Re: female characters & Blood Over Gold

From: donald_at_MNgsFcP7FWRHnJEitXkuCmZ3mNy-hZLvXyujPLRLmS7AOT74FIp7a4EET_NDNQSIQQ3oi
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 20:13:44 GMT

In message <> "Toread DuDerysi" writes:

>Or it, like Orlanth, Ernalda, or Eritha, it is a major way of life
>containing many specializations within its confines. Oakwoman, I
>suspect, is extremely complex but when I wrote Trader Princes I did
>my best to avoid the nity-grity-picky "Orlanth while he did this"
>cult style and kept to braoder generalizations. Given a 2-3 page
>writeup would reveal a lot of this.

That would have come across better if there had been more than one varient appearing in the list of sample deities. Instead Oak Woman appears just as a healer with Wenela Inica Mother as the female farming deity. Clearly a weakened goddess is going to be much less important than Oak Woman the gatherer. Then there could be a story about how St. Caselain's party were saved from starvation by Oak Woman helping them find food in the forest.

>> Well that doesn't come across in the book - only one of the six
>> clans in the Wenelian league is headed by a woman. Indeed that
>> one priestess of Wenela the Queen is the only indication of
>> female authority in the section.
>True enough - though its two female leaders, not just one (Too Clever
>Brea is woman).

Really? How is the reader to know that?

"Chieftain: Too-Clever Brea (Wenelian Chieftain 9W, Orderly of Saint Caselain 12W, Bargain 17W2, Greedy 3W)"

Ah! the 'a' name ending is female in Orlanthi convention. A male would be Breos. That assumes that this tribe of Wenelians follows the same conventions as Sartar and the reader is aware of the convention.

>I suppose I could have made more attention to that
>but at the time, I was more concerned with writing something that
>would have the maxium game fun I could squeeze into the word count.

That's probably a matter of what makes fun. To me having interesting female characters which fit in the society doubles the fun.

>Hmm. Well, the Balkans is filled with numerous groups of people who
>are the last renmants of much greater peoples who have been driven
>into the hills and mountains by stronger neighbors for the past 2000
>years or more. That, to me, sounded a lot like Wenelia.

No more so than any other part of Europe. Britain, for example, had a celtic and pictish population in pre-Roman times. Over a thousand years there were Romans, Angles and Saxons, Vikings, and Normans all of who displaced and ruled over the country. Then there are all the subsequent population movements. While there has been a lot of integration some of those cultural identities still exist. There are at least half a dozen recognised languages and numerous dialects spoken in different parts of the country.

>> >Wenelia is filled with lots of little remnant cultures reduced to a
>> >few clans and that one one last valley that is all that remains of
>> >their once hugely important and self-evidently wonderful folk.
>> The impression I get is that they are more similar than they think
>> and lots of petty differences have been magnified by separation
>> and feuds into a "We're the only true heirs of the glory that was
>> Wenelia" mindset.
>Perhaps, but YWMV. Again, this is the problem when you paint with
>broad strokes and avoid all that nitpicky naming of numerous
>individual gods and cults.

Yes, it's a problem of the reader getting a different impression than the author intended. I this case I don't feel it matters particularly.

Donald Oddy


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