The Hidden Kings

From: Ian Cooper <ian_hammond_cooper_at_...>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 10:09:23 -0000

Peter Metcalfe wrote:
>Greg said that the Hidden Kings had taken wolf form and started
>devouring other Orlanthi such as Heort's deer people.

I remember this debate. In fact I even ran a HeroQuest for my players in which they were among the last defenders of Seriasdora (and mythically the last survivors of the world) still loyal to the memory of Orlanth (now dead) and contending with the Hidden Kings who, with Orlanth dead, had turned to animist/hsunchen beliefs for survival. They even aided Heort overthrow the hidden kings.

But like you I was never entirely happy with the Hsunchen explanation for their shapeshifting (and I'mnot sufficently worried about our backstory to fight for it over others).

But AFAIK Jeff is not trying to deny the description of the Hidden Kings as shapeshifters. He is suggesting that Broyan is trying to ritually link the Hidden Kings ability to shape change with the transformative magic of the Larnsti. Its about mythic identification bringing magical power.

I think there are useful parallels and it makes for interesting story telling. IIRC Jeff suggested that Broyan might be doing this because he believes he can step back through mythic roles and restore the Kodigvari kingship. Of course that does not mean he can, just that he is trying. Now I guess another alternative could be that he starts as a Vingkotling king, hence his worship of all aspects of Vingkot, but is now seeking to progress throug being a Hidden King through mythic identification with the Larnsti, and finally become Heort and thus be a Heortling king. But Jeff's explorations, for me, add a lot to understanding Broyan.

However why don't we just go with what we can agree on. Otherwise the group risks getting its creativity sidetracked in the detail. We can always return to the thorny topics later,and they may be clearer when we fill in more of the picture.


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