The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

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Jenner
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The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby Jenner » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:55 am

I’ve come to make an announcement, The Goddess Althena’s a -Borgan- ass mother -Fatal Hopper-. She devastated my -Fatal Hopper- region. That’s right, she took her overwhelming anguish at the terrible behavior of a minority of -Albino Baboon- out and she devastated my -Fatal Hopper- region, and she said her reasons were THIS VALID. And I said, “That’s -Dung Beetle-!” So I’m making a callout post on LunarNET dot com. The Goddess Althena, you got -Dragon Diamond- justifications, they're absolutely inexcusable and WAY incriminating. And guess what, here’s what my justifications look like:

1) WTF is your deal? There were already people living comfortable, peaceful lives on the side of Lunar we know of as the Frontier before you yeeted the Vile Tribe over there, sealed them in, and then shut off the power. Those innocent people who were already present suffered for crimes they did not commit. Moreover, generations after the people who originally angered you had died off and long since been forgotten you kept the Frontier in its -Dragon Diamond- condition. Innocent people have suffered for generations for absolutely no good reason.
2) Are you dense or something? Since you turned off the lights in the Frontier the Black Dragon lost their mind and rather then admit you messed up, intervene, and sort it out you used your greatest champion, the Dragonmaster, as an assassin to clean up your mess. Which caused him to lose all his power and for his best friend to have a breakdown. This could have all been avoided.
3) Do you even know how to do your job? It's really neat that you want to interact with humans to understand them better and get a sense of what their lives are like but, even with your ridiculous amount of protections, reincarnating as a mortal girl makes you super vulnerable to folks with bad intentions and puts the entire world at risk. Surely there's a better way?
4) What the hell kind of Goddess of Love are you? You abandon a girl, all alone, in tower in a blighted hellscape and charge her with the sole responsibility of cleaning up the mess while you -Fatal Hopper- off to the moon and decide to choose to die without telling her. In fact, it seems you almost completely forgot about her. Wow, just wow.
5) You suck. You cried a bunch and lifted an island up into the sky and then kept it up there even after it got populated by elitist pricks.

I could go on but I'm tired. The Goddess Althena you're cancelled.
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Alunissage
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Re: The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby Alunissage » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:53 am

I always figured the "Goddess of Love and Beauty" label was put on her from outside, perhaps by the sculptors who designed her statues. Possibly modelled on some rich patron.

Not so sure a statement can be made about the chronology of banishing the Vile Tribe to the Frontier and humans and beastmen living there. This is one of the places where I like what Dragon Song added to the story, the implication that the people who became the Vile Tribe put themselves there on purpose so they could experiment with dangerous magic without being seen and stopped by Althena, who they probably figured they could do without. At this point I forget how much is explicit and how much is my speculation, but my feeling is that they did all this destructive stuff, possibly ruining the land, and she said that's it, you are NOT screwing up the rest of the land too, you're staying right here. So, first they "banished" themselves to the previously uninhabited area to use as a playground, then she prevented them from wreaking similar havoc on others.

I also think that Althena hadn't necessarily wanted the Goddess gig anyway; she got drafted as a savior because Zophar screwed things up and then was stuck babysitting everyone until they grew up enough to hopefully handle themselves. And even then not everyone was willing to leave the nest. As for the inherent weaknesses in the dragon and reincarnation and such system, well, you work with what you've got.

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Re: The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby Sonic# » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:44 pm

^ Would you say that Althena's periodic reincarnations were a way to go on a sabbatical, or possible temporary breaks from a job she could do but wanted to go beyond?
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win. " --- The Old Man at the End of Time

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Re: The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby Jenner » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:33 am

I like to think that the Goddess Althena is perpetually a teenager and the situations we get in Lunar are basically what would happen if God were a teenager. Y'know, hold petty grudges for eternity. Concoct one of the worst possible solutions to a problem when it becomes unavoidable. Go on spring break!

And now I want to post a meme here but I suck at photoshop and I'm really mad that my ability to make jokes is limited by my ability to produce them. Anyway here's a text version of what I I had in mind:

[A social media post of the Goddess Althena swimming in a pool, enjoying herself with the caption: Out here living my best life.
In the background of the image the Black Dragon is visibly struggling in the water. Three more images of Althena enjoying herself and the Black Dragon's situation getting increasingly more dire are in the post.
There are comments below the post:
Ghaleon: The Black Dragon is drowning
Althena: This ain't about them]

Anyway, yeah, it's entirely possible that Althena never wanted to be a Goddess and also that she has always been a -Dragon Diamond- teenager but she didn't know how to get the heck out of doing the job safely until the events of TSS/SSS. Perhaps now that she is able to mature and realize how to be a better person she can grow and correct but that still doesn't absolve her!
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Re: The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby Alunissage » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:37 am

You know, I may have to dial down the usual level of participation I would enjoy, in both this thread and the one about Ghaleon. I am under too much personal stress at the moment to avoid taking some things personally that I'm sure aren't meant to be. I've put way too many hours into thinking about Althena's actions and backstory and so on (seriously, it's how I've put myself to sleep many nights) to engage very well with a simpler model of her character without getting irritated that everyone else doesn't know what's already in my head. And I categorically reject casting her as a villain. To me, the premise of the story is that she is good; therefore, there are contextually good reasons for the actions she's taken even if we haven't been told what they are (and might not choose to take the same actions in her place).

