Each Thursday, our copy of ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland’ in hand, we shall tour the mystical countryside looking for adventure and fun (and tropes) from all over fantasy.
This week’s topic is DESERT NOMADS
DESERT NOMADS occupy the hot parts to the south, which is either desert or rather parched grass. For some reason this is ideal terrain for breeding horses, of which nomad clans have in large numbers.
Should have been easier than it was, but I gave it my best shot.
D’regs – Jingo by Terry Pratchett- My mandatory Prachett reference. D’regs have stolen for travelers for years and have no desire to stop doing so. They have robbing travelling traders down to a type of agriculture; let them go and catch the next generation that comes through. Unfortunately a Klatchian Prince is demanding unity against a foreign threat—a threat that doesn’t actually seem that threatening. What is a desert tribe to do other than disappear back into the desert?
Oh, be careful of that stew. If you think of them as primitive they will do everything they can to cultivate that perception.
Fremen – Dune by Frank Herbert – Just because I didn’t like Dune doesn’t mean I am not aware of it. I was completely into the book for 2/3 of it; I just didn’t care for Paul H Christ by the end. But I can full admit that almost everything about the Fremen was pretty cool. They ride giant sandworms, keep every single drop of water contained using sillsuites, even their funeral rites are designed to increase survival.
Aram Chat –The Engineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker – In an act of desperation while in a fight with a city more advanced that any of their neighbors a brash noble enlists the help of the nomadic tribe(s) known as the Aram Chat. Though out gunned the Duke Valens has a few things working his way; the technology from a renegade engineer and the vast numbers of the Aram Chat.
And in typical Parker style everything goes to hell for everyone by the end. Don’t piss off an engineer is the lesson to this tale.
And I am having a bad week with this one. I came up with a few others but I am having trouble remembering enough details about them to write anything useful. Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott had a young girl named Mai sent into a nomadic tribe by marriage. The Warded Man by Peter V Brett had the protagonist getting betrayed by a desert tribe despite having seemingly similar goals. The Thousand Names by Django Wexler was another example; loved their method of communication.
Join us next week as we look at ELVES
ELVES claims to have been the first people in Fantasyland. They are called the Elder Race. They did not evolve like humans, but sprang into being just as they are now.
Mostly because I wanted an easier week. Thus are the spoils of making your own damn meme.
As always thanks for joining, feel free to join along at any time, and please check out my fellow travelers!