Loskalm: Idealistic Isolationists

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Sat 08 May 1993 - 12:45:32 EEST

for Mark Sabalauskas:

Hey, this IS good! Dismissing my suggestions (perhaps somewhat cavalierly), you've picked another model for Loskalm that I have no trouble agreeing with: the United States of the Fifties! Doesn't grate with me at all. Sure, I'd not deny that Americans in that period were "generally nice people"; that the country was "a nice place". It was very clean and tidy too, young people were polite to their parents, the music was jolly nice, birds sang in the mornings, everyone smiled a lot more than they do today, and there certainly weren't any Godless Jonatings under the beds.

But what was going on behind the scenes? _That's_ what campaigns in Loskalm would be discovering. "Adventures in Paradise" don't work very well, while Crusades go better if you have to fight messy wars against Real People rather than genocidal campaigns against a bunch of cardboard cut-outs. As always in RuneQuest, your players should face the gap between ideology and reality, and work out what they really stand for.

Hrestoli progressive idealism is like pre-Nixon Democracy. As the police force here in the UK keep saying, "It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel" (though they seem to have rather more...). Y'know, I'm knocking the Hrestoli in order to save their souls: I can think of nothing more dispiriting than a totalitarian ideology, accepted by all, which denies the possibility of natural human behaviour. Too much like the Nazis' "Strength through Joy," or whatever: all those blond, blue-eyed Loskalmi peasants striving in the towns and fields towards the common good of all...

The hunt for the "Nameless Man" and his baneful influence becomes like the McCarthy era Commie-baiting ("are you now, or have you ever been, possessed by the Evil One?") -- taking that "witch hunt" metaphor back to its roots. Anybody here expecting the Hrestoli Inquisition?

And, sure, Meriatan would be right at home in SAC: try Jack D. Ripper for size. Remember that one effect of the Ban is that Loskalmi can't really identify with or understand people who live differently any more.
("Relative cultural isolation tends to do that to you..." -- William C
Robertson, RQD 6 May 93: no offence meant, but your quote was too apposite to miss!). So he directs his Crusade against people he doesn't understand, killing them to save their souls (their "essence"?) from the pollution of War. If you can read the Meriatan quote in the Genertela Book without retching, you have a stronger stomach than I do.

OK, have I convinced you that we have a common frame of reference and can continue to communicate, yet? (Though a breakdown of communication in Fronela would have an apposite feel to it...). As I said to Carl the other day, there's nothing wrong with believing the propaganda of any Gloranthan faction: if your pro-Hrestoli feelings help you run a Hrestoli campaign, good on you!

for Paul Reilly:

May you eternally bask in the light of the Red Moon!

        (That's a blessing, not a curse).
When I've met you, I'll write a Cheng in your praise.

The "Orlanthi god of Smiths" is Gustbran the Bonesmith, one of the three Lowfires (Lodril's sprogs). He's called Workfire or Bonfire, and was mentioned in WF 6 p.26, WF 10 p.25, and WF 13 p.4. Not a family member, though: he just does odd jobs for Orlanth and any other god who visits his Forge. Presumably he's a cripple like Hephaestus and Weyland: apparently the proportion of arsenic in early Bronze mixes would have done for the smiths' health, even if the rulers didn't have them hamstrung...


Nick Brooke.

        "Better White Than Red"
(attributed to Argrath, first of the White Emperors)

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