History Literature / Darkover

12th Aug '16 2:43:26 PM margdean56
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* LostTechnology: Matrix technology from the Ages of Chaos. Some of it is still laying around in the Towers, or in less-accessible places like the sacred Rhu Fead at Hali. Darkovans from the era of contact with the Terran Empire have a superstitious fear of this stuff (justifiable, as many of these things are [[LostSuperweapon weapons of mass destruction]]) and if they know ''where'' it is, they usually have little idea of ''what'' it is or how to operate it. This blows up (literally) in the case of the Sharra Matrix.

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* LostTechnology: Matrix technology from the Ages of Chaos. Some of it is still laying lying around in the Towers, or in less-accessible places like the sacred Rhu Fead at Hali. Darkovans from the era of contact with the Terran Empire have a superstitious fear of this stuff (justifiable, as many of these things are [[LostSuperweapon weapons of mass destruction]]) and if they know ''where'' it is, they usually have little idea of ''what'' it is or how to operate it. This blows up (literally) in the case of the Sharra Matrix.
12th Aug '16 2:36:01 PM margdean56
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* ForgotAboutHisPowers: Oddly common. Many characters with ''laran'' powers often fail to use them in situations where they would have obvious value. Part of this may be due to cultural uncertainty about what is and is not acceptable outside the confines of a Tower, especially in the later ages when superstition is the norm. Terrans who know the true extent of Darkovan ''laran'' and matrix technology are often surprised at the haphazard way in which the Darkovan's use it as compared to how the more technologically-minded Terrans would if they had it. Finally, no Comyn would even consider using ''laran'' to attack, due to the Compact.

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* ForgotAboutHisPowers: Oddly common. Many characters with ''laran'' powers often fail to use them in situations where they would have obvious value. Part of this may be due to cultural uncertainty about what is and is not acceptable outside the confines of a Tower, especially in the later ages when superstition is the norm. Terrans who know the true extent of Darkovan ''laran'' and matrix technology are often surprised at the haphazard way in which the Darkovan's Darkovans use it as compared to how the more technologically-minded Terrans would if they had it. Finally, no Comyn would even consider using ''laran'' to attack, due to the Compact.
12th Aug '16 2:31:28 PM margdean56
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* DoubleStandard: It's complicated. In general, men and women are both free to have extramarital sex, but if a child has [[MamasBabyPapasMaybe uncertain parentage]], it's embarrassing to the woman. Also, the rules for gay marriage are different between women and men - women can simply get freemate-married (a rule established by the Renunciates), while male partners can only [[BloodBrothers swear brotherhood]] [[note]]The Forbidden Tower is a polygamous foursome, but legally they're two sworn brothers married to two sisters[[/note]]. Conversely, women aren't allowed to take concubines, while men are.
* DramaticIrony: Auster is ''convinced'' that the Terran Jeff Kerwin is somehow being used as a spy for the Terrans against his knowledge. [[spoiler: Turns out that (a) Jeff doesn't have a Terran dad, Auster does, and (b) he was SeparatedAtBirth from an EvilTwin, and the twin is using his psychic link to Auster to spy on the Arilinn circle.]]

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* DoubleStandard: It's complicated. In general, men and women are both free to have extramarital sex, but if a child has [[MamasBabyPapasMaybe uncertain parentage]], it's embarrassing to the woman. Also, the rules for gay marriage are different between women and men - -- women can simply get freemate-married (a rule established by the Renunciates), while male partners can only [[BloodBrothers swear brotherhood]] [[note]]The Forbidden Tower is a polygamous foursome, but legally they're two sworn brothers married to two sisters[[/note]]. Conversely, women aren't allowed to take concubines, while men are.
* DramaticIrony: Auster is ''convinced'' that the Terran Jeff Kerwin is somehow being used as a spy for the Terrans against without his knowledge. [[spoiler: Turns out that (a) Jeff doesn't have a Terran dad, Auster does, and (b) he was SeparatedAtBirth from an EvilTwin, and the twin is using his psychic link to Auster to spy on the Arilinn circle.]]
12th Aug '16 2:23:35 PM margdean56
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* BodyHorror: After Lew Alton loses his hand in ''Heritage of Hastur'', it is mentioned in the following novel, ''Sharra's Exile'' that Terran doctors tried to make it grow back (the technology used being pretty successful by then). The end result was...disturbing (when the anesthetics wore off and Lew saw the ''thing'' that had grown in the place of a hand, he screamed so much that he was unable to speak for ''almost a year'' due to the damage done to his vocal chords.

