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boztakang

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Everything posted by boztakang

  1. The downside of drawing on the power of Orlanth the Murderer is that he remains under obligation to his murder-ee. Myth will tell, and when you kill the Emperor, he will call you into hell to atone for it. Bummer. Eurmal can kill anyone, any time, for any or no reason. Of course, it will never go entirely to plan (and, in fact, may fail utterly if planned at all) Humakt demands that you wield death honorably. Storm Bull insists that you seek out chaos to kill, and not back down. Zorak Zoran pairs death with hatred to a degree uncomfortable for most humans. Babs cares only for revenge. Each Death god has their own special baggage to complicate the (ahem) execution of their powers. Which is fantastic, as it provides the ", but..." to a good gamemaster-y "yes! but..." This is why Most orlatthi settle for "Orlanth the rough and tumble storm god" as their fighting patron. The bad guys still tend to end up dead, being mortal and all, while you get to go home to Ernalda and drink and boast. Huzzah!
  2. I think that is definitely the case. Though, personally I find the area a bit daunting. The loss of life in the destruction of the Palace of Black Glass will have been astronomical. I'm sure there are lots of very angry spirits, disrupted lines of descent, and other strange things going on underground. There are absolutely some very cool stories to be told.
  3. Mission accomplished! that is wonderful! Always excited to see anything make it into an actual game. I've not actually run the story as a quest yet, myself, so def feel free to make it your own. The actual Godtime almost always looks quite different when you get there than you imagined it would from the stories 🙂 I'd definitely encourage your referee to incorporate complications and/or themes from the rest of the campaign. Working out the timing might be challenging for your char - how do you work around the "after many years..." part if you want the troops quickly? (Time works weird in Myths, so certainly not an insurmountable issue, but a good place for your ref to make you be creative and/or introduce complications) Do let us know how it goes once you've played it out! The story is proposed Trollpack material - so it might possibly become "official" at some point, to the extent that that matters. Each of the major troll gods has at least one full new myth like this, though I don't think Jeff has had a chance to give them much attention yet, so they could certainly change drastically or be abandoned/completely re-written, etc. depending on editorial feedback.
  4. A MYTH – THE ARMING OF THE TROLLKIN Being the wealthy son of a powerful mother, Argan Argar has always had great herds of trollkin slaves. Unfortunately, as anyone with a lot of trollkin can tell you, large numbers of enlo are not always the asset one might wish them to be. Like any good Uz, he ate as many as he could, but he had so many other delightful foods, that they easily outbred even his prodigious appetite. So he tried to put them to work, but they were lazy and incompetent, and needed more supervision than their meager benefit merited. They were also loud, and annoying, and they themselves ate much more than they ever provided their betters. Since they were so noisy, he thought perhaps he could teach them to sing. He taught them several songs of power, but they could never remember the words, and even the simplest rhythms were too complex for them to maintain. Every chant rapidly broke down into an ugly screeching squabble which was as ugly to listen to as the miserable wretches were to look at. Since they had big round eyes, he thought that perhaps he could teach them to keep watch for him during the daytime, so that he could sleep undisturbed. But the miserable runts always wandered off, or hid, or fought amongst themselves, and never seemed able to catch a single thief or trespasser. Even worse, sometimes they would become bored with watching, and began to sing the few repetitive lines they remembered from the songs he had taught them. By the time he had re-gathered them all into their pens, Argan Argar had a splitting headache in addition to too many trollkin. Since the god’s war was going on all around, everyone was fighting all the time, and no one ever had enough menfolk to overcome all of their enemies. Argan Argar was clever, and mostly convinced his enemies to fight each other, and when he couldn’t he always had strong friends to help him survive. Even so, his many allies always complained that they could not find enough fighters. Argan Argar looked again at his sniveling miserable trollkin slaves and thought how wonderful it would be if he could spend them fighting for his allies. With their dull minds, and weak