Joerg

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About Joerg

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    Gloranthan studies
  • Birthday 01/03/1965

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    Former president of Deutsche RuneQuest-Gesellschaft aka Chaos Society, Glorantha know-it-all (almost), some mentions in Glorantha publications
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    Occasional HQG, RQ and Cthulhu
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    Kiel
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    Into rpgs since1984, into world building since the 70ies, into RQ since 1989, active on RQ-Daily and successors since 1993
  1. There is quite similar text, possibly based on snippets of old material by Greg, in the Mongoose dragonewt splatbook by @Loz. Other than that, none that I am aware of - I didn't have her in my old index, and I did research dragonewts in particular at various occasions and usually jotted down even exotic sources when doing so, excluding the MRQ sources (because I didn't have them back then except for Glorantha the Second Age, which left me agape at some of the descriptions). The population numbers seem to reflect this, but then the numbers for dragon pass allow exactly 2500 'newts per city (7500 for the triple city of Dragon's Eye), and omit the Elder Wilds presence. But then, according to Sandy, this could mean that the Kralori 'newts have been a lot less successful achieving True Dragonhood than the Kerofinelan ones. The Kerofinelan ones certainly had the evolutionary pressure, with the total annihilation of their population in central Peloria and Saird, but on the other hand the EWF might have accelerated their spiritual progress while it lasted, too. Ralios has thrice the number of 'newts than Dragon Pass? Interestingly, the Dragon Pass dragonewt population at the Dawn was 5000, according to p.708. Does this mean that a great many eggs remained unhatched at the Dawn, or does this mean that the 'newts had a population explosion like everyone else after the Dawn, with new eggs appearing everywhere? It does appear that one of the first activities newly hatched True Dragons do is to have sex, and to lay a cluster of immature eggs. If so, does the high number of Kralori newts indicate slow progress, or rather lots of successful True Dragons getting lusty (or keeping at it for much longer)? We know that there was considerable "emigration" of 'newts from Dragon Pass, both into Peloria and into Ralios, and apparently to Ryzel, too. This much can also be found in the Mongoose book, which makes me guess that LOZ did have some privileged access to notes by Greg, and made good use of it. A 'newt spending time in the egg isn't available, either. But then I don't think that the egg ever is unoccupied - the true, dreaming self of the future dragon always resides in there, only its dream is walking the waking world. The comments on p.71 are confused. They are also a scholarly, in-world document. Let's just say that many Lhankor Mhy document collections see less redaction than private Glorantha websites. Possibly after mastering them, if Ingolf's school of mysticism got its approach at least partially right. Mystical awareness (acquired the hard way, rather than through flashes of illumination) isn't about ignorance of the world, but about understanding the world, and putting that understanding aside for the real meanings. So did the EWF, and at least Obduran proved that a human could follow the dragonewt way in addition to Orlanth's ways, become a True Dragon within one (quite extended) lifetime, and pass on beyond the world. It isn't clear whether Obduran was the only human ever to go all the draconic way, or whether he was the only human doing so without renouncing his Orlanthi nature on the way. Before Obduran, the draconic mystics of Dragon Pass and environs spent better than a century at war with the Council of Orlanthland. I would hazard that a significant majority of draconic mystic masters never sought the entanglement with the Council but kept focussed on their own meditations and advances. Their pupils may have been a different issue. Dragon Magazine #208 had a RQ3 write-up of a Gloranthan dragon by Sandy Petersen, Cerulean Glory Oversees Tides, which indicated that this was a EWF human who made it to dragonhood before 1042 and who flew with the other dragons in the Dragonkill War. https://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=8267 No idea how canonical that is, but the possibility of EWF humans achieving dragonhood and staying around as True Dragons or even just lesser dragons- might be worth considering anyway. The statted individual was impressive when compared to its D&D colleagues, but in Gloranthan draconic scales I found it rather weak. On the other hand, no conclusive research appears to have gone into the origin of the dragon which rose in 1602 to drive off the Crimson Bat at Boldhome in 1602, unless that was what Garstal had been doing. A Great Dragon like those manifested by at least four of the Third Council leaders would have been sufficient for that task. Kralori humans may have a special predilection towards becoming dragons through their (rumored) dragon hsunchen ancestry.
