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    Re: The Greyhawk Travel Guide, Part V (Score: 1)
    by CruelSummerLord on Sat, September 18, 2004
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    I appreciate the compliments (of course!), and I don't mind if you have a different take on things, but the thought that this version of Greyhawk is too "clean" and not "grey" enough cuts me to the quick.

    I thought I deliberately added in elements of political incorrectness in accordance with statements I've made in comments and forums on this site. If allies as close as Furyondy and Veluna, or the states of the Iron League, can compete and even fight in some instances where they disagree, how is that black and white? If I try and give some redeeming qualities to certain less-than-kind states or rulers, doesn't that splatter the colors a little? If anything, I've tried to muck up recent D&D canon, which seems too sanitized, IMO. I also tried to make things more complex and complicated than they otherwise would be.

    Take Ivid V. What if he is not just another generic madman out for world domination, but someone driven mad by the knowledge that he was born into the greatest wealth and power in the world, chained to his throne by an infernal contract his great-great grandather signed. This contract signed not only the soul of Ivid I, but that of all his sons, even those yet unborn. Born into the contract, holding the power of live and death over millions, and yet knowing that it will all be taken away when the time of your judgement comes...what would that do to a man? Make him want to take as many people with him as he can in a blaze of glory? Reflect on the sad, twisted irony that fate has given him? Reflect on how a thousand tales all condemn him for a villain? To my mind, a villain with personality traits of Richard III, Macbeth, and King Lear, with a dash of schizophrenia and multiple-personality disorder, is hardly a clean villain. ;)

    I'm not entirely sure how these things make it too clean-if I tried to put in some more enlightened views in some places, I did so out of a desire to not make everything absolutely horrible and dark-the way I've always seen the world, both Greyhawk and our real one, is that while true evil exists, and often seems to overwhelm us, there is also true good in it, and this should not be ignored.

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