Friday, March 28, 2014

Story Notes: No Esteemed Deeds

Notes to: No Esteemed Deeds

"And on the twentieth day there came another man from out of the wastes."

This was Palinda for a few paragraphs. Then I decided that I just couldn't make the time periods synch up right (he had to have been wandering around in the desert for long enough that Arnelle could finish his journey to the onkalo, get the curse, get to town, and then be there for at least a couple of days, long enough for them to give up any hope of saving him) despite how much I liked the scene that would have played out.

So we've got this other way instead. I guess it turned out well enough too.

Elderman is a corruption/fusion of alderman (a member of the local government) with elder. Despite the name, though, they're not all old.

Both alderman and bloodwoman came from the eight-letter occupation list compiled by Kettugasm. There wasn't any strong reason to go there, but then there wasn't any reason at all not to.

All names were generated by's Name Smasher, which combines real names. I thought that it served pretty well as a quick and dirty way to generate names supposedly descended from modern names.

Arnelle's symptoms are based on those typical for someone who has absorbed 6-8 grays of radiation (or 600-800 rads).

Hawbuzzards are like nothing that you've ever seen (I don't think they're even birds, though they may have been once upon a time). In fairness, camels are like nothing Palinda's seen, so you're not alone in only being able to read of weird creatures.

The onkalo's name from the nuclear repository being built in Finland. I imagine it's not unlikely that the name might be used as slang for other repositories and thereby survive in other countries even after The End. The description of the onkalo is based on some of the plans proposed to make it apparent to future generations that it contained Only Bad Things, despite any possible culture or generation or language gaps.

It'll probably work, but it might not. This is what happens when it doesn't.

As a second name I was originally going to call the bar of hosts "Gilead's bar." I decided to go with "Roland's bar" instead (Roland of Gilead), then "Rowland's bar." Not that there's an actual connection to the Dark Tower (unless, maybe, there is; who knows but that a Stephen King fan may have been a prominent member of this culture when it was first established).

"Seraphims" is an intentional error, mimicking an error in the King James. The seraphims look like this

As the story points out, the hazard symbol is an excellent example of how careful we need to be about how we transmit warnings across time and cultures. That is so totally an angel, and definitely not a warning about invisible body-ruining magic.


  1. I've never seen the hazard symbol as an angel, but i dont think i will ever stop now. would add a whole new part to the church of atom or whatever in fallout 3

  2. What has been seen, cannot be unseen!

    It's a very interesting problem that they're trying to solve, these people who want to make sure that nobody does the wrong thing if they stumble across our radioactive waste dumps and stuff like that.

    So many of these symbols that we just know mean this or that are totally abstract. Why does a yellow light mean "SPEED UP, MAN, THE RED LIGHT IS A-COMING?" Why does a red octagon with white lines on it mean "stop?"