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Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1)
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Trail of Lightning > ToL: Cool new monsters

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Nils Krebber | 200 comments Let me be the first to say that I really like the portrayal of the Monsters in this book. I will not even try spelling them correctly (I listen to the Audioversion), but both the Golem like monster from the first chapter, the Ghosts and the Witches are really interesting.
I am a sucker for cool monsters from other Folklore, and I look forward to using these guys in my Shadowrun games.


Trike | 8768 comments I was initially puzzled by this comment until I realized you aren’t American. It’s interesting to me when something I take for granted, such as Native American creation myths, appear as exotic to others.

Although to be fair, I’m sure most of these characters are unfamiliar to most Americans, too. We’ve done a terrible job of teaching our history, to the point where Native American peoples are effectively erased in literature. (The truly terrible River of Teeth comes immediately to mind, where that book’s Caucasian author somehow managed to forget 25% of the population in her alt-history story.)


Nils Krebber | 200 comments The only thing I know about Native American myths are the very broad strokes, like Coyote being the trickster, etc. Shadowrun has also not done a terribly good Job in explaining the mythology to non-Americans, and I always had the Feeling that These were definitely white guys trying to tell some cool stories about Shamen. So for me, this is really fresh.
So, how immortal are these immortals? Towards the end (view spoiler)


Trike | 8768 comments In some NA myths the immortality of gods is straightforward in that they can’t be killed. In some myths it’s more along the lines of reincarnation, where death is a temporary setback. Which also aligns with the comic book sensibility in that death is fleeting. The Navajo have a little of both, depending on which version of the story you hear, but there is always at least one god who dies and stays dead.

There are actually two Coyotes in Navajo, one happy and one angry. Angry Coyote is the one who brought death into the world, but he was like Thanos in the MCU in that his reasoning is sound. Without death we would soon be overrun with people. Based on this it’s clear she’s using Angry Coyote. AC isn’t bad, nor is he chaotic. We just don’t fully appreciate his thinking.

Twins figure into Native American myths a lot — like a truckload of twins all the time — but they don’t follow the whole good twin/evil twin trope typified by Romulus and Remus and other European cultures. (In the Great Lakes region Algonquin tribal myths, for instance, their great hero’s twin is Wolf, who is a fierce warrior but not evil. In the Abenaki tribal myth, the twin to their great hero is Rabbit, who died and became ruler of the dead, but Rabbit is also a good guy who offers excellent advice.) Maggie’s lightning sword belongs to one of such twins, for instance, but the other is offscreen. Makes me wonder if we’ll see his brother in a future installment. Or the other Coyote, for that matter.


Nils Krebber | 200 comments Interesting to hear about the twins Thing. Neizghání has a brother? Hope he is not as annoying as the man himself. Or is the lightning sword originally from somebody else?


Trike | 8768 comments Nils wrote: "Interesting to hear about the twins Thing. Neizghání has a brother? Hope he is not as annoying as the man himself. Or is the lightning sword originally from somebody else?"

I think it’s his. I’d have to look it up.

Back in the day I was a big fan of the Leaphorn & Chee mysteries by Tony Hillerman, which are set in the Four Corners region of the Southwest where the Navajo rez is located, and my parents own a plot of land in Albuquerque (“the Burque” in these novels), so I did a deep dive into Navajo and Apache history and religion back then.

Coincidentally the excellent movie Thunderheart came out around that same time, which is set on a Sioux nation reservation. That segued into reading about other tribes and I was struck by the preponderance of twins in native folklore.

If I were to map Neizghání and his twin brother onto modern characters, I’d use Sam and Dean Winchester of Supernatural, neither of which fit the version seen in the book. They’re more like human heroes who kill monsters than gods.


message 7: by Nils (last edited Sep 05, 2019 01:08AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nils Krebber | 200 comments Nice comparison - and I think there were times where both Brothers had the "kill all Monsters on sight" mindset, so it's not that far off. Sam and Dean have gone back and forth a lot on this in the Seasons. And if those two guys aren't immortal, who is ;)
And at the start, Dean was quite the Douchebag, expecially towards women. I'll map Neizghání as Dean at his douchiest, probably because Sam is dead at the Moment - that works.


Trike | 8768 comments I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for tuning into the Nils & Trike Show this week. 😁


message 9: by Mer (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mer | 185 comments Very informative Trike; greatly appreciate it.


message 10: by Buzz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buzz Park (buzzpark) | 354 comments Really liked your explanations of Native American myths Trike, Very interesting and thank you.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1954 comments Yep, not much to add to the thread, but I enjoyed reading it. I will also see Neizghání as Dean from now on.


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