Pamaltela'n'stuff.

From: Alex Ferguson (alex@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Mon 26 Sep 1994 - 00:39:56 EET


Sandy on "Violence is always an option":
> It is my opinion that this proverb, while twisted into many
> different useful Orlanthi meanings, is actually a pacifistic saying,
> boiling down to "if _this_ doesn't work, we can always resort to
> violence".

It's also the Feed Line for the dual Ernalda saying, of course. So it's not just (or even mainly, I think) saying things about the attitudes of a particular society, but also about the expected roles of the sexes (or Male and Female Paths) within it.

> Alex is being noxious about Pamaltela being actually more fertile and
> better than Genertela: [...]
> Teeming millions of oppressed peasants is probably a bad
> defense of the "Genertela is as fertile as Pamaltela" argument.

Only morally. ;-)

> As
> Previously Stated, the Doraddi live in a large flat land area which,
> by all rights, should be a dire desert like unto the Sahara or Gobi.
> [...] In addition, the most fertile land, biologically-speaking, is
> swampland and rain forest [...]

So to sum up your argument, where Pamalt isn't worshipped, the land is about as "fertile" (in terms of biological throughput) as it would be in an Earth-analagous place, which is evidence of Pamaltelan Inherent Fertility, and where he is, that it isn't a total desert, despite having enough rainfall to maintain _permanent_ rivers and lakes (as well as some seasonal ones) (i.e., is about as fertile as it would be in an Earth- analagous place) is evidence of Pamaltelan Inherent Fertility. The prosecution is tempted to rest on the evidence of the main defence witness.

> >The basis of the Death of Genert myth is the whole Nasty Chaos
> >Incident. However, only the Praxians believe that this seriously
> >buggered things up, fertility-wise.
> How can you say this? I know for a fact that the Westerners
> believe this as well -- they've published statements about it.

The Westerners are well-known for believing that everything is going to Hell on a bike, at regular intervals, but I don't recall them blaming their lot on _Genert_ upping and dying on them. The God Learners made the Vadeli Wars the definitive Malkioni Greater Darkness Myth, after all.

> The result is that Genertela is shafted, not just in
> fertility but in hundreds of tiny little ways that we don't even
> notice, since we live there. You have to go a long way to find
> something like the Chaos Footprint in Pamaltela, but almost
> everywhere in Genertela has some dreadful chaos nest within a week's
> travel. So there. Nyah.

You're using the greater manifestation of chaos in Genertela, which I just asserted was the whole basis of this mythic dissimilarity between the continents, as a basis for propping up your whole edifice. Lacking any Big Things, other than chaos, I'm cleaving to my "depends what you like" ((C) Arthur Dent, 198X (<-- triply invalid copyright notice)) stance.

> >Who thinks Sandy is about to be squished by a Gift Carrier? I'm
> >glad to say I think he's cold enough to be pretty safe.
> Now see here wiseacre.

Please. In accordance with le Systeme Internationale, EU Commission directives, RQ's metric policy, and the fact that I'm easily 2.5 times as prove to persecuting God Learners as the average Dailier, I must insist on being addressed as wise-hectare.

> I happen to _know_ the damn secret of the God Learners.

This sounds like a plea that since you weren't hanged for the sheep, you should automatically get at most Probation for any subsequent lambs.

> But I might tell _you_ Alex, in hopes of getting the Gift
> Carriers to nail you. ;)

I'll cover my ears.

> >I wasn't counting humans, though, I was counting sentients. Of
> >course, the non-humans infesting said areas don't worship Pamalt, so
> >by rights I _should_ have excluded them, unless Pamalt goes out of
> >his way to aid his enemies.
> In the first place, there are heaps of sentients in
> Pamaltela. Uncounted millions of elves and elf-relatives in the
> jungle, and millions more goblins and mermen in the swamps.

Eh, Sandy, aren't those _your_ figures, including the elf-jungles, from the back of Tales #11? I know you recommended a pinch of salt, but...

> And in the third place, yes, Pamalt _does_ go out of his way
> to aid his enemies. The elves by the way aren't Pamalt's enemies, but
> the Doraddi's enemies.

A slimline distinction, they being his main worshippers. The Moorgarki cult in Troll Gods certainly characterises "the Children of Aldrya" and "the demigod Pamalt" as enemies.

> >I just don't want to have to try to struggle to believe a handful of
> >grain dropped in the middle of the veldt grows better than in an
> >unblessed field in Esrolia.

> These are not comparable situations.

Of course they're not. But since a vast tracts of Pamaltela are veldt, and very little is arable land, while much of Genertela is arable, it's somewhat contrived to ignore small details like their relative prevalence when talking about The Whole Continent's Fertility, whatever that means anyway.

Lest this get totally airy-fairy, let me say what I believe the Actual Situation to be, in semi-rules terms. If you plant grain in "suitable" land in either continent, it grows merrily, Bless Crops or not. Unless, of course, it then fails due to lack of rainfall or sunshine, excessive frost, exhaustion of soil minerals, plagues of boll-weevils, or whatever. Given that there are spells specifically to deal with the first three, I imagine that Bless Crops acts to obviate the remaining possible snags. To wit, it aids soil quality, suppresses pests and blights, and does other miscellaneous earth-type crop-failure-preventing things that I haven't thought of on the spur of the moment.

I believe that there probably _are_ fewer people making lots of use of Bless Crops in Pamaltela; for many, I think the expected female horticultural role is Keraun's, since lack of rain, in in particular late or non- appearance of the rainy seasons is the biggest headache for many farmers (and others).

Alex.



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