Re: sandy's maunderings

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idgecko.idsoftware.com)
Date: Tue 02 May 1995 - 22:23:45 EEST



TRAGEDY:
        Everyone who sent me stuff before April 28 on their campaigns. I lost it. Wasn't my fault. While not at work a pinheaded fellow employee deleted it for no good reason. So please resend.

Me
>KNOWN SUPERHEROES OF GLORANTHA SINCE TIME BEGAN
> Arkat. Sheng Seleris, Hon-Eel, Jar-Eel, Harrek
Andrew Joelson
>Shouldn't this read 'Known Superheroes of Genrtela'? What about
>Pamaltela and the Eastern Isles?

        With my encyclopediac knowledge of Kralorela, Pamaltela and the East Isles (well, I know as much as anybody), I can't think of very many individuals who deserve to be thought of as superheroes (since the Dawn). In the East Isles, I can think of none, though I know of a few heroes.

        In Pamaltela, the only realistic candidates (since the Dawn) are (I believe) Hon Hoolbiktu and Elamle. And I don't find compelling evidence to class them as superheroes. But I'm sure they have stars, as do Errinoru and Garangordos.

        In Kralorela, probably every emperor, some time before his death, achieves superhero-like status, in that he gains All Power, but technically they are probably not superheroes in the classic sense. Though if Godunya were to appear in a DP-style game, I'd probably give him the Infinity Rune.

        Genertela, which has been more warlike and hostile, naturally has tended to produce more superhero-types. The whole concept of it is essentially Genertelan and western, rather than the mystic focus of the East or the various Pamaltelan cultures, which are generally (as a gross oversimplification) more aimed at happiness than are the cultic, militaristic Genertelan groups.

        In general (warning: oversimplification), the Pamaltelans seek gratification and happiness in _this_ life, while many Genertelans expect to find justice and peace only in the _next_ life, while hardship and strife are expected as normal fare for now. The benign nature of the Pamaltelan philosophy is exemplified by the highly practical Doraddi, who seek to make everyone contented, and cooperate in order to do so. The dark side of the Pamaltelan philosophy is, of course, Fonrit, where the slavemaster's dominance is seen as the way to assure the most pleasure for him, while the slave's acquiesence is seen as the way to assure the least pain for _him_.

>Why is the Crimson Bat being classed as a hero?

        Because DP sort of classed it as such. I agree it's not really a hero in any way shape or form. Just a big ugly monster. Like the Pamaltelan Mother of Monsters, which is certainly powerful on an army-level scale, but blech.

ARCHERY. LONGBOWS, MONGOLS AND ALL THAT STUFF         Joerg and I have had a very interesting off-line discussion, which was impeccably polite, and in which we came to full agreement. Also Joerg seems to have forgiven me for the way I wielded my superior knowledge of military history as a blunt club rather than as a learning tool, which was rather nice of Joerg, considering what a jerk I was behaving like. Thanks.

Brad
>Q: How do the Blue Moon Trolls reconcile the fact that the Red
Moon >is in "Bed" with Nysalor who is indirectly responsible for the curse >of kin?

        Nysalor is dead. He's never going to curse anyone again. And illumination is a fact of life, as is the Red Moon. We're going to have to learn to deal with it. Besides, haven't you heard that the Curse of Kin has been lifted? In the afterlife only, of course, but who cares about the damn surface world anyhoo? Finally, there are the following three facts to remember when dealing with trolls:

  1. Maybe Nysalor didn't have as much to do with the curse of kin as is generally believed. Who knows? The troll highest leadership, and they aren't saying.
  2. Maybe the "curse" of kin isn't as bad for the trolls as is generally believed -- after all, it _does_ give them numerous hordes of useful slaves.
  3. We don't really know why the trolls backed out of the Council. Could it be that they feared that their participation would create a God that would _benefit_ humanity? Could it be that they perceive that the Red Moon, in the end, will _not_ benefit humanity?

Peter Metcalfe

        Suggests Garangordos may have been a superhero. Could be, but I thought he was pre-time. No, wait. He was First Age, wasn't he?

Kevin Rose
>Does anyone have a better name for the Praxian Agimori hunting god
>than Foundchild?

