The Wording

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Myths and legends of the market, ISDA edition
The JC’s guide to the foundational mythology of the Aïessdiyé.™
“Are we — are we done then? My brother, sister knights: are we done?”
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The Wording
ðə ˈwɜːdɪŋ (n.)
The sacred time when the Aïessdiyé comes together to confect a new ISDA publication.

This process — utterly secret — is believed to take place in ISDA’s Green Chapel, in the oldest part of the Keep of Salomoné, amongst the praetorian guard of ISDA ninjas, who are bound till death by the Swappist Oath. The Wording is, as you would expect, beset by formal pageantry: over their careers counsellors immerse themselves in complicated matters of etiquette, procedure, comportment and most importantly syntax. Transgression of these ineffable rules — not just unwritten but forbidden to be reduced to mortal form — can lead to even senior ninjas being cast out: consigned to a period in the Protocolium, a stone oubliette in the dungeon on the Keep, where prisoners must wordlessly reflect on their allegiance to the One Agreement which they pledged on taking of the Swappist Oath.

Captured nicely in only remaining fragment from the libretto from Otto Büchstein’s unfinished operetta Ser Jaramey Slizzard.

The Grand Knight-Convenor of ISDA’ s crack CDS drafting squad surveys the wreckage across the mead-hall. At last, the hall falls silent. Echoed scuffles, bootfall and clankèd chainmail sublimate into the musty vaulted beams — perhaps a saucepan lid lazily circles. A curl of incense wafts up, the chimney smokes white and before the exhausted combatants there lies, upon a table, this careful calligraphic parchment.

Regolamento: Fine ninjas, knights and champions —
Brave chevaliers of our spidery art! Lay down your arms.
Though be you bruised and battered, soiled and scarred —
The meaty thrust and counterthrust that boiled within these cloisters
And lent heft to this most blasted of all Wordings
Is now done.
Triago, Herculio, arise! We are at one.
Holster thy syntactic catapults;
Demob that giddy mace of outlandish sophistry!
Behold, clandestine league, anoint the golden hour!
Apply thy merry unguents: our wranglement is at an end.
Grand Knight-Convenor: Are we — are we done, then? My brother, sister knights: are we done?

The rambunctious Ser Jaramey Slizzard, a young knight from the court of Milbank, stirs. He gets unsteadily to his feet. His countenance is dark.

Ser Jaramey: Prithee, the conch.
Grand Knight-Convenor: Denied.
Ser Jaramey: So be it, milord, but I shall speak. Now, As the case may, for the time being, be deemèd
Grand Knight-Convenor: No. This must stop now. The time for pedantry is over, Ser.

But the young knight is hot blooded, wild. We can hear him mutter the Swappist Oath.

Ser Jaramey: What is dull is never done.

The young knight draws, but the Aïessdiyé have seen all this before. They are faster. They anticipate his stroke and the watch commander, Inclusivia Libertardia cuts the young knight down with a blow to the back of the knees.

Ser Jaramey: Doth it befit our order, good lady knight
Our sainted equal guild of taker and of giver —
To strike so low a blow as that?

The young knight buckles.

Inclusivia: ’Twas the cheapest to deliver.

The company of knights of the Aïessdiyé escort Ser Jaramey away to the Protocolia where he will serve a period of nettance.

See also