Dart Competitions

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@compuserve.com)
Date: Tue 28 Feb 1995 - 10:34:54 EET


> Two large/noble families in the heartlands started quarrelling, then
> took to armed strife.

This is what we call a "Dart Competition". Or would you also deny that this was a "Feud" simply because that word hadn't been used? The term "Dart Competition" can cover all manner of conflict and positioning for advantage between the noble families of the Lunar Empire, and not just political. Possibly it's best to think of it as a metaphor:

        "The great noble houses of the Empire circle one another warily, like gladiators in the arena: each holding its preferred weapon ready for a swift and devastating assault on their chosen victim; each alert to the prospect of death and disgrace should their guard drop for a moment, not knowing from what direction the unknown or unseen foe might approach."

I agree that most houses' efforts towards Dart Competitions are primarily defensive: compare with the Great Houses in "Dune", crowing maniacally when they discover a way past their opponents' shields and security. The House Sorcerers of the Lunar Empire are likely engaged almost full-time with mindreading hirelings and maintaining protective screens and testing for new and sinister poisons; thinking up new techniques for an assault through similar defences would almost be relegated to their spare time, UNLESS a vendetta were to flare up...


> You can bet the thing they take away is sold for certain aphrodisiac
> purposes.

In our run of "The Tarsh War", we were offered "Triceratops Horn" as a valuable commodity, with a thrusting three-fingered gesture to indicate its effect. I remember one of my brother officers buying it out of the mess funds...


> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to present an AS priestess?
> Has anyone ever done a full cult writeup, or have any suggestions on
> Divine spells or whatnot?

Check out Elder Secrets' "Elder Races Book" for how the beastmen worship her. But IMHO Arachne Solara does *not* have a "full cult" and will not provide any Divine spells to her "worshippers". She is the goddess of Gloranthan Nature, and has only intervened in the world once since Time began. She is the goddess of Fate, and has no interest in saving you from yours. A "Temple to Arachne Solara" would be a sign of intense piety, not a valuable cult site; and whether or not it provided any benefit to the worshippers would be unknowable to them.

Definitely, A.S. does not have any flash-bang impressive magical powers.

What role do you want this priestess to serve in the campaign? Maybe we can find something else that would do much the same, and be more useful to the player. But worshipping a Great All-Encompassing World Spirit Who Never Intervenes for too long might put them off gaming, especially if their friends are all tanked up with useful Divine magic. Arachne Solara would be a cult for hermits and mystics, not adventurers. The leaders of her worship among the Beast People would be Holy figures, not zany madcap player character types. And Queen Deezola's alleged status will hardly stand up in court, these days.

David "Living Dangerously" Gadbois:

> I wouldn't trust those Greydog scum any farther than I could throw them

Are you visiting Lismelder Lands any time soon, your Oh-So-Holiness? You want to know why we keep that big barrel of tar out near the hencoop?


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