Is everyone's hero soemone else's villain? In a thread here: http://apaladinincitadel.blogspot.com/2011/10/remem-er_4892.html I questioned the curious hero status earned by Guy Fawkes in recent years as an anti-establishment icon and hero of liberty. I'm posting this here so Aaron doesn't feel I'm being an ass who doesn't think his blog is cool.
Guy Fakes is nobodies hero he was an adventurer returned from a long bloody war of the Reformation where he fought on the side of Catholic Spain against protestants in the lowlands. He was a holy warrior representing over 1000 years of the established authority acting against the establishment of a new order, he was not a hero of liberation.
The gunpowder plot was an attempt to murder and than place a hopefully friendly monarch on the throne. To reform the system of authority ever so slightly so that Catholics would no longer be formally prosecuted and be in the position of power. Those in power were able to impose their will and their religion on their fellow man.
Not very many goals of high-minded liberty and freedom there.
The past was an ugly place.
Now in modern times we have Fawkes reborn in spirit thanks to an entertaining comic and film. A villain against the ruling Anglican protestantism and a hero of the established Catholic church which waged war agaisnt those waging spiritual and political revolution has become a symbol of personal liberty against the tyranny of the totalitarian state. Comic books and film always put an interesting spin on reality don't they?
Of course I'm going to wrap this all up into RPG because that's what I do here. Guy Fawkes as hero or villain is a D&D style adventurer who gets himself involved in The End Game. He's was a tall distinct and imposing man,no coward at all, was an turn-coat, military officer and secret agent swept up in events larger then himself. He surely would have earned himself a heap of exp if the plot had succeeded.
His tale is a cautionary one for would-be D&D heroes catching themselves swept up in politics, war and nation-building: Be careful and choose the winning side lest you be burnt in effigy for centuries.
Remember, remember the 5th of November, there's always some jerk willing to get you killed for their cause.