  2. Most of the Nargan is just unbearably hot desert, even for Men-and-a-Half Agimori, but the fire realm of the Bomonoi is ancient - they are also known as Promalti, a vowel-shifted variation of Primolt, the by-name of Aether. I guess it is Greg's take on Muspelheim and similar concepts from other mythologies. What speaks against an annually refilled spill of celestial fire taking up some territory in the heart of the Nargan? The zone of fire would expand in winter, and retreat over the rest of the year, only to expand with the repeat of the spill. We have Valind's Winter Palace with its ice demons in the heart of his Glacier, so why not have the opposite way down south, outside of the maps in the Guide? Those cut off significantly north of the edge of the land mass of Pamaltela or any burning swamps there. The Sendereven box (p.500) tells us about mast-high flames of the Burning Sea for that portion of Sramak's River, so at least the coast is going to have some eternal flame there. The White Elves have been toted about as fire beings, or at least beings of light, too. The map on p.10 is vastly inaccurate, with forest directly giving way to fire (but then its purpose isn't to give a detailed map of the surface world). The one on p.159 a lot less so - the fiery sea is consistent with the mention on p.500, and the flames start south of the hex maps in the Guide. If you look at the piece of Slon which can be fittet between Umathela and Jrustela (which is what the Mostali plan for that region is about - repairing that rift in the earth cube), or looking into the slightly shaded border of the cube in the southern end of the Swermela Sea extension, there is only a rather narrow stretch of the southern edge shown on fire. The Nargan Desert is clearly further north. The map on 697 has its flaws in Pamaltela, e.g. the extent of Enkloso in Sulayz or on the coast of the Worm Sea. The unforested (or at least not elf-claimed) lands of Fozeranto are hard to concile with the description of Dinal as unperturbed jungle since before the Gods War, unless they were sunk before the Dawn, and the Greenwood of Jolar is missing, too. (This is bringing this surprisingly back on topic...)
  3. Ok. Let's assume the Waertagi had a Frankenstein magic. Would this magic only work on the bodies of sea dragons, or would it work on creatures like baleen whales, too? Wouldn't they construct weird hollowed-out living critter vehicles for all of their craft? If it has to be sea dragons, what (apart from their size) is it that makes them (and possibly only them) viable for this form of resculpting? What other items would the Waertagi make out of living critter stuff? To compare, the aldryami wield living weaponry, might have living armor, and grow special fruits, sheddable bark or limbs for their other material needs. Wouldn't the Waertagi logically bio-engineer their stuff, too? Or do they power their transformation magic with the magical energy of the overcome dragon? If that's the case, then this doesn't look like utuma, rather like massive tapping, and no liberation of the dragon. A False Utuma trap. If that Frankenstein bio-egineering is their signature magic (in addition to the well documented mastery of the waves and currents), then I would expect it to permeate their daily life implements, too. Was Delecti a renegade Waertagi? Rereading the first chapter of the Aftal story (the only one playing on his ship), the use of the sea dragons (which apparently come in schools and much smaller sizes than the city ships), these beasts are harvested for their bodies, with no intention to create any living ship out of them. The city captained by Aftal is not a city-ship, though, but a hodgepodge of lesser vessels assembled to create a space that would escape the curse of the Closing by pretending to be a reef or the like. These ships don't make journeys any more. I am perfectly aware that the Aftal story does not reflect the current view of the Waertagi, or Jrustela. It is interesting to see that Dormal's story predates that of Nochet by at least a decade. The early stories had dragons which may have changed a lot in the meantime, too. Sea Dragons still are a Gloranthan truth. They can be hunted from rather small vessels, just like Waertag and his sons did when they captured the first City Ship dragon. It is interesting that the concept of mechanized, hollowed out dragons pops up independently with Tolkien's long unpublished account of the Fall of Gondolin and with the Waertagi city ships. Are there any such themes or depictions in pre-WW1 phantastic literature, or in artwork like e.g. Hieronymus Bosch? Reread RM p.11: Vadel did the (copyright) theft, but the item is of Zzabur's design: This means that orthodox Malkioni have the "Energy Prison" magic available from Zzabur's writings. It is to be expected that there is an overlap between Zzabur's and Vadeli magic. The same roots, initially friendly exchange, later mutual theft.
