Gerak Kag was male, honest!

From: Paul Chapman (mercutio@btinternet.com)
Date: Sat 31 May 1997 - 03:54:19 EEST


Disclaimer:- I know very little about Gerak Kag actually... haven't
refreshed my Glorantha Lore recently, I'm sure this stuff is in Trollpak or
something though... :-)

Robert McArthur and James discussing Troll magic/heroes:-

>James says:
>> IMO, raiding trolls are pretty weak, magically -- you'll might have some
>> Karrg's Sons, Death Lords, Great Hunters -- maybe a KL Priestesses or two.
>> But the big guns don't come along. They stay at home, protecting the clan
>> holdings and abusing the menfolk. (Gerak Kag's invasion might be an
>> exception to this -- either he was personally one hell of a hero, or he
>> brought along some KL priestesses to colonize Pavis).
>
>Of course Gerak Kag was a female troll. No male would get that power! It's
>only the history's of the Praxians that has changed her sex: they couldn't
>stand being beaten by a woman! It is now Praxian folklore about the 'wierd'
>troll - but they don't explain (and almost none actually know) *why* they
>label Gerak weird. And the fresco's, and stories by those dopey Donadar
>dweebs - how could *they* ever know anything???

I disagree with both of you!

James - "raiding trolls are pretty weak, magically" etc. No, raiding
trolls are strong magically because their magic is mostly:-

a) Darkness based, which gives them great power in their night raids (which
they almost always are, of course).
b) Killing based, because they are violent bastards and they are a raiding
party. Karrg's Sons and Death Lords are usually _very_ potent magically,
when looking from a killing POV - Darkness, Shades and Sever Spirit scare
me as attack magics, frankly!
        Also, raiding trolls have ritualistic battle magic if the raid is big
enough, almost like Lunar regimental stuff but clan-based. Some have
sorcery... mostly combat based, of course. I really don't see how the
troll raiding party James describes can be considered as "weak" magically.
Arguments on a postcard, please!
        I agree about the composition and the womenfolk staying at home, though.

Robert - Although I loved your Praxian embarrassment changes history line,
and agree that _might_ have been the case, I disagree with the statement
"No male would get that power!" utterly. Y'see, trolls _are_ strongly
matriarchal, but not in the same way that the Praxians or Orlanthi are
patriarchal. As James pointed out, the males _are_ valued within the
culture as warriors, heroes, etc. To suggest that a male could not gain
great power politically/socially or magically as a troll is to deny Gore
and Gash, Karrg and Arkat Kingtroll, amongst others!

        AFAICS, the determining factor as to how difficult it is for a male or
female to attain Social and Magical power in a culture is inlaid in that
culture's myth. This will not surprise anyone. Frex, in Orlanthi myth,
there isn't a great deal of women doing violent or masterful stuff,
excepting Vinga and probably minor local heroes who were women. Thus, as
an Orlanthi female it is difficult but not impossible to be a Hero or a
social/political leader... the myth is weighted against it, but not too
strongly.
        Compare the Praxians. In their myths (AFAIK) no woman ever did anything
violent or particularly leaderish... all leadership/heroic/violent stuff is

for the male gods to do, then come home to wifey and say "Honey, I'm home"
while she sits there meekly. How many important female Praxians have there
been, really?
        In the Lunar culture, it's easy to be important as a male or a female,
that's clear enough. As an Uz, the females _are_ innately more important
socially and politically (and arguably magically) but there are _plenty_ of
male Hero-paths laid and it is possible for a male troll to be very
important socially and very powerful magically. Again I cite Arkat and the
OOO as example of _extremely_ powerful male trolls!
        My bottom line... yes, trolls _are_ matriarchal, but that doesn't devalue
their males in the way a standard reversed patrirchal society would. Male
trolls still have (human) male values associated with them, it's just the
females are on the whole more important in myth. Argue on, if you will.

I really _did_ like your suggestion apart from that, Robert! :-)

Enough for now, time to sleep. I promise I'll get the results of the polls
out this weekend.

Paul.
<Sig omitted for reasons that I don't have one...>

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