My subjective take on the Dangerous Diedne (Thread/t)

Well, in as much as we have NO written records from the Celts, there is no evidence whatsoever. There is more than one example of a human intentionally killed and tossed lightly into a bog, but whether this is wiling sacrifice, execution (formal or vigilante) or old-fashioned murder still comes down largely to speculation and circumstantial evidence, if done with the best academic window-dressing. :wink:

However, it's important to remember that this is NOT "Historical Europe", but Mythic Europe, and so myths carry as much, or more weight than "historically based" details. That said, how you want to interpret Diedne and their Celtic traditions is saga specific, and no one should presume to gainsay your decisions on that matter, any more than they should tell you how to have fun. :wink:

As far as a Crusade-type March, a "get a few thousand soldiers and go marching across Europe" type affair, before you go there think about the ramifications and reactions, short and long term. When the Pope tried it (see Albigensian Crusade), things did not go as smoothly as he might have hoped in the long run. 8)

Ooooh, lively discussions! It ain't new, but it's always fun to read. Holy muskellunges, that's a burst of posts. Happy New Year's all.

Furion: I'd agree that anything simplistically dualistic (i.e. Pagan vs. Christian) would be too much like an olde-tyme AD&D dungeon crawl and much more fun if you keep throwing in as many other parameters of real Europe as the troupe and guides could reasonably handle (Latin/Germanic political heritages; growth of mercantilism vis-a-vis historic and/or mythic Europe; etc.). But I am not the greatest of storytellers and writers so I'm only going so far anyway. ; ) And anything "pure" isn't going to swim too well in the ol' heterogenous and chaotic waters of stories that emulate real life and history, anyway.

Cisalpine? Sweet, I had to look that one up and learn it. :laughing: I have faaar to go in filling in my knowledge of European history. I threw out suppression and bias but as possibilities (and story devices), but misconceptions and prejudices are all right in there, too. Gradual conceptualization of 'the Other' (i.e. us and them) for me is about evolving forms of -isms, crudely or refined, "good" or "bad", whether its racism, supremacism (of varying sorts), orthodoxy-ism (I jest) and more as far as tragedies go (and that, of course changes with time and culture) - but I'd like to understand more of what your talking of there. What I ain't trying to do is put the 20th century crucible of developing individual and collective human rights superimposed on a simulation of very historic mythic Europe. BUT I'd love to use the Hermetic order and mythic Europe as a matrix for pushing grander events, philosophies, thaumaturgical/theurgical developments and paradigms in the saga/campaign towards our contemporaneous real-life world. Just for fun.

As an aside, it could also be fun if a few stories had a light 'Doctor Who'-esque approach (and I use the term lightly with all due respect for other scientific and historic fiction) to a storyline that was in the past and the consequent adventure with the protagonist (our troupe's magi) was the reason why something in future world history developed from it (future being post 12th century - in case I'm losing myself and others).

In an abstract: I'd want to see a couple of characters in the position as if they were Jews (and they could be too) on the run from a lethal anti-semitic Pogrom, but for House Diedne and/or as pagan-indigenous where blood and heritage vies with the Hermetic Code. That's already setup with the history of the Order, but the storytelling, roleplaying and history can be even richer given what you and I and others are talking about.
Timothy - lol! on race, sex, class esp. if that was at the exception of other factors (was it post-modernist?), but I'm all for including it alongside the economics and geopolitics of vis-extraction and grand tribunals. :slight_smile:
And I'm groovin' with the feel and tenor of Ken's posts. And any Crusade-like cataclysmic decimation involving the Order can always be swept under a regio if folks wanted to keep the mundane landscape looking untouched - regio ex machina . :stuck_out_tongue:
I'm fascinated by how seemingly many from Western civ (from real elementary school students to Ars Magica players) are very seismic (culturally-speaking) on sacrifice (not necessarily emotionally) - especially with genocides, Inquisitions and Romanesque- and other total wars and empires as being much bigger rocks in the little ol' pond of world history and culture. Mayhaps it is some residual baggage of our Western ways? We've all got some archaic ways that make our pasts all too damn interesting. : )

that's my 8 bits anyway, (a weaker dollar on the Euro :slight_smile: )


p.s. Anyone know if there are any open sagas - as well as open by design and open co-storyguiding - or anyone open to starting a saga? Is it easy enough to start one on the pbem sections? I'm still realllll new to the Ars Magica mechanic although I've been around it over the period of several years.

And Furion,

I'm fortunate that our library system carries The Exception and I've already placed an order for it to come to our local library.