limbs, and poor posture, and delicate constitution, it was little wonder that he might consider this only in desperation. It was obvious they couldn’t fight anything as they were… they needed equipment, and they needed training that their weak limbs and weak brains could withstand. He thought first to outfit them as proper warriors, and gave them each a mace and shield, and a heavy shirt of bronze, like the violent storm tribe wear. But they were too weak to lift their shields, and they were too clumsy to swing their maces, and they complained bitterly about the weight of their armor. This would never do. The wretches fought no better in proper gear than they had bare-handed, and he could have traded the equipment each one wore for at least a dozen new slaves. He turned next to Gorakiki, who had dressed her tender children in lightweight and durable chitin. So he traded a forest of trees for enough beetles to build armor for all his slaves, and set the more talented amongst them to work crafting it. But no sooner was a suit complete, then the wretch he gave it to gnawed it apart again. The insect skins were far too tempting as food, and his entire investment was wasted, once again. Miserable and disillusioned, the Master of the Surface world gave up on his project, and threw all his slaves into a deep pit, meaning to let them starve to death so he could be done with them. It is clear how distraught he was, because he’d forgotten that he already had a slave condemned to that pit – some sky godling fallen to earth who had once dared challenge him, and now lay chained in deepest earth, occasionally rattling his bonds, but otherwise helpless. For their part, the trollkin had no idea what to do with the burning thing they found beneath them. A few tried to taste it and were burnt alive. A few tried to run away and were crushed by falling rocks when it shook its chains. Some were also consumed by the giant serpents that burrow the dark depths. The rest had to learn to stand still, in an ordered row, neither too far nor too close to the deadly monster. That way, they remained alive, though they were still slowly starving to death. Eventually, one of the trollkin found a long stick, and poked it at the firey thing. It didn't hurt it, but the heat burnt the stick to a sharp point and hardened it. He showed his new tool to his compatriots, who each made one of their own. With these lightweight spears, the trollkin were able to kill the monstrous serpents who tunneled the deep earth around them and feed themselves. After many years, Argan Argar sent a servant to clean out his deepest pits, figuring to get some return on the gnawed bones and ragged hides of his former slaves. Great was his surprise when the servant returned to him, bleeding from several wounds, driven off by the formerly helpless enlo. Several additional servants returned bloody and chagrined, having failed to gather the slaves back in, but Argan Argar became more delighted with every failure. These were fighters worthy of hire, and he knew he could make good use of them. So, Argan Argar himself went before his newly-useful slaves, and he was pleased that they did not immediately prostrate themselves before him, but stood, maintaining an acceptable approximation of a respectful, but confident posture. He spoke to them and offered them a wage of one Bolg each per week to serve him as fighters, and two bolgs per week to serve his chosen friends. He chose the cleverest of them as their captain and gave him a black badge to wear to show his importance. This is how Argan Argar learnt to train his trollkin in the use of the spear, and why they are always paid in Bolgs. While trollkin militia are still weak and cowardly compared to proper soldiers of any race, those trained by Argan Argar at least have a clear use, and that is good. Notes on the use of this myth in ritual: Traditionalist Uz consider this myth to be heretical, pointing out that there could not possibly have been any trollkin in the Godtime. They insist that this story not only weakens all Uz by placing vile enlo where they do not belong - but may inadvertently strengthen whichever race or people the original version of the myth may have referred to. Given that spears are normally associated with sun-worshippers and other troll enemies, they claim that the use of this tale in rituals is at best short-sighted and at worst courting disaster. Practical worshippers of Argan Argar dismiss such concerns as paranoid and unrealistic. Pointing out the obvious economic and military advantages of well-trained and ordered trollkin mercenaries over the ill-equipped and undisciplined mobs goaded into combat by more traditional clans.
