Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 20 May 1998
Last Updated On 20 May 1998
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1998
Most Ducks in Glorantha behave within certain set stereotypes. These stereotypes are a function of the roles that Ducks played many years ago when they were a created race.
When the Empire of the Wyrms Friends explored the worlds of Myth and Legend beyond the Veil, they met and saw many strange races that they had never even heard of before. After they returned, they tried to recreate those races within their Empire. Thus were born the races of Centaurs, Satyrs, Fauns, Minotaurs, Manticores and Ducks. Of these, the Ducks were the most disappointing for they were modelled on the inhabitants of Ganderland but were to those Mythical Ducks as dwarves are to True Mostali. The people of the EWF did not know what to do with the Ducks and used them as slave labour. Sometimes, the courts desired amusement and called for their Duck jesters, dressed them in gaudy costumes and made them perform as normal people, fighting, singing, dancing, making love, all for the entertainment of the Courts.
During the Fall of the Empire, some Ducks escaped and became rebels. They saw the invading Hordes and were terrified by the forces they met. Some saw the terrible steeds of the Nomads from the East and fled. Some of the rest saw the Bright Ones of the North and also fled. Some of those remaining saw the grim Death Dealers of the South and fled. Those remaining joined the grim cult and swore that nobody would make fools of them again.
During the battles with the Empire, many Ducks became frightened and fled to Delecti's Marshes where there was safety. Others tried to act heroically and remained true to their new cult. After the Empire fell, many Ducks remained in safety in the Upland Marsh. Many others were exiled after a war with Delecti. They set up little villages in emulation of their former masters and began to prosper. When the humans came from the South the Ducks welcomed them as friends of their liberators but were betrayed. After a war lasting three years or so, the Ducks drove the humans from their lands and took the Lismelder Tribe as hostages. From then on, the land-bound Ducks absorbed the culture of their neighbours to such an extent that their culture is now totally Theyalan in nature.
There are several points to Duck Psychology. First, Ducks have a very short history and tend to try and develop their own history. Second, Ducks try to forget what they were made to be by the EWF. Third, Ducks suffer from not being taken seriously by those around them. Fourth, Ducks are not trusted. Fifth, Ducks within the Upland Marsh are protected by Delecti.
These points lead to the following stereotypes:
Ducks within the Upland Marsh and accepting Delecti's rule, the so-called Loyal Nests, are gentle, timid souls, at peace with nature and not willing to harm anybody. They live as hunter/fisher/gatherers, surviving on the bountiful reserves provided by the Upland Marsh and protected from outside harm by Delecti's Hordes.
Ducks within the Upland Marsh and not accepting Delecti's Rule are usually outlaws and operate as bandits and thieves. They are untrustworthy and cowardly with no self-esteem. They feel that they have no friends and are paranoid about their neighbours.
Ducks near the Upland Marsh who are not Humakti try their hardest to be just like everyone else. They join the cults of Orlanth and Ernalda just like their neighbours. They take part in all the neighbourhood projects and tribal affairs. Where they live in towns they join the Guilds and try to be full and enthusiastic citizens, even to the point of laughing at themselves together with their friends. As they have no real history, they fill themselves with the local culture. They continually try and find examples of Great Ducks in History and try to rebuild the History which they feel is due them.
Humakti Ducks are dour, grim types. They have little sense of humour and react very badly to anyone who seems to be laughing at them or mocking them. They make up for their diminutive stature by being more honourable and more deadly than other Humakti. Often they succeed.
Duck exiles who become outlaws are like their counterparts in the Upland Marsh but are even more treacherous and untrustworthy. As they are not even protected by the undead denizens of the Upland Marsh, they have to be fiercer and deadlier, so they have developed the art of backstabbing and bushwacking.
Duck adventurers are often ridiculous in nature. They are normally traders, entertainers or thieves, dressing in gaudy clothing and often acting the fool in order to distract people from what they are. They trust few people and forgive fewer. They make up for their lack of size by being particularly aggressive or cunning. They are not to be crossed as they delight in taking revenge on their enemies.
Overall, most Ducks fit one or more of these stereotypes. Probably the most balanced Ducks are those who belong to the Loyal Nests. They have no illusions of a great history and do not try to be what they are not. They simply live their lives and try to be as happy as they can. It is only when Ducks mingle with outsiders that their natural inferiority complex comes into play and they try to escape through swagger, bluster or cunning and deceit. That is what makes them such interesting characters to roleplay.