From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Tue 04 May 1993 - 01:41:01 EEST
I was amused by Paul (?)'s suggestions for the Etyries Exchequer, and the reversal of black and red ink in Lunar merchants' accounts. But the author seems to be missing out on something when he lays down the law about how Etyries merchants must behave. See, one of the "advantages" the Lunars get from Illumination (and which is thus present in all their cults) is the possibility of cynically debasing their ostensible morals for personal gain. Take Yanafal Tarnils, whose Humakti-style Oath spells can in fact be broken safely through a ceremony known to high-ranking Scimitars of the cult. It's not supposed to happen, but it does. Etyries would similarly let a trader defraud provincials if (s)he thought it worth the risk of getting caught. Sure, most don't. Irrippi Ontor's Ministry of Truth may even have written a book saying how honest all Lunar merchants are. But would you believe it? (And that shows you that Irrippi Ontor has the same opt-out clause!).
On the subject of Yanafal Tarnils, scimitars and other swords: Duke Yanafal Tarnils, the cult founder, was a renegade Carmanian Humakti. We can assume that at some point (during the Seven Mothers' Resurrection ritual??) he incurred the wrath of Swordbreaker, the Humakti spirit of retribution. This explains why the preferred weapon of the Lunar wargod is the scimitar: Humakt cannot shatter scimitars, only straight-bladed swords. The scimitar is the "bent Death" -- not the straight-sided, two-edged Death of the True Humakti Way.
This tells us something about Humakti (who must *hate* scimitars: no
Humakti could take one as a cult weapon without real trouble explaining it
away; Humakti Truesword wouldn't work on a curved blade; etc.), and
something about the Yanafal Tarnils cult's choice of weapons. They usually
behave like good Humakti, so perhaps it's only when they repeat their
Founder's "sin" that the Wrath of God hits them. I'd say a Yanafali
swordsman was OK (no problems using straight-bladed swords) until he was
first Resurrected: thereafter he would be plagued by the Swordbreaker and
have no choice but to "switch blades" in time-honoured fashion. Allows any
PC Yanafali still using old-fashioned weapons to hang onto them for a time,
but the Lunar Way (as always) will triumph in the end.
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY!
(a Lunar slogan seen in Glamour*)
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY!
*(+1% to Nysalor Illumination chance for comprehension)
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