Another Turn of Subject

FelixEisen at aol.com FelixEisen at aol.com
Thu Jun 6 01:52:48 PDT 2002

Steve -- sorry about this popping into your mbox twice.  :/

skzb at dreamcafe.com writes:
>  I don't think I can give a fully satisfying answer to that question...

(about why Athyra was written in the 3rd Person and Orca was 1st person 

>  See?  I told you the answer wouldn't be satisfying.

Actually, it makes perfect sense to me -- but then, I too write.  Some things 
would simply not come out any other way.  Otherwise it'd be like 
(ObDragaeran) Kragar not having ever gotten kicked out of the House of Dragon.

>  >     Oh, and on a rather ridiculous-sounding note, if you had to convert 
>  > imperials into U.S. dollars, what would an imperial be worth?  That's 
>  > something (rather insignificant, true) I was just wondering about...
>  The answer that jumps into my head is, of course, $17 to the Imperial.

So 1500 Imperials == 25,500 Orbs -- 1 Orb to the dollar.

>  But that won't hold up because of cultural differences.

Of course it's because of cultural differences -- but they're explainable.  
The problems that we have here is a matter of cost vs. value, and the radical 
shift in value (as compared to money, i.e. cost) that mass-production in 
America has worked.  You could sit down to an excellent meal for $25 or $35 
in the US -- 25-35 Orbs.  But if you walked down a road in, say, Hungary 
(hurrah hurrah) and sat down in a little tavern and had that very same meal, 
it would cost you much less in American dollars -- not because the dollar is 
stronger (well, maybe a little), but because the economics of the situation 
are entirely different.  The eggs come from the henhouse; the onions and 
peppers from the garden.  The kethna (or beef, or pork, or whatever -- what 
IS kethna, anyhow?) is bought over at the market.  It'll cost you three or 
four USD -- or about the same number of Orbs.  The value is the same -- a 
great meal.

You want boots?  Vlad won't think twice about getting a pair of 50I boots -- 
which, to 'us', would be $850.  But then, you also have to remember how 
Vlad's boots are made -- to order, shaped to his feet, not processed and 
stamped and sold in racks.  I seem to recall a place in London that takes 
forms of peoples' feet, adjusting them (or redoing them completely) every two 
years, and whenever you want boots, shoes, whatever, they make them to the 
cast they have.  Cost?  $2,000+.  At Pennsic War (a place I greatly recommend 
if you're in the SCA, and doubly so if you're a certain SKZB) there is a 
bootmaker who can make one pair of boots for you by the end of the War (1-2 
weeks), but only if you get to him early.  His cost? I seem to recall $400 
for a basic pair, and if you want extra designs, well, it goes up from there. 

You may pay 'only' 250 USD for a pair of expensive off-the-rack boots, but 
they won't hold up for 7 days of constant on-your-feet 5-miles-daily walking 
the way the ones made by the guy at Pennsic do.  The cost, in this case, is 
equal to the actual value.  Vlad hates riding, so he's damn certain that he 
can 'easily' walk ten, twenty miles a day in his boots.

They match up oddly well; it just requires a shift into 'similar 


As a side note, something I (eventually) recognized, and found quite 
intriguing: there is no archery on Dragaera.  Throwing knives, shuriken, 
darts, javelins, they all made it.  The bow and crossbow didn't.  However, 
considering that sorcery is the 'equivalent' of firearms, it does make some 
sense.  With the aforementioned weapons, you CAN just send a prayer to Verra 
and throw them, they'll make the enemy duck.  You really have to practice 
with a bow, and why practice a bow when you could be practicing sorcery 

I find the development of the flashstone to be an interesting/amusing 
parallel to gunpowder weapons, however -- the sticks (Orca not being handy, 
and my memory for once failing me) being the equivalent to arquebuses, 
working up to the 'pistols' of the flashstones in the Khaavren romances...

By the way, Steve, you got me to link to a webpage of 'The Three Musketeers', 
dammit.  And, IMO, you write better prose than Dumas -- but on the flip side, 
he did it first... :P :)

Knightmarshall Felix
Surnamed Eisen, or "Iron Felix"
Hand of Morr, The Order of Bones