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"The multitude: that numerous piece of monstrosity, which, taken asunder, seem men, and the reasonable creatures of God: but, confused together, make but one great beast, and a monstrosity more hideous than Hydra."

- Thomas Browne, Religio Medici

So what is "Hydra" anyway? Well, according to Webster, it's

Hydra\'hi--dr*\ n [ME Ydra, fr. L Hydra, fr. Gk] [L ( gen. Hydrae), fr. Gk] [NL, genus name, fr. L, Hydra]

1: a 9 -headed serpent or monster of Greek mythology slain by Hercules each head of which when cut off is replaced by two others unless the wound is cauterized not cap 2: a multifarious evil not to be overcome by a single effort 3: a southern constellation of great length that lies south of Cancer, Sextans, Corvus, and Virgo and is represented on old maps by a serpent not cap 4: any of numerous small tubular freshwater hydrozoan polyps (as of the genus Hydra)

But that's not it. This is the homepage for a play by e-mail Campaign (PBeM), run in the Amber DRPG system, going by the name "Hydra." These pages are primarily aimed at the players and adversaries of the Hydra campaign, though they also serve as a handy reference for the GM and may be amusing to anyone with an interest in the genre or the system.

The campaign is centered more around the Courts of Chaos than Amber, but even those not from there never completely forget about it. It assumes that events of the first five books occurred, but that they are as much as they claim to be and no more - in other words, Corwin's story about what happened, as he told it to someone else. This story, as with any in the run, is heavily dependant on the point of view of the teller who may be biased, lying, or simply wrong. Or, perhaps, a little of each. Everything is always so very subjective.

The X-files episode entitled "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" does a marvelous job of telling a story from many conflicting points of view. I almost feel I know what really happened. Almost. It's a wonderful episode. I aspire to that in Hydra.

Another excellent piece of inspiration is the 1968 movie The Lion in Winter with Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. It's full of lovely intrafamily schemeing and has brilliant dialogue. I hope you all aspire to this.

Of course, everyone should be familiar with Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War [Alternate Translation]

10 October 1996

What's New See what's new on the site.
Players Meet the PCs and see what they have to say about themselves.
Rules Amber Diceless Roleplaying & House Rules
Mechanics Notes about the Remailer and the Mud.
Chaos All about home for those from Chaos.
Amber All about home for those from Amber.
Shadow Points of interest in Shadow.
Other Hydras See other Hydras on the Web.
Credits Thanks to all those who helped.

As of 29 October 1996, there have been [Counter]visitors.