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* BodyHorror: After Lew Alton loses his hand in ''Heritage of Hastur'', it is mentioned in the following novel, ''Sharra's Exile'' that Terran doctors tried to make it grow back (the technology used being pretty successful by then). The end result was...disturbing (when the anesthetics wore off and Lew saw the ''thing'' that had grown in the place of a hand, he screamed so much that he was unable to speak for ''almost a year'' due to the damage done to his vocal chords.cords).
1st Aug '16 6:50:25 PM PaulA
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* AmazonBrigade: The Renunciates, also called the Free Amazons, are a guild of women warriors who reject Darkover's traditional gender roles (women can only be wives or work in a Tower). They all tend to have a DarkAndTroubledPast.

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* AmazonBrigade: AmazonBrigade:
** The Sisterhood of the Sword.
**
The Renunciates, also called the Free Amazons, are less of an example, as while they are all trained to fight they don't exclusively work as soldiers. They are a guild of women warriors who reject Darkover's traditional gender roles (women can only be wives or work in a Tower). They all tend to have a DarkAndTroubledPast.



* EvilIsDeathlyCold: Darkover says that Zandru has seven hells, each one colder than the one before.



* FeudalFuture

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* FeudalFutureFeudalFuture: The human colonists on Darkover have developed a feudal culture and general level of technology.



* IdenticalStranger: One of the axioms of ''[[PsychicPowers laran]]'' [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic science]] is Cherillys' Law, which states that everything in the universe, except for a matrix, has an exact duplicate somewhere. This includes people. In ''Two To Conquer'' and ''Sharra's Exile'', matrix technology is used to summon the Cherillys duplicates of specific Comyn. In both cases the doubles actually lived elsewhere in the galaxy and are shocked to find themselves "magically" transported to Darkover.

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* IdenticalStranger: One of the axioms of ''[[PsychicPowers laran]]'' [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic science]] is Cherillys' Law, which states that everything in the universe, except for a matrix, has an exact duplicate somewhere. This includes people. In ''Two To Conquer'' and ''Sharra's Exile'', matrix technology is used to summon the Cherillys duplicates of specific Comyn. In both cases the doubles actually lived elsewhere in the galaxy and are shocked to find themselves "magically" transported to Darkover. In another book, a Terran who simply happens to look extremely similar to a Darkovan nobleman is kidnapped by mistake.


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* OperatorIncompatibility:
** In ''The Heritage of Hastur'', the Sword of Hastur is protected by two force fields. Only a telepath can pass through the first one, but only a ''non''telepath can pass through the second one.
** Noted in ''The Forbidden Tower'': Terrans, who are usually right-handed, often have trouble using implements designed by/for Darkovans, who are usually left-handed.
1st Aug '16 6:12:20 PM PaulA
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''Darkover'' is a series of novels by famed ScienceFiction and {{Fantasy}} author MarionZimmerBradley. They deal with the LostColony world of Cottman IV, called Darkover by the natives. The series itself spans many thousands of years of history.

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''Darkover'' is a series of novels by famed ScienceFiction and {{Fantasy}} author MarionZimmerBradley.Creator/MarionZimmerBradley. They deal with the LostColony world of Cottman IV, called Darkover by the natives. The series itself spans many thousands of years of history.
1st Aug '16 12:16:07 AM PaulA
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* OutNudityIsDifferent: On Darkover women commonly wear their hair in butterfly clips so as not to expose the nape of the neck, which would be indecent.

