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Darius West

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Blog Comments posted by Darius West

  1. Doing a Dark Ages fantasy around King Arthur is a great idea.   Pendragon is wonderful for a fantasy romance setting, but a game that makes the magical forces of Ancient British folklore and plays upon the insecurities of the new religion of Christianity, while confronting the brutalities of the historical period has a lot of appeal for me.

    I had an idea while reading into the origins of British Common Law some time ago which might appeal to some of you.  Consider how many stories in the Arthurian myth cycle are about knights going to some hick fort in the backwoods and being forced to deal with some bizarre and horrible local custom?  For example, when Ygraine is forced into a lethal beauty pageant.  It struck me that these could be a legendary retelling of how deputized representatives of the king went out to try to put an end to the most unjust practices of local legal traditions, and might be seen as the mythic antecedent of the common law, but also a form of religious warfare against the worst excesses of regional folk beliefs, as part of unifying a disparate land under a single monarchical system.  I am a big fan of the British Common Law as an evolved proof of a fundamental human decency, that stands in stark contrast to the despotism of the age.

    I will also ask a question of all you Arthur enthusiasts.  A few years ago I bought a book on King Arthur by a Welsh author, who gave a Welsh spin on the legend that was quite compelling.  It pointed out that Wales actually has a Mount Badon, and that Cameliard (pronounced Camel-yard might also be called Camel-lot, with Camel being an old word for horse in a language with which I am not familiar).  It also pointed out that in the Mabinogion it features Arthur and his knights fighting a Sow and her piglets in murderous skirmishes across Wales, then suggests that the Vandals used the Boar as their symbol and that it was not Saxons who invaded Britain but Vandals who invaded Wales.  It is pointed out that after Belisarius' capture of Cathage which was the Vandal's big base, that the Vandal fleet and the huge army it represented simply fades from history, and accounts for this anomaly by having them attack the rich and comparatively undefended province of Roman Wales around 534AD.  It also suggests that Excalibur may have been the sword that Julius Caesar lost, having it stuck in the shield of the chieftain Brennus during his brief trip to Britain.  The point being, it was probably of better manufacture than British swords of the period, so why wouldn't you think it was magical?  It also suggested that the Grail Quest might refer to efforts to keep the peace during the combined disasters of the Justiniac Plague, and crop failures and famine brought on by volcanic eruption creating a global nuclear winter.  

    If this book sounds familiar to anyone, I would really like to know the author and name of it so I can hunt down another copy because I lent mine to an ex-girlfriend and never saw it again and I want to examine the claims in more detail.  It made an impression, and deserved more examination of its claims imo.

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