Mythic Russia

Heroic roleplaying in a mythical medieval Russia

The Great Elk — September 25, 2012

The Great Elk

A massive geoglyph (carved figure in the ground) of an elk (moose) in the Zyuratkul Ridge in the Southern Urals may be the oldest such artwork in the world, perhaps dating back 5000-8000 years. It’s massive, over 2 km long and some 275 m across, and was made with large and small stones embedded in the ground and crushed stones.

Stanislav Grigoryev of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of History and Archeology, said he believed that the elk was a message addressed to the gods. Of course, we know that this must be the holiest place dedicated to the Sibiryak Shape of Elk, a thin place where travel into the Otherworlds is easy.


Abilities: Devotee of Elk or Initiate of Elk, Endure Hardship, Lock Horns, Stories of Elk

Virtues: Phlegmatic

Affinity: Cope With What Comes (Eat What’s Around, Find Salt, Shrug Off Bad Weather, Ungainly Swimmer, Warm Inside)

Secret: Mighty Antlers (The devotee can at will manifest great antlers, and while they are evident can use this Secret as an additional Affinity with the feats Attract Mate, Bone-Crunching Charge, Intimidating Display.

‘The Horde’ (‘Orda’) a new Russian historical(ish) action movie — September 23, 2012

‘The Horde’ (‘Orda’) a new Russian historical(ish) action movie

I haven’t yet had the chance to watch Орда (The Horde), a new big-budget Russian swords & stallions action movie, but the trailer and visuals do look impressive, reflecting the way Russian film-making has moved into the big league. Set in the 14thC, it has all the usual tropes, but has already begun to cause controversy about the way it reportedly depicts most of the Mongols as “brutal, bloodthirsty, evil-minded, greedy people.” The fact that it was part-funded by a company linked to the Russian Orthodox Church might have something to do with that… Still, action movies are rarely the place to find sensitively-drawn, politically-correct historical revisionism, so I’ll just look forward to seeing the film in due course and drawing my own conclusions. At least it does look well done (director Andrei Proshkin took the best director’s award at this summer’s Moscow Film Festival and one of his stars, Rosa Khairulina, best actress) and the scenes of the Mongol city Sarai Batu, while a tad caricature, do look impressive and offering great atmospheric vistas to illustrate scenes in a game… If anyone gets to see it (it came out in Russia this month), do post a comment and let us know what you thought!