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* OutNudityIsDifferent: OurNudityIsDifferent: On Darkover women commonly wear their hair in butterfly clips so as not to expose the nape of the neck, which would be indecent.
1st Aug '16 12:13:28 AM PaulA
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* AmplifierArtifact: Matrix crystals can greatly increase psionic abilities.



* CompellingVoice: One of the abilities tied to the Alton Gift is the Command Voice.
* ContagiousPowers: The Ardais family's ''laran'', their hereditary psychic talent, is catalyst telepathy, the ability to awaken ''laran'' in others, often simply by living in close proximity to or interacting with their targets for long periods of time.



* DescriptivelyNamedSpecies: The Catmen, who are human-sized humanoid cats.



* DueToTheDead

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* DueToTheDeadDueToTheDead: In ''The Spell Sword'', Damon regrets the dead bodies left out on the road; Ellemir consoles him with a proverb to the effect that if they are in Heaven, they cannot be grieved by it, and if they are in Hell, they have too much else to grieve for.



* EitherWorldDominationOrSomethingAboutBananas: It's mentioned that the Darkovan idiom for "friend and brother" is strictly forbidden to Earth diplomats. Correctly pronounced it would be entirely appropriate for a speech encouraging friendship between two cultures, but spoken with the wrong inflection it can come out meaning anything from "brother" in the familial sense to "same-sex lover".



* EveryoneIsBi: Bisexuality is very much a social norm on Darkover. In fact, in many cases it is actively encouraged, especially among adolescents who are too young to marry and same-sex relationships serve to help prevent teenage pregnancies. Also, as expectation of monogamy is rather lower on Darkover due to it having originally been a LostColony with a small initial population, even adults who are married may have ongoing extramarital relationships with people of the same or opposite sex. Because of the age of these works, this was sharply contrasted with the Terran Empire, which reflected more mainstream American social values of the time and thus, despite the setting being in the distant future, had mid-20th Century sexual values. Terrans frequently found Darkovan sexuality more than a little discomforting.



* ExcitedEpisodeTitle: ''Hawkmistress!'' and ''Stormqueen!''



* FeudalFuture



* ForeignQueasine: In ''City of Sorcery'', a character from a culture so pacifist that for fear of killing a living thing they never even eat natural food, but only synthetics, is forced to resort not only to "real" foods, but to actual meat. She can even deal with it, in the form of "just a bar, or a slice", but looking down at a wing on her plate stops her cold.



* HumanMomNonhumanDad: This is the most common scenario for crossbreeds between humans and the chieri, although there are exceptions.



* KickThemWhileTheyAreDown: ''Thendara House''. While the Terran woman Magda Lorne is training as a Renunciate, she gets into a sword fight with several men. After one of them realizes that he's outmatched and tries to surrender, Magda continues attacking him and almost kills him. She had gone into a berserk state and didn't realize he was surrendering.



* MayflyDecemberRomance: This is a significant part of why humans and the chieri do not have long-term relationships, even though they can and do interbreed.



* MindOverMatter: Telekinesis is one of the expressions of ''laran''. Very few humans can manifest this kind of power without the aid of matrix crystals. However, a group of "laran"-gifted humans working with a powerful enough (usually artificial) matrix can level entire cities.



* OutNudityIsDifferent: On Darkover women commonly wear their hair in butterfly clips so as not to expose the nape of the neck, which would be indecent.



* SobriquetSexSwitch: In ''Hawkmistress''. When Romilly [=MacAran=]'s father refuses her an education and orders her into an ArrangedMarriage with an older man, she takes the name Rumal and runs away from home while dressing as a boy.



* SueDonym: In one story, girl Romilly ran away from home. When asked for her name then, she starts "Rom-", coughs, thinks for a moment about using her brother's name, then answers "Rumal".



* SupernaturalElite: The Comyn are seen as this.
* SweetOnPollyOliver: Subverted in ''Hawkmistress!'', where Orain has feelings for Romilly when she is dressed as a boy. However, it turns out Orain is actually gay and he is repulsed when he discovers Romilly's true gender.



