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dumuzid last won the day on January 31

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  1. that's a good question. on the one hand real-world humans have wielded pikes 3x+ their own height in great numbers; on the other hand, those are pikes, not solid swords. you're talking about the equivalent of 3m long sword in the hands of a 2m tall human, and that would be...I dunno, Sephiroth's sword?
  2. How does Wyter POW regeneration work? Is it really 1 for 1, i.e. after casting the 10-point Resurrection, if ten people from the community each give a POW the wyter's topped back up? I'm gonna have to work out some Argan Argari 'if you offer POW to the town wyter, you're owed however much RP worth of magic from the community's initiates and priests' Equal Exchange scheme. And a side question: wyters function as allied spirits in most respects. Most characters can have only one allied spirit at a time. Does being a wyter's priest fill that spiritual 'slot' for a character, preventing them from gaining a conventional allied spirit under most circumstances?
  3. the best part of playing a cultist of one of the husband-protectors is piggybacking on all those Ernaldan holy days.
  4. I've definitely seen that phrasing before, too, though I've never read Cults of Prax. Fair enough. Certainly wouldn't be the first time the great matrons in Dagori Inkarth commanded one thing, while trolls living elsewhere went and did another and Jalkaleel, as a darkness matron herself, makes perfect sense as a Seven Mother who'd attract trolls. Well, thank you! He sounds like a fine troll, though one wonders what happened to turn him against the school at Molorios so.
  5. This is an important question. The wyter was brought into its current position and state by two connected magical acts: 1) the successful staging of a Unity Battle that included humans from several cults and societies, dark trolls and trollkin, centaurs and minotaurs, and Flamal elves, and 2) a ritual conducted by a genuine Seshnelan sorcerer among all the participants in the battle who wanted to continue working together and found a settlement. The sorcerer framed what he intended as a gift to those assembled, but didn't explain in advance. He asked a speaker from each contingent to name themselves and voice what they wanted from the ceremony. Once everyone had spoken, his sorcery summoned the spirit into the center of the new community's site. Either the sorcerer or the spirit called for something to house it in, and when others hesitated my character offered the bronze lance he used in the Unity Battle. That is when the wyter-priest connection formed, and the last thing to happen in-game. Both in and out of character, I don't know for certain whether the spirit came into being at that moment, or whether it was an older being called to a time and place that suited it. The settlement site is very old, with several layers of previous habitation; the spirit could be a long-time resident, a composite of previous community guardians, something entirely new, or a mix of several such answers. The exact nature of the wyter's magic is still very much under development. Right now its only fully defined characteristics are the POW and CHA. All the wyters in the Bestiary have CHA, INT, POW, magic points, rune points, and 80+% ratings in at least one rune. 2/3rds of them have their own spirit and rune magic in addition to whatever their priests have; as you say later in your post, the Field School wyter doesn't have its own spread of magic, and can only cast rune spells its priest knows by spending permanent POW (though it does have rune points its priest can spend...), but can cast Madness with MP if its priest knows that spell. I'm not the only one with input on this process, but I expect its final runes and magic to express the diverse powers the community's weird array of contributors brings. As I write this, one obvious community heroquest that occurs to me would be seasonal and/or sacred time ceremonies to incorporate new cults and cultures into the community, and unlock their magical contribution to the wyter in the process. MP regeneration is definitely an issue, but I think we have a built-in counter to in the nature of the wyter's community. The contributors to the spell that created the wyter (and the Loyalty passion that underlies it) included cultists of Argan Argar, Ernalda, Maran Gor, Flamal, Arachne Solara, and Storm Bull. The cults of the first two in the new community will be run by player characters, and wyters can be incorporated into the seasonal festivals of their community's gods. I don't have the numbers at hand to do the math on it, but if every cult of the community incorporates the wyter into their seasonal rites it's likely to be brimming with MP. Its own holy day is Godday, Harmony Week of each season. There's two powers independent of rune and spirit magic I'd definitely like to see in the wyter: Communication and Shape-change. This community was founded on a Unity Battle, and one of my favorite elements of the Unity Battle myth is how Only Old One appeared to each group that contributed to the Unity Army as one of their own: always huge, dark and lordly, but as a human among humans, a dragonewt among dragonewts, etc. I'd like for the wyter to be able to inhabit its priest and give them the ability to take the form, and use the language, of each society that's contributed to the new community. Given its probably strong connections to Earth and Darkness it'd make sense for it to be able to form a body of its own from some mixture of those elements. A bite attack makes sense for a spirit with both serpent and spider characteristics. Finally, to get into this will require discussing some Smoking Ruin spoilers; any disinclined to see those, please avert your gaze:
