Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Inspirational Reading

I am currently reading several books, and I intend to draw from them whenever I feel like something is useful in my campaign.  For example, I am currently reading a compendium of Norse mythology.  Not the Prose or Poetic Edda, unfortunately, but a wonderful collection nonetheless.   While I knew that Fenris Wolf was Loki's son, I had no idea that Hel and The Midgard Serpent were also his progeny.   More interesting still, I had no idea that he himself gave birth to them.  We often tend to think that weird fiction is a relatively modern phenomenon, but think the weird has been thoroughly nestled within our subconscious since the beginning of time, and is manifested in within the bizarre mythologies of around the world.

It seems as though Loki's trouble began when he at the scorched heart of an evil Jotun or Vanir.  I can't actually recall which at this moment.  Be that as it may, I find it all the more interesting that he gives birth the force that ultimately destroys the gods and the World Tree.  

I just finished a story in which Loki cut off the hair of Thor's wife.  It reminds me somewhat of Paris absconding with Helen.  I am thinking of lifting this an using it in my game.   Perhaps the daughter of an important noble has her hair cut off by a member of a rival family.  

I am also reading The Water Margin, one of the great Chinese works of literature.  This story is essentially about a group of one-hundred plus bandits who band together against corrupt government officials.  Corruption seems to be a common theme in Chinese literary masterpieces.  I haven't started this one in earnest, but I am excited about doing so, for I think that each and every page of that novel will contain some sort of picaresque derring do that begs to be incorporated into a game.

I am also reading Anna Karenina, which, in my humble estimation, is one of the most beautiful novels ever written.  If you want to understand how aristocracy works, look no further than Anna Karenina, or any other Victorian novel. 

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