  4. The things we learn in the pursuit of Gloranthan lore... Sanity check barely made. The entire reality of both the flame-shrouded Enmal mountains and the Skyspill area of the southern Nargan is similar to what D&D would call the elemental plane of fire. It is going to be hot, but similar gear as those used by the Jrusteli explorers on the firebergs should make short visits feasible. The ecology there simply doesn't care that the atmosphere consists of flame rather than air. This is eternal flame, possibly going on without fuel, or neglectible use of fuel from the mountains and the ashes covering the desert. This woud be an ecology without water, too, at least as much as the Enmal Mountains are concerned. The southern Skyspill might well have Tanian effects with burning water. Plants must still collect material sustenance in addition to light in order to grow. A flame's plasma can substitute for air, but we still need a replacement for the water. I am inclined to use wind/flame-born ashes for this, and an internal sstem of high density plasma aka liquid fire. The same stuff that dragons and other fire-breathers spew out. And that's my other reason for fern- or even moss-like plants - tthe ability to capture soil nutrients from dust, meaning lots of frills and fronds. I did consider lichen as an alternative, but that doesn't make for much of an ecology. Further up the food chain, the browsers intake both the concentrated flame (in lieu of .water) and the ""vegetable matter" built up from nutrients from the ashes and the flame atmosphere. Their (life) energy input really might be just that liquefied flame. These critters would most likely be some form of firebird. Given Pamaltela's pre-occupation with archaic biology of our earth, I would suggest some feathered intermediate between dinosaur and bird species, with four-limbed wings etc, all of course sharing the liquid-fire based metabolism and the requirement to breathe (in) flame, and to be surrounded by it..
  5. I have read those bushfire comments before, but I don't think that's strange enough. Those fire elves of southern Pamaltela and their plants are thriving in the liquid heat spilled (or maybe rather annually spilling) out of the sky in the mid of winter. Unlke those eucalyptus trees that tolerate raging fires to return to a long, fire-less recuperation (a trait they share with the Redwood of e.g. eastern Dagori Inkarth) they inhabit a place where fire rarely ever stops. At a guess, they might be related to Red Elves rather than True Elves, if you look at the Storm Age maps. The Enmal Mountains of southernmost Pamaltela used to be lands of eternal fire even before the Skyspill. The Bomonoi are deities or demigods with bodies of fire, the lesser brothers and nephews of Balumbasta. (It always says "men" of fire, which I am inclined to take as a males only pre-society similar to the Wendarian Men of the Log.) Given the phallic nature of the entire Balumbasta/Lodril concept, I would expect the Bomonoi to have an all-female counter culture of nymphs. Speaking of nymphs, I notice an absence of these Ulerian/Tilntae creatures from the realms of fire and storm. The sole nymph presence in either are the mountain nymphs, who appear to be attracted by their phallic featured mountain shapes to offer interaction with both storm and mountain fire. Tilnta is the nymph goddess in western Celestial Court myths, the physical aspect of the essence of womanhood, while Uleria is revered for her purity. Tilntae are birthers - they birth things that live and grow, which included stuff like Rock in the Creation Age and well into the early Golden Age, and they give birth both with and without concourse with males. These nymphs surround themselves with living and growing things, celebrating life in all its facets. High up on the Genertelan mountains and the Fensi mountains of Pamaltela, they celebrate the life of Cold, in the realm of Inora, daughter of Kero Fin (greatest of all mountain nymphs, daughter of Larnste) and presumably Himile, and the life of the various half-storm cloud people. On the Enmal mountains and possibly on highly active volcanoes, these mountain nymphs might have created an ecology of fire beings, including a plant life suited to a fiery environment. The Enmal mountains (and possibly the original Nargan Sea) were a flame-shrouded environment, and the resident mountain nymphs may have given birth to a plant life suited to that environment. So, assuming that there were nymphs on the Enmal Mountains surrounding themselves with living things thriving in those conditions, imagine what happened when the Skyspill created a fertile, uninhabited environment for them to expand into. Their ecology would have exploded, and second generation nymphs may very well have chosen to tie themselves to the greatest of the plants as their residence feature. (Nymphs are entities of locus, and in a otherwise featureless plain the place-defining feature is the longest-living big plant.) These fire plant dryads could have given birth to a male defender class analogous to the Red Elf goblins, with flame-shrouded bodies. Sexy elf wimmin? Apart from Green and Brown (and possibly Blue, who knows) Elves, there are no female elves. All other elves are male, and obligately mate with dryads. Sexual encounters of non-elves with the forest are quite likely the work of dryads, all of whom are considered aldryami, or of malignantly human-baiting elves resembling human females. Given the strange effects suffered by Neb Nmochek, I wonder whether the "female" he mated with was actually a male with deceptive features resembling primary and secondary human sexual features, inseminating the human trader rather than being inseminated in the act. Looking at the sexual organs of flowers, the female organ resembles a phallus, whereas the pollen hides in cavities. Conifers bear their fruit in somewhat phallic organs, too. Is it possible that humans get the sexes of the green and brown elves exactly wrong? It is not like yellow or red elves have been checked for their sexual organs, and there are pollen stems with phallic associations, too.
