From: Sandy Petersen (email@example.com)
Date: Thu 11 May 1995 - 02:06:30 EEST
>I have always wondered why the elves of Fethlon are friends with the
>Teshnans but enemies of the Kralorelans. Could it be because the
>Teshnans won't protest when the elves start turning their cities
>into haunted ruins like the ancient city in the Jungle Book, while
>the Kralorelans would [get the elves] appointed imperial gardeners
>with pompous titles and absolutely no power to implement their
Yes. ;) In the elves' defense, there may be other reasons as well.The main feature of elves, from a human point of view, is their unwillingness to change their opinion. To get an elf to like a human takes years and years of the human proving himself. Once he's accomplished that, then he is considered an elf-friend and they trust him. But do one bad thing, and it's back to day one. In a sense, elves "never forget an injury and never remember a good deed."
>IMO, before the Red Goddess came along, Illumination was not seen
as >a way to reconcile ourselves to Chaos (or vice versa). Instead, it >was seen as a means of reconciling the various religions to one
>another into one grand philosophy
>And that stuff about Arkat vs. Gbaji, the Riddlers spreading
plagues >and so on, is late Third Age propaganda? I'm confused. I like this >idea of illumination as a grand philosophy - but I think its
>associations with Chaos are pretty old.
I'm not making myself clear, perhaps because I rattled off a rather abstruse point without going into proper detail. I don't mean that Nysalor/Gbaji was _not_ considered to be chaotic. What I mean is that, for the Riddlers, chaos was just another religion that they could adapt to their purposes. They weren't inherently any more pro-chaos than they were pro-Yelm or pro-shaman. So they _did_ use plenty of chaos, perhaps because pre-Nysalor cultures found it mighty hard to make use of chaos (you tend to get expelled from your cult and executed). Now that you have the Osentalka Sight, you needn't worry about that, and you can pick and choose all the best stuff from all the cults! Chaos included, if you want.
But with the modern third-age riddlers, Chaos is the main thrust of the philosophy. "Illumination frees the human from the fear of chaos, and the broo from the hatred of reality." The whole thrust of the Lunar Empire's illumination is that it enables them to make use of Chaos because they hold to a Balance In All Things, whereas Nysalor's Riddlers made use of Chaos because nothing mattered any more. There were no laws, no rules. Just freedom and potential for growth.
>Why does everyone hate Harrek?
Um, because he's a murderous, destructive traitor, driven by hate, envy, madness, and revenge?
>Of course he has no loyalties beyond the personal- he incarnates
>his ultimate god. Who is Zeus loyal to?
Zeus is loyal to his worshipers and followers (unlike, say, the hated Odin). Harrek is loyal to three individuals, and three individuals only (in ascending order of importance): Harrek, Gunda, & Argrath.
>I see him as the last of a dying race kind of hero. Harrek is a
>tragic figure, IMO.
And you are perfectly right. Can't we feel sorry for him at the same time we realize he is a force for evil? I am fascinated by the stories of Macbeth and Billy the Kid, driven by forces largely beyond their control. But I recognize the devil lurking near.
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