Pithdaros, Harreksaga, & how to treat Intellectuals

From: Nick Brooke (100270.337@CompuServe.COM)
Date: Tue 15 Jun 1993 - 01:56:24 EEST

Lord Lurker in Shadows <g> / David Scott says re: the Black Knights of Pithdaros:

> I assume they are from Pithdaros mentioned on p.83 of Glorantha
> Book 2 (Seshnela); the knights bit might be a Nick Brooke legend.
> What about it, Nick?

Yup. My fault again. Think about it, guys: we have a unique colony of dark-skinned Agimori from the south, settling in a feudal region of the West -- of course they're going to be called "Black Knights".

(I can't be the only person who explores Glorantha through puns).

I don't know *why* they're there: I doubt it's "political correctness". It may be an attempt by Greg to remind us of the Seshnegi links to Pamaltela in the Second Age; it may be just a spot of local colour <g> for the Duchy of Nolos; it may be to simulate those Saracen Knights from Arthurian legend (Palomides et al.), or the peculiar speculations a' la "Holy Blood and Holy Grail" / "Knights Adventurous" about ethnic diversity in southern France (how's about Nolos = Provence, anyone?). I'm quite taken with the thought of an Old Etonian gentleman knight of Pithdaros (cf. T.H.White's Palomides) heading south now the seas have opened to visit the Old Country...

Or it may tie in to "Harreksaga" somehow -- cf. Hunralki in the Southern text of the "Annotated Argrath's Saga" (TEXTUAL NOTE: I find it weird that only the Southern version mentions Hunralki on p.21, but only the Northern version mentions him on p.38). Does this mean the Agimori get unexpected backing from Jolar and take over in Nolos? Is this in fact a vicious allegory for immigration -- "rivers of blood", etc?? (Or was it just Harrek sacking another city for the hell of it?).

A Note on "Harreksaga": we KNOW from internal evidence that the Fourth Age compiler of "King of Sartar", one Greg Stafford, is familiar with the contents of "Harreksaga" (cf. p.21 n.33; p.38 n.137). Perhaps we can hope for a redaction of it some day -- though it's unlikely ever to come out in its proper form, a range of cheap paperbacks with Frank Frazetta covers... "Harrek the Plunderer", "Harrek the Destroyer", "Harrek the Wolf Pirate", "Harrek the Berserk", "Harrek the King", etc. Someone ought to write up a Howardian extract from one of these, one of these days...

(What's the proper literary form for Jar-eel's exploits? Any ideas?)

By the way, David, I share your joy at the turn the Sorcery discussion has taken. Amazing what you can do just by sticking your neck out, isn't it?

Lewis Jardine says:

> So Thurla is just a more successful example of the typical,
> untrustworthy, God-Learner, bastard who pretends to worship
> Issaries in order to cover their foul, necromatic, blood
> sucking, twisted evil ways. Not that I have a very strong
> opinion on the matter.

Just as well, really! My monitor almost cracked from that sally...

I'm philosophically allied to Lewis, here. Not being a powergamer, I prefer to see Glorantha through the eyes of ordinary folk. If you can condition yourself to feel a skin-creeping revulsion whenever anyone starts acting in a God Learner way, you're doing well. Threats of tar and feathers fly around the room when our gaming sessions lapse into speculation. My last Lhankor Mhy character got off lightly -- he was just punched in the face by ignorant barbarians every time he ventured a suggestion as to what we were facing in a Steve Thomas scenario. They started off quite reasonably:

NICK: "Might not that strange island be the floating land of Kylerela,

	said to be inhabited by the beautiful Kylie, a demigoddess from
	the Southern Continent, which is eternally sought by Jason,
	heroic follower of Dormal?" ... [THUD!].

Then they got more short-tempered:
NICK:	"Ah, I see, it's a metaphor for industrialisation -" [SMASH!].

By the end, I hardly dared open my mouth:
NICK:	"But -" [CRUNCH!].

The leading light of this anti-intellectual movement was our very own David Hall, for what it's worth... (*AND* I was right about that metaphor!)

Oh, speaking of David:

> We once had a Heortlander (a worshipper of Saint Orlanth of the
> Aeolian Church) in the group, but he died - his manners were atrocious.

Young Cadwyn had the most courtly manners the folk in Greydog Village had ever seen! It's just a shame he had a Prince Valiant pageboy haircut, wore tight hose, and thought the "King of the Rainbow Mounds" was a magical ruler from under the green fairy mounds of the North, with vast feasting-halls and hordes of dwarf servants crafting magic weapons for him... Brutally reft from civilised Ivanhoe Country to a small village of indomitable Sartarites, it's hardly surprising he didn't last long.



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