Unless I'm wrong, we're still seeking another player for Ad Fons :wink: You can contact Mad Max and see this with him.


And fwiw, I'm studying a book called 'A History of Pagan Europe,' by Prudence Jones & Nigel Pennick, Barnes & Noble Books, 1999, New York. It spans the eastern Mediterranean from 4000 years ago and includes chapters on the Celts, the Germanic peoples and the Baltics, Russia and the Balkans. I've only started so I don't have a review.


A snippet from a book review I dug up on the work you mention reads:


Seems to be a good starter but weak on Celtic pagansim and derived (as have many more focussed Celtic historical reconstructions) on less than trustworthy Roman sources. Interested to hear your opinion once you finish the book.

I will never contest that, certainly! And in fact I could see a lot of interesting parallels to be drawn.

Actually I think my suggestion was mostly to express that to me the Schism War is about many more fault lines than Christian/Pagan alone. Talking of the Thirty Years War wasnt to make the Schism War more modern at all - only that the Schism War is much more about an inter-paradigm (conflicting notions sharing a shared platform and fighting for supremacy within it) war than a war against an alien enemy - such as Crusaders fighting Heathens in the Baltic or the Levant. Thus the similarities in the conflict to the Thirty Years' War - not the ways of fighting, but the proclaimed casus belli.

Come to think of it, and with that notion in mind, the Pope's fight against the Cathars -the Albigensian Crusade- with Christians fighting and persecuting other Christians might suit my ideas better if to parallel the Schism War with historic medieval conflicts.

Yes, but at the same time it is not that duality cannot be a powerful vehicle to drive a story forward. The point to me is just to avoid getting stuck in one kind only.

I tossed that one in (and I agree that it's a neat term) to emphasise the move from a world dominated by Rome and from which the world had been percieved from a Roman center versus a transalpine periphery, to a world becoming increasinly Frankish and Norman.

Agreed. But the thing is that if people are well grounded in those more modern concepts and moreso that they know them to be that, modern, then you have a fabulous staging ground from which to explore a different setting such as Mythic Europe to the fullest! To delve into and enjoy playing at exactly leaving your modern notions at the door to narration. Then rather than subconsciously superimposing something on the story you can consciously disrobe those crucibles and in turn enjoy the story much more and make the fake time machine we operate feel somewhat less illusionary. Face it - I dont get a thrill from playing a character on a medieval decorated set - I get it from playing a character that feels medieval - as in the marked awareness that he both shares generic human traits with modern people as well as traits or ideas that set him apart from them!

I'm not entirely on the same page. I like to illustrate that power struggles have a timeless aspect to it. But in terms of the philosophies as well as the magic I absolutely cherish how it points backward in time rather than forward. Even if the Middle Ages in my opinion was a more creative and productive time than too often given credit for, I still think that it is inherently historical that structures (in terms of thoughts, ideas and relations) are much more robust than one should think. In that light it doesnt make the Mythic Europe and the Order of Hermes less Medieval that it's ripe with Roman and Antique concepts and inheritances - quite the contrary!

Now I've had to look things up! In spite of my plentitudes of Geekness points I've yet to ever see Doctor Who (in spite of everyone talking of the series...). But I've had some success with something similar - albeit with another game (known to have fanged protagonists..) - where the characters all started having dreams. Those dreams where run as an alternative storyline, each player with an alternative character in the dreams and the dreams taking place 800 years apart from their waking hours. Of course there were a supernatural cause to those dreams and of course they were more than real - and in time the main protagonist (long time after the players of course) realised the link and that they all shared those dreams. Dream have the bonus that it is much easier to use a very broad palette, stressing themes and highlighting choices - using a different style in how to "frame" and cut scenes as a SG.

Truly interesting indeed. Personally I think it is much easier to escape unsettling conclusions by denial. In that light horrifying acts perpetrated by humanity could be divided between those that it's to "safe" look down you nose at and those that it is easier just to keep out of mind - especially if they are closer to home, so to speak. Genocides are a perfect example. Scientist have found that there are 8 important steps in any given genocide, the last one being denial. Denial is not just about any top-down scheme to cover it up - it is very much about a socio-psycological mechanism involving everyone. The scientific approaches to genocides for many decades were also overly misguided in an attempt to prove genocides as something committed by people who could be set outside the normal range of being human. In less develop countries they would be described to be caused by uncivilized "savages" - and after the Nazi Holocaust huge efforts were made to prove Nazi executioners as being insane or at least suffering from severe mental flaws, while the examinations in fact could conclude that they were remarkably ordinary people so to speak. In the same light, modern research into the Holocaust has moved its emphasis from the Holocaust being a German failure of humanity to being an inherently European failure. Such a transition - for even well-informed scientist to take several decades to move from putting a genocide off as an anomaly, in spite of the research pointing in the opposite direction, to accept it as a generic human failure speaks volumes. I'm blabbering on - my main point is just that it is easier to take affront to something somewhat distanced from your own culture and history, than something harrowingly closer...

