YMMV Lone Wolf Discussion

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07:17:45 AM Dec 1st 2017
edited by starofjusticev21
"Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The books don't shy away from showing how much a medieval world can suck, such as with a mention of infant mortality rates. Yet any attempt to fix things is shown to be inherently misguided; the Moonstone eliminates the scourge of disease and infant mortality, and this is presented as a bad thing, the Shianti were told to keep their paws off of humanity even though they were just being helpful, and the one Shianti who disobeyed this rule ended up being driven insane when his magic Sunstone exploded because mere mortals meddled with it."

The reasoning from what I can gather is that the good gods are generally hands-off because they think mortals should guide their own destiny as much as possible, and all-powerful beings like the Shianti living among them and constantly intervening in mortal affairs, no matter how well-intentioned, takes that away (pretty common justification for why gods don't intervene more often in a fantasy setting). Going by their entry in Bestiary of the Beyond if nothing else, the Shianti were generally benevolent but they also couldn't really understand lesser beings like humans and thought their superiority made it their right to guide the fate of mankind. Previous materials didn't really get indepth with how the Shianti acted when they were still active among humans besides calling them "arrogant" for their actions, and I have to wonder if the writer of this entry may have assumed things about them that weren't intended.

Besides, surely anything about divine beings having face-to-face contact with their worshipers, or the effects of miraculous items no mortal could reproduce like the Moonstone, is a Fantastic Aesop at best. It's not like the setting has no other forms of medicine or healing besides the one mean old Ishir made them get rid of. If that weren't the case, or the example was based around losing something really beneficial mankind had on its own without demigods like the Shianti, there'd be more basis for calling that an Aesop.

And I at least find it ridiculous to think Dever was trying to make a statement that the impoverished and their children need to just die and get it over with (the description for this trope itself says "Not everything has or needs an Aesop" does it not?). This entry sounds more like something the person who wrote it thought of as a seemingly appropriate way they could frame a criticism of the books.

Finally, it isn't the hypothetical lasting damage to the balance of nature casued by keeping the Moonstone around or some belief that they don't deserve it that convinces Lone Wolf it can't stay. It's that the imbalance to nature makes it impossible to disguise the fact that's where the Moonstone is, and it attracts evil guys as a result ("The physical effects of its presence were beginning to attract the unwelcome attentions of those who secretly sought to enact Naar's revenge upon the Kai. When one of Naar's agents was captured by a Kai patrol within a few miles of the monastery, Lone Wolf felt he could wait no longer." — Voyage of the Moonstone). The Kai are formidable, but even they're not infallible (i.e. take the original order being wiped out in the first book in a surprise attack, or the Book of the Magnakai being stolen out from under their noses and lost for hundreds of years, just the frequency of instant deaths or incredibly difficult combats in these books...).
09:53:39 PM Jun 23rd 2014
"Gary Stu: Lone Wolf is this, and it's EXTREMELY obnoxious to female readers."

Some context for this would be good.
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