I was recently talking to Nick Brooke about the Third Age Malkioni of Seshnela and Fronela. I thought I’d share some of those notes, as much to remind me of them!
The Malkioni are emphastically not medieval – but Moorcockian or Vancean sword and sorcery. Core to the Malkioni is conflict between the rationalists and the savages. Malkionism is obsessed with imposing reason on the world – non-Malkioni are barbarian irrational savages, even if they rule vast empires. Malkioni are always hyper-civilized, assisted perhaps by half-barbarians, but they themselves are always rational, reflective men (and women) of action. Their foes are always savage, irrational, superstitious, ruled by fear and ignorance.
This conflict between civilized reason and savage irrationality is core to the Malkioni self-image. Discarding the medieval paradigm lets the West be more Moorcockian and more sword and sorcery, with mendek wizards manipulating Moorcockian talars, aided by half-savage holari, and with all the work done by vast throngs of dronars that all get ignored by everyone else.
The archetypical hero of the Malkioni is a reflective hero who acts AND questions the rightness of his or her deeds (that whole Hrestoli chivalry thing) until realizing that these doubts are self-defeating. And then BOY DOES OUR HERO ACT! Meanwhile, our hero is aided (and frustrated) by the zzaburi who follow wherever their logic leads them to its conclusion. Together they face hordes of nearly mindless savages, ecstatic temptresses, and dark monsters.