Re: sandy's maundering

From: Sandy Petersen (
Date: Wed 31 May 1995 - 20:19:51 EEST

>Archaic? Is that why most western hospitals circumcise male babies?
>Gee, I thought it had something to do with general cleanliness and
>inhibiting disease.

        Just rationalizations after the fact. I had my sons circumcized for religious reasons, but I don't kid myself that they had to be. Many American hospitals nowadays actually discourage circumcision. Anyway, it's an interesting trace of an old tradition surviving to the present.

CAMPAIGNS: I haven't published my results on the campaign poll yet, because people are still sending me their data weeks later, somewhat to my surprise. When I've gone through a week without any more postings, I'll collate my information. Please don't take this as an incitement _not_ to send me your campaign locale, however.

        Long long ago when the Six Legged Empire spread roads and gardens like cancers over the land, Hon Hoolbiktu

<here the storyteller stops and waits for the traditional applause and hooting that accompannies the listeners' recognition of Hon's name>.

Well, anyway Hon Hoolbiktu worked as a slave in the gardens of the Empire. One day he killed the overseer and ran away. But the Empire had magic men who were very mighty indeed, and they could see the future, all the way up to now, and even further. No I won't tell you what they saw, because it was unlawful. The magic men saw that Hon Hoolbiktu would destroy their empire one day and kill all of them. They didn't care about their empire, but they didn't want to die, so they made the Second Seeking Ntajagar.

<The Seeking Ntajagar is a sacred hunting beast. Only five can be summoned over the entire lifetime of the universe. The First was in the Godtime, one of Pamalt's helpers. At this point, the storyteller pauses again for the audience to disclaim its distaste and contempt for the godless Six Leggers who were so selfish as to bring the universe's close that much nearer.>

Hon Hoolbiktu was good at hiding. He was taught by the Wartsnoot itself <a Pamaltelan beast famed at concealment>. The way Hon hid himself was this: He put himself in an egg, the egg inside a joybird, the joybird in a cave, the cave on a volcano, the volcano on an island, the island inside a sea monster, and the sea monster at the bottom of the ocean. <seven layers of hiding> But no one could hide from the Second Seeking Ntajagar, and it found him before the sun set and brought him back to the Six Legger magic men, who showed him their legs and navels and told Hon Hoolbiktu he must not destroy the Empire.

        Well, this was the first Hon Hoolbiktu had ever heard he was supposed to destroy the Empire. "How can I do such a great deed?" he wondered. The magic men threatened him.

	"Do not take the Spear of Fire.
	"Do not rouse the people's ire.
	"Do not seek yourself spirit allies.
	"Do not try to find out our lies."
	Hon Hoolbiktu said, "I will do all these things, and more."  
Then the magic men did a great magic. They showed him their Dooms - -- the Dooms of civilized men.

        First they brought Plague. She was dark, many armed, with a huge mouth, but no eyes, nose, ears, or tongue. <because there is no way to communicate with her> Hon Hoolbiktu soon was covered with boils, but he said, "This is no danger to us. We do not live in diseased termite mounds like you." <The nearest comparison to cities that the Doraddi have.> "When there is sickness, we can walk across the free plains away from it and be safe. We eat clean plants and animals, caught and tended by our own hands. You can make one of us sick, but we do not all get sick together, and so plague does not frighten us."

        Second they brought Starvation. She was skinny as a stick, with hot blazing breath and huge swollen stomach. <The breath probably symbolizes Sikkanos, the bad wind, and drought.> Hon Hoolbiktu's stomach cleaved to his backbone and his muscles became weak, but he said, "This is no danger to us. We do not depend on other people for our food like you. When there is no food, we can travel to a place where there is food. We can gather together and share. <This is a dig at the class differences inherent in civilized society.> We can get hungry, and sometimes a whole family can starve, but we do not all starve, and so starvation does not frighten us."

        Then the magic men knew they must bring their most terrifying Dooms, so they brought War. She was tall and strong with teeth like arrowheads and blood smeared all up and down her and dead men's penises hung round her waist. <Because mostly men die in war.> Hon Hoolbiktu's knees smote together and he shoook with fear, but he said, "This is no danger to us. We do not fight for years. We do not have land to protect or have taken away. We float across the plains like locusts in the grass. We can fight each other, and kill each other, and slay whole oases full of people, but we do not all fight in giant gangs, and so war does not frighten us."

        Then the magic men brought their last and worst Doom, Death. <Death is, as is traditional, not described, for she is different for every man.> Hon Hoolbiktu stood up boldly and said, "This is no danger to us. We die, you die, all men and women and children die. Even gods and spirits die. But you are afraid to die because you have never lived, and so we can turn this weapon against you and so even Death does not frighten us."

        And then the magic men put their Dooms away, and they saw that they had revealed their secrets to Hon Hoolbiktu, and then they used their most powerful magic on him. "Hon Hoolbiktu, serve us and we will lift the four Dooms from off your spirit."

        But Hon Hoolbiktu said, "I will never serve you." and he left. Then he took the spear, and the people's anger, and his spirit allies, and his knowledge of the Six Legged Empire's lies, and brought sickness, famine, warfare, and death to all the human termite mounds and roads and gardens of the Empire.

        But to the end of his life Hon Hoolbiktu suffered from boils, and he was always hungry, and he was a coward. Except that he was not afraid of death itself, not ever.

May Allah exterminate the Infidel and give strength to His true Believers!

End of Glorantha Digest V1 #297

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