. All you have to do is follow your own personal beliefs.

    Now on to the swords. depending on which version of the Gladius it is makes this a moot point on whether he notched it or not. There are several different blade designs over the ages and I can see two ways for this to go. 1) the blade was designed to be usable on either side, so you just flip it over and use the other side. Then later, take it back and get it re-edged. Romans used to nick and notch their blades all the time in battle, hence the dual sided blade. 2) one variation of the gladius (may have a different name but it looks the same) had a sharp side and a dullish side. one side was for beating on your opponents armor and weapons. The other side and the point was for slicing through flesh. Plus Kevin didn’t make the notch so big that it damaged the spine of the blade (intentional or not) so depending on whether the blade was single cast (made in one piece) or double cast (making the blade around a already hardened core), fixing it would be a pain, but could be done in about 4-6 hours with a good smithy.
    Also when dual-wielding , depending on the style, the dagger is kept flat with the forearm. this allows you to use the dagger like a brace on your forearm, yet slice if you can when you block with your main weapon. Of course this style is hard to show in a comic and being startled as he was, probably couldn’t get into any real form if he wanted to.

    • First off, marriage was a civil institution in the form of a contract (for lack of a better description, check the wiki for a better one) before time and the church changed it.

      Second, your reply seems to jump terms inconsistently. Assuming I understand what you’re saying, marriage licenses are the governments way of regulating civil unions…? Or something like that. You might want to go through and examine every use of marriage and civil union, because as is you seem to contradict yourself, or at least be highly confused.

    • My marriage (for me) had nothing to do with religion. In Florida it is (technically) illegal for two opposite-sex, non-related adults to cohabitate… which, while this made no actual difference in my decision-making processes, is symptomatic of the stigma attached to unmarried couples.

      I was married as a way to tangibly pledge my loyalty and future to Lena, and so I could stop saying the word fiance, which I despise. The ceremony took place in a church as a concession to my mother and grandmother, but not because I wanted it to. If I had had the option at the time of an equivalent civil union, you can bet your ass I would have taken it. Religion never entered my mind.

      • @Kevin: It’s all good. One of the reasons for having a marriage ceremony is to declare in a loud way that you two really are committed to each other, so people should take that seriously. It’s a nice thing to do for the community, because it gives them some reassurance that the people they care about are in stable relationships. It doesn’t always work, of course, but it’s worth a shot, IMHO.