  5. Absolutely! though when you've gone deep enough to find yourself trying to convince Kyger Litor that you are not a snack, you definitely have stepped outside the Mundane World. It is also established that you can get from one Castle of Lead to another via the basement, though it is usually Much safer to travel overground.
  6. I would say very very few. The practical and social pressure to initiate into Kyger Litor is immense. Membership in the cult is the technical definition of "Uz" as applied to the prohibition on killing other Uz as food. Trolls dedicated to other gods to the exclusion of KL are not technically part of troll society, though they may be tolerated, or even highly respected, if they are useful or powerful enough. --- on the OP topic: While the Uz don't have any single "Trickster God" as such, I'd say that most of their gods have one or more "trickster-ish aspects." Vanekara subverts traditional gender roles. Korasting is the unfortunate victim. Jakaboom talks to spirits and dresses funny. Gorakiki sometimes encroaches on Kyger Litor's sovereignty at the expense of her devotee's "man-rune-ness" (read like "humanity" but for non-humans). Xiola Umbar tolerates and protects weaklings. Argan Argar talks to strangers, and does weird tricks with coins and whatnot. Zorak Zoran is openly defiant and transgressive. Jeset lets folk in and out of hell. And so on. Eristi the Doubter is definitely a "Trickster Figure", though I don't think anyone actually worships him. Aside from ZZ, Boztakang might be the closest thing they have to a traditional trickster deity, but he still only gets away with it in his role as "naughty, spoiled, youngest child."
  7. In general, Xiola Umbar is going to be the goddess of the untrainable, "useless", enlo. She protects the weak, eases suffering, and cares for the crippled. All of which is a major point of contention between her and more traditional Kyger Litor priestesses who would be all for aggressive (culinary) culling. Not that Xiola Umbar is in any way squeamish about humanely putting down those that cannot be saved - keeping them alive would be cruel, after all. Her particular Hardcore aspect is measured in her ability to successfully protect "useless" weaklings from their more vicious kin who WOULD happily snack on them given any excuse - and are often VERY angry at anyone getting between them and a potential meal. The Argan Argar cult is more than capable of teaching one or two points of Healing spirit magic or the First Aid skill to trollkin militia recruits able to learn it. More serious injuries probably result in demotion to "food" status - unless the victim somehow manages to find their way to a XU sanctuary first 🙂 XU is there for trainees that wash out of the program... The successful and "competent" ones won't need her.
  8. Sadly, the vast majority of trollkin are neigh-untrainable. Their brains are generally as weak and malformed as their poor scrawny bodies - unable to follow even the simplest instructions. And yet, they maintain enough Uz heritage to be able to eat pretty much anything you give them, so keeping them equipped to any reasonable standard can be a challenge, even for the relatively competent ones. Reliably training groups of them which end of a pointy stick to point at an enemy is one of the Great Cult Secrets of Argan Argar. Bless Pregnancy could help a litter of trollkin be the best wee batch of twisted little runts that they are capable of being - but can't overcome their fundamental brokenness.
  9. I wonder if that isn't really the case. In Glorantha, it may well be just the Light that matters for (plant) fertility, and not the warmth. Fire (in the guise of Oakfed) is after all a pretty major enemy of the forests. If that is the case, then light without heat (Yelmalio) would be exactly the sort of god elves would appreciate. That said, I wonder if the elves have a god or named spirit for the smaller* fires that clear out underbrush/etc without harming trees. Or is such worship limited to isolate cults of Eucalyptus-Elf heretics? * smaller than Oakfed-fires, but still quite terrifying for anything smaller than an established tree.
  10. This seems like a good place to tease a wee bit of the upcoming Trollpack material...
  11. Uzuz MIGHT be able to digest all that they consume, but I doubt it - they are still man-rune beings, and barring a significant mythological reason not to, will still produce waste. Uzko certainly do - their digestion is quite impressive compared to humans, but not nearly perfect. I suspect that your average troll would produce roughly the same quantity of waste as a human, while eating roughly three times as much, given the chance. [possible TMI WARNING: you might not really want to know this part] In most clans, an Uzkos "leavings" are consumed by their trollkin. "Visit the pens" is a common euphemism. Better quality trollkin obviously prefer to augment their diet with pretty much anything else they can get their hands on, but lower-status worker and food types may find themselves entirely coprophagous. Eventually, after several cycles through the weakest of the food trollkin, what you have left over is basically just sand. As a consequence, Trolls can support large populations in quite tight quarters without the plumbing or other sanitary infrastructure that humans would need. Before the curse of kin, it is likely that a communities weakest and most desperate uzko would take the role, but modern Uzko don't care to speculate too closely on the subject.
