playing antarctica ring 3 – the lowlands
chapter 21, playing antarctica ring 3 – the lowlands
places: in the game.
kernel helps fairy find advanced players. millions of players and cities of only 50k (multiple universes)
npcs. snake replaces sprites with trolls that speak in riddles (3) (male) and take prisoners
rings. laws, plague, hordes, crusades (past life; ben the horseman with the swords and me the farmgirl)
fairy sex with random, quantum show popular, catchy tunes, but gets run out of town, goes on the road to adelie, preparing the way for the girl by seeding players, identified with kernel by which avatars and tarot symbols they pick and kernel-mined info.
exkurt. girl gets advice (from exkurt?) about what???)
random escapes pirates and settles on shore, works in shop, quits to join fairy’s show, runs off to adelie as singer/songwriter, learns quantum
snake crusader priest. teaches quantum is heresy. putting control of quantum skills in the hands of the church. meets boy and girl
boy – snake offers to make him constantine: convert and win; he runs from the life of an emperator.
girl- she can’t quite let people organize for themselves, her flying condemned as heresy
=p (everyplayer) warrior knights, fiefdoms, farming and fishing, small town life, itinerants. chases and close-up mayhem in quaint old fashioned port cities and market towns. eventually they settle and become established traders. overcrowding a problem. players grumble.
supposed to be where players carve out individual roles for themselves that are based on quantum philosophy
exit: raids from wilderness? crusade! and black death. players either join up and leave, are forced out by raids, scared out by plague, or killed and know enough to avoid this route next time.
all this forced togetherness is getting tiresome. can’t just take things in this zone, they put you in the stocks and torment you. then if you keep at it they put you in jail and you just sit there losing points. it’s a trade and barter economy and you’ve got to grind some sort of resource on a daily basis. there are steep penalties for outright theft, but gouging and cheating is okay, and there’s a rich black market in slaves and weapons. the network extends thru the pirates right back to the home islands. npcs trolls take prisoners of anybody can’t answer the riddles, put them to work grinding in the mines. mountain weapons work once again in tunnels. evidence of enemy attack. side game freeing captured players (taking the rest of their points and killing them to send them back to start again). rumors of enemies grow and vigilantes organize knights off to war and rumors of invasions, but the grind is farming and working in shops and workshops. pretty fucking bucolic. and not very clean. bedbugs and rats and flies on the food in the market, and my clothes itch and i get mud on everything walking in the streets. they keep hiking the tax, too, and i’ve got these kids to feed that won’t shut up. and now the price of ale is going up again and the wife wants me to quit smoking and spend the money on something for her. robin hood’s merry men live even worse lives until they rob the taxman, but the taxes just go up for everyone else and they’re just a bunch of shipless pirates with no respect for their fellow players i’d rather go enlist and look for enemies to kill, fuck being in debt and never getting laid..
boy enters this level as head of a flotilla of privateers, and raids rich coasts of the rift and inner sea, the boy finds himself acting as governor of a thriving colony. learns about legal piracy. laws taking everything for himself. he’s the sheriff. the lowlands is nottingham. oppressing people thru harsh laws and medieval systems of control, all the ways to beat them down materially, thru taxes and confiscations. then snake offers to make him king john and he declines, figuring he can do it himself. kills girl.
girl travels to adelie in search of insight, talking to healers and teachers, points out the benefits of organizing a network of independent farming and trading centers. the girl drifts with the seafarers and shepherds, and works as peers with the wise women and judges. (???the girl is robin hood??? makes small inroads against boy’s rapaciousness). introduces songs and stories to help teach quantum thought, affecting popular culture. preaching on the streets, building a following.
death: boy and girl meet in the middle of the ring and have a big argument. he ambushes her party, she yells at him, he’s not even pretending to be interested in their quantum mission. he kills her because he feels like it, it’s convenient and she’s annoying. he thinks it’s funny. she incarnates over the icy sea and flies (seen by many, decried as heresy) until she falters and lands back in the third ring, but he’s already gone. so she is late in visiting the other rings, and as a result her people are more backwards and unaggressive, while the boy has been building an empire.