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From: Davide Mana <email@example.com> Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 14:09:13 +0100 Subject: RE: [Kurotokage] Horrid pointless gibberish...
That looks astonishingly silly at first glance, and exceeding attractive on second… Can you amplify what you're thinking of?
OK, I'll try.
Mark wrote that
Swords and dragons go together like carnage and mayhem
My mind made a weird jump and I thought that a sword or blade is also quite often used as a metaphor for the mind. Two minutes after that I was writing about one of the Imperial Relics. It's a weird world.
So - Lloigor are made of energy. They have terrific psychokinetic powers and can assume a physical form in some circumstances. They tend to favour snake or lizard-like shapes (the "Dragons" of legend) but other forms are also possible. We can postulate that the Yamato dragon was such a form.
In their energy form, the lloigor seem to be formed of a "core charge" (around 4d6 MPs) - which we can compare to the mind and soul of the critter; as per rulesbook, the critter possesses only INT, POW and DEX. This "core charge" is surrounded (or otherwise complemented) by a cloud of energy (amount variable depending on the environmental availability) - this secondary energy pool is what the Lloigor uses to make up its body (1MP=1SIZ), or to fuel its powers.
We are told (see again CoC rulesbook) that when the dragon form of the Lloigor is slain, the Lloigor dies. From the same source, we are also told that the Lloigor can dissolve its physical body at will. It does not take a critical Idea roll to see the obvious consequence - a Lloigor dragon reduced to 1 HP can dissolve its body, crawl away to lick its wounds (i.e., gather more MPs) and live to extract its revenge on its enemy. Ergo - kicking dragon ass is not enough.
But, back to the Yamato dragon and Susanowo. In brief - the Yamato Dragon causes some nuisances (Lloigor will - there's an endangered girl in the story, right? Lloigor are suckers for hentai angles) and Susanowo - god of thunder and general badass troublemaker, possibly a champion of those lowest animal traits we share with our primate ancestors - decides to tackle the monster.
Cue to very graphical fight - the stuff of legends, as they say. According to the legend, Susanowo wins and as a bonus finds his sword inside the Dragon.
Who or what is Susanowo? In all honesty, I do not give a damn. Ok, you know what I'd do - I'd leave it open, offering a number of different options, like the Pagans did for Alsiz. He's the Wind Walker, he's a lone quantum jump in Human Evolution, he's a rogue K'n Yanni warlock-warrior, he's Nyarlathotep in its most sympathetic form to date, he's A Figure of Speech… He's the badassed and beautiful incarnation of all that's vital in being an upstart ape in a world made for lizards.
Back to the dragon fight…. Try and see this as a huge magic energy dissipation tournament. Susanowo does not only kick dragon butt - we know that would not be a permanent solution. He knows too. So he effectively consumes the accessory energy of the critter, progressively depriving it of its physical form and powers, till there's just a hard core of raging, self-aware, intelligent (4d6+6 INT) energy with nowhere to go.
Pulling the matter-energy thing again, the Thunder Hero turns this steel-hard core of fury into a sword (or, as Mark noted, something we perceive as a sword with our for-dimensionally-bound senses). Susanowo knows his enemy, and he wants not only to defeat it permanently, but to humiliate it (imagine the rage of the nazistoid Lloigor, turned into a tool of his enemy!) Check out the sources - Susanowo was a _bad_ winner. Or maybe Susanowo just hates wastes.
So, the sword goes down in the records and after the Thundering guy is gone, gets filed as an Imperial treasure. No wonder it has no end of "potential" powers. No wonder it's more at home in the Dreamlands (where Mind is Matter) than in the wakeworld. The sword concentrates the know-how of a aeon-old, evil, sadistic critter - but does not have energy to fuel it. The energy is provided by the wielder - which means a blockbuster of a charge when Susanowo held it, quite less when it's a puny human doing the trick (if he knows how).
So, all in all, I'd say the Sword is a dormant Lloigor intelligence (sleeping and dreaming itself as a sword in the Dreamlands? Did Susanowo's power actually cause a Slumberland/Wakeworld loop?) - cut out from its environmental energy supply, bent to serve the will of the wielder by the feat of an ancient god.
Notice that a few Kusanagi tricks - like the corner-cutting so neat that the two pieces stick back on their own - are actually matter/energy thingees - Kusanagi slices through atom-atom bonds, denying Heisemberg's Indetermination Principle. No wonder it can split light, space and time, and (if the wielder knows how) cut open a path to the Dreamlands, Lamp-of-Alhazred-like.
Maybe the emperor (or the Emperor's Champion) has to awaken the sword to be able to wield it. And/Or he has to dominate it - otherwise the thing is just an old chunk of weird steel. Without going the whole Elric way (it would be stupid and unoriginal) you can guess grabbing the sword's hilt is not a very pleasant experience - it's still a Lloigor, after all. So that's another test for the Emperor - be able to _find_ and wield the sword, maybe? The Real One will pull it.
From: "Mark McFadden"<firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: [Kurotokage] Sun Wu-Kung and Hanuman
I was thinking about the identity of Susanowa and went to the Encyclopedia Mythica.
Here is the entry for Sun Wu-Kung, the Monkey King. That was definitely the plot of the movie I saw as a child. I can remember the iron crown on his head and the magic staff (which might be another defeated Lloigor) and the imprisonment under the mountain.
