Alakoring, Dragons & Dara Happa

From: Martin Laurie (102541.3423@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Tue 21 Jan 1997 - 20:46:30 EET


Me:
>>As for Alakorings victory it seems unlikely that he could defeat a
>>True Dragon in combat so he must have won by other means.

Peter Metcalfe:
>Why? Alakoring was a Hero so it's probable that he fought it on
>the Other Side with the support of his Ralian followers. Look at
>Ingolf's saga where he fails his Orlanthi initiation yet is able
>to transform himself unwittingly to such a size that a city seems
>the size of a pea and defeat a dragon.

This is how the sagas told it but I remain unconvinced that the Dragons were
that easy to take out on "the other side". Even Gbaji failed miserably to harm
dragonkind. I'm not saying Alakoring couldn't have placed himself in the role
of Orlanth though this seems to be a mythic shift in role. Perhaps Alakoring
"proved" mythically that it wasn't Vadrus who kicked Dragon-butt but was Orlanth
instead and thus gained power among his people to actually fight Dragons on a
better basis. Any ideas?

Me again:
>> Certainly the success of the EWF against Dara Happa largely rests at the
>>feet of the Sun Dragon or the Emperor Dragon. His knowledge of Dara Happan
>>magics made victory almost certain and although I think this was an unusual
>>circumstance given the role of Sothenik, it is certainly repeatable in other
lands.
____________
David Dunham:
>Firstly, I remain unconvinced that Sothenik became the Sun Dragon (it's
>more likely he was simply Captain Kirk, abandoning the administration of
>his crew and mission to go play adventuring).

And according to my story, he met the Green skinned people and presumably a
Green skinned woman!!!!! Does that mean that his Shargashi bodyguards wore red
armour? Was his Buseri always saying things like "God damnit Sothy, I'm an
astrologer, not a magician!"? Its too horrible to think about.

>Secondly, I think Dara Happa is far from assailable. It was taken over by horse
>nomads twice. It lost its empire to the Spolites. It was taken over by
Carmanians. It >was taken over by the Lunars. And it seems the EWF won simply by
having more >armies to send against Dara Happa. (Of course, Elmexdros the
Conquerer had >welcomed the Golden Dragon Society, and entertained Dragon
Emissaries, which >must have given away lots of secrets, too.

This is a good point. However much of Gloranthan warfare is dominated by the
recurring theme of heroic struggle that decides the issues. Its almost like the
strategic nuclear weapons of a modern country. Arkat was stalled militarily yet
won through superior heroic weaponry, as did Argrath, as did the Red Emperor
against Sheng, as did the Lunars against the Holy Country and as the GLs did to
everyone. It seemed that the war against the EWF continued for a long time
accross Saird and shifted little in its frontiers (though I haven't FS with me
to say for sure) but it was the arrival and commitment of the Sun Dragon which
defeated the Emperor himself and once the Emperor goes, so does Dara Happa
(except Alkoth but then they are all nuts anyway) hence the Sun Dragons
importance in the fight.

>So I think the EWF's success against Dara Happa largely rests on the fact
>that there's nothing special about Dara Happa -- it's just an empire, and
>can rise and fall like any other, and it's most likely to fall to a young,
>rising empire. And it's far from clear that it really rises the same after
>each fall.

Another good point and one often overlooked given our Plentonic bias (as he's
the only history we have to debate over).

>And why are dragons so special? Dara Happa killed large numbers of them
>during Dismanthuyar's reign. Alakoring had an army at his back; it's
>possible his dragonkilling was as simple as flying large numbers of player
>characters (nobody else would be stupid or lucky enough) onto the dragon so
>they could stab its weak spot.

The problem I have with True Dragons vs Humans is that they are rather large.
If a 4km long object flew over a town at say 500m with a wingspan of nearly
5-6km the wind generated would flatten the whole town. If the Dragon even

crapped on some city it would bury half of it, its excrement being 200m long.
No Orlanthi hit team would get anywhere near it and even if they did the skin on
the eyeball of something that big would be so thick as to be impenetrable even
to a greatsword weilding nutcase. Besides, it is intelligent and has massive
magics of its own and can presumably fly rather fast to evade such trouble or it
could carry massive rocks in its claws and drop them with its own velocity to
smash cities like skittles.

The only way out of this that I can see is magic. Dream Dragons are barely
killable by people but True Dragons take something special.

>In my game, I've separated Alakoring's Dragonbreaker aspect from the Rex
>aspect. This may be unnecessary, but it fits the "dozens of subcults" craze
>that has swept Seattle Farmer Gaming (has anyone posted all the great
>subcults we came up with for your game? Walind the Ram was fun).

Yeah, Walind was cool. I believe his spells were Shield Break, Charge and
Truesword. Jeff Richard invented it for his Heringvot character from Sylila so
Jeff should tell everyone about good old Walind and his brave struggle against
the Evils of non-Orlanthi politics and oppression (and shameful tribute of
course).

Others are Orlanth Helltracker which Neil Robinson created and Urox the eater, a
Bilini ritual cannibal version of Storm Bull by Paul Heinz. Pam had her Elemal
character from Saird and you play the Brolain hunter who is endlessy concerned
with killing Lokamayadon for some bizzare reason.

___________
Stephen Martin

Me:
>>As for Alakorings victory it seems unlikely that he could defeat a True
>>Dragon in combat so he must have won by other means. I think that he may
>>have severed its connection with the "pyramid" of support that maintained
>>Drang ie he caused the Orlanthi who had formed him from their thoughts to
leave
>>the cycle and take back their Draconic energies.

Stephen:
>Couldn't his introduction of the cult of Orlanth Rex have done this? By
>inciting differences between the priests (who ran things) and the kings
>(who kept the people in line), Alakoring could easily have disrupted the
>lines of magical support. The only question is, could Alakoring have
>managed this in the EWF-controlled area?

I believe that was the main avenue of his attack. I think that Alakoring
politically campaigned among the EWF Orlanthi who were still Orlanthi and obeyed
the rules of guest-right and moot so would hear him out. The EWF wasn't a
dictatorship except in some of its heartlands and the Old Day Traditionalists
were growing very strong at this point, certainly a large minority.

I don't think there was Orlanth Rex in those days, Alakoring merely subsituted
older Ralian Kingship rites for the Dragonfriend rites. He would likely have
approached a chieftain and mentioned the control his priest had over clan
politics and would have said how in _his_ homeland no poxy priest told his
chiefs what to do! Chiefs? KINGs is what they should be! And knowing Orlanthi
as we do how many could resist the chance to be King?

The ultimate irony for me is that Alakoring broke the control of the preisthood
over politics by turning the _politicians_ into priests!

Martin Laurie

------------------------------

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