Chariots and Fire

S02 — Session 35

1627, Sea Season, Death Week, Fireday to Wildday

Dramatis Personae




Kallyr and her cronies


As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, NalaTiwrSaga and The Death of Rajar. As with last time there will be extracts from the Sonnets to Varanis, Sonnets in Praise of Xenefos and The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia. There will be reference to the Deeds of Suraaki the Mighty and Valseenastale. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus].

“Greetings, students. What a semester we have before you. I do apologise that due to what we can confidently explain as Disease Spirits, this session will be by using modern technology in the form of scrying crystals, or whatever the technical types refer to them as. I believe I will hear no Discord, if I were to Zoom to a point where we as Teams can regard them as sufficiently advanced magic.

Now, I realise that last semester was gravely disrupted by the same matter, and so let us recap. We are here to examine Late Bronze Age Gloranthan Heroic literature, but also to see if a SYNTHESIS can be made between these noble, heroic, exaggerated accounts, and the more rational and balanced evidence available through archaeological digs, and ethnographic studies of modern but remote tribes to give an insight into the lives and loves and struggles of these distant figures.

Now, a wee pop quiz, before we start.

Firstly, do we believe the tales are fundamentally true, partially true, or entirely a story, and WHY do you hold this belief?

Secondly, if you were to be a figure in one of the works we have studied, who would you be, and WHY?

Lastly, do we think the Heroes, if they did exist, had access to magic in the ways described, and WHY?

Pipe up! Yes, you, miss!”

“Isn’t it pretty clear by now that these are cautionary tales, Doctor Tom? I mean, who would REALLY do all those stupid things, even in a heroic age?”

“Ah, you appeal to reason? Tell me… under the current circumstances do you see a lack of people doing stupid things? That said, it is possible these are cautionary tales, but consider, think of the times a hero ALMOST dies but survives…. I think especially of drowning. Does that give a caution, or a reassurance that doing foolish things around water will merely result in a close call?”

“I reckon it’s about how you SHOULD behave. If you’re an idiotic hero.”

“I think it is a collation of some true stories, some mythical tales and quite suspicious amount of sarcastic wit. It would appear some rather cynical writer is responsible for some of these collections. And reading them all together does feel a bit risky hypothesis, we probably have only a fraction of sources that once existed, so trying to force them all into same narrative is conforming into bias by survival of material. MAGIC, well world is full of things unexplainable by Bronze age wisdom, so magic is as good explanation as any.”

It was the aliens…

Daryl, you’re such a nob.

”Dr Tomm? Will this be on the exam?” The student asking this question chews her pencil nervously as she waits for a reply.

What Really Happened

Session Quotes

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