  12. "May Grandfather Mortal watch over my frame, keep it safe from injury, and judge me kindly when it fails"
  13. Mee Vorala is really WEIRD. And also pretty much completely unknown/misunderstood by humans. She'll get some love in Trollpack. Though to be fair, even the Uz mostly have no idea at all what she's really about. I have schemes to present rules for Voralan Player Characters, but those are weird enough that they may or may not make the cut in the form that I currently envision them.
  14. Trollpack will provide lots of new info and insight. The exact details of how it is presented is still TBD, but there are still many dark secrets untouched even by the amazing Comprehensive long-form write-ups available in the God's Book. One of the big new things is full sub-cult descriptions for each of the Seven Sacred Ancestors. Lots of entirely new Myths and a view of the underworld from the point of view of the locals, rather than folk who can only ever visit as tourists/victims. Unsurprisingly, the Uz and the Godlearners don't always see everything exactly the same way. Though there is significant overlap, given the significant Arkati influence on the Godlearner worldview (Arkat having actually been a troll - at least for a while). The exact ratio of "reference / reprint / rewrite from uz pov / new or different material entirely" will ultimately depend on deadlines (I'm VERY slow) pagecount targets (there is a LOT of potential material to present) and editorial whim (what jeff jason and I think will be coolest).
  15. The Uz argue that the world itself is an enormous drum which was knocked upside-down when the burner invaded wonderhome. Hard to get much bigger than that! I'm sure they have some rather impressively sized ritual replicas. They also create some remarkably powerful drum-like effects by simply banging on the walls of their caves with large rocks and whatnot. (and THANKS for the Taiko links... i have sadly managed several times to try and google up "that traditional japanese drum thing" in assorted variations without any luck) I know i've posted it before, but the "Enlophone" is one of my personal favorite Uz "instruments"
  16. One thing to keep in mind is that while trolls are aware that men are involved in the child-making process as a general principal, they don't generally acknowledge them as parents. Women are under no obligation to keep track of their sexual partners, much less assign a pregnancy to any particular one of them. Women who are fond enough of a single partner to remain monogamous enough to be fairly certain of a father will typically be extremely loathe to share him around with others. The upshot being that it would be rather difficult for a male uz with such an ability to become aware of it, much less develop a reputation for such prowess. And if he did, the first thing any priestess would do is make sure to keep him to herself and ensure that no-one else found out. After all, you can't have a proper matriarchy, if you let mere men take credit for truly important things like producing healthy children. The very idea! Everyone knows that it is the Mother that matters. Never mind Krogoth there, he's been quite naughty, and isn't allowed to go hunting or play with the militia until I say so. Not to be a complete wet blanket though, the idea would work spectacularly as a men's Secret Society. A secretive confidence-man/priest selling "little blue (moon) pills", or teaching "Arkat's Secret Love-Chant" to gullible rubes / aspiring favorites. You could likely plot a fair series of adventures around a male troll with this ability trying to keep it secret so as NOT to get stuck for the rest of his life in some priestess's harem. of course Gloranthas Will Vary, and need not all have their Uz as oppressively matriarchal as I consider them to be. also, IIRC, Arkat is credited with fathering several Uzuz (who may have been "adopted" companions), and I believe I recall a troll hero (Varzor Kitor?) credited with both siring and giving birth to Uz.
  17. I don't believe this is the case, not since Yelm killed Korasting at Hanroo field.
  18. This is why many cultures in Glorantha are opposed to writing down their most important knowledge. Once it has been written down, it can no longer change with reality, and will inevitably become inaccurate over time.
  19. boztakang

