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Everything posted by Patrick

  1. Watcha, I must say I am surprised. Obviously they share the Sky Rune, but... I always thought they were different (moving) celestial bodies, Yelmalio being Antirius/the Little Sun/Kargzant and Yelm the Sun/Yu-Kargzant. Hints please, @Jeff 🙏🏻
  2. Patrick

    Pentan religion

    Glad we start talking about Sheng on a Pentan thread ;-) does he have followers as of, say, 1621? i would say yes, for mainly three reasons: 1/ MGF: what a pity it would be to discard such a huge potential for stories 2/ Cultural imprint: yes, he was trapped and unreachable for a looong time. Yet Arkat has been out of reach for far longer, and still has followers. Why wouldn’t Sheng? 3/ Magics: the teachings survive the teacher (again, Arkat’s school of sorcery is a good example). His followers were indeed hunted down, just like Godlearners did their best to suppress all Arkatism - not with full success...
  3. Patrick

    Pentan religion

    Arkat was such a poor practitioner of sorcery - a mere apprentice - that he created new spells (see Trollgods) and founded a school of sorcery still fondly practised by the families of Guhan... One may argue he combined learning sorcery & rune cult magics only thanks to illumination? That leads us back to Pent... where there once was this guy of little influence, named Sheng Seleris. Oh, he only practised mysticism in Kralorela for a hundred years, so his draconic illimination is still a long way from wisdom, for sure. But he also managed to make himself a local reputation dealing with spirits - the embodiment of the Spirit rune (so says the Guide IIRC). So where would he stand: - mystic? - shaman? - rune-level hero? - all of the above? ... and what magics would his followers use today? I tend to think the question is fruitful because, around the campfires, while shamans chant and priests burn horse carcasses, some oracles covered in ashes whisper of the return of the once and future King of the nomads... « Attune to your bow and inner flame, young man. The time is near for limitless deeds under the Sky. The time is near for the Avenger and Conquerer. The time is near for Sheng Seleris to be born again, from hells deeper than your soul would dare looking into... »
  4. Patrick


    Just a thought... Even in the XVIIIth century Venice, great squares were (partly) used for farming/horticulture - they are called "campo" for a reason. Wouldn't it make perfect sense in Esrolia, to dedicate some urban spaces (squared-shaped as the Earth) to agricultural activities? The blessing of the 10,000 Goddesses is ever-pervasive... Bless them all for their bounty! :-)
  5. Well, up to the circumstances and GM's taste. A few additional things come into play here, eg: - breach of hospitality: yes, that's against THAT law, too. The character may be admired for his recklessness by some, yet despised for desecrating a basic principle... - offended clan's reaction: doing so is pretty much a slap in the face of all the clan, including a challenge to its duty of "Protection". So the killer may not be treated "simply" as a killer, but also a threat to the Ancestors' goodwill - "no one can make you do anything", applies to weregild acceptance too: so the victim's clan may always prefer to send the money back and start a feud. Or even keep the silver, "taken from the enemy while he was fleeing the scene" ;-) Options, out of endless possibilities...
  6. Ah, but all worlds are filled with such stories of doom. Impatient heirs kill their fathers, distant relatives improve their succession ranking by "removing" family competitors, angry factions foment palace revolutions... Eternal dynasties never last forever ;-)
  7. About the dreariness of land: well, don't forget that Brithini Zzaburi practice tapping. Maybe infrequently, but they live forever. And typically stay in the same lands. There is something rotten in Brithos...
  8. "The story became a legend, the legend became a myth." It is not entirely unlikely that skalds telling stories, actors re-enacting this-world events, and poetic/musical performers might play a role in the building of heroes. Kin dies, cattle dies, stories don't - and bards live to tell...
  9. Yes, please count me in! :1) (already the knife in the teeth)
  10. Interesting... Does my memory fail me, or was Arkat mistakenly assigned to the Warrior caste (Horali), whereas, based on natural birth order, he should have been a Wizard (Zzaburi)? If birth rank determines caste, and color skin is based on caste, do Brithini babies get the "right skin" not upon birth, but frex after a peoper ceremony/ritual officially grants them the appropriate caste? And Brithini brothers may look oddly familiar, but in different shades...
  11. To add on this... We gamers think all too easily Orlanthi = Sartar. Which is quite backward, loosely populated, un-urbanized, as you'd expect from a mountain area. But Sartarites look to Esrolia and Heortland, when they look for "civilized" culture. Most resettlers come indeed from Hendrikiland, and unsurprisingly, their rebel Queen, Kallyr, turns to Whitewall for hope. Worth noting Broyan is a Vingkotling, hence ranking higher, but also that High Kings have reigned over Volsaxiland for ages. And these are urbanized regions with Karse, Smithstone, Bullford, etc. Not to mention Tarsh/Southern Peloria, which used to be an important (and rich) Orlanthi centre. Btw, even though it isn't the best analogy: the Gauls was as densely populated and urbanized as Roman Italy, before the conquest by Cesar.
  12. Well, normally people avoid "becoming familiar with the Vadeli", if they can ;-) Look at the Guide of course, and Revealed Mythologies (Viymorni and their fall from Danmalastan...)
  13. Patrick


