I do my Very Serious Analysis elsewhere, so permit me this flight of levity on what would normally be a Very Serious Topic. I just love the headline on this story:
Battle at Pakistan Clericâ€™s Stronghold
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Oct. 26 â€” Pakistani security forces exchanged heavy gunfire with militants at the sprawling seminary of an increasingly powerful extremist cleric in the troubled North-West Frontier Province today, according to regional police officials.
Is it just me or does this evoke images of a D&D campaign? My “DM-mode” is already fired up:
A desolate series of hills rises above your party. Sprawling across their barren shoulders rises the great Keep, a seminary where the dark cleric Fazlullah amasses his army of minions. The grizzled veterans in the town of Kabal, largest in the northwest realm of Swat, spoke fearfully of angering the cleric, having borne witness to his whims and fancies – including many of their daughters, for his appetites, and their sons, for his troops. Your task is to penetrate the Keep and retrieve the Book of Mustafa, a powerful tome which the evil cleric has used to further his own ambitions at the expense of the good folkspeople of Swat, and beyond.
Two things occur to me. One, where’s the market for adventurers? If this really was a D&D world you can bet that dark clerics like Fazlullah would be attracting greedy bands of loot-obsessed PCs left and right. Don’t we have an analouge of high-level single-classed fighters in our world? (we certainly have rogues.)
Two, I wonder if there isn’t enough material in the real world campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq to provide adequate fodder for a “DM of the Rings” style parody. Now that would be just be the awesomest.