Re: Thunder Rebels - Quick Review
Jeff, I could tell you were excited about this, but
you didn't answer the most important question of all:
is there an index?
- "KYER, JEFFREY" <jeff.kyer_at_...> wrote:
> Impressive. 256 pages of full of Heortling goodness.
> Lets just look at it for a moment. The layout is the
> best to date from
> Issaries -- very well. The cover by Stefano is
> lovely and the interior
> art by Heather B really sets the tone. Simon Bray's
> "woodcuts" of
> typical Orlanthi artwork have a 'just so' feel to
> them. A few exquisite
> Angelo M prints (which I'd love to see in color
> somewhere) provide
> contrast. Steve Lieb's maps are also pretty neat.
> Along the top of the
> page is a header bar for each chapter. There is an
> index. A glorious
> seven page index.
> Inside we find an 'I'm New Here' section -- there is
> a series of
> "sidebars" that illustrate what a 'typical' Orlanthi
> stead, clan, tribe,
> wyter and so on are like. Finally, we get a template
> for society!
> Scattered throughout are the usual profusion of
> myths and mythlets to
> illustrate just why things are the way they are for
> the Heortlings. In
> this its very much like what we saw in Anaxial's
> Roster. Including an
> Custom, Kinship and Law are covered to an amazing
> degree but remain
> quite readable -- the writing is not dry! Its told
> from an insider
> standpoint, rather than an anthropologist's
> dissertation. Oh, and
> there's a write-up of the Heortling version of the
> mysterious "Greeting"
> too. Warfare and battle are covered in detail,
> showing how the
> Heortlings deal with varying enemies ranging from
> skirmishing trolls,
> charging knights to close ordered Dara Happans. You
> can find the
> enemies in the index.
> Magic, though, is the main focus of the book. And
> it clarifies many
> things previously fuzzy. Initiation rites are
> discussed as is the
> annual cycle of sacrifice. Ceremonies are
> demonstrated and the nature of
> daimons discussed. The importance and _function_ of
> wyter is made
> plain. (Highly useful critters!) The sequence of
> worship from
> Communal, Initiate and Devotee is made clearer and a
> rather ingenious
> method of working out subcults is provided. Changing
> gods and cults are
> better defined as well. They are listed in the
> Divination, an old standby from Runequest returns
> and is quite nifty --
> and hard to do. Divine Wrath reappears too as do
> agents of vengeance and
> reprisal. And, true to the spirit of Orlanth,
> everyone is _responsible_
> for their kinfolk's transgressions. Try not to have
> an apostate
> cousin... He's not in the index but the retribution
> Throughout the work there's little snippets of
> information just casually
> tucked into keywords or paragraphs that do enrich
> the culture. I didn't
> know that the Orlanthi were fond of puppet shows.
> But hey, I can see
> Orlanthi having their version of Punch & Judy. They
> aren't in the
> index, you have to find these easter eggs yourself.
> We learn about weather in Dragon Pass and in
> Engiziland. The Godworld
> about the Storm Tribe is mapped and defined,
> changing from Age to Age.
> The Storm Realm is a fascinating place, well worth
> visiting again and
> again. Well, i
> Oh! And there's a calendar with the holy days
> throughout the year for
> Orlanth and Ernalda. Which, of course, brings us to
> the cult of Orlanth
> and Ernalda. The Great Gods have mostly the same
> form -- characters
> being carried over from Hero Wars will not have any
> trouble being
> converted (its more of an enhancement) and the sheer
> number of subcults
> available cry for use. Ernalda has 4 aspects
> (Healer, Allmother, Queen
> and Esrola the Mother) with over 20 subcults.
> Orlanth's aspects stay the
> same (Adventurous, Allfather, Thunderous) but now he
> has about 30
> subcults. The only real change is that Orlanth
> Farmer, Thane and Noble
> were rolled together into an aspect that covers a
> spectrum of society.
> Vingkot has a subcult through each aspect of
> Orlanth! All of these cults
> have keywords, of course. I suspect that Niskis the
> Lover and Finovan
> the Raider will be popular with the menfolk and
> Brevara and Enferalda
> will find use among the ladies (though I think that
> most venturesome
> women will find Storm Tribe more to their liking).
> Did I mention the
> Character development & options are enhanced
> greatly. All the sacred
> occupations are covered with keywords ranging from
> Beggar to Tribal
> King. None of the more esoteric professions like
> scholar are found but
> then, the more esoteric gods are in Storm Tribe.
> Interestingly, men and
> women now get different cultural keywords -- but
> that's okay. I'd rather
> have my wife know how to spin and weave rather than
> throw javelins. And
> since we're talking about characters, there's a
> selection of names.
> There are...um... 400 or so. More if you play with
> the endings. Many
> names are found in the index.
> All in all, the best to date from Issaries. If this
> is the new standard
> for their work, then I'm pretty pleased with it.
> Especially the index.
> Jeff Kyer
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