One should always reflect on the songs which meet their ears, the sights which encompass the lowliest hovels and grandest castles alike. The tastes of a local food and the smells of tended gardens and food markets alike. Likewise, one should always savor a story, whether the boasts of heroes and those that remember them or a myth which shows how a standing rock got its name, a body its notoriety, or why the dead are kept in a cave, crypt or simply burned.
When calamity comes and disaster strikes, it can be seen. When death sweeps a land through war, disease and famine, not even the Sages can ensure a folk will remain as anything but a memory. But memories are always incomplete. A story is seldom whole without active participation. And even then, stories age as murals and strokes of the brush. First its richness fades before the color begins to fleck and peel. And whether by thoughtful destruction or the elements alone, even the walls and canvas fade.
It is not through bravery or determination nor location alone which makes a folk. Not the heroes they speak of nor the way in which they hunt and fish. It is not their language or dress, not their boats or weapons and not even their buildings from the smallest hut to mightiest cities. It is the folk themselves which make a culture and kingdom. A folk which make the histories and sagas.
Whether vanquished by war or circumstance, once they are gone there will never be another of their sort. Even if another takes up residence in the ruins and practices the same tradition, it will never be the same culture. It will be but a hollow shell, imitating the former not through feel and collective memory, but rather because it was told what another did or felt.
This is why those of a folk must always fight. This is why it is always life and death. Should the flame of a folk, their culture, their songs be destroyed, it will be as though they never were. Their monuments worn away by time and others, the echoes of their words fading on the winds. The song of a folk and their culture, it is not just the life of a singer or one who remembers, but those who know the songs and memories intimately. It is that which one should always hold fast with one hand and a shield in the other.