Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The way we were

So, my buddy Karmin had a dream about spiders, and since she shared on it social media, I don't feel bad reproducing it here (edited for clarity).
Last night in my dreams a were-spider hunted me down for vengeance after I killed a spider. I  prevailed in the resulting fight. 

But brain? Let's not do this again. I had not previously considered the horror that is were-spiders. In my dream, I was in shock that such was even possible! 

It had clearly violated my territory. I was just protecting my home from an invasion! I killed her with a 10-ft long metal pole with a wide blade that she had created by tearing apart the wall at a construction site; it was silver-colored, but of unknown composition. She was in a half-form and swinging the blade at me. At some point she tried to stab me with it; I barely dodged, and it hit the solid wall right behind me. She'd over-extended and was momentarily stunned, and I was able to quickly shove the pole back towards her, impaling her in the abdomen with her own weapon.
The dream came up as we were playing Pandemic and naming the diseases that we had to cure to save the world and win the game. Buddy Chris named one of them "spider lyncanthropy" in honor of Karmin's sacktime skirmish, and this led to a discussion of appropriate terminology. After all, lycanthropy is the formal term for the condition of being a werewolf, and it comes from the Greek roots for wolf and man. With this in mind, spider lycanthropy makes no sense, since it means spider-wolf-man disease. 

Were-spider is fine, since were in this sense in from the Old English for man, so a werewolf a wolfman and a were-spider is a spiderman (but not Spider-Man). But spider lycanthropy? No way.

Chris held that since D&D Monster Manuals use lycanthropy in a general sense, to indicate the template for any sort of were-creature, that is is a proper construction and usage. I think this is silly. And so, for D&D and anyone else, here are some other correctly-formed -anthropes besides the classic lycanthrope.

And Karmin, if this last one is anything like the were-spider you fought - that wasn't a dream, it was officially a full-fledged nightmare.

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