REH quoted


Banded Mongoose
REH, The Sowers of Thunder [the Moslem general Baibars destroyed the last Christian army. The last standing knight, the hero of the short story, half blinded Baibars in a last effort and died wounded and exhausted at Baibars feet]:

"I have conquered", said Baibars, shaken for the first time in his wild life, " but I am half blind - and of what avail to slay men of that breed? They will come again and again and again, riding to death like a feast because of the restlessness of their souls, through all the centuries. What though we prevail this little Now? They are a race unconquerable, and at last, in a year or thousand years, they will trample Islam under their feet and ride again through the streets of Jerusalem."
And over the field of battle night fell shuddering.

I don't intend to take position pro or contra Western incursions into Arab lands (this is a RPG forum), but I thought some might find this quotation interesting. And after all, it is a typical political incorrect REH sentence full of epic power (like the "Barbarism is the natural state of mankind" or the sentence at the end of my posts).

If you're looking for Conanesque REH tales, I recommend to go for Lord of Samarcand, an REH Oriental tales omnibus by BISON Books. The crusaders there are of course Soldiers and not Barbarians, but they get regularly the Crimson Mist / Fighting Madness and are often described as barbaric (compare the Soldier vs. Barbarian thread on this forum).
Since Baibars is off in a foreign country to slake his blood lust against foriegners instead of his own native people and destroying a native culture to boot, I'd say he's as subject to that quote as are the Arabic people. IMHO, humans are a lusty, bloodseeking people but in denial about it for the most part- thus creating the unspoken tensions that rip static cultures apart. Most attept to channel it into socially acceptable roles such as fighting foriegn wars for a government or philosphy they don't truly believe in to give it the appearance of being 'good'. More domestic forms take the place of the pointless power struggles within the political, economic and social organizations that humans set up to imprison themselves in and distract them from their own nature.

I on the other hand, say just accept it. There is no cosmic 'good' IMHO and the impossible attempts to emulate it are wasted efforts that are masochistic in nature. Indeed IMHO, the attempt to do so create the very thing we call 'evil' as a result of our seeking an unnatural balance. Nature is neither evil nor good, willing to devour its own children that prove too weak but also never seeking to establish a dominion over all its children and giving them free will. Humans are animals, thus part of nature- neither good nor evil. Were humanity willing to accept this fact, it might be able to relax a bit and stop obliterating everything in sight that reminds them of their true nature.

Or at least stop fighting wars over pointless trivia.