* TelepathicSpacemen: The chieri.



* TeleportersAndTransporters: During the height of their power, the Towers could send people and objects through the giant artificial matrices from one tower to another instantaneously. The ''chieri'' and some very powerful human psychics can teleport on their own.

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* TeleportersAndTransporters: {{Teleportation}}: During the height of their power, the Towers could send people and objects through the giant artificial matrices from one tower to another instantaneously. The ''chieri'' and some very powerful human psychics can teleport on their own.
8th Jun '16 10:07:48 AM Ramidel
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* IJustWantToBeNormal: A DeconstructedTrope. An issue in ''The Spell Sword'' and ''The Forbidden Tower'' is the fact that Damon was expelled from Arilinn Tower and at first dislikes and distrusts his own powers, but the fact is that not using them means that ''people are going to die''. [[spoiler: He gets over this, but only at the consequence of his first love becoming a BrokenPedestal, leading him to rebel against the rules that lock matrix workers in a Tower.]]



* ItsOkayIfItsYou: Regis Hastur has a thing for Danilo Syrtis, who is very reluctant due to a major case of homophobia (preferring to maintain their current [[HeterosexualLifePartners relationship]]) until [[spoiler: Regis finally manages to get him into bed, after which he does an abrupt 180 and becomes quite possessive; it's implied that Danilo is ONLY interested in Regis to the exclusion of any other [[SingleTargetSexuality potential relationship.]]]] Also, a variant between Damon Ridenow and Andrew Carr, who are married to twin sisters. After some initial misunderstandings, Andrew and Damon have sex as part of a foursome. (We don't see whether their wives are also [[BrotherSisterIncest physically involved]] with one another, but they're most definitely emotionally and telepathically involved.)

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* ItsOkayIfItsYou: Regis Hastur has a thing for Danilo Syrtis, who is very reluctant due to a major case of homophobia (preferring to maintain their current [[HeterosexualLifePartners relationship]]) until [[spoiler: Regis finally manages to get him into bed, after which he does an abrupt 180 and becomes quite possessive; it's implied that Danilo is ONLY interested in Regis to the exclusion of any other [[SingleTargetSexuality potential relationship.]]]] Also, a variant between Damon Ridenow and Andrew Carr, who are married to twin sisters. After some initial misunderstandings, Andrew and Damon have sex as part of a foursome. (We don't see whether their wives are also [[BrotherSisterIncest physically involved]] with one another, but they're most definitely emotionally and telepathically involved.)


Added DiffLines:

* MyRuleFuIsStrongerThanYours: The Forbidden Tower operates on a mixture of this and simple AppealToForce, with an additional dose of making it up as they go along. For example, they override the laws against unregulated matrix use when Damon declares himself a Keeper (who is expressly allowed to make the rules for his own Tower, even if all the conventional towers obey Arilinn's laws), enforce that by challenging Arilinn to a WizardDuel TrialByCombat under centuries-old rules, and prevent Callista from being forced into being separated from Andrew afterward by getting her pregnant (since a woman can't be unwillingly separated from the father of her child).


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* WizardDuel: In ''The Forbidden Tower'', Arilinn and the Forbidden Tower fight a RealityWarper battle in the overworld after Damon challenges Leonie's right to issue orders to him.
8th Jun '16 9:49:47 AM Ramidel
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Added DiffLines:

* HeroAntagonist: In ''The Forbidden Tower'', Leonie Hastur is just trying to do the right thing for everyone, but her actions (while reasonable and honorable) tend to be NotQuiteTheRightThing due to the extremely unusual circumstances of the novel, and that makes her the antagonist. She was responsible for screwing up Callista's sexuality (to make her better-qualified to be a Keeper), and when circumstances force Damon Ridenow to repeatedly act as a Keeper in a constant stream of emergency situations, the laws of Arilinn Tower require her to be the one who comes down on his ass.
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