  6. Hachrat Blowhard? I see he's mentioned in the Guide as having destroyed an EWF library in the 10th century, around the same time Alakoring slew the Diamond Storm Dragon, but that single line of description seems to be the only mention of him in either volume. Do you know where a more detailed version can be found? And worshipers of the Red Moon? I had heard of Blue Moon trolls, and their partnership with the Lunar Empire, but not of trolls following the Red Moon directly. Makes sense though. Trolls can only see red, black, white, and shades of grey; the red-to-black moon would stand out to them. Well, I'd figure the trolls of Ralios worship Arkat as Arkat Kingtroll, a bit of an edge case. As for the Shadowlanders, yeah, I'd forgotten when I wrote the op, but History of the Heortling Peoples describes the trolls of the Shadow Plateau as worshiping Argan Argar and Esrola.
  7. Almost anybody who knows about Glorantha knows about the ducks. They're adorable, they're ferocious. Don't mess with the ducks. Part of what makes them so charismatic is the ducks' sharing in their human neighbors' religion, more or less. There are duck worshippers of Orlanth, Humakt, Issaries, Ernalda etc. This is a rarity though, and the ducks are a special case, religiously speaking. Most of the sapient non-human species inclined towards theism have their own pantheons, the troll and elf pantheons being the most obvious examples. Some non-human cults are known to have human versions--humans worshiping Argar Argan while trolls worship Argan Argar, for example, or humans joining Flamal cults, or joint human and elf communities worshiping Yelmalio. Arkat is of course the outstanding example of humans initiating into non-human cults, going so far as to become a troll by adoption and metamorphosis before the end of his war with Gbaji. What I have not heard or read much of, outside of the case of the ducks, is non-humans initiating into human cults. I haven't heard of elves who joined Ernalda or Esrola's cults, or trolls who worship Orlanth (though I have heard of troll smiths who worship Lodril). Are there any general principles involved when a non-human seeks to initiate into one of a human community's religious groups? The act of initiation presumes a strong level of acceptance for the non-human; are there any known tests or caveats, beyond what's usually done, that the temple or cult testers would impose on a particularly exotic potential adherent?
  8. Like the exact opposition faced on a heroquest sometimes differing from the 'traditional' encounter? Interesting.
  9. Well, Zistor was sufficiently Chaotic that Only Old One called a successful Unity Battle against it, as was done against Gbaji in at the end of the First Age. Can't speak for the rest though.
  10. So, without getting into the details of the campaign I'm in, my character just became the priest of a newly founded community's wyter. It's a weird community, and the resulting spirit is a bit odd as well (it's a huge spider with legs that become serpents' tails, bound to a bronze spear). My GM and I haven't worked out all its mechanics, but he rolled a POW of 28 and CHA 11 while generating it. My character gives it access to a spread of Darkness and Harmony magic, Rune and spirit; it will also have some more as-yet-undefined spirit powers. I've played a fully initiated shaman in RQ:G, but the relationship between a wyter and its priest seems a little different. This thing is a lot bigger than anything my shaman character directly bound, for one thing. Any advice on what skills my character should look into to get the most out of their new friend? Or thoughts on potential applications for the wyter out in the world? The Bestiary mentions going on heroquests to establish wyters for a particular community, and going on further quests with them to empower the spirits further; my character has ready magical access to the Gods realm and is a lay member of the House of Black Arkat, so precision questing to enrich the wyter is definitely on the table. The first Sacred Time after the community's founding is within a few in-game weeks too, so suggestions of anything jazzy that could be done with or for the wyter during those rites would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Years ago I played in a FATE: Glorantha game about Manirian refugees settling a new home after the Reforesting begins, which involved befriending some giants during a high mountain crossing. The group eventually turned in that favor to bring the giants in to build a magical city for the refugees to settle in at the end of the campaign. The nice thing about giants is they can get up and do things without completely reshaping the countryside, like a true dragon would.
