Ronin was much impressed by Am at the Temple. Selected for a special group of acolytes that received training in the basics by Am himself. Ronin received more direct instruction from Am than any other acolyte at the Temple. Fully immersed in the Amish world view Ronin mastered several of Am's techniques known only to a select group of High Barracudi.
For Am, a student fascinated and enamored by the law, able to soak up the lessons like a sponge, is an exciting thing. He enjoyed teaching the strange young acolyte. Am increased the pace of his instruction, teaching rare and powerful techniques to his appreciative student. Am viewed Sliss as poison. When he detected the use of Sliss about Ronin, he increased Ronin's instruction in Bulshido, including legal ethics, and forcefully drove home the importance of faith in the law. Ronin felt that Am embodied all that was good and pure in the law.
Of the Temple Masters, only Am demonstrated the powers of Equity and Truth. The purity of procedure and the eminence of ethics. Ronin was honored to learn from Am.
Then disaster struck. Nemisis' plot to pit student against master unfolded. Using DiGong and a lawyer with a ridiculous name as a foil against the idealistic Am. Nemisis tricked Ronin into believing that Am had betrayed him. Ronin struck at the old master with all that he had learned and flew from the Temple. Still weary from defending himself from his student, Am becomes aware of dark powers at work. Discerning the Nemisis for the first time, a weakened Am confronts it and DiGong in the Temple.
Realizing the nature of the creature, Am prepares to destroy it, but his own Temple was turned against him when he fell into a carefully laid trap. Using a pentagram it had hidden in the floor of the Temple, Nemisis was able to neutralize Am's powers and encase Am in stone buried underneath the Temple. Concentrating and using the last of his energy, Am was able to warn the Magistrate about DiGong's treachery and other pitfalls. About Ronin he tells the Magistrate, "He is difficult, but never malicious."
Later Ronin would realize that he had been manipulated and that Am had not betrayed his trust. "I owe you an apology, old one." Ronin said to the sarcophogas imprisoning Am. "DiGong blinded me to the truth.It's as if other Barracudi learned nothing at Temple. What I take as basic, they've never even imagined. Old and white and male you may be, but you taught me well and I misunderstood. For that I apologize."
But the cold stone of the tomb only echoed hollowly, the old master entrapped in too many layers of Nemisis' dark bindings to even hear.
"Law is both art and science. It is a canvas upon which to paint with oily equations of logic and the solid colors of equity. It can be fickle and hurtful, profound and silly. To love the law one must have faith in it. Law is the salvation of mankind. It is a gift of the Divine. It transcends all.
"It is the gyroscope that keeps the spinning top of civilization from crashing out of control and breaking loose to fall into the tepid tar pits of totalitarianism or the chaotic currents of anarchy.
"In our time, having opened the Pandora's Box of technology, we teeter on the flammable brink of Armageddon. All that props us up is the Law. In this shrinking world in which we live every nook and cranny has been mapped, and every individual can be tracked, and all can be destroyed. All that protects freedom is the Law. And all that protects the Law is Faith. And all that protects Faith is that the Law be True.
"We must have Faith and the Law will rise to the occasion. The Law must reflect the Divine in order to maintain faith. Its practitioners must adhere strictly to the principles of ethics, honor, and compassion.
"What a beautiful thing these founders have created. A system that has bent to changes where others would have shattered. What a wondrous thing that men born of a world of savage slavery would create a system of belief that would transform the country kicking and screaming out of that savagery- bloody yet whole. It was able to rise from barbarism to rescue the world from fascism. It was the magic of Law.
"It is the Law that saved the world from the looming armageddon of the Cold War. It is the Law that must protect the future of the world. Law is our survival."
"Can you see it Ronin?" Am draped a hand over Ronin's shoulder and pointed at the Tomes of Knowledge. "Can you see the Beauty?"
And then Ronin saw it and was overwhelmed by the sight of the interlinked Tomes. Mathmaticians sometimes marvel and drool at a wonderful equations. Musicians can get lost in the works of a master. This was similar.
"Awesome!" He gasped finally.
"Awesome?" Am repeated indignantly his Scottish accent flaring. "This is no cheap bungee jump young man. This is the Law in all its granduer."
"I meant of course that I find it stunning, awe inspiring, and intricate. Truly a marvel to be studied."
"That's more like it. Now you sound like an Acolyte of the Temple."