  6. Not the undead corpses, but living bodies. And in the making of Harrek's cloak, the White Bear God was killed. Cloak and bear still are united, and alive for sufficient amounts of living that I would grant a city-ship, too. I would expect the life in that ship to be leached from the original entity, rather than a different life bestowed to the golem dragon. I think it matters greatly whether the "living ship" is using the original dragon's life or whether it is just a Jolanti or Machine God analog. Apart from the Jolanti receiving spirits from the alryami, I wouldn't call them alive, but animated. The Waertagi text makes it clear that there was some major re-structuring surgery going on with the dragon body, presumably in order to get habitable caverns and terraces, while keeping the entire structure alive, and capable of healing. One way this could have been done would be with one of the spirit trap items from the Vadel story produced by the Kadeniti - sever the spirit of the dragon and force it into the trap, then release enough of it back into the body to return it to life. Such a state of slavery would prevent successful utuma, though. It would be interesting to know how the Waertagi feed their ships. I still doubt that such a death would be a valid utuma. But then we don't know about the success rate among dragons when committing utuma. I don't think that it would be an automatic success, and receiving the aid of a slayer creates an obligation that would be debilitating if we can apply the dragonewt ethic to true dragons as well. The utuma of Obduran the Flyer was a bodily ascension, after just a few days as True Dragon. Obduran didn't leave any bodily remains behind. Other slain dragons like Sh'harkarzeel, Nestentos and Aroka haven't overcome their ties to the world of Glorantha yet, and perhaps never might. We know of failed mystics, of unfinished ones, and of vanquished but part-way ascended ones (such as Ingolf or Herusenav). I expect much of this to apply to ascending True Dragons as well. If the dragons accept that not every member of their species will achieve the ultimate ascendance, they might be cool with the victims of Waertag and his children being stuck somewhere half-way. That's sort of my point - the dragon undergoes utuma when it is ready to release its last ties to the world/universe of its birth. What happens if the dragon wasn't ready? And if the dragon was ready, what kept it hanging around? Are the dragons of Glorantha nothing more than a suicide squad waiting for a worthy slayer? Few entities set about saving the world from Chaos. Everybody fought to save themselves and what they regarded as theirs. True Dragons ought to have the mystical insight to avoid corruption by Chaos, and the physical power to fend off ordinary attacks. Those who remained rather than seeking utuma apparently did, it was weaker creatures who succumbed to Chaos, becoming the stoorworms or chaotic hydras.
  7. Three dozens then. So what's their strength after Tanian's Victory, their retaliation against Jrustela, loss of the anchored ones as per Aftal, and returning from their sojourn through hell? Except it doesn't - the ship is alive, and very much present in mundane existence. Even profane existence. Compare the hubbub when a dragonewt skin is made into magical armor. How would the living shell being made into a profane thing be a release from attachments? I did consider the encounter with Waertag as a form of delayed Utuma, but why allow this delay?
  8. I suppose the implication is that the shaman bound most of these dryads, maybe to his service, maybe to evacuate them from dryad groves overrun by hostiles. The other spirits most likely were hostile ones overcome by the shaman, retained to perform a service (in defence of the shaman's grove or dependents) before being released.