To respond to Sonic#, yes, sabbatical would be about right. I see the times spent as human as serving two purposes:

1) a vacation from whatever it is she does when she's goddessing (listening to prayers? identifying trouble spots for the Dragonmaster to fix? running the temple bridge tournament?) to just exist without being at the call of every other person on the planet.

2) learning through experience what human lives are about, so she can exercise better judgment when she's called upon.

That second one is what comes to mind with Dragon Song -- neither she nor the dragons saw Ignatius for what he was, and thought he was a good enough person to become Dragonmaster. So she needed to learn more about how humans work, to not make that mistake again.

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Re: The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby Jenner » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:29 am

I apologize for riling you up, Alun. I didn't realize you felt so strongly about this and would take it so personally. My dragging of Althena was definitely irreverent and inflammatory but I don't intend to imply by my criticism that Althena is bad or evil, nor am I calling her a villain. She's made some mistakes, and good people make mistakes all the time. Good people learn from those mistakes and do their best to never recreate them and do right by the people they've harmed.

Kiz talked to me about this yesterday, and so he'll have more to say about this when he finds the time to type out his own takes in here. But there is a distinct difference between monotheistic religions like the ones we're most familiar with where the lone deity is an absolute authority, infallible and all-knowing, all good and righteous. And polytheistic religions like the one in Lunar where the many deities are flawed, temperamental, arbitrary, and morally grey.

There's a lot of theological discourse to be had around if mortals could ever comprehend the morals of the divine and the rationale to which they've made their decisions. I'm not down for that debate but there's a good argument to be made here that maybe I just don't get Althena.

Maybe Althena did the math, the ruthless calculus, and determined that the number of innocent people suffering in the Frontier would be vastly outweighed by the suffering of the Brightsiders. Perhaps she knew what she did was necessary. That every decision she made that I see as a bad choice was absolutely necessary and justified. Consequences and all.

But maybe she really is just a teenager-made-god, making mistakes and doing her best. Again, there is nothing inherently evil about being a teenager or making mistakes. Imperfection is not evil, it is necessary to improve yourself.

Althena isn't evil, Alun. She's not a villain. And anyone who makes that argument is wrong.
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Re: The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby Alunissage » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:36 am

Yep. I've always thought of her as being a goddess relative to everyone else, not a omnipotent/omniscient/etc perfect deity. That's part of why the letter addressing Hiro by name in EB irks me, because that precision future-seeing seemed out of scale with her powers and judgment. I can just barely grant the recording, predicting that Lucia will have found friends similar to how she herself did, although it still seems ridiculously overconfident (a reason among others that I've never really accepted that she's actually outright dead/no longer in existence), but the precision of knowing exactly who will be Lucia's primary companion, centuries in advance, is just wrong.

Anyway, I appreciate your concern, even though it's pretty silly of me to get worked up about this. It's mainly that I've had a very hard time lately, and last week was particularly bad. One of my two oldest cats (they're eleven and a half now, but they were our first kittens) was diagnosed with liver cancer last November, literally while we were in flight to Japan, and just last week his brother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. They're both doing better now than they were a week or so ago, but the stomach cancer is incurable and the liver cancer, while normally treatable, has been very resistant. So, I don't know how long they'll be with us, but, well. Not long enough. And all my self-care has gone out the window while I try to care for them and I am consequently a fragile wreck.

So...sorry I couldn't respond to your posts in the lighthearted manner I knew you were writing them in. And thanks for understanding.

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Re: The Goddess Althena is Cancelled!

Postby AkagisWhiteComet » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:14 pm

I'm glad that whole Hiro thing was pointed out 'cause that too really confused me about Eternal Blue in both the original and doubly more in the remake. If Althena's clairvoyance was so good that she could see that far into the future, after seemingly accepting mortality (by her own words), then why wasn't that clairvoyance utilized more in her prior reincarnations? "Oh... I'm so terribly sorry Lucia you and the others nearly died during all this stuff you've gone through. Nall knew you guys would be coming and he's really been waiting to play this recording of me telling you all I know who you are and also knew you would be coming. I also saw Zophar coming from like three postal codes over and decided to do nothing. Ghaleon is also kind of a zombie but hey when he plays the lute I blushed really hard and it's not like he's a Magic Emperor anymore or anything."

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Re: The Goddess Althena is Risen!

Postby Temzin » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:34 am

Bubble-burster time: as you’ll recall from Kiz’s excellent J-E Differences section, Luna writes a very personal but not clairvoyant letter in the original, not to Hiero, merely to “you, in the far distant future.” She is aware of Lucia but not of the specific boy...just that he’ll be the one to love and support her. This is an interesting difference in that she’s essentially entrusted Nall to judge who is worthy of this letter, and thus of Lucia, and of course he chooses Hiero. The English writing here is so absolutely wonderful, so far beyond what other translations were offering then and now, that I think it’s worth this minor difference.

As for Jenner’s multi-thread challenge to Althena, I’m beginning to suspect some Vile Tribe infiltration. But how deep? Is she merely the “Remilia”/“Lemia” to Kizyr’s Ghaleon?!?! Stay tuned...
aka Maou


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