Two words about two letters etc.

Thu Jan 23 16:14:48 PST 2003

The Serioli seem like remarkably reasonable people, in addition to their
engineering skills - if they weren't ethnically cleansed, then I guess
they decided they didn't need all those plains and coasts since caves are
so much more comfy.  Usually in fantasy Dwarves (anyway the one Vlad
meets is shorter than him) are truculent - presumably fantasy-authorial
bias against tech...

More seriously, I think I was arguing for Serioli tech here, and asserting
that the know-how to build Spellbreaker, Blackwand, Pathfinder, etc. etc.
would make the Serioli serious adversaries of the pre-interregnum Empire,
esp. given the arms-race condition of the confrontation, and likely to
undergo an industrial-revolution-type information explosion.  I don't see
the (user-controlled?) soul-destroying nature of the weapons being
relevant to my argument given the military value of their other features.
OTOH perhaps trellanstone is needed for Great Weapon production, or
there's a Tolkienesque only-so-and-so could build the Silmarils.
But if one wants to argue within Brust's framework here for why the
Serioli got wiped out, I think one would have to suspect the gods
(or the Cycle) played a leading role in the "cleansing".

- Philip

On Thu, 23 Jan 2003, Alexx S Kay wrote:

> >
> > I'd cite Issola, chapter 3 or so where Sethra says the Serioli hate the
> > gods for taking over the world (to the point some factions are pro-J -
> > Vlad and Verra have an exchange later on which might amplify this),
> > information somewhere that they were displaced by the Empire, and Paarfi's
> > allusion (in PG?) to their current near-mythical status.  I'd say
> > "massacre" doesn't have evidence but that's not quite implied by
> > "annihilated".  I'll substitute "ethnically cleansed" if you prefer.
> I've been holding on to this until I had a free evening to check the
> refs (which tun out to be Issola, pgs.39-40).  That passage makes it
> clear that the Serioli were unhappy about (and actively tying to resist)
> their displacement.  OTOH, while it mentions "battles", it doesn't say
> anything which, to me, would imply "massacre".  "Ethnic cleansing" might
> or might not be appropriate, I don't think we have quite enough info.
> What's most interesting about that passage, however, is that the Serioli
> blame the gods for thei misfortunes (with evident cause), and appear to
> hold no huge animosity towards the mortal Dragaerans and Easterners.
> "In some measure, perhaps they resent [both races], though most of them
> recognize that we are not responsible for what has been done to us."
> Thus, even if they had been able to mass-produce Morganti weapons,
> they might have thought it immoral to use them on "innocent pawns".
> Of course, usual caveats about unreliable narrators apply.  This is
> Brust's version of Vlad's version of Sethra's version.  Sethra is one
> of the more reliable narrators we have, but Serioli could well constitute
> a "blind spot" for her for all we know.  And the other two in the chain
> are notoriously unreliable :-)
> Alexx
> Alexx Kay
> Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of my employers
> alexx at world.std.com
> http://world.std.com/~alexx
> "The only people not changed by life are those who are unaware of it
>  in the first place."        -- J. Michael Straczynski