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On mere valour

Toynbee convector offers an extract on the extraordinary bravery of some exterminated Inca.*

If I were running a smart-ass Vancian or Lieberian 4-colour fantasy I would certainly include Goblin and Kobold bards who sang the bitter defeats and astonishing sacrifices of their brethren into immortality. I would have the self-righteous humans pick these songs up on broadsheets and propagate them, sometimes changing the names or fitting them to their own tragedies of war, sometimes rendering them as romances or fantasies, sometimes simply repeating them verbatim and adopting their heroes as universal icons. They’d be chanted on playgrounds and chain gangs. Maybe these laments would not be accepted in the salons of power until they’d been gussied up, arranged for string band and majestic horns, their themes all but submerged in a layered, repetitive formalism. Maybe nobody would know that the Marcus Garvey or Che Guevara or Olaudah Equiano of my world was a Kobold, maybe they’d know but it wouldn’t matter. Maybe none of that would change the humans’ genocidal urges.

Alas, I missed scurvy awareness day.

While I’m tilting at sacred cows, here‘s a nice analysis of the British royal family as a brand. I actually think none of the four worlds the author describes is quite the one we live in, each of them could be a nice graft onto your own snoozing former empire.

* I’m not going to make any friends around here posting about my discomfort with the implicit politics of a relentless stronghold-raiding game – its colonialism, its orientalism, its racism, its historical echoes or its home ethnicity, its reliance on unexplained categories like “good” and “evil.” For me, these days, part of the attractive puzzle of the game is that I nonetheless find it puzzlingly attractive, despite its many unattractive qualities. I hope you can enjoy this post without being derailed by this note.

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