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Originally I was going to title this as Offensive Checklist, however that title truly stinks even though it actually begins with O. But this is O. I promise. It just sort of starts with H… This is a page out of a fictional ambassadorial reference notebook.

HOW TO OFFEND A HOUNDMASTER

Important Notes Concerning Houndmaster Interaction

*Never touch a houndmaster’s dogs!*

This can’t be stressed enough. If there is even a shadow of a doubt as to whether the dog belongs to a houndmaster’s pack, don’t touch. Generally the dog will react unfavorably to you, making it possible for you to lose a hand. Even if that does not happen, the houndmaster will take the act as a challenge. Be prepared for a fight if you make this mistake.

*Do not threaten/joke or otherwise mention the
possibility of taking a houndmaster’s dogs!*

While the occasional houndmaster might ignore you, most will react unfavorably to even the slightest comment about someone else taking over their pack or stealing their dogs. Again, the houndmaster in question will likely take this as a challenge and instigate a fight.

*Do not attempt to shake hands, kiss cheeks,
slap shoulders or touch a newly introduced houndmaster!*

Touching an unknown/just met houndmaster will make the man or woman take the uninstigated touching as a challenge. They will completely ignore a hand held out, thankfully, but actual touching by non-houndmasters should be avoided. The only place this rule can be relaxed is in crowded situations where the crowd is primarily houndmasters, but even then, please avoid any unnecessary touching.

*Never complain about pain!*

This won’t actually offend houndmasters, however, it will make houndmasters believe you to be weaker than them. We need our ambassadors to remain respected in their eyes, so hold yourself to the level they expect from someone as strong, or stronger, as one of them.

*Remember that to turn down a challenge is to admit defeat!*

If you insult a houndmaster and he/she does not challenge you, this means they believe you to be so far beneath them that it would be embarrassing to challenge and beat you. At this point, to regain respect you must challenge them and put up a decent fight. If they laugh and turn you down, please cease negotiations and contact the ambassadorial assistant to engage as backup until a replacement can be sent.

*Do engage in fights, but do not overdo it!*

As long as you can prolong the fight and give your combatants a real challenge, then you will be respected. Also, do not take down a houndmaster so quickly as to embarrass them, even if you know you can. Balance is key here.

*Avoid bad pronoun usage!*

Sobraean is a messy language with pronouns pulled from Archaic Ne’brase specifically used for houndmasters alone. Please be overly careful of which pronoun you use to refer to yourself and to houndmasters, especially when attempting to differentiate between wild and civilized. Calling a civilized houndmaster wild, even accidentally, is grounds for another challenge. See the pronoun chart on the opposite page for reference.

You’ll notice a common theme here. Be alert and aware and don’t give them any excuse to fight, for they will take it. In fact, they might push for a fight without excuse. Never let your guard down. They might have referees on the sands, but they’re more for show; anything goes in a fight against a houndmaster.

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