  12. dumuzid

    Merfolk vs human

    Re: keeping a ship afloat, most merfolk are air breathers who can spend long stretches underwater, including the more piscine malasp merfolk. the malasp specifically are described as having magically maintained 'bubble-nests' beneath the sea. merfolk probably have all sorts of techniques, magical and otherwise, for making something water-tight, and for shepherding water around. merfolk who'd holed a ship and gotten the surrender of its crew could probably command what water the vessel had already taken on to rush out with magic, then seal the holes. then it'd just be a matter of towing the human ship to wherever the merfolk expect a ransom from.
  13. There is this evidence that Desdel had children: (Esrolia, p. 30) Now we could quibble over the possibility that the Desdel priestly family have just claimed the name, or the second generation of the family were adoptees of Desdel rather than blood descendants, all fair conjectures, but Esrolia is as much about mythic Esrolia as it's about Esrolia within Time, I think we can take as read that a family called after Desdel was present in re-founded Nochet in the Silver Age and probably the Dawn, though I don't know of any evidence showing how far they survived past the Dawn. I think the hereditary dedication to keeping up the Kimantor temple at Nochet speaks volumes too, because whatever Desdel's personal qualities, that mention in Esrolia is one of the only places he appears. He wasn't a Silver Age Hero, he wasn't on the Unity Council, he doesn't show up in such accounts as we have of big doings in Genertela in the Dawn Age. He was probably high priest of Ezkankekko's hero cult among humans during his lifetime, which probably made him the commander of the Kimantorings at Nochet, but...a lifetime of worshiping your demigod father, whose full legacy you were incapable of fulfilling? I mean, there's no mention anywhere of Desdel or Delagara, or any other of Norinel's children by Kimantor, exhibiting his shapeshifting or any other powerful inborn manifestation of Harmony magic. By far the most successful and powerful of Ezkankekko's children is the one he definitely adopted, Varzor Kitor. It's one thing to be a shadowlord, as the hereditary priest of Kimantor at Nochet almost certainly was, but to spend your whole life overshadowed by the legacy of your father (and, potentially, a dead sibling you never knew)? That's heavy, tragic stuff. Whoever he really was, Desdel was probably an interesting guy. As for a House Desdelaeo in Nochet, what does that appear in? I can only find Samastina's House Delaeos, in the Glorantha Sourcebook, which almost certainly takes its name from Delaeo, one of Asrelia's Six Daughters. Oh, I agree emphatically, that's why I usually preface any proposed chain of events with some variation "chronology is an illusion in the God Time." But while strict chronology isn't true in the God Time, and achronological movement is possible, there are still relationships that facilitate these paths of travel. That's the whole basis of Arkati heroquesting, finding these points of connection and using them to move contrary to the established, traditional flow of events. What I proposed is, as you say, a tradition for arranging a course of events in Greater Darkness Azek Lodarak and Nochet: specifically, it is a mythological scheme composed to incorporate the Lifebringers Quest as we have it from Heortling Mythology and the Norinel & Kimantor and Battle of Nochet myths as we have them from Esrolia in the same mythic complex. It could be performed by paired teams of questers and helpers in Kerofinela and Kethaela, or a composite group from those places (or a group resembling those themes and relationships etc.), for a variety of ends related to strengthening themselves against a mutual threat. The final scene of the heroquest would be a final meeting between the divine families: Argan Argar, Esrola, and Ezkankekko to one side; Orlanth, Ernalda, and Eurmal to the other. I'm not sure how the story ends, but there's definitely one ending where Orlanth reveals OOO's murdered son, returned from the Underworld, restored in ransom for Eurmal's violation of hospitality. There may even be a version of the quest that proves Belintar was Only Old One's son all along, come to prove his right to the throne, in a renewal of the Arthurian overtones to Argan Argar's defeat of Lodril I discussed upthread. The write-up for Ezkankekko's hero cult in Drastic Resolutions: Darkness definitely frames Belintar's conquest in terms of Ezkankekko testing him until he was certain the stranger was worthy to be his successor.