    Godtime doesn't "flow" effortlessly, you go to events rather than moments. IIRC you can only quest to historical events, in so far as they are part of God time i.e. when the Compromise was broken. So, you may quest to the Battle of Night and Day (Uz certainly keep trying to change its outcome), or the Battle of Castle Blue, because these are moments when Gods were back, and Time wasn't constraining things any more. Could you "stay there" and start a new life in a different period? I don't know. Maybe... Another interesting phenomenon is the synchronicity in Godtime. Questers from different places and historical periods may meet in the same Godtime Quest. Heck, Arkat met his future/past self sometimes, and even wounded "himself". Probably the "ZZ Arkat" inflicting incurable wound on the "Humakti Arkat"... That's the occupational hazard of taking different mythic roles in turn, I guess...!
  14. Well, Brithini customs also offer insight into Danmalastan era - a point the Rokari would seldom overlook. Thanks Jeff, very interesting!
  15. Of course, these are just ideas if you need villains for the righteous to overcome. Should you want more tragedy, I'd look into the seeds of a future failure of Idealism. For instance, I doubt the sons of Talar/nobles remain Dronar/peasants for long. At first, it may be smooth - just grant them a quick promotion, it's only natural that the son of such a great man will soon prove his worth. And it wouldn't be wise to expose him unnecessarily to the dangerous charms of ambitious farm girls... ;-) Time passing, it may be semi-institutional: the examiners know they are expected to agree on this young lad to pass. In fact, being an examiner is a proof of the Lords' trust, a sign that they, in turn, will soon be positively examined... More time passing, the corruption among examiners calls for strong measures: let's make sure they all come from fine and proven families, who won't be tempted by greed, because they only look forward to greater rewards from the Perfect State. Later still, nobody will be surprised that examiners and rulers form a single close-knit group, where the passing of grades becomes a ceremonial ordination of the young into adult stages. "Bon sang ne saurait mentir!" At that point, any of the aforementioned villains will no doubt target these promising youngsters as potential recruits, or foolish victims. Isn't that the safest way to work around tests, thorough examinations, and inquisitive spells? (Mordred was the son of a gifted enchantress, and a blameless noble...) By the time the Red Emperor washes his blade in the Ozur Bay, who knows what kingdom will face him... Did your PCs repell the threats one after the other? Did the King tighten the rope on his fellow aristocrats, and all their beloved children? Did constant battle againt the Kingdom of War provoke Loskalm's fall - or its transformation into a ruthless meritocracy where only the strong survive? YGWV - this is the Hero War.
  16. How wonderfully optimistic :-) i have a feeling that enumerating all these ways and means of the Loskalmi Idealists to root out crime and heresy actually gives interesting hints on (potential) successful deviants. Because, hey, this is magic Glorantha! If the Hrestoli have strong detection magic, another magic can surely have it fail - e.g. being illuminated, using an Illusion grimoire, etc. In not-so-far-away Jonatela, they call Eurmal "friend of man". Heck, he's surely a good friend to fool those straight-thinking Malkioni rulers ;-) Does he have an underground cult in Loskalm? I don't know. Along the Janube are lovely Lunar-cultured city states. Does the Unspoken Word maintain a network in Loskalm? I don't know. Among the ancestors of some provincial inhabitants are many Noyalings, some of whom worshipped the Tarjinian Bull. Did they survive the curses of Talor, and wait for their time to come? I don't know. In the Kingdom of War, murderous and treacherous cults abound. Man means prey, castle means loot. Did they already start the run for first-behind-the-walls in Loskalm? I don't know. Perfect Loskalm has destroyed, banned or bound all local spirits. All they could find, for sure. What kind of spirits could escape the spells of the Church, lurking in unexpected places? I don't know. The closer the light, the longer the shadow...
  17. Thralls: they are not property but captive humans, and the clan (rather than a single individual) typically rule them. The chieftain, ringmembers, thanes can naturally decide most what they want. A thrall's child belongs to the clan (probably becoming a cottar, unless the father is powerful and enamoured; for all its freedom-loving stance, the Orlanthi culture has castes, about as much as Malkioni do...). Now, as for rapes... Orlanthi justice is not a long shot from "might makes right". For instance, secret murder is bad, but open killing (outside kin, hospitality, etc) is only an economical loss - and getting it compensated can prove a tough challenge. The myth of Orlanth and Thed is quite telling: he is very reluctant to condemn Ragnaglar (his brother) for his bad deeds, and raped victims are usually not more than Thed in a position to claim justice... That's one of the shortfalls of Orlanthi "law" (quite a collection of contradictory cases, really). Chaos loves when law is flawed... So you can get a great variety of situations - I am sure the poor female captives in a war are neither protected as kin/Orlanthis/anywhere close, and can be treated as strangers warriors can rape, like Orlanth himself did so many times. Even marriage could be but a thin veil over rape, under some circumstances: a wife may divorce and return to her clan... unless she was married as part of a "please stop the feud and we'll pay you a regular tribute" kind of deal between the clans... A rape is only deemed so if ruled as such by trial - by men or gods. Men's justice is, in this regard, highly likely to fail, and Orlanth himself may not be as prompt as you'd expect to condemn, and send his furies. There are some protections, though: women themselves, and the goddesses. For instance, some have learnt the hard way that raping an Earth priestess may put the local Babeesrer Gors in a "good mood". And generally speaking, women do have social power, and will use it to prevent rapes; Ernalda cannot send retribution spirits on men, but she knows what happens to her worshippers, and disapproves of abuses. Silly hoomanz, ya call yaselves civilized? HA! Pay attention to your mothers, ya fools!
  18. Patrick


