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Leingod

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Leingod last won the day on February 12

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About Leingod

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  • RPG Biography
    Not very much. Mostly I started in Dungeons & Dragons like a lot of people, experimented with White Wolf Games, got into Pendragon because of my love of Arthurian mythos, then found Glorantha and Chaosium through King of Dragon Pass.
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    Right now? None.
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    California
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    I actually havent' played many games, even though I read a lot of gamebooks.

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  1. That's pretty close to how I handle it, unless I'm misunderstanding you. My take is that, to a lady, a marriage to a noble is exactly as momentous and as much of a confirmation of status as being knighted is to a man, and thus just as the man gets 1,000 Glory off the bat once he is knighted, the lady gets 1,000 Glory for marrying someone of at least knightly status (but only the first time it happens). Then you factor in all the other stuff that adds Glory to the marriage, much as how a man gets his Glory from being knighted and then accounts for whatever titles and lands he's inherited separately from that, and just as a man gets way more Glory from inheriting high titles and lots of lands, a lady gets far more Glory add-ons from marrying a man who has the above instead of just his knighthood.
  2. Well, I think the reasoning provided in the write-up does a good enough job of explaining why Merlin would do it. Uther's rule is increasingly unpopular, largely due to his sickness and streak of losses against the Saxons meaning that the reputation and aura of this great warrior king is no longer distracting people from all of his preexisting flaws (which are spelled out quite well in the Book of Uther). Especially when said flaws have led to him essentially abandoning Britons to the Saxons so he can steal another noble's wife. Merlin sees that Uther is losing the trust and regard of the Britons, and so he makes a martyr out of Uther before the man can tarnish his own reputation further. By killing him and so many others off right after Uther's biggest, most unambiguous triumph in several years, which are followed by the misery of the Anarchy, entire generations of Britons will now be a.) so desperate to have a King of Logres & a High King again they'll support even some "beardless bastard boy" who pulls a sword from a stone so long as he's victorious, and b.) remember Uther's reign far fondly than they ever would have if Uther had continued on the trajectory he was on prior to St. Albans, and thus will consider Arthur being his son a plus rather than a minus once that gets revealed. Besides, if Merlin believed there was a serious chance that Britain would fall to the Saxons before Arthur could grow up, he likely would have stuck around to try to keep things in check until the boy was old enough to draw the sword from the stone, rather than leaving Britain. It's all something that would normally be one of those "you couldn't possibly have accounted for everything that could have accounted for" plans we shake our heads at in fiction, but this is Merlin, who has at least some prophetic powers and is clearly cognizant of future events, so it works. As for arrangements being made with key nobles to pave the way for Arthur, I could see Merlin making moves in that direction, and I certainly agree that Ygraine revealing that Arthur was her son by Uther was most definitely staged (one wonders if Arthur was let in on it), but it probably wasn't the direct or only cause of so many lords of varying levels of power and influence being willing to throw their lot in with Arthur. A lot of them almost certainly legitimately believed that him drawing the sword (a blatantly magical event) was proof. If not on its own merits, then at least because they all agreed that they needed someone on the throne of Logres, if not Britain. And seeing that many of them would have had rather remote chances of becoming king themselves, at least a few of the more canny ones would have figured it would be much better to establish yourself as one of this new claimant's very first major supporters, essentially getting in on the ground floor of a new faction if not becoming one of the prime supporters in a new king's rise to power. Certainly, it would make a lot of sense for Merlin to have at least dropped hints at Arthur's parentage to Uther's most devoted and famous supporters, Ulfius and Brastias. Those two are very influential figures, so as soon as they've throw their lot in with Arthur, no matter what people think of Arthur himself, he suddenly becomes a serious claimant that a lot of lords and knights will support almost on reflex, trusting the judgment of these two famous old knights. But I think that's likely the extent of Merlin's direct influence on the nobility of Logres in terms of priming them to accept Arthur as their liege. Not least because I like to give at least some credit for winning over the nobles to Arthur himself.
  3. Sounds good. Stuff like the Warlord Chronicles has previously shown an Arthur who actually knew his father and was acknowledged as his (illegitimate) son from the start and was already an established and well-known figure at the time of his death, so if you play your cards right it'll be easy to lead them to believe that that's what's happening here, only to pull the rug out from under them.
  4. I certainly like the idea of it being Merlin paving the way for Arthur's ascendance. That said, I also like the idea of it being Morgan taking revenge for her father's death (I personally prefer the portrayal of Morgan as villainous but with relatable motives and her own oft-skewed sense of morals; I think it's a good middle ground between "misunderstood heroine" and "one-dimensional villainess"), so I suppose my own personal answer would be that Morgan plotted and carried it out, but that Merlin gave her a bit of help behind the scenes to allow it to go off without a hitch, since Morgan is after all still a child at this time and is far from growing into her later power or cunning. In addition to keeping all the stuff I like about both proposed plotters, it has the added bonus of keeping Merlin as the detached and enigmatic figure who often works through others, which means there's no conflict with his usual MO.