  14. Thank you for making these points, I shall address them in order. I appreciate your argument, and here are my counters. First, from a source I hadn't seen when I made my big post about Eurmal, The Book of Drastic Resolutions: Darkness, (p. 80, from Heroes of the Night). What I'd like to direct your attention to is the last sentence there: "Shortly after his birth his father (Argan Argar) left the Hurtplace (Surface) forever, and Ezkankekko took the position he is best known for, the second and final ruler of the Kingdom of Night." This is a detail I haven't seen stated outright anywhere else, but it introduces the idea that Ezkankekko was ruler of the Shadow Plateau in his own right from near the start of the Greater Darkness. This is particularly interesting when considered in reference to the Norinel and Kimantor and Battle of Nochet Esrolian myths, set later in the Greater Darkness. From N&K, in Esrolia: Land of 10,000 Goddesses: (p. 30) Kimantor/Ezkankekko/OOO showed up to his wedding to Norinel dressed as a lord in what becomes the uniform of his Shadowlords and, most importantly surrounded by his uz followers. N&K goes on to describe Kimantor's defense of Nochet in three wars against the demons of Chaos, each time supported by a larger and larger band of uz warriors and heroes. The reasons that probably inspired Kimantor to seek this alliance are not not hard to find, if we page on to the Battle of Nochet myth: (Esrolia p. 32) The Diligent Workers are wild strains of bean, root and fruit tree that need little light to grow. More to the point they're plants, not fungi: trolls' ancient friendship with the fungal Black Elves and their goddess Vee Morala would not have helped them to grow these things, which the humans of Nochet seem to have grown in sufficient volume to keep both the humans and uz alive. We have already seen evidence that the Shadow Plateau trolls recall a time of starvation during the Greater darkness, when Ezkankekko allowed them to devour some of his substance to survive: (TBoHM p. 134, right column) but in the myth of N&K, just after the section I quoted earlier, we have this: (Esrolia p. 30) "They were all fed, because Kimantor had a bucket from which he could pour as much porridge as he wanted, as long as he was true to all oaths taken." A never-ending porridge bucket sounds like a wonder left behind by Esrola, but that caveat at the end of its description implies a condition before its bounty could be used in full. This could be a reference to how Kimantor allowed himself to be 'sapped' to provide for his uz followers, or it could be describing magic inherited from his mother that could only be used as long as there was someone to give it to, as in there was someone to share Esrola's bounty with. Finally, near the climax of the Battle of Nochet myth we have the flight from Nochet to Akez Lodarak. This is how that's described: (Esrolia p. 32) The humans and uz of Nochet had to sneak and fight their way up to Akez Lodarak, which apparently lay abandoned. There's no long stay in safety, though: the paragraph that follows what I quoted above is the beginning of the Unity Battle. There's no mention of a visit by the Lifebringers, no grim tale of visitors murdering one of Kimantor and Norinel's sons. The Palace of Black Glass is probably not a place the Nochet refugees could've survived in long term, unless the managed to restart their low-light agriculture within its walls. It was the place Kimantor and Norinel led their people to take shelter in when all hope of defending Nochet successfully failed, and was only a successful shelter because the bounty of Nochet, even in the Greater Darkness, created a surplus of supplies they could carry into the fortress. Based on these findings and those discussed in my previous big post, here is my proposed chronology for Akez Lodarak, from the end of the Gods War through the Silver Age: 1) Argan Argar forces Lodril to raise Akez Lodarak; AA and Esrola rule Kethaela together. 2) The Darkness deepens; Esrola dies and Argan Argar departs--Ernalda dies around the same time; Ezkankekko takes his father's throne in Akez Lodarak, but claims authority over only the Shadow Plateau uz. Some time not long after, Orlanth leaves on the Lifebringers Quest. 