    Maybe Topi can give a better answer... In (very) short, he uses the cards as "randomisers" instead of d20 - which gives additional information to ramble on, because of the theme and associations of ideas the card brings.
  19. Not from the same universe, but I really like this quote: Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class – whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.Politics as Repeat Phenomenon : Bene Gesserit Training Manual Your Dune May Vary ;-)
  20. The Black Horse Demons could certainly polish their reputation, but are they chaotic??
  21. I see (at least) two options here: - either Argrath quested to birth/create a brand new six-limbed goddess (probably reusing Lunar secrets and links to Gorgorma to his advantage), and built the Temples for this Sister-Goddess. "Ok, creating gods is slightly untraditional, but guys, we need to stop these Pentans..." ("Which you strengthened by bringing about this traitor, you fool"... "- Elusu, don't abuse my patience!") - or he allies Yara Aranis "as she is" (well, questing a bit of course), and rebuilds the Temples in Tarsh and Holay to serve his own purpose. Does she maintain the Glowline still? But accepts to shut it down when so commanded? in that case, I'm curious about what happens to the other YA temples. Is the transformation so big that they also change, and the Heartlands may lose the Glowline? Or do we get two competing YA cults, fighting on both sides and using different rituals?
  22. Also worth mentioning, many early Tribes were based on three clans organized as a Triaty. In that set up, men from clan A only marry women from clan B; men from clan B only marry women from clan C; and men from clan C only marry women from clan A... Which closes the loop. This schema seems less prevalent on modern-days (1600+) Sartar, but was very common at the time of the resettlement of Dragon Pass. Oh, and of course there are exceptions for every rule. For instance, among the Torkani tribe, people trace their ancestry (hence, the clan they belong to) through the female line. In other words, the Esrolian marriage is the norm, and the "standard" marriage the exception... (because of course, exceptional rules bear their own exceptions ;-) ).
  23. You may want to take a second look at shamans. They meet and cooperate with a large range of otherworld entities, and can set up temporary/semi-permanent/persistent spirit cults. In Orlanthi societies, Kolating shamans have a place somewhat close to what you dedcribe: a bit outside, strange, yet acknowleddged as powerful.
  24. Golden Vadeli? Really? That's the first time I see that as more than a rumor... Orlanthi would call any unpleasant ruler Evil Emperor anyway, just like many Malkioni call all non-humans Krjalki...
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