the honing of Vlad (was Re: How much does Vlad *really* knowabout Kragar?)

Wed Jan 18 09:11:29 PST 2006

> >Not necessarily.  In my scenario, an influx of Magyar from earlier in
> >our history (say, around 1000AD our time) to Dragaera at 
> some point in
> >Dragaera's "recent" past (sometime in the 17th Cycle, maybe a few
> >hundred years before Tortaalik's reign began) could result in the
> >Fenarian civilization we see in /Brokedown Palace/ and Vlad's time. 
> >Or something like that.
> >
> >Time travel weirds history.

Aside from the fact that we have no evidence of time travel in the series
(I'm not convinced that what Devera does is "time travel" in the normally
accepted sense; time is simply meaningless for her much like it's
meaningless in general in the Halls of Judgement), we have Morollan's
Serioli friend. He refers to the Easterners as "The Old People" who came
from "the small invisible lights" (i.e., stars). He (and, generalizing from
a single example, the Serioli culture in general) is aware that the Terrans
were around for a long time before the Dragaerans and that Terrans came from
another world far away in space. He didn't think of them as visitors from
another dimension or as demons or time travelers or what have you.

The colonists were most likely your standard issue sci-fi Terran colonists,
who happened to be of mixed heritage. We know Steve is a friend and admirer
of the late Roger Zelazny. It might be a deliberate or maybe subconscious
homage to _Lord of Light_ that explains why the Eastern Kingdoms exist as
they do. That is, the journey itself involved "cultural devolution" such
that the colonies were established in a state something like a Middle
Ages/Rennaisance culture. I could certainly imagine the Eastern Kingdoms as
the _Lord of Light_ setting after Sam has successfully defeated the Gods and
set the colonists to determine their own course. The Serioli, thematically,
aren't all that different from the Rakshasa, really.

Then the Jenoine appear and cock up the whole works. After the Revolt, the
Lords of Judgement interfere with Eastern cultural development in the same
way that the "Gods" of _Lord of Light_ interfered with their colonists,
insuring that the tech level and cultural level was kept low "for the good
of the world". (Consider the turmoil of real world human development over a
few thousand years of recorded history, then look at how the Easterners of
Dragaera appear to have had a mostly stable and technologically/socially
"frozen" level of culture for hundreds of thousands of years.)

Where's Mahasamatman when you need him? For that matter, if Steve keeps
finding it Cool to write about Vlad, will _The Final Contract_ ultimately
find Vlad playing Sam's role as the guy who liberates the world from the
yoke of the Gods so that it can determine its own destiny?

Maybe not, given that Paarfi is writing in a time that should be long after
Vlad's death by old age and the Empire appears to be ticking along as it
always has.