Recently Published: A Review
 

Autumn Sarn

UP: Lake Superior

    Glacian History, Edition 2 (Condensed) and Glacia History, Companion Guide, Lady Clio Temesa, editor.

Keeping the lands fully informed is the goal of the youngest and brightest professor the Lycaeum has seen in recent times. She hits this goal with her latest work Glacia History, Edition 2 (Condensed Edition). Assisted by former Town Cryer reporter Deborah en'Eceri, ex-Geldium Ambassador and member of one of several tribes of Glacia, the alchemist Gavin (fully recovered and formerly of Moonglow) and a vast range of material and sources, Lady Temesa provides a survey of the topic in a way that also answers some concerns and questions raised last year during the Gelidum conflict. She also provides a somewhat chilling and disturbing glimpse of the fate of the original Papua explorer group responsible for the initial chartings and study of the area. While most escaped, the survivors were subject to scientific exploration, brainwashing, and other horrors. Lady Temesa does not tread lightly over such topics or spend much energy of personal opinion over the revelations, but presents them instead in a casual matter-of-fact style many have come to expect in other works. She confirms the existing underpinnings of conflict within the Gelidum and draws attention to the roots of the Gelidum conflict in our lands, drawing her study to a close with a short summary of the conflict itself.

The companion volume provides a short summary of the ruling structure, society structure, religion and economics. Unfortunately it lacks a bit in content on the later topics, but does provide an interesting glimpse courtesy of the former Ambassador on Niflhym, the ice wyrm currently serving as ruler of the Gelidum. For this alone we are able to place a 'moderate' recommendation on the companion work, but give higher marks to the main volume.

Informed, crisp, and precise, the book and its companion volume are reminiscent of her teaching style (anyone attending one of her lectures can tell this professor rarely misses a beat, no matter how odd the commentary by students) and contain a vast amount of information updated from earlier editions. This work's author is not afraid to make minor corrections from earlier works when necessary in order to provide a complete and up to date examination of one of the most compelling groups to come to the forefront of both political and military attentions of recent years instead of hiding behind revisionist history efforts. Lady Temesa is quickly establishing her mark in the academic circles as the primary expert scholar on this topic and her diligent research shows the title is well earned.

The Complete Glacian History (an expanded work) will be available through special order sometime next month. For the casual historian however, Glacian History, Edition 2 serves just as well on its own or with the companion notes. Those seeking a complete dissertation of the Glacian tribal culture would do best to seek out the volume Tribes of the Lost Lands.

Rating: Glacian History, Edition 2. Thumbs up. Complete, comprehensive, and a smooth read. Excellent for cozying up with an ale in Serpent's Hold. Glacia History, Companion Guide. Recommended, but definitely leaves the reader wanting more. Perfect for a lazy afternoon on Magincia beach.

Tribes of the Lost Lands (Limited Release), The Historical Society (assorted authors)

Tribes of the Lost Lands is an intriguing glimpse comparison and contrast style of several tribes of the Lost Lands, revised recently to include the mysterious Klaku'Au tribe. In a recent lecture, Lady Temesa of the Lycaeum drew yet another full house with many interested on just this topic alone. Some of the things attendees learned can be found within this tome, however we will provide some highlights here as copies are hard to find.

In general, the Klaku'Au are believed to have lived in the desert. A hunter/forager society, they considered Roast Scorpion a specialty. A recipe is included in the appendix, along with one for "Polar Bear Soup", a Glacian specialty. They were considered a highly advanced and intelligent group and wealthy, yet they quickly died off mysteriously. Evidence points to a demise stemmed from starvation, although this is highly speculative. "In the end, there was little left of their once vast resources. It is not evident why this happened." In society, men and women had equal say in the group. Raising one’s stature within the caste system could be either by birthright or accomplishments. A spiritual group relying on rituals of word and dance, the Klaku'Au saw life and death as just phases of a being, each with importance. "The body is just a container for the spirit," writes one of the contributors.

One thing the section on the Klaku'Au focuses heavily on is the use of gold. The Klaku'Au worship gold, but not for monetary purposes. They believed gold was one of the purest, ergo most powerful, elements known to them. Central to their belief system and shrouded in mystery, it is no surprise the current escapades of Lady Tiraste and her adventuring treasure groups have stumbled upon not just a large amount of gold, but more questions than current answers.

Rating: Tribes of the Lost Lands. Thumbs up. Take this one on your next trip to exotic Papua and delight in the mystical journeys of the Glacians, the Klaku'Au, and others.

Look for more reviews soon as we turn to the lighter side of summer fare. Happy reading!




From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Wednesday, June 28th 2000