  5. There's actually more than 56 ethnicities in China; those are just the ones officially recognized by the government. Scholars estimate perhaps as many as 200. And if we're talking about something the size of California... I mean, prior to European contact, the indigenous populations of what is now California were divided into many very distinct cultures, speaking a huge number of distinct languages and dialects. Even people trying to boil it down to the largest groupings possible still means talking about around 30 or so different cultures.
  6. Probably not; the constant downpour into Skyfall Lake is the manifestation of the terrible wound the Sky-River Titan sustained, which neither of his brothers suffered anything similar to as far as we know.
  7. The thing that happens in the U.K. is mostly just a succession of people speaking different languages (including descendants of the original language, morphed into a new one over time) successively tacking on additions to names that happen to be utterly redundant. For example, an ancient Briton community on a particular hill was named "Bre", Celtic for "hill". When the Saxons conquered it, they called it "Briudun", adding the Saxon suffix "-dun," which means "hill". The community is now called "Breedon on the Hill", i.e. "Hill-Hill on the Hill". You also see it in the U.S., with lots of stuff like "Rio Grande River" and "the La Brea Tar Pits."
  8. Dara Happa strikes me as very consciously Mesopotamian in influence, which happens to have many of those same traits for many of the same reasons Imperial China developed them; they are, after all, 2 of the 3 oldest settled civilizations in the world (which emerged fairly close together in time) and the birthplace of the first expansive empires in human history. That said, stuff like the extensive rice-farming (though rice was grown in parts of Mesopotamia, too) suggests there's at least a bit of crossing over of the influences.
  9. Ah, so we can instead just hire a professor of South Asian Studies who had a professed lifelong love of language and wrote grammar books and dictionaries for obscure languages like the (extinct as of 2003) Klamath language and also taught Urdu. Seriously, I couldn't even guess how many languages Baker was fluent in.
  10. Ah, good point. So, which Oxford professor with a doctorate in philology shall we ask to spend years crafting entire artificial languages for a fantasy setting to increase its verisimilitude?
  11. Well, China's Bronze Age lasted longer than it did in the West. To the best of my knowledge, this happened because Chinese territory at that time was one of the few places in the world where you didn't have to cross half a continent to get either copper or tin, meaning they weren't as dependent on extensive trade networks whose breakdown in the Bronze Age Collapse forced people to adopt iron (which was harder to work with and was at first inferior to bronze), which meant that China didn't have to make the changeover until they could reliably make high-quality iron and steel weapons and tools in relatively large quantities. Similarly in China, chariots were only phased out in favor of cavalry much later, and they in fact reached their peak of use during the Spring & Autumn Period (~771-476 BC), and the process of phasing them out more or less entirely as military units was only complete somewhere toward the end of the Han Dynasty. As late 119 AD, Chinese generals like Wei Qing were making use of chariots in war even against horse nomads like the Xiongnu (in this case, supposedly by using a ring formation of heavily-armored chariots as a mobile fortress). So while cavalry had certainly supplanted chariots in the leading role (relegating chariots mostly to a support role), the full changeover from chariots to horses wasn't completed until well into the ADs in China. So, you know, the trajectory of moving on from bronze and chariots to iron/steel and horse cavalry is yet another thing in history that didn't take place all at once and in the same ways and at the same time. So it wouldn't beggar belief to me if at least one culture is still using chariots as a major component of their military, and not as a result of backwardness or isolation.
  12. For better or worse, when someone talks about what some powerful figure or organization is secretly doing/secretly supposed to do in fantasy, my mind usually fills in the blank immediately with "human sacrifice." Because that's right more often than you'd think, and even when it isn't human sacrifice, it's usually something roughly as bad, so it still isn't really a surprise.
  13. One random idea: the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla had a very stratified caste system where your rank was determined by your perceived relation to the royal family; this is called the "bone-rank system" by Western scholars because instead of the idea of "royal blood," the Silla called this concept the "sacred bone." If we take bones instead of blood as being the important signifiers of things like heritage and hereditary privilege and superiority, you could have changes to common turns of phrase like "blood will tell" to something bone-related instead. Tales of human sacrifice and/or man-eating demons might feature phrases like "bone-eater" and references to piles of crushed bones instead of "blood-drinker" and red stains and such.
  14. You could still borrow from Chinese history without being overtly Orientalist about it by just going further back for your inspiration than the years AD, as Glorantha does elsewhere: The original list of "Five Grains" denoting the key grains for human consumption, for instance, was originally listed as soybeans, wheat, broomcorn and foxtail millet, and hemp (used for oil); rice didn't become prominent until much later when Chinese civilization expanded further south than the Yellow River valley. Same with tea, which was originally used almost solely as medicine. Beer was commonly drunk (the Chinese moved away from beer and onto spirits as time went on). It might be an interesting subversion of expectations when you describe a Kralorelan person using chopsticks to stir and serve the food, but then you're expected to eat with stuff like knives, spoons and bare hands/aforementioned red fork, and instead of rice the primary grains are poridges of millet and beans. After all, most peasant farmers can't afford lots of charred meat with spices for every meal. It's important to keep in mind the reality that, as elsewhere in Glorantha, the majority of people are just farmers or herders trying to get by, and they also probably don't have serious aspirations of great power or enlightenment whatever the official doctrine says. A lot of these suggestions are bit too overly fixated on the "draconic" stuff, IMO.
  15. That's going a bit too far with it, IMO. I couldn't possibly take anyone in the region seriously if that's how they ate their food. I'd prefer something like, the wealthy use red-colored forks with two tines to imitate a dragon's tongue or something.
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