Lots of stuff about Ducks

From: Michael Cule <mikec_at_room3b.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 18:19:47 GMT

My favourite Gloranthan race is getting a lot of attention just lately. Not all of it of a kind I would like.

I stand firm by the idea that the Ducks and Duck-Keets are one species. They are said to be physically indistinguishable. I would favour the idea that they seperated some time during the Darkness: in fact to be specific In My Glorantha they seperated before the Duck-Keets made the Great Sacrifice and gave up their gift of flight and their ancestral Goddess (Mother Duck) to power the spread of the Web of Dreams that keeps Unreality seperate from Reality.

It might even be possible that the Ducks split from the Duck-Keets over this very issue: they were affected by the changes that this mythic event brought about (the loss of flight and the change to bearing live young) but have forgotten the reason for it.

I suppose you could argue for a later arrival of the Ducks in Dragon Pass but the Second Age Arrival Theory (in which they are transported to be zoo exhibits of the EWF's mad scientists) doesn't seem supported given that the Durulz don't seem to have much knowledge beyond vague memories of their ancestral home in the East. I don't think the few hundred years since then is long enough for them to have forgotten everything.

(I have never felt, by the way, that Durulz were culturally indistinguishable from the Duck-Keets. They don't have many memories of the culture of pre-Darkness Ganderland, just the memory that there was such a thing. They probably came under the influence of the pantheon of the Storm Gods before the Dawning and have worked themselves into a minor part of the Orlanthi myth since then.)

I like the metaphor that the Ducks are the Gypsies of Glorantha except for the fact that they are not very nomadic! They do have (as I believe gypsies do) legends of a lost land where they were the rulers and something of the same clannishness and disdain for outsiders.

I reject utterly and violently the idea that the ducks are either artificial creations of Mad Scientists or 'stuck' hunschen. Although both of these ideas account for the fact that they bear live young rather well. But no! I spit upon such degrading concepts!

Sergio says:
> In the
> end we could conceive a campaign or a LARP where ducks and keets would find
> themselves face to face. I think that it would be fascinating to role-play
> how individuals of the same race but with completly alien cultures, beliefs
> and backgrounds, would sort-out the situation.

I'm suspended in the middle of such a campaign at the moment. The party have taken the Last Egg Of Mother Duck down to Corflu and are going to have to take it home to the volcano where the Keets were first born. Of course, it is currently occupied by the chaotic pteradactyl-Keets.....

I really must get back to running that game soon....

Bill Thompson says:

> I think we might examine the possibility that the EWF merely brought intact
> eggs from the East Isles. Stolen from the Keets as it were (does that
> constitute plagiarism) and hatched in Delecti's Swamp. Raised without any
> race memories or familial instruction it would explain the lack of extant
> culture.

I don't believe that the Ducks have lost all their original culture (just 99% of it) but this is an ingenious idea if you ignore the 'fact' that Durulz don't lay eggs. In My Glorantha giving up this gift (which makes even their fellow Keets think of them as odd) is part of their sacrifice by which the Duck-Keets played their small part in saving the Universe. (No, honestly! They really did!)

Stephen Martin has a problem with the idea of Ducks laying eggs. This prejudice seems to me very mammal centered. Thinking about it, aren't races that lay eggs at an advantage militarily speaking? They can leave the young back home to be taken care of by Grandma in her incubator while Mom and Pop both go off and fight the foe!

> Another possibility: in the write-up in Tales 5, the primary anti-undead
> hero of Humakt is Li Phanquan, who is stated to be a yellow-skinned
> warrior from Kralorela. I suppose this guy could even be a keet from the
> East Isles, who came through Kralorela -- he does have "qu" in his name,
> after all. But I won't hold to this theory, it does seem a bit
> ridiculous.

I don't see why! A lovely idea!

Actor And Genius
AKA Theophilus Prince Archbishop Of The Far Isles Medieval Society Arms Purpure An Open Book Proper: On the Dexter Page an Alpha Or On the Sinister an Omega Or. Motto Nulla Spes Sit in Resistendo (Resistance is Useless). Ask me about the Far Isles: Better Living through Pan-Medieval Anachronisms.

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