From: Nick Brooke (100656.1216@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Fri 31 May 1996 - 18:57:21 EEST

While I was gone, Dominic posted some well-argued (in fact, overly well-argued)
material about Illumination. I am, alas, unable to comment on (or indeed
understand) most of his remarks, lacking the technical vocabulary he evidently
possesses. But one thing struck me as very odd:

> the PC's gain illumination steadily (rather like Cthulhu Mythos points,
> except that there isn't really anything 'good' about illumination for
> most people)...inexorably sliding towards...what?

1) There isn't really anything 'good' about the Cthulhu Mythos, is there?

2) The Lunars, many Dara Happans, presumably the Kralori, and the more
thoughtful Safelstran Arkati think there's nothing wrong with Illumination.
These are BIG civilisations. If "most people" is meaningful, it should certainly
include them. (Unless you meant "most barbarians" -- I know some backwoods
Orlanthi who still revere Nysalor's memory).

I'll pass up on the misrepresentation of the Lunars as a pure slave economy: if
it works in your world, fair enough. Note that in a FRP version of the real
world, the Romans would have invaded Britain to wipe out the Druids, who were
backing Gallic revolts. Who out there plays "economic fantasy role-playing
games"? Caesar documents the economic reasons for his invasion of Britain (inc.
our famous freshwater pearls); Strabo, as apologist for Augustus, documents the
lack of same (to cover the fact that Augustus didn't invade). And Caligula's
half-hearted "attack on the sea" was plausibly a reenactment of a Celtic
hero-pattern to impress the Gauls: more on this if anyone asks.

> What on earth do Praxians record on their 'quipus' ie. knotted strings
> (writing of a sort, mentioned in the Genertela box)????

See the article by Greg Stafford on the Praxian Sense of Space, in issue #14 of
"Tales of the Reaching Moon" (just out!). And don't say "quipus" (or, indeed,
"emic" or "etic") -- any word you have to explain in order to use does *not*
count as a means of communication. "Praxian Knot Writing" is good enough for me!

Chris Pearce asked:

> ZZABUR: He's a big sorceror, right? Anyway, I seem to recall reading
> somewhere that Greg described him as "as dangerous and ultimately
> meaningful as a lion"

He's the Sorcerer Supreme, the First Sorcerer, one of the Sons of Malkion. The
quote is in Tales #13's "Go West Quiz", and its context was closer to "Is Zzabur
dangerous? Yes. Is a lion dangerous? Yes." (IIRC).

> Maybe, spiritually Arkat and Nysalor/Gbaji are the same being and in the
> fight, they neutralized each other. Then they both won and lost and it
> doesn't matter physically who was carrying whom.

Maybe. But both Arkat and Nysalor were called "Gbaji" by their foes. In that
last battle, all we can say for more-or-less sure is that Gbaji was defeated
(one way or another).

Evil Brett:

> the Romans did not feed people to the Crimson Bat, and did not encourage
> irresponsible hero-questers to pillage the god plane, risking disasters
> as great as those brought on by the God-Learners.

The Lunars only feed *expendable* people to the Bat, and do *not* encourage
(etc...). Only *responsible* heroquesters are encouraged by the Empire and the
Goddess. The irresponsible ones serve as a Horrible Warning to you and me. (Why,
should we take away their freedom to make their own mistakes? I thought Orlanthi
approved of that!).

> And by the way, the Lunars have already overwhelmed a viable alternative -
> the civilised Dara Happan empire.

"Overwhelmed"? Moonson is the 77th Dara Happan Emperor. The cult of Imperial
Yelm is recognised by all citizens of the Empire as Ruler of the Divine World
and Emperor of the Gods. The ancient Dara Happan institutions (the Senate, human
slavery, nobility, etc.) are all alive and well today. So what's your problem?



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