Re: Ids, Kralori, book recommendations, Sartar's Origins

From: Nick Brooke (Nick_Brooke@compuserve.com)
Date: Tue 27 Jan 1998 - 12:27:11 EET


______________
Peter Metcalfe suggests:

> [Aldryami's] emotional state is defined by the seasons (through Elf-
> sense) rather than the experiences of their individual selves.

Very nice explanation. Then my "immature"/"rootless" elves would be the
ones who haven't yet submerged themselves/their selves in the superego
of Aldrya, the Forest. They still have ids and egos, and are -- for that
very reason -- possible to play as "normal" player characters: we mere
humans can understand an immature elf's motivations well enough to play
him in a game. But with age comes the Song of the Forest, the rising
tide (rising sap? :-) of Earthsense pulling the elf to become One In
Aldrya -- and when that bites, he returns to the forest for good.

So, for Elves, it's about "not being grown up" -- fits the "Grower"
thing. For Dwarfs, it's about "being broken" -- Maker. Maybe a Troll
who develops abnormally (in a direction that makes him suitable for
use as a player character, interacting with hoomanz, developing an ego
and superego, maybe even giving up the nocturnal lifestyle) is said to
be tainted by the light, somehow -- "sunstruck"? "burned"? I dunno.

(Uz origins aren't directly comparable to Elf and Dwarf in any case:
they're locked into the Grower/Maker paradigm, which Uz stand outside.
So maybe this is unnecessary -- Uz by themselves are OK as PCs, without
needing excuses. But if we institutionalised "the kind of troll who'd
make a convenient and plausible player character", in the same way as
has been done with Rootless elves and Broken dwarfs, that might be an
*enabling* thing for all those daytime man-loving troll player char-
acters in games out there.)

NB: I'm *not* saying that rootless elves and broken dwarfs have minds
just like humans; that'd be daft! What I'm saying is that they tend
*away* from the species mental norm, *towards* something humans can
understand, interact with, and (indeed) role-play without over-much
artificiality. Even a "broken" dwarf can still *act* like a Mostali...
the Saw-Tooth Korvans and Orlanthi Wind Dwarfs are surely a minority!

Changing topics, on Kralori cultural superiority:

: As emperor Ch'ien Lung explained to Lord Macartney at the end of
: the eighteenth century: "Our Celestial Empire produces everything
: that the human race could possibly require, in profuse abundance.
: We therefore have no need to purchase the goods of barbarians,
: however interesting and curious these may be."

Source: the *excellent* book "Outside the Empire: the World the
Romans Knew", by Nigel Sitwell (a man after my own heart). It's a
guide to *all* the non-Classical parts of the ancient world, from
the Celts and Germans through Africa, Arabia, Parthia, India, South-
East Asia, China and the Silk Road. Places are examined in terms of
what the Romans knew about them, what they said about themselves,
and, indeed, what they knew about the Romans. Colourful, exciting,
evocative, fun, and a damn' good read to boot, with great slabs of
Kipling at the start of every chapter.

Peter also mentions a "captive Red Emperor" at the Kralori "Celestial
Court" in Kuchawn. Wow! Ideas as good as this are *almost* enough to
get me interested in Kralorela... lucky it falls easily into dialogue
from the Kralori Ambassador in Glamour, so I don't have to go there
myself to check it out.

Flat earth myth: check Stephen Jay Gould's "Dinosaur in a Haystack".
A libel spread by science-lovers to promote Darwinism in schools
("Ho ho ho -- the Church used to say the world was flat -- ho ho ho").
Gould's always a good read, though seldom readily Gloranthable (if
you see what I mean). But erudition like that deserves a name-check.

> I think that given Sartar's popularity, every tribe in Sartar claims
> to have had its roots in the Orshanti clan.

More likely, the man who gave Sartar's origin as the Orshanti clan could
trace his tribe's lineage back to it. RW comparison would be Tamurlane:
an excellent, evocative book including insights into how the Uzbeks,
Tajiks, Kazakhs, etc. *all* claim this historic figure as "one of them",
is Colin Thubron's "The Lost Heart of Asia" -- a fine travel writer,
touring the post-Soviet Central Asian Republics, including beautifully
described rhapsodies about the likes of Samarkand and Merv, the old
silk routes, Ottoman decadence, Russian imperialism and the blunt end
of Stalinism -- hours of fun! (But I digress).

____
Vesa writes:

> Sartar being a "civilizing influence" from Esrolia makes sense to me.

Most likely, Sartar (the man) owed more to his Pharaonic, Holy Country
upbringing, education and training than to any parochial background.
He doesn't *act* like a Heortlander or an Esrolite, and the kingdom he
founded doesn't *look* like Sartar brought any new ideas from the Old
Country -- other than perhaps the Earls, which sound very Heortlandish
to me. Some folk build elaborate conspiracy theories out of Sartar's
Holy Country origins; me, I just grin.

> I am not against using RW parallels at all - I am using them all the
> time - but I still think that not _everything_ should be judged by
> 20th century standards and models.

As advocated by...?
(Vesa's initial is the same as Virgil's...)

___
Pam's "going Pelandan" on us. Should we encourage this??

::::
Nick
::::

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