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Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12th K Day

As it turns out, aside from a bunch of proper names like Knut and Karl or names of objects like Knives (Knífar), there aren't a whole lot of important Old Norse words or concepts that are important for my Viking campaign from either a historical, mythological or cultural point of view, so I am going to have to pad out today's post with some extra stuff that is non-Norse in nature.

K is for Kvásir, a God created by both the Aesir and the Vanir to seal their truce, oddly by mixing together their collective spit. Sadly, it doesn't end well for him. He is so well renowned for his wisdom that "No man can ask him a question he cannot answer."; so of course this engenders jealousy and he is murdered by a pair of Dwarf brothers, Fjalar and Galar, who then mix his blood with honey to brew the mead of poetry. When the Aesir come looking for him the Dwarves lie and say he died by choking to death on his own wisdom.

K is for Kona, which is just the Old Norse word for woman. I mention it specifically because it gets used a lot in compound words like seiðkona.

K is for Konung, which is the Old Norse word for King.

K is for Kennings. Kennings are like poetic code words or phrases, they might be something simple like calling the sea "the whale's road", or something more obscure, like referring to gold as "Freyja's tears".

K is for Klingon, OK, the original Klingons on Star Trek were, more or less, stand ins for the Soviets versus the Federation's USA/NATO. John M. Ford in his book "The Final Reflection" completely redefined what Klingons were, and FASA ran with that during their run with the Star Trek RPG lisence. Actually, that might be a chicken/egg thing, I see that John M. Ford was one of the designers for FASA's Klingons supplement and it mentions his upcoming book in the designers notes in the back; but I read "The Final Reflection" long before I ever saw the FASA Klingons supplement, so I guess it doesn't matter. Anyway, long digression aside, I know that the later Star Trek movies and TV series that came along kind of played havoc with Ford's Klingons and the FASA canon, but I am still a big fan, and from what I have read, so were most of the writers that wrote for the later shows. Ron Moore and Keith R.A. DeCandido have both mentioned that they were inspired by Ford's take on Klingon culture. That's why the Klingons got to get so much awesome added to them, they took all the coolest warrior cultures from earth and threw them in a blender set to "make awesome", Klingons are part Viking, part Mongol and part Samurai, with a dash of some other stuff occasionally thrown in for flavor, set in SPACE.

K is for KAG, which is the Klingon Assault Group, of which I am a member. If you have ever thought about getting costumed up as a member of the original party race of Star Trek, check us out. No Dues, Few Rules, join us or tell a friend about us; we're the largest Klingon fan organization in the world.

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