Friday, September 4, 2015

From Whence Strode the Barbarian Quotes?

With the possible exception of a session report on Sunday, it's Barbarians week here at Dungeon Fantastic. Quaff your mead, pick your best axe, and revel in your fictional barbarian cliches.

One of the most fun parts of writing DFD1: Barbarians was finding quotes.

I wanted to include some "can't miss" quotes, the ones that if I didn't include them I'd regret it. These include quotes from:

- the GURPS Basic Set, which had a can't-miss book opening quote.

- R.E. Howard (for many reasons - he's quoted in multiple places - and not just Conan, but also Cormac)

- Fritz Leiber (for the Civilized Savage - Fafhrd being the main model for that)

- Led Zeppelin - the hammer of the gods drove me to include this.

- Conan the Barbarian - a must-have or I'd hear the lamentations of my conscience forever.

But there were others that fit the book so well they had to go in.

- Groo. DF is nothing if not also a nod-and-a-wink enjoying the cliches of the genre. Groo is perfect for that.

- Equally, so is Mark E. Rogers. So I quoted from "Beyond the Black Walnut" from the original Samurai Cat book.

- The Lord Weigh Slough Feg, aka Slough Feg. They had an Erol Otus album cover and a (good!) song about Traveller. Heck, an album about Traveller. Their song "Highlander" provided just the quote I needed for one of the templates.

- a great David Gemmell quote about berserkers, to reinforce an even cooler one from the "Haakon of the Golden Axe" book series.

- my friend Tom's favorite, and my favorite, Conan the Destroyer quote - "Enough talk!" It's embedded in the TOC, which is awesome.

- Speaking of Conan, there were a few de Camp/Carter quotes about barbarians that I like a lot, so I selected one from Conan the Buccaneer to make it clear that giant female barbarians are equally in mind as I write this stuff. Like the men, they're tall, muscled, lithe, pantherish, and scantily clad and can lift you up with one hand to regard you before you die.

I also wanted to get some Manowar in there. It's a quotable band, and while I'm not a huge fan, I am a huge fan of The Dictators - and Ross "The Boss" is lead guitarist for both. The song "Swords in the Wind" had a great quote that fit one of the lenses.

When it came time to fill in some quotes, I had a lot to pick from. I found a couple of gems at the last minute to fit in. But I also got a great suggestion for a Terry Pratchett quote, from Phil Masters of course, and thus it went in, too.

Nothing makes me happier than skimming through my books when they come out, seeing if my quotes of choice really made it in. They all did, and I have to say I'm glad we decided to have a quote for each and every template and lens (although not the cross-template ones, that would be a bit much.) You have a real theme setter for each one, now.

My one regret is that, had I known that The Darkness did a song called Barbarian, I'd have included a quote from them! I just didn't notice until last night when I was reminded of an earlier song of theirs. Oh well. Maybe the next book will reference the Sons of Ragnar. And Bjorn and Raggi are always shirtless in the rain, too. What a missed chance!

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