Re: Babeester Gor initiation

From: Alison Place <alison_place_at_mxRLnwJhX2DiSQcwaZlrTzGwz37C7ej-xOmcphu5JkDG91TYsvoiK28UMMjhpee>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 19:13:59 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Sergi,

     Ian will be happy to know that his evil is appreciated. And he comes up with these things so damn fast, too! As he's away teaching math tonight, let's see what I might come up with on my own as to why Bert was framed up. Usual motives are love, money and revenge. If revenge is out (the feud motive), then that leaves love and money. I think we can combine the two. How's this for nastiness?

     Let's call the parents Gunther and Hilda. Hilda is madly in love with Gunther, and determined to have him at all costs. Unfortunately, Gunther's parents won't let him marry HIlda, as she isn't rich enough to for it to be a good match. Bert and Hilda co-own the stead, as their parents have died. Bert won't divide the land; there isn't enough to form two steads. So, Hilda accuses her own brother of coming home drunk, making lewd advances to her, and beating and raping her when she refuses in horror. Bert is outlawed, and Hilda gets the stead, and the man she wants to marry. No-one (except Gunther) realises that Hilda has borne false witness. Gives a reason for Bert to rape her when it all goes wrong (assuming that someone else in the gang hadn't actually been the perpetrator of that particular crime).

     So, you're having the basic initiation while everything is still fine at the stead. Given Miriel's propensity to axe-play, there is a small sign that basic Ernalda worship may not be her eventual destiny.  Fine, that works.

     Next, we have her full initiation after everything has gone to hell. Obviously, there are several options here. I like the idea of Miriel's parents trying to dissuade her out of love. Just because they've acted wrongly with regard to Bert doesn't mean that they weren't trying to bring their children up right. "Do as I say, not as I do" strikes again.

     Her parents could try to tell her (without admitting their guilt) that she's done enough to avenge them, they can rest in peace, she should go on with her life. If she accepts this argument, then she's back to Ernalda, or perhaps Vinga. However, she may tell her parents that she's avenged them and her home stead, but that there are still other women who need an axemaiden to punish their abusers, and she realises that this is her path in life. OK, then she's still on the BG track, and her parents might then mention that Bert is still at large.

     Alternatively, her parents might show her the possibility of a settled life, but ask her to finish off Bert first. That's more of a term position, so to speak (though I know how GMs can spin these things out :-) ). A temporary affiliation with a vengeance cult would do, in my opinion. Without knowing the full truth, Miriel will undoubtedly agree. More taking the vow of a Red Woman, than full-fledged Babeester Gor.

     When shown the full catastrophe, she should have a wrenching decision to make. Yes, Bert raped and killed on the stead. No, that wasn't why he was there. No, he didn't deserve to be accused and convicted of a horrible and stomach-turning crime, by his own sister. As for the massacre, you reap what you sow. (Boy, the proverbs are just flowing tonight!) However, more than just the guilty parties suffered when the whole stead was burned. If she decides that there has been enough violence, then she can turn away from Babeester Gor.

     She also has the option to clear her uncle's name of the crime from 15 years ago. I would even argue that Miriel has a responsibility to do this. I'd certainly assume that an initiatory vision has some legal standing.

     Bert's still got the present crimes on his ledger, but those might be fixable. There wouldn't be much that Gunther's kin could say, if it was known that he was complicit in the frame. That would leave the kin of anyone else killed at the stead to ask for weregild. If Bert didn't actually kill them, then that's sort of taken care of by all the others being dead. Don't know what a lawspeaker would say to the whole mess, but somehow I think that this wrap-up would be way too tidy!

     Anyone else have any good ideas on the original frame?


> > ... Ian suggested that indeed, Bert was the
wronged party...  

      I'll completely rip this, and yes, Bert will be the wronged party. ... Now I need to think about the original case, why Bert was outlawed, and how did Miriel's parents exactly act. I'll show that to her on her initiation first, before showing the "truce", the discussion, and the attack. I'm open to ideas, of course.

> I still haven't shown the players that they can have
the "enemy" inside their own clan too.  

     What I've already decided is this:  

     First, we'll play her basic initiation to adulthood. She still lives with her parents and is full of dreams. But there will be something different, a physical fight as part of her initiation (I still don't know what kind of fight, maybe an "I Fought We Won" enactment). ...  

     Some time passes, the events described occur, and we then play her initiation to Babeester Gor. The first station will be her parents urging her to abandon that path, showing her what she could become. A family, a happy life. She fails if she doesn't press on, of course.

     The last station will be the watching of the truth, first the events from 15 years before, what really happened, then the parliament, the discussion, and the attack. And how her uncle became mad, raped her mother, his own sister, and killed everyone. ...  

     I don't know if I'll do another station between those two. I suppose she should see Babeester herself in the Other World, fighting with chaos monsters along with her followers.  

     Now I need to know what exactly happened between Bert and his sister.

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