    Non-Uz & Bugs

    Very much this, though I am personally also quite comfortable with a simple "they use magic" - either to convince the bugs to grow in the right shape (gorakiki can be quite accommodating that way) or to directly shape the chitin afterwards. In fact, i'm much more comfortable with a troll singing songs to the bug spirits to make his armor fit right, than with Uz using heat in mundane crafting. I think Dwarf constructs generally taste rather unpleasant - like undead, almost, but without the delicious maggots. But the Dwarves themselves are soo intoxicating it makes all the thankless nilmerg-smashing worthwhile. Clay isn't a whole lot more tasty for Uz than it is to us. They'll eat it, of course, because it can be eaten, but it's not very yummy. Pottery is Burnt clay. Nasty stuff, but could be choked down if there is simply nothing better available. It's fun to smash, though, so there is that at least.
  20. boztakang

    Non-Uz & Bugs

    Uz are not over fond of complex crafting, so Silk fabric (really, cloth of any sort) is not something they can be bothered to make, though silk nets and ropes are quite common. The Bee tribe is one of the Great Tribes of Dagori Inkarth, and a hive of Giant Bees appears prominently in the Grubfarm adventure of the old Into the Troll Realms. Upcoming material also mentions their importance. (though sadly, it doed not revisit good ol' Protosome Blackbite and co.) I do think trolls use lots of Insect Glues, Acids, and Chitin in various ways that Humans by and large classify as "Magic". I suspect that many of their more precarious-looking structures are far sturdier than they appear on account of assorted insect-derived glues and cements used in their "construction". Giant Ants DO seem a bit under-represented in Genertela, and I do not at this point know the exact mythic reason for that. If pressed, I might guess that the Ant Queen was one of the many victims of the Chaos Siege of the Castle of Lead (destruction of Genert's garden). Or, it could be an ancient curse as Joerg mentions above. On a more practical level, I suspect that Ants may be organized and advanced enough to make them inconvenient for trolls to exploit the way they do other insects. I am personally very fond of ants however, and they do get a mention as being more prolific in parts of Pamaltela:
  21. boztakang

    Non-Uz & Bugs

    Timinits and Uz are both found in Jrustela, but I don't think they have any particular alliance. Proving a connection (or refuting it) sounds like a job for PC adventurers, with the Ultimate Truth of the situation very much dependent on how well the Questing Heroes roll at critical junctures of their adventures...
  22. boztakang

    Non-Uz & Bugs

    I am not aware of any explicit uz/wasprider connection. I would not be terribly surprised if the waspriders had certain traditions or practices that might look suspiciously gorakiki-ish to a sufficiently interested Godlearner. I doubt that either Uz or Wasprider cultists would agree with that godlearner that there was any similarity between their respective worships. The Uz Krolar cult are dedicated chaos-fighters, and particularly hateful of scorpion-men. Unfortunately, like in many such cases, it can be difficult for humans to distinguish between chaotic Scorpion-men and the (totally fine and upstanding) Scorpion-Uz fighting them.
  23. boztakang

    Trolls & "Bugs"

    Krolar is the troll Scorpion-god. Swems the goddess of worms, and Molukka mollusks. Arthropods and mollusks exist on a spectrum of Darkness and Water association... the Darkness ones will hang out with Uz, and the Water ones with merfolk, with plenty of overlap. @g33k - Moer Uz Moer better! We are all doing our best to fully satisfy your darkest hungers asap.
  24. Engizi works great for a "smuggler" with high Honor. The goods must flow, and the river goes where it must. I don't think the character would really view themselves as a smuggler so much as an honest trader who simply has to sometimes work around ridiculous and unreasonable restrictions that various unworthy "authorities" try to place upon them. Moving goods is a sacred duty - the only "crime" involved would be allowing petty bureaucrats to stop them.
  25. I think this means that you do not have to split both attacks if you do not wish to. So when attacking with sword and dagger both at 120% skill, you can make 4 attacks at 60% (splitting both) - or two attacks at 60% with one weapon and a single attack with the other weapon at full skill.
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