[LMB] Choose One

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Jan 27 01:59:42 GMT 2019

I've decided, probably...

At the moment I rather like the idea of being a shaman in the 5GW. It
sounds like a pretty good life. That's during Penric's era, not during Audar's
invasion, of course.

(Btw, where are the shamans in Cazaril's time? Have they all died out
again or are they off doing shamany stuff away from the plotline? Or
absorbed into the Temple?)

And it gave me a few random thoughts about Horseriver, in Hallowed Hunt.
At one point he lists a series of horrible deaths he's suffered; many executions,
lots of pain and suffering.


Even living in fairly tumultuous times, most people who can track their
family back through a few centuries don't have any horrific torture and
execution tales. Penric's family seems to have tootled along for a very
long time without riding too high or falling too low.

I used to feel very sorry for Horseriver; trapped in a horrific predicament.
But most of it is his own fault. Not the way it started, that was a brave
and heroic effort to save his society. But when he realised what was
happening he could have dealt better. Once he'd settled in someone
safe, away from the troubles, he could have found a safe, quiet place to
live. He'd be able, over the generations, to plan and build up a reasonably
comfortable family business or properties. They'd live comfortably. If he
tried to have a child when he was young, then got on with life and work,
he'd generally be able to let each generation have about sixty years or so
before he jumped in. Warn and explain first, build the tradition. He could
have made a successful and reasonably happy family, living a good life.
And quietly use some of the accumulated wealth to research, to try to
find a solution.

But he wanted to rule, to have power. He played politics at a high
level. And I have no doubt that he weeded out some members in the
family tree to angle himself into the right person, working his way up
to the position he wanted.

No matter what he did there'd be suffering, unhappiness, loss. And it
would accumulate. But he could have also had love and success, and
positive achievements, to support him emotionally. Instead it was all
agony and loss, misery, anger, resentment, ambition, and eventually
madness. (And I will never forgive him for sundering all those poor
souls that he stole. His own descendants, people he should have tried
to protect. He stole their lives and then cut their souls off from their
Gods. Unforgiveable.)

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