"The Japanese Shinto god of the winds, the storms, and the ocean, also the god of snakes. He was born from the nose of Izanagi, and was given dominion over the seas. His sister, the sun goddess Amaterasu, is also his consort. Susanowa is the personification of evil, but also a brave, if lawless and impetuous, god. His outrages are not limited to the ocean; he also ravages the land with his storms and he darkens the sky, thus angering the 'eight million deities (the kami).
His little pesterings, especially against his sister, proved his undoing: he looses his beard, his fingernails, and all his possessions, and is banished. He wanders the earth and has many adventures, such as the slaying of the eight-headed snake Koshi and by defeating this monster he obtained a powerful sword, called Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi ("grass cutting sword"). Some other feats were conquering Korea and wiping out the plague. Okuni-Nushi, his son, eventually tricked him out of the sword."
"The Japanese Shinto god of magic and medicine, son of the storm god Susanowo. He died twice and was resurrected both times, and as such he is the symbol of the dying and budding nature. He was the ruler of the earth until the sun goddess Amaterasu sent her grandson Ninigi to rule in his place. In compensation he was made ruler of the unseen world of spirits and magic. Okuninushi descended to the underworld and, after many tests, managed to disarm his father and took his sword."
And a note on Hanuman:
"Hanuman is the son of Vayu, the Hindu god of Wind. It is also considered to be a bodhisattva, representing the figure of the ideal hero, humble yet brave. It is known from Sri Lanka to Northern India, being depicted as a monkey, in some places as a white monkey (in Sri Lanka). Hanuman was one of the leaders of the people of Vanara."
The entry on Sun Wu-Kung is chockful o' hooks:
"Sun Wu-Kung was born of primal chaos, hatching from a stone egg impregnated by the sky. He ruled over a kingdom of monkeys on a remote island, naming himself Handsome Monkey King. One day an elderly monkey passed away, and the Handsome Monkey King decided to leave the island to learn how to become immortal.
He traveled through the lands of humans, and finally he found a mountain where a Taoist priest took him on as a student. Monkey proved a very adept student at martial arts, magical transformations, and cloud dancing, an art that enabled him to leap thousands of miles with one jump. But Handsome Monkey King was mischievous, and was finally expelled for showing off."
"He returned back to his island, destroyed monsters that had taken up residence there, and soon turned his eyes towards heaven, believing himself as powerful as the gods. He named himself The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, and demanded that the Jade Emperor recognize him as such."
"Monkey fled back to his island, and established defenses as the gods pursued him. Embattled, he and his army of monkeys held off the heavenly host, who several times had to flee for reinforcements. Finally, Lao Tsu, the Boddhisattva Kuan Shi-Yin, and the Deveraja family were able to subdue him. Jade Emperor tried to have him executed, but Monkey's magic was too strong. He was placed in Lao Tsu's cauldron to be exterminated, but it only refined him, and he leapt out to cause havoc in heaven once more."
"He also possessed a magic weapon, which he won from the Dragon Kings of the ocean. He called it his Compliant Rod, a shape-shifting stave of metal which was reported to weigh more than 13,000 pounds. He usually wore it behind his ear, the shape and size of a toothpick, but when called to battle the rod could become thicker than a battle staff, and even produce multiples of itself at his command."
There are a few recurrent themes here.
Sun Wu-Kung and Susanowa are both immaculate conceptions, like Athena and Aphrodite. Test tube babies?
Hanuman/Sun Wu-Kung and Okuni-Nushi seem to be a better match-up than Hanuman and Susanowa, at least in being sons of the wind god. Also notice the similarities to Hermes in personality, patronage, powers and connections to the Underworld and magic.
Sun Wu-Kung's major adventure is the Journey to the West. The West is the best. Get in, and we'll do the rest. There's a feeling I get when I look to the West…. shades of Tim Leary.
Sun Wu-Kung has a few encounters with the Dragon Kings. He gains a magic weapon and "At the height of his power, he wore a suit of golden armor that he bullied out of the Dragon Kings." Or maybe he made a suit of armor out of a dragon, as he did with his weapon. Susanowa is "also the god of snakes", defeats dragons and the eight-headed snake Koshi. In other words, no shortage of connections to reptiles.
Possibilities for Susano, by Davide:
- S. as another name for the Wind Walker
- S. as avatar of Nyarlathotep (another!)
- S. as Elder God (like Nodens, Hypnos and pals)
- rogue K'n Yanni
- Dreamlands wizard/Powerful Dreamer in a time in which the Wall of Sleep was thinner
- a fluke of evolution (a precursor of what man will be in a million years)
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 16:39:08 -0800 From: Gil Trevizo <email@example.com>
Ever since I read a short paragraph on the rivalry between Susano and Amaterasu in children's book Japanese mythology, I've been wondering about the relationship between Susano and the Kurotokage and tantalized by the idea that the Kurotokage affiliate themselves with Susano.
They are both a tool for Amaterasu's schemes, yet in some sense are her rival. They are both seen as hero and then villain and then hero. They are both outcasts.
If Susano was the original tool by which Amaterasu had the Lloigor captured into the sword, then the Kurotokage, by their investigation and Mythos-hunting, are there to find the way for her to release Susano from the sword and win the sword for herself.
And perhaps it is Susano that is truly directing the Kurotokage to free him from the sword, by coming to them in their dreams. This is either because Susano wants out and to get payback on the Amaterasu bitch, or Amaterasu already knows this and is playing Susano to play Kurotokage, and all for her.
The sword was also named Ama no Mura-Kumo no tsurugi, which translates literally as the "sword of the gathering clouds of heaven". Perhaps constant mist? Be nice if we could work it in nicely, though.