Saturday, June 23, 2012
Finding D&D in Appendix N - Three Hearts and Three Lions
It occurred to me that many of these books were ones that I haven't read, so I began picking them up. I started with "Three Hearts and Three Lions" by Poul Anderson. It is the story of a valiant knight and his adventures in the lands of faerie and elsewhere. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me as obvious inspirational elements...
(I will be quoting directly from the book and may inadvertently reveal plot details)
Law and Chaos
Throughout the book is the theme of Law and Chaos and their struggle against one another. Could this possibly the source of the Lawful vs. Chaotic alignment system of D&D?
The passage below describes a wizard with an "invisible servant" Definitely reminiscent of the Unseen Servant spell...
"A bottle and three dirty goblets floated in and landed on the table. 'About time,' grumbled the sorcerer. After a moment, when the invisible servant had presumably left..."
At one point in the story, the heroes battle a gruesome troll. Does the following description sound familiar?
"The troll shambled closer. He was perhaps eight feet tall, perhaps more. His forward stoop, with arms dangling past thick claw-footed legs to the ground, made it hard to tell. The hairless green skin moved upon his body. His head was a gash of a mouth, a yard-long nose, and two eyes which were black pools, without pupil or white, eyes which drank the torchlight and never gave back a gleam."
Later in the scene, a troll's regenerative ability is described...
"His saber carved a slab off the troll's side. Greasily, with a sucking noise, that chunk crawled towards its master."
"The troll's smashed head seethed and knit together. He clambered back on his feet and grinned at them."
Trolls and fire? It's here too...
"Alianora cried aloud. She struck back with the torch. He hooted and went on all fours. A charred welt across his skin did not heal."
After finding these bits of D&D in Appendix N, I'm off to the next book. I'll let you know what I find.