Re: Butt-Kicking Myths

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Sat 16 May 1998 - 00:52:14 EEST

Simon H. writes, perceptively:

> Having a "we kicked your butt" myth gives you a big advantage. Not only
> did you win in the first place (presumably for a reason, ie you genuinely
> have an advantage), but you now also have a big psychological advantage
> too. I'm sure it doesn't guarantee victory.

There's a flipside to all this, of course. Why did Waha want to trash Basmol
so badly? Because of all the terrible and dangerous and evil things Basmol
did to Waha and his people. So, you're the Waha Khan going up against
Basmoli, and planning to fight the ever-so-straightforward "Waha Kills
Basmol" HQ. But how do you know for sure that the Basmoli Berserkers aren't
preparing for *their* always-popular "Basmol Maims Waha's Favourite Son"

This is similar to the way the Lunars twist other people's heroquests
against them -- if you don't meet the opposition you're expecting, your own
mythic impetus can carry you right where they want you to go. Kinda like
heroquesting judo: use the other guy's weight and power and preparations
against him.

A Dara Happan army goes up against an Orlanthi host:

Wind Lord: "Easy! Orlanth slew Yelm in Godtime with Humakt's sword: we're
bound to kill them all!"

Star Lord: "Easy! Yelm defeated Orlanth in the Contest of Dance: my forces
will outmanoeuvre them easily, giving me another victory for the Emperor!"

So, who is right? I'm not saying: that's what games are for...

Simon P. writes, kindly:

> (see Nick Brooke's ideas on Western HeroQuesting)

I'm more and more attracted to a Tarot model for some Western HQs, the more
I think about it. The "Real Camelot" model works fine for chivalrous
knights, but I'd like to muddy the waters a little when the wizards jump in.

> I think the Sog City supplement gives a history of Malkionism and
> explains where the Stygian belief comes from --

Also on my homepage and in Tales #13, not to mention the French, German,
Italian and (I believe) Japanese versions that are floating around out
there... :-)

> a revelation to someone in the Godtime (can't remember who) that
> showed that other gods may be revered as well as the Invisible God.

Best account is my piece on "I Fought, We Won", on my homepage. The History
alludes to this, but the brief article is where the idea is thrashed out.
Essentially, Malkioni see IFWW as Malkion's ascension into Solace and
re-creation of the world. They learn that everything now in the world is
meant to be there, and that everything pulled together to remake it. This
kinda blows a hole in isolationism -- but, as good cultural supremacists,
the Malkioni start learning how to use (and, eventually, abuse) all the
powers of all the gods and spirits and demons and whatever else, subject (of
course) to the Law of Malkion the Creator.

Arkat's Stygian Heresy further develops this. You wouldn't have called it
"Stygian" before the Dark Empire, IMO, though the Jrusteli would have tarred
all kinds of enemy heretics with this convenient brush.

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