Re: The Glorantha Digest V6 #569

From: Nikk Effingham (eng7nje@arts-01.novell.leeds.ac.uk)
Date: Sun 02 May 1999 - 17:31:01 EEST


Pete Metcalfe:

> >> I would dump the childhood association with Harandos. Garundyer's
> >> power and insight comes from within himself, not because he's a
> >> childhood pal of a Grey Sage who has a copy of "how to to be an
> >> Orlanthi Hero in 20 easy lessons".
>
> >No! I don't see Harandos as being the giver of insight or any power,
> >but certainly a friend of Orlanths, perhaps only a few years older.
>
> If Harandos is not a "giver of insight or power" then it makes
> little sense for Garundyer to have him on his Iron Council.

What i meant was this - the power and insight shown by Garundyer is
not due to a childhood association with Harandos - that would be
silly, Harandos would also have been a child and therefore not have
had any pertinent insight and knowledge to swap. The childhood
association was merely to add both flavouring and a connection
between Garundyer and Harandos - personally I always saw the
IronBrain as Garundyer's Best Friend (aka "Dragon Pass"). Certainly
Harandos would have increased insight, knowledge and wisdom (with the
emphasis being on knowledge IMHO) for him to stand on Garundyer's
council as a Sage of Lankoring.

> This
> is a council of heroes, not childhood buddies of Garundyer.
> Compare the Knights of the Round Table. King Arthur doesn't stack
> it with people he played hide-and-go-seek with at the age of two,
> but Knights of proven ability. The Iron Council should likewise
> be such an organization.

Why is it essential that all of Garundyer's Iron Council must be new
aquaintances, the people he knows for longer are more likely to have
accompanied him on HeroQuests and thereby gaining their own share of
power and glory. I can't see a major problem in Garundyer having

known Harandos in his childhood. With ther King Arthur analogy, think
of Gawain or Sir Garreth of Orkney, worthy knights who he happens to
have a blood relation too. Here we have an excellent sage who
Garundyer happens to have known in his childhood.

> >[...] I don't think being friends with a wyrm is an
> >awful thing, it is quite interesting, and adds colour to his youth,
> >and a wyrm is not a dragonewt.
>
> I never said a wyrm was a dragonewt, I said "draconic" meaning
> anything to do with Dragons, which wyrms must assuredly are
> (why do you think they called the EWF the Empire of the Wyrms'
> Friends?) If Garundyer is buddies with a Wyrm and know some
> of his secrets, then his name would be mud in Lankst which is
> not the case.

Having given this some thought, as well as thinking about how I want
Garundyer to be seen in the future, I think I'll agree that a
replacement has to be made for the wyrm. I would, however, prefer for
it to be either non-human or magical - a hermit in the woods just
doesn't sound right. Perhaps he gains his three secrets from divine
inspiriation of Orlanth himself? Or a childhood adventure?

> >If this were to be a book, or a novel, Owain's hatred would occupy a
> >vast portion of it,it was no small hatred - but this was just a
> >selection of brief notes.
>
> Given that you wrote these notes to convey to us your impression
> of Garundyer, the fact that your conception of him has Owain
> acting somewhat unOrlanthi is independent of your presentation
> style.

It is an Orlanthi stereotype to say that all feuds never end - even
in Icelandic sagas we have examples of Feuds, really viscious blood
feuds, ending quite amiably (frex, "Thorstein Staff Struck").
Garundyer is not meant, IMHO, to have internal problems of a major
sort - I see Garundyer as being the perfect Orlanthi Hero welcome
EVERYWHERE. Does everyone like him? No. Do people hate him? No! How
can you hate the one man that symbolises your entire community - the
community of Lankst itself! Garundyer is not just some two bit Hero
of a clan or tribe, he stands for the Orlanthi of the entire of
Lankst, his threats are mainly (though not wholly) external i.e.
Hsunchen, Dragonewts and Otkorioni (curse, spit, curse). Owains

hatred was great, Garundyer actions and Owains forgiveness were
exceptional, but for the greater good, and all Heroes are meant to be
exceptional. It is not Orlanthi law that Violence MUST be the only

option.
 
> >I think that having Owain befriend him
> >about fifteen years later is good because (a) I like the idea that
> >one of Garundyer's Heroic fighting companions is crippled
>
> A more Orlanthi way would have Owain be one of Garundyer's companions
> who dares to suggest that they retreat before an onslaught of Telmori.
> Garundyer would then say "What? Without a scratch" and kneecap Owain
> for his impertinence.

A bit too cruel for the Orlanthi Hero I envisage.

 > >(b) it
> >shows that Garundyer has not as many internal problems within Lankst.
>
> But Orlanthi do not settle their internal problems by forgiveness.

Again, Garundyer is an exception for the greater good.
 
> >Certainly Garundyer has been set up as THE Lanksti Hero, liked and
> >loved by all. I mightn't go the whole way on supporting such an idea,
> >but I think Owain's forgiveness is a sign of Garundyer's worth - and
> >he IS a worthy person (to an orlanthi, anyhow).
>
> Why would Orlanthi forgive? It does nothing to Garundyer's reputation
> if Owain forgives him. OTOH if Owain musters twenty armed men to ambush
> Garundyer in revenge and Garunbdyer killed them all, then his reputation
> would soar. Garundyer is liked by Orlanthi because he acts according
> to _their_ norms, not christian ones.

He cares less about reputation, more about Lankst. As a Hero he sees
the Big Picture. Garundyer is not totally unOrlanthi, as I'm sure you
will say I am portraying him, but he is not a hot headed, egocentric
Orlanthi, Garundyer is the Hero of Lankst, not himself, not a tribe
or clan or family, but of every single Orlanthi in that area - these
things just don't matter.
  
> >> But why mention the spear if he loses it in
> >> an anticlimatic battle?
>
> >As for the battle being
> >anticlimatic, I think this quite harsh considering that I did say it
> >was just in note form,
>
> As I said before "you wrote these notes to convey to us your
> impression of Garundyer". If an episode does little or nothing
> to help us understand how you see Garundyer then it can be safely
> left out.

Well, I s'pose it could, but as I already described Garundyer IMG as
having a different spear I wished to briefly account for his father's
spears loss. Plus, details left lying around like these can spur my
imagination when I later return to notes that I wish to expand - I
woudl instantly be faced with questions such as "Who was this demon?
Why was Garundyer fighting him? What happened?"
 
> >Okay, the children managed to flee, saved by one of the
> >adults who held the Telmori off. If you want to add colour, Garundyer
> >would probably have tried to stay, forced to rout only by the
> >authority of his father.
>
> A father's authority does not have the same force in Orlanthi
> society as it does in, say, Japanese or Roman society. Garundyer

> could have quite happily disobeyed pop in these circumstances
> with little or no shame.

He could have. But it is not neccessary that he does so - Garundyer
could just as easily have respected his fathers decision.
 
> >> Surely Garundyer should do this epic deed [kill a Telmori Shaman]?
>
> >While I see the childhood hero elements within Garundyer I don't
> >think it suitable for a nine year old to slay the evil shaman - far
> >better for an ally to do it in his name. If this were a myth, a
> >legend, then perhaps, but reality doesn't always follow the heroic
> >monomyth that you'd imagine.
>
> Yet Garundyer is felt to be an epitome of an Orlanthi Hero while
> he is still alive. Hence I do feel it appropiate for him to kill
> the Telmori Shaman.

I believe that it would be fallacious to have all acts and actions
accomplished by Garundyer. Plus, having Rioneyth do it creates a
stronger bond between Rioneyth and Garundyer to be exploited at a
later point.

Thanks for the comments,

Nikk
 

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