3) Ezkankekko and an unnamed goddess or demigoddess rule Akez Lodarak and raise a son; in their long descent through the Underworld the Lifebringers find sanctuary in the Palace basements, and are invited up for hospitality; Eurmal's Betrayal occurs, and the Lifebringers are cast back out into the . 4) Alone, bereft, and grieving, Ezkankekko and his uz slowly starve behind the walls of Akez Lodarak as Chaos monsters fill the tunnels and crawl the surface, until he sacrifices some of his power to sustain them. The renewed uz clear the tunnels, and allow communication with the outside world. 5) Kimantor first allies his nearest neighbors, the surviving Grandmothers of Nochet, to secure a sustainable food source for his uz in exchange for his protection of the city. There is some indication of a migration of trolls out of the Shadow Plateau to Nochet itself, as well. Marriage with Norinel enables the revival of Esrolian fertility magic that benefits both humans and uz. As told in N&K, the temporary political marriage between Norinel and Kimantor blossoms into love and a long-term relationship, and several children are born from it who go on to found great--but entirely human, mortal--families of Nochet. 6) After many wars, Kimantor finally calls for the evacuation of Nochet in the face of overwhelming chaotic hordes. His uz and Norinel's humans retake an abandoned Akez Lodarak, and Lord Victory Nightbrother begins the the missions that gather the Unity Army for the Battle of Nochet. 7) After the Unity Battle drives Chaos from Dragon Pass and Kethaela, Kimantor and Norinel lead their human followers and descendants down off the Shadow Plateau to refound Nochet. Argan Argar and Esrola are among the gods who emerge from the Ritual of the Great Compromise to help bring the Dawn before receding into the Gods Realm. Ezkankekko begins discussions with his allies in the Unity Army to formalize their cooperation into a Unity Council... I agree with all this. In the light (or shadow) of Eurmal's betrayal, Varzor Kitor and the Kitori seem like an effort by Ezkankekko to replace his lost child and all his lost promise. Varzor was Ezkankekko's most favored student, his chief envoy to humans, even appointed the Unity Council's first general, the Lord Demon of Death, in their first war with the Shadzorings of Alkoth. It highlights the sorrow behind one of Ezkankekko's acts, too: after the Tax Revolt, he released the Kitori from his service for good. Maybe he lost his faith in humans. I haven't found any evidence one way or the other on how many children Desdel had, or when, but the fact that they exist rather point against Desdel being Eurmal's victim, don't they? If Desdel's children were human, then it doesn't matter whether Eurmal killed him or not--his father's power didn't pass to Desdel by inheritance. Once again I'd argue that this points to Ezkankekko sacrificing the part of himself that made his power heritable to sustain his uz followers during the starving times. Didn't matter whether he remarried and had other kids later in the Darkness, it was no longer in him to make a divine dynasty. Ah, this we can resolve fairly easily. (Esrolia, p. 8 ) There was no ambiguity over the identity of Kimantor in Dawn Age Nochet. He was Ezkankekko, the Only Old One, the Unity Hero, Father of the City. Their professional army received its orders direct from Akez Lodarak for almost 600 years after the dawn. Thank you again for raising your questions and counter-proposals! I have enjoyed addressing them tremendously, and would welcome more! Though I think I have made a solid case here, with the available materials. As mentioned at the end of my last big post, the next big one will be about how these discussions have informed my RuneQuest: Glorantha game. Or, How Ublagsh Waged the Unity Battle of the Smoking Ruin.
  15. I think I just got the mythic paradigm Belintar was using to fight Ezkankekko. And honestly, given what he did after, I'm kind of kicking myself for not seeing this earlier. Letting my pro-troll biases get in the way I think. Looking at it this way, I've got to reckon that Belintar waged a Unity Battle against Ezkankekko, and won. That's some extremely bold heroquesting.
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