  9. What I found least believable about Garstal's report were the immense amounts of cattle he claims to have fed to the beast - an entire clan's worth of wealth. Who could have sponsored that, in times of Lunar occupation? Gringle? Maybe what Garstal describes was a huge dream dragon instead. Possibly strengthened by the Lunar construction magics? And the Waertagi had fleets of them. At least several dozens of dragon city ships. How comes the dragons didn't retaliate at some point? Even if they had a premonition that a large number of these rebuilt dragons would be burnt to cinders at the Battle of Tanian's Victory, there still are a several of these things around. I would guess that the Waertagi evisceration/taming magic is restricted to sea dragons, and that Waertag's sea magics (whether sorcerous or theist) were the key to subduing these creatures. I wonder whether those dragons only had animal cunning rather than a full intellect (or whether that was the first thing Waertag tapped away) Dragon motivation isn't always straightforward, and they seem to have a relaxed relationship to Time. They stood by as the draconic population of Peloria got wiped out, and only mobilized when the Dragon's Eye was under threat. Was the Dragonkill an ambush, or was it protection of their brood finally coming forth? Did all those dragons originate in Dragon's Eye?
  10. Ok, here are my observations from the read-through: Dragonewt history covers only the history of Dragon Pass, nothing about the other regions like Peloria, Ralios, Maniria, Kralorela/Fethlon and Teleos. Or any answer whether there have ever been newts in Pamaltela, the West, or Vithela/the East Isles. The dragon chapter mentions extinct Pamaltelan dragonewts both in the dinosaur speculation and under the Stoorworm enty. The only other slightly draconic creatures other than the stoorworms and the fiwan dinos in Slon and possibly Wongarissi are the pyrohydras. I was surprised that a newly transformed former dragonewt would be considered sexually immature, but that might be a topic for the Dragons section. It would be nice to have a map of such clutches with “dates” for the laying and the destruction. Inhuman kings: The Kralori example seems to indicate that the dragonewts can make do with another Bhodisatva-type True Dragon immanent in the world. I do wonder how the Kralori 'newts fared during the reign of the False/New Dragon’s Ring. I also wonder about the rumored Kralori dragon hsunchen. What size and kind of dragons would they have bonded with? Probably not necessarily the standard, bat-winged western type that the dragonewts emulate, too. The Twin Phoenixes of the East Isles are draconic, too, aren't they? I wonder whether those barbarian dragonewt clutches really are barred from rebirth, or whether it simply takes them a whole lot longer to re-hatch after their mobile self has been hatched. Or, in other words, does a barbarian dragonewt nest egg die when its mobile stage dies in the absence of an inhuman king, or does it simply stay dormant? I also wonder whether a physical dragonewt can survive the destruction of its egg, and how that affects this individual. I still harbor the theory that the physical dragonewts are the immature equivalent of dream dragons, produced by the egg one at a time. I have debated with Sandy Petersen whether there is a feedback between the physical dragonewt’s experiences and the egg/its next incarnation at all, but there seems to be some spiritual debt, and a spiritual tie to its former skin if that is prepared as a dragonewt armor for humans. Dragonbone appears to be a metal- analog that can be magically attuned to the draconic soul of its user. I wonder whether retrieving one’s dragonbone implements lost through death or utuma creates something of a first obligation for the newly hatched ‘newt.