        Since the Agimori have been living here amongst the Praxians since before Time, I see no problem with them worshiping the local hunting god, especially as he is the deity that provides useful spells for the local animals. If the Agimori speak a separate language than the other Praxians (which I don't believe), then they would translate Foundchild's name as some variant of "Foundchild" anyway, IMO.

Peter Metcalfe.
re: Hon Hoolbiktu
> I'm surprised Sandy says he's a superhero as the Six Legged
Empire >was decaying.

  1. I said he was the leading candidate for one in Pamaltela, but that I was not convinced he was one.
  2. The Six-Legged Empire was not decaying according to the Doraddi myths. Or, rather, it was, but that was its natural state -- one of decay. They did not believe that it would rot and disappear of its own accord. Instead, they viewed it as a sort of gangrenous infection, which would spread and continue to spread until amputated. Of course, later historians were unable to explain the destruction of the technically advanced, magically significant Six Leggers at the hands of primitive horseless savages, so they explained Hon Hoolbiktu's victory as the natural result of the Six Legged's own moribund nature.

Nicky:
>Dara Happan culture is just as staid and boring as any other
>patriarchal hereditary culture: loads of plot hooks, adventure
>nuggets, etc.

        Good man! I was hoping to see someone blast the claim that the Dara Happans were dull. Nine more examples of exceedingly dull statist cultures in which nobody had any fun:

  1. The France of Dumas' Three Musketeers.
  2. The England of le Morte d'Arthur
  3. The Rome of "I, Claudius"
  4. The Japan of Yojimbo and the Seven Samurai
  5. The China of Ernest Bramah or Judge Dee
  6. The fossilized eighteenth and nineteenth-century British culture that gave rise to "Tom Jones", the Flashman books, and Jane Austen's works (note: Jane Austen = the most nearly perfect writer in English ever.)
  7. The ancient Egypt of "The Ten Commandments" and Cleopatra (yes I know they were centuries apart, but Egypt was still the petrified social system)
  8. The ritualized culture of "Dune"
  9. Tekumel. 'nuff said

>The illusion of stasis (compared to Orlanthi dynamism) is
dispelled >when you look at the very real progress that has been made in >Peloria under Dara Happan and DH-descended imperial rule (High >Carmanian and Lunar Empires). Compare this to the oh-so-impressive >social advances of the Barbarians in the same period.

        I know you're not supposed to quote someone else just to cheerlead them, but hear, hear!

>Sure, there's mythical truth in it: Yelmic society is centred,
where >Orlanthi is aimless. But coming from a staid and boring society >doesn't make you a staid and boring individual: read Cato the Elder >for traditional Roman mores, with Sallust, Catullus and Suetonius >for a contrast.

        Or, (coming from a non-classicist), try Alexander Dumas -- I've never read a book by him I didn't enjoy, and I've read some pretty obscure ones ("The Son of Porthos", frex). Another good sample is "Cyrano de Bergerac", from the same 17th century culture.

        Note that it's not that the amazing characters in these books are able to "break" the bonds of their culture -- they don't. The culture remains very important at all times. Cyrano doesn't duel the evil Count d'Azyr because he's a nobleman, while Cyrano is at best a gentleman, so they must engage in their feud by other, more interesting means.

>Yanafal Tarnils was a Superhero at the First Battle of Chaos.

        I've read that claim, too. I guess I should add him to my list.

Guy Hoyle
>I don't have anybody's account ready, but wasn't Varus' defeat at
>the Teutoburg Forest one where the Romans had an undeniable numeric

>superiority? I think they lost three Legions to about a third of
>that number of Germans. Admittedly they were in the Germans' home
>forest and caught by surprise, but it still speaks badly of Varus.

        As one might expect, nobody has any idea of how many Germans were present. But this battle is a perfect example of the Roman ability to fight en-masse. It was a huge ambush as the Romans were marching along a trail -- the Romans weren't able to form ranks, hurl pila, retreat and regroup (they were attacked from both sides), etc. etc. In effect, the Germans fought the Romans in innumerable individual duels, instead of the Roman way, in a big stand-up fight. And the Germans triumphed. Good evidence that one-on-one, the barbarians had it all over the Romans. We have tons of other evidence, of course, that the Romans could beat the barbarians hands-down when fighting _their_ way.


End of Glorantha Digest V1 #260


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