You mention genocides, wars and the Inquisition... as an exit remark I'm tempted to provoke by tossing in something so banale yet so utterly lethal as: starvation.

It kills close to 9 million people every year. That is 3 times the people killed in the Nazi extermination camps throughout WWII. Can you speak of "guilt" in same sense as with a genocide? No. But does it make it much less horrific? Given how easily preventable it is, No.

What a stroke of luck! Then again it has more or less conquered the world in no time - even closing in on Dan Brown on the international bestseller lists. I finished it just in time for New Years - and it was an absolutely pageturner in the end! I wish you the best of joy reading it.

Now, I definately should stop my ranting in this thread and instead turn my attention toward more modern concerns - aka. comparative analysis of Australian and Danish public policy as in an exam quite due.

Self-imposed distractions from exams are a vice of mine - and I'm allowing myself to indulge them full-throttle today as it also happens to be my birthday (having given myself a clean conscience - or maybe it's just the early onset of alzheimer?) :smiley:

Kind Regards,

Boxer - Thanks for the recommendation and review.

Jeppe -

Aye! Wouldn't it be great storytelling if we could do that inter-culturally as well. Medieval Malinese or Indonesian (which I understand were quite expansive in the 12th century).

Fascinating and sounds refreshing!

Perhaps complementing 'socio-psychological', I enjoy utilizing the term sociocultural. Denial has many purposes and motivations, eh? - in the U.S. the political culture - policies and policy-makers - can continue to manipulate diplomacy on human rights meanwhile the ongoing Native American reservations and "not-so-"nation-within-nation system of destroying culture and political sovereignty and self-determination overtime qualifies for the broader U.N. definitions of genocide. Or we could include passive (or covert) actions that are de facto (and actual) genocides by client states (like Guatemala in the 1980s).

I'm glad you mention starvation because I've read (all too little) history where utilizing crop markets had purposefully murderous (if not genocidal) effects. [N.B.: Ars Magica story hook] Other similar "low-intensity" policies can, of course, redirect many currents in some very predictable ways. I had also come across a discussion with Noam Chomsky that mentioned purposeful policies that had effects like starvation and the discussion was loosely oriented around the same general discussion point: there are obvious and outrageous genocides and then there are other more subtle -cides - including genocide - that are just as damaging or, perhaps, even more so in different measurable parameters. I believe the discussion was right along the same lines you said: the guilt-meter lowers if they are indirect policies and when they are by our policymakers against the others.

So, since I'm sure it seems I digress as well, I'm going to suggest this directly relates to some Ars Magica Mythic/Actual Europe history. My study of genocide started with indigenous peoples of the Americas but started to lead back to pre-Colombian/colonial Europe in this manner. It has been suggested by one writer that some practice for colonial expansion in the Western Hemisphere - roughly beginning in the 16th century - had occurred in lands of indigenous peoples in Europe.

If I recall correctly some indigenous peoples had communities/nations on some islands in the area of Spain that were subjugated. I have yet to study the Basque experience but if modern-era conflicts with ETA are any indication then certainly they are to be included. And I was fascinated to discover how Irish history saw invasion and attempts at genocide as being 800 years of troubles (Northern Ireland pun intended). I just need to learn more. :slight_smile: Hmmm... roughly 2000 years minus 800 years: Holy Mythic Europe, Batman!

I appreciate the discourse. Could you recommend any historical studies along the lines of our discussion? And are there any burning modern studies, you experience as definitive?

Let the sagas roll on!


:arrow_right: Happy Birthday!



Certainly. Many genocides have started with socio-economical suffocation of a minority - which might also lead to actual starvation. Partly to get rid of them by those tools alone, but also (consciously or unconsciously) as one of the many steps leading to the gradually dehumanisation of a group - which ultimately enables an actual genocide.

Arghhh..... Those two things are my (very) present subjects of two exams that I must return to forthwith.... But should I never stumble upon public policy theory again I shall be a happy fella :frowning:


[size=75]If only one could have gotten exam papers for ones Birthday.... [/size]:cry: :imp: