The west, Humakt plus Jar-Eel

From: Graeme Lindsell (gal502@huxley.anu.edu.au)
Date: Sat 22 May 1993 - 13:21:27 EEST



>From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
>Graeme said:
>
>> Actually the Westerners see an impersonal, "scientific" universe,
>> don't they? I'd say they'd prefer Death seen as an object rather
>
>broader view would expand to "Man is the measure of all things" vel sim.
>The Western cultures are all human-supremacist; the Brithini Pentagram is
>the "pure" form of the Man rune; etc. So I'm not sure that Westerners do
>see the universe as quite so "impersonal." And as noted before, we *know*
>that the Orlanthi (used to?) think Humakt is a Sword.

 I agree they are human-supremacists, but there are several quotes about impersonal forces: in the Genertela Pack's Players Book for one "The world is an array of impersonal forces of which sorcery is the best form of contact with the Invisible God" (P19). From memory the "What the Wizard Says" section from GoG says something similar. (I didn't bring that into work with me. I hope my boss doesn't come in)

 Actually, I find much of what is written about Western culture is contradictory. For example, in page 20 of the Players book it says:

 "Malkion's big revelation what that of Solace which...provided the message that followers of the Invisible God could attain a perfect life after physical death"

 in the Genertela Book, P82 it says:

 "Brithini religion denies life after death." and "The Invisible God is universally acknowledged as Creator" The ruling Talar of Arolanit is a relative of "Malkion the Prophet" which implies that they do acknowledge Malkion's teachings.

>
>This looks plausible. I think Arkat was weaker than you imagine when
>Harmast rescued him from Hell; accusing him of stealing a sword he already
>possessed is also a bit off. But the idea that Arkat fostered a barbarian

 Yes, the bit about him already having "God-Cleaver" is a bit of a bummer, but my arguement was that Arkat had stolen the Sword sometime earlier, and only after he had been rescued did he want to return the death powers

>single Orlanthi subcult of the "Fifth Magic Weapon" is neat. He certainly
>was a clever bugger (not like that incompetent Argrath...). Agreed, using

 He really is my favourite Staffordian hero: much more human than Harrek the Thug and Jar-Eel "Let's kill the Pharoah in His Bath" the Murderess (more about her below!)

>
>> ...I don't really like limiting initiates to once a year...
>Y'know, I was worried people would think I was giving out *too much* Rune
>magic! By the way, your proposed (tried and tested?) system for regaining

 -untried and untested, I'm afraid: I'm playing right now, not GMing. This is the problem with most of my bright ideas

>Rune magic involves rolling lots of dice. No good rules system should
>involve rolling lots of dice (though fear of rolling *any* is also a Bad
>Thing: "+3.5%" skill gain merchants please note). This is tacit agreement
>with your criticism of post-adventure experience rolls, I suppose. Look at
>Pendragon, again, for good ideas on how to streamline these things...

 Pendragon uses experience rolls as well, doesn't it? The reason I had rolls in my system was to use character's skills, rather than having it automatic, which I rather dislike. An interesting side note: there is a skill called Cult Lore, buts it's only mentioned on the last page of GoG's Cults Book as a new skill (universal). I can't find a description anywhere.

 But to return to Rune Spells for initiates, I agree that my system would take a lot of rolling. I will probably just let initiates get a single 1 point cult spell reusuably: probably the one taught in shrines. The problem is that some cult's teach much better spells there than others ie Humakt teaches Truesword, Orlanth Cloud call.

>
>>Loskalm
>
>Graeme, I've got some bad news: there are nasty people out there in the
>real world who have been extremely rude about:
> i) The Chivalric Ideal;
> ii) The Islamic Jihad;
> iii) The Communist Internationale.

 And I'm one of those nasty people!

>These are the three examples you propose for a Loskalmi society that is
>above reproach? I'm just stirring some nasty stuff into the "pure and
>clean" Loskalm we're all taught about from the rules-books; seeing what
>sticks...

 I'm not proposing that these are ideal cultures, just that they are cultures that, while internally nice and clean, tend to be fairly messy when they run into people that disagree with them.

 When I first read the write-up of Loskalm, I thought "This lot are going to do a lot of damage" and I still do. I think they are a frightening bunch of fanatics. What makes them more frightening is that their idealistic system is working! Imagine how the US would feel if the USSR hadn't failed so miserably, if their system had been more efficient, more productive, had had more opportunities. I think that is how the Rokari are thinking right now. Have you evr read the Culture series by Ian M Banks (SF not Fantasy)? The Culture is internally a paradise but really does cause a lot of trouble in other societies, "for their own good".

 In the "What My Father Told Me" for the Seshnelan culture, the father says that the Hrestoli are new enemies. Is this just religious/political, or was there an actual war? If there was it must have been a naval battle, since there are a lot of elves and Brithini between Loskalm and Seshnela

 About Jar-Eel: it says in the Genertela book that she was the product of planned breeding. When I was reading the write-up of Hon-Eel's wane in Heroes No6 last night, I realised what this meant. Hon-Eel is a daughter of the Red Emperor, and most of the Lunar heroes are also directly related to the Red Goddess (the exceptions are the Seven Mothers and Etyries). The Eel-Arish planners must have reasoned as follows: "Heroic stature in the Lunar Emprie derives from blood relationship to the Red Goddess. We have people in our clan, and those which we often marry, that are descendents of the Goddess, mainly through the Red Emperor, but also through Hon-Eel, the Great Sister, Hwarin Dalthippa, and others. We should interbreed these clan members until we have an individual who is basically the Red Goddess. We may have a lot of culls."

 Points to note: i) Jar-Eel is quite inbred.

                 ii) The culls must be really pissed-off!

 What do you think?


Graeme Lindsell                      Email: gal502@huxley.anu.edu.au
Research School of Chemistry         Phone: (06) 249 3575
Australian National University       Fax:   (06) 249 0750
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