  11. Not all earth shakers need to have dragon ancestry. I am firmly convinced that the Dara Happans of Murharzarm's Empire herded feathered gazzam, making them beasts of the sky despite lumbering down on earth. Maran Gor had numerous earth shaker offspring - IMO some of them scaled like reptiles, some feathered like (fledgeling) birds, some furred. I am pretty certain that there are plenty of dinosaurs with no particularly draconic ancestry other than the usual Hsunchen horned serpent myth, particularly those fiwan in Slon. If anything, the saurians in south-eastern Pamaltela may be related to the Slarge and the (extinct) Lascerdans, humanoid reptile folk called Pelmre made by Pamalt, Balumbasta and Cronisper after the Jelmre and before the Agimori. Aren't the colonies of Ryzel and Ormsland recent (Second Age) plants against the God Learners? A few more comments from my reading through: Garstal Shavetop’s report on the Dragon of Jarn is dated to 1622, but that’s only the date when this document was added to the library. He may very well have conducted his research between 1618 and 1621 and have been caught up in events like the Firebull rebellion, the dissolution of the Kultain or the Siege of Whitewall that might have prevented an earlier return to that city. It is quite interesting that Garstal took a magisaur guide – this indicates that his Auld Wyrmish isn’t good enough to negotiate for the service of a dragonewt of any kind. Magisaurs – they too come in different classes, in their case size classes. I wonder whether the largest (and least sapient) are the Trachodon magical dinosaurs from the Dragon Pass boardgame. Dinosaur types. I missed the Pteranodons here – those dinosaurs achieving a state somewhat nearer dragonhood after cocooning in and meditation. Not quite a redemption, but apparently preferable to plodding along on the ground. That visit to the Dragonewt City apears to be slightly misplaced in this chapter. If all the dinosaurs are draconic creatures I miss more suggestions for ties between draconic or reptile Hsunchen and dragonkind. The Waertagi Sea Dragon ships are a strangeness, too, as are sea serpents (the aquatic equivalent of wyrms?). How draconic are these, in the sense of Ouroboros/Dragonkill etc.? If the Sea Dragons are draconic, do they linger in a state between utuma (through their Waertagi conquerers) and death?
  12. Why, this is a God Learner speculation, not a fact. What do the God Learners know about the dragonewts? Even if older texts credit them for being involved in Vistikos establishing contact with the newts, that happened roughly 70 years before the God Learners got together in Jrustela to create the Abiding Book, and long before they began exploring the Hero Planes. Lhankor Mhy scholars may very well have been involved, and may have left behind observations. Quite likely no direct dialogues translated from Auld Wyrmish, though.
  13. Here we are discussing the concept of walking and sapient plants, and what do we discuss? Boobs. Nymphs might be the reason why female, human-looking aldryami have boobs. The idea of the ultimate mother entity able to birth anything, and if needed nurture it through infant helplessness, is hard-wired into the concept of a nymph. Hence the organ that allows the nymph to transfer a nourishing Nymphs come attached to various themes - places of elemental presence or geographical features, or trees. The latter are the dryads, and they make up the majority of aldryami females. The green elves are the oddest here - they are said not to reproduce with dryads. Strange, that - anything with a (male only?) sexuality can reproduce with a dryad, theoretically even mostali and uz. The are are bound to be dryads of coniferous trees. If so, how and why do they avoid reproduction with the green elves? Would that weaken their winter activity? Or does such reproduction necessarily produce brown elves? The origin of the brown elves and their new trees still remains a mystery to me. Ok, more of that below: Elves: This term is utterly misleading for Tolkien- and D&D-reared readers of Fantasy. Gloranthan aldryami resemble Tolkien’s ents, although at much smaller size, or the norse wood-wifes. If a player wants to play a Tolkien-elf-like character, a human-like figure with the tragic wisdom of bygone ages, it is somewhat hard to offer a good choice. Immortal or slowly aging Brithini are too strange, but as a whole, the Brithini are somewhat similar to the immortal elf culture of the distant west. The green-skinned Deri might be an option, or Altinae. Aldryami-human interface elves probably aren’t that appropriate, either, even if your standard fantasy cliché elf is a woodland defender. Yelmalian rootless elves are possible. But then, take this alien set of myths and life-style, and toss out much of it with the bathwater... Giving such a player a human(oid) demigod with strings attached might be a better choice to have the player experience a bit of the character concept he or she insists on. Or convince them to play an uzuz instead. Mythos and History: Elsewhere, we get Aldrya as daaughter of Ernalda. Grower is the deity of pathenogenic birthing, even if her offspring may use sexual procreation. Is this an aspect subsumed in Great Ernalda, similar to how Larnste the Mover appears as an aspect of Great Orlanth? I recall a text which had the Red Elves appear when Growing and Taking were achieving a balance. Was this a Shannon Appelcline text? Also: Mreli before Embyli? The mythical maps tell a very different story. Mreli appear with