Re: Racial Themes (was Re: password retrieval)

From: The Fractal Dimension Administration (fracdime@GEOCITIES.COM)
Date: 09/02/98

> >>>>>> thus on Wed, 2 Sep 1998 09:48:51 -0500, The wrote:
> >> There are two types of serpent people, Naga, which have no arms, and just a
> >> human head, and Yuan-ti, which are three breeds, of which the common one is
> >> snake people with upper torso's, and snake head, and snake lower body.
> > Note that this does not come from any Chinese mythology I ever heard
> > about. :) Especially not Ching Dynasty's Forbidden City.  Hmmm...  making
> > up stuff about cultures you don't know about is the surest way of selling
> > things, but it's not authentic to say the least.
> Pardon?  I'm just quoting an AD&D creature... I have to assume most people
> are familiar with these concepts, since Diku is AD&D based.  I make no
> claims to being a Chinease mythology specialist.  And no where in my post
> did I even connect my references to what you mention, so I have to wonder
> exactly who you're directing your comments to.

Wasn't directly directed towards you.  The AD&D creatures were mostly
based on Western mythological creatures right?  With a lot of old
historical (fiction?) documentation?

Well, since the East has long been a source of fascination for quite
a few of these D&D writers (probably from too many nights of take-out
Chinese food--also not necessarily authentic) they decided to
_totally_ make up crap.  While I wouldn't mind if they actually did
some research into this, they obviously didn't.  The Forbidden City
idea came from "The Last Emperor" and the snake possibly from the
Asian version of the Dragon.  But beyond that the two ideas aren't
even close.

1)  In Chinese stories the Forbidden City (Forbidden Palace is the
literal translation although City does fit better) is a place of
quietness and "sacredness" (for lack of a better word) and rarely
would you actually see something about a monster haunting the
locales.  Besides, the Emperor's "Dragon body" is supposed to keep
those things out.  (No, he does not change.  Again, according to
Chinese mythology, the Emperor is an incarnation of a Dragon, and is
always healthy, and that's where "Dragon body" comes from. . .
indeed, in the Ching Dynasty, his court would wish him tens of
thousands of years of life when they see him for the first time each

2)  Snakes, in Chinese mythology, are always just snakes.  There's no
half/half to it.  The monster may be a shapechanger, but will either
be a snake or a human--there's nothing in between.  Certainly this
genre seems to have mostly died out during the last dynasty.

Just a few cents of Renminbi.  Worth even less than one penny so you
don't have to bother to pick it up.

For those of you who can read GuoBiao Chinese (RichWin is a good bet,
although IE4 with Chinese add-on should be able to do so too):


Heh heh heh.
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