the entry of Death, and remain active until some point in the Darkness when Ernalda went to sleep, right? History: Ixtilian Fields: from the context, this must be in Theyalan lands, but this doesn’t exclude the Nidan Decamony as perpretators as the Theyalan Awakeners spread into Peloria and Ralios. However, Winterwood can be assumed to have done its own Awakening of adjacent forests (Erigia, Ballid, Erontree). Gemborg dwarves could have been in conflict with Tastolar allies, Isidilian or Greatway both are neighbors to Tallseed. Internecine conflict destroyed Tallseed (now Stinking Forest): a civil war between green and brown, or conflict with an adjacent forest (with Rist, Elder Wilds, Redwood and Tastolar all being quite distant)? Parts of Jolar – Dolorofey and Taluk Mormadak? Elves reproduce by internal fertilization Dryads being one type of nymphs, this makes sense. Female Vronkali claim a monopoly on their reproduction. What then is the role of the dryads of their forests? Having lived north of the arctic circle, what is the role of birch elves in Fronela? Despite being deciduous and dwarfed, they are the foremost front against the arctic cold, supported by likewise stunted pines. On Svalbard, miniature birches survive as undergrowth for grasses and mosses... While on this arctic topic, what about lichen? Aldrya or Mee Vorala, or a strange pact between the two? Or rather Murthdrya and Mee Vorala? I’d love to see an aldryami birth/hatching scene as an illustration. Possibly with a green elf couple, a brown elf female and male, and a brown elf male assisting a dryad. What is the gender ratio of brown elves? Do brown elf males lead a dual marriage to one of their females and as part of the male harem of their local dryad? “When a green elf male mates with a dryad, no children result. “ What is the mythic reason for this? Was it like this always, or is this result of High King Elf accepting Death in the shape of an axe – the one he used to shatter the (dwarven) Spike? Dryads are nymphs, and as such ought to be able to produce offspring from matings with any kind of man rune creature, or any kind of plant. They ought to be able to birth parthenogenic offspring, too, which is how new dryads would come to life. Speaking of which, does the Reforestation project have a scheme to multiply dryads as well? Will they send new dryads, or will they transplant older, more experienced ones, to be replaced by a parthenogenic daughter? Birthplace of Aldrya, and the Spike Flamal’s birthplace/abode is said to be Hrelar Amali, and that’s where Zorak Zoran’s axe felled him in the Gods War. Apart from the yellow elves, whose surviving forests all are extensions of the foothills of the Cosmic Mountain, no Spike aldryami survived, but we get about two dozens of green and brown elf forests, with Enkloso, Vralos and Jolar and the Fensi mountain slopes being their Pamaltelan presence, and the Genertelan presences centered on Hrelar Amali and Genert’s Garden, plus two named forests in Brithos. Orlanthi myths tell about flooded lands returned to Aldrya, so a patchwork of other lost Great Trees could be assumed for Somelz (the square territory denuded of all vegetation by the Mostali) and other drowned parts of Danmalastan and southern Genertela. Hrestol’s Saga takes place in the completely awakened (magical part of the) forests of Seshnela (he interacts with a princess of the forests – likely a dryad, although highly mobile), which seems to indicate some Gray Age awakening there, too, while Tastolar was awakened comparatively late in the first half of the first century IIRC. While details of Hrestol’s quest probably haven’t the potential to make it into canonical history and myth, a quest through a non-awakened forest would add a much different tone to his quest to slay a daughter of the earth or land goddess, which is grim enough already. There is a possibility that the Seshnelan forests can thank efforts of both Pendali priesthood and Malkioni sorcerers to re-awaken the land. Population numbers: none are given for the East Isles like e.g. green elves of Maromonkroto. I suppose that their and the yellow elf population is subsumed under the 100k others for the East Isles. What of Vithalash?
  14. The castes have been swelled by non-Malkioni, so that the original skin colors have been lost among the Malkioni. GtG p.53 (first paragraph) There are e.g. the black-skinned Pithdarans who are now members of the various Malkioni castes, and they can intermarry with other Malkioni from those castes without restriction. Before them, the people of the Pendali city-states were adopted into the kingdom of Seshnela, and later the Tanisorans who were descendants of the Enerali horse folk. All of these were of different skin coloration, even if they might have had some Kachisti in their ancestry. Yes - the illustration on p.406 has brownish, greenish and grayish skinned workers, a somewhat ruddy warrior (whose description probably makes him a foot taller than he should be), and a dark golden skinned noble. The wizard is of Agimori race, of pure ancestry, so he logically cannot have the bluish skin of Brithos-descended Zzaburi. Given the celibacy of Rokari wizards, any blue skin among them would be a rare coincidence or the result of some indescretion. Seshnegi sexuality appears to be fairly licentious within their own castes, but is strictly avoiding encounters across caste boundaries. Which means that a horny zzaburi would probably summon a minor goddess, nymph or similar if he wanted to fornicate without caste violation.
  15. Actually, that is a great place to come from with the Guide as your starting point, and to test our assumptions against, so please keep asking. Defining the western culture of Glorantha has been a guessing game for the vast majority of us roleplayers basically since RQ3 Gods of Glorantha presented the Invisible God and RQ3 Genertela Box described the western lands of Genertela and their role in the formation of the God Learners. That's one side of them, but only if early modern/late medieval folk had to debate not only about their own monotheistic truths but also about dealing with the polytheist reality outside of their borders or in their conquered lands. IMO their descent from the Brithini cannot be stressed enough. The caste system is the other, defining characteristic of the Westerners. To be Malkioni means to adhere to some caste system, and be it in transcendence or transgression of it. True, there are other Gloranthan societies with a de-facto caste system and with nominal ones, but caste is one of their major inheritances from their forefathers, the Brithini. Unlike the medieval humanists, they have the advantage and disadvantage that some of those forefathers are still around, unaging (or aging very very slowly). True. And I think that it is fair to say that these themes would have influenced Greg's writing back when most of the original Malkioni stories were written. Snodal, Hrestol, Arkat, Jonat are those early heroes upon whom these stories are focussed. They all deal with very mythical circumstances and opposition, though. Both no - not for the mortal Malkioni of the modern era, or even the Second Age - and yes, it had always been a theme for the immortal Logicians (Vadeli and Brithini). Skin coloration has been a case of miscommunication between Greg Stafford and the Glorantha Tribe for quite a while. Greg's writings haven't been that consistent, either, at least those leaked to a wider public. As a result, some westerners are described as conforming to the "fair of skin and hair" prototype (like e.g. the Loskalmi, GtG p.51, the Loskalmi female man-of-all) while others retain the rainbow hues of the castes that are also found among the Brithini and Vadeli. As I said above, this caste system has always been a major tenet of the Westerners. And overcoming its limitations has been the first major Malkioni activity in History, through the revelation and deeds of Prince Hrestol. The color code for caste-appropriate clothing hasn't been made that explicit before. The residual hues of the castes in Tanisor/Seshnela were a bit of a surprise to me, too, especially given their history of assimilating a non-Malkioni people ruled by a lion-worshipping dynasty of Hykimi rulers. But then, the fact of an almost entire tribe of the original Malkioni (the Kachisti/Kachasti) being dispersed among the peoples of western Genertela (well into western Peloria, central Ralios and probably parts of Maniria) during the Gods War hasn't been that well known before, either. These colors are the ancient and traditional Brithini descriptors for the castes. The use of the colors to designate non-Vadeli castes is new. For the Vadeli it has always been used. I guess that there are regulations for dyes and pigments, based on availability. I guess that all shades of indigo are reserved for Zzaburi use. The Talars wouldn't have to suffer the fishy stench of purple made from snails. Excellent question. I suppose it depends on their rank equivalent. Displays of exotic otherness may be excused, and possibly ridiculed, like the Lunar penchant to wear warriors' colors for their magicians. Zzaburi may very well take exception to Orlanthi in woad-dyed clothing (or skin), and being taller than them. Definitely - that's the origin. I think that is part of the Lunar mystery, and the spiral in Lunar mystery is a topic well suited for a spin-off discussion. It dates back to their earliest foes, who then got assimilated as the Malkioni expanded. The Malkioni always regarded their neighboring non-Malkioni humans as descended from beasts, and as it happens, the Hykimi of the region were. The Fronelan Malkioni fought the bull people at the Dawn and later bear people, the Seshnelans the lion people, then horse, wolf and other people. All of their initial foes had deviated from the pure Hsunchen ways but retained quite a lot of their animal or animal companion magic. By overcoming and assimilating these foes, they adopted their ways of warfare, and potentially some non-wizard magics for combat that nobody speaks about.