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Tcneseis

Pocharngo vs. Primal Chaos

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Hi

I'd like to know if the mutations caused by Pocharngo are related to Primal Chaos, which should imply some magical properties or maybe some danger when handling them.

 

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Pocharngo is a Chaos deity known as the Cosmic Cancer and It is associated with Movement/Change and Chaos runes. I'd certainly be concerned about Chaos features triggered by Pocharngo's influence as Its attacks are to inflict harmful change - hence Its title, Cosmic Cancer.

I don;'t know what that means in re: Primal Chaos, but I do know it means getting a Chaos mutation from It isn't just about, say, having a deeply unwholesome claw arm show up as with other kinds of Chaos exposure.

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All expressions of Chaos are related to Primal Chaos, or the wrongness of the Outer Void intruding into Creation, but Pocharngo's type of corruption differs from the random stuff Chaos Features (or Curse of Thed stuff) incur.

Compare the degeneration of uzuz and/or dark trolls into cave trolls and sea trolls caused by Pocharngo to the way Nysalor wounded Korasting's womb when causing the Curse of Kin. Pocharngo inflicted lasting changes. The regeneration ability of cave and sea trolls actually is beneficial, while the losses to their selves with regard to their magic (being darkness and clever) is pretty damaging.

Pocharngo isn't the only chaos entity causing mutations - the Devil under the Block caused the drastic changes to the pond snails which now are feared as dragonsnails. Facing the Maggot under Snake Pipe Hollow will taint anyone with Chaos.

 

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26 minutes ago, Tcneseis said:

... which should imply some magical properties or maybe some danger when handling them.

There IS no absolutely "safe" way to handle Chaos, in any manifestation.  Some aspect of it may seem 99.99% "safe," but the essence of Chaos is that every least bit of it has limitless potential.

(YGMV)

 

Edited by g33k

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10 minutes ago, g33k said:

There IS no absolutely "safe" way to handle Chaos, in any manifestation.

Well no, but there's also a difference between "roll on the Chaos mutation table" exposure and "The way Pocharngo attacks is to literally infect you with Chaos like cancer instead of doing points of damage". It's like the difference between an x-ray and being shot with a plutonium-tipped arrow.

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13 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

... being shot with a plutonium-tipped arrow.

I take your point.

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33 minutes ago, g33k said:

There IS no absolutely "safe" way to handle Chaos, in any manifestation.  Some aspect of it may seem 99.99% "safe," but the essence of Chaos is that every least bit of it has limitless potential.

We should be able to determine the LD50 of Chaos through experimentation.

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1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

We should be able to determine the LD50 of Chaos through experimentation.

Is that where half of Glorantha gets smashed into fragments, and the gods have to try knitting it back together with a Great Compromise?

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17 minutes ago, g33k said:
31 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

... being shot with a plutonium-tipped arrow.

I take your point.

Doesn't that hurt?

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13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Doesn't that hurt?

Having to admit another exists and has to be respected (thus losing the position of axis mundi where you are the centre of existence)  always hurts, but is gets better...

:)

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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57 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Doesn't that hurt?

plutonium is soft, so not really. but you're now in the Bronze Age and contaminated with plutonium with no idea that you even HAVE to decontaminate, never mind figure out how to.

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44 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

plutonium is soft, so not really. but you're now in the Bronze Age and contaminated with plutonium with no idea that you even HAVE to decontaminate, never mind figure out how to.

The trolls are here to seal the room with lead.

I see that actinium glows blue and nasty in the dark like some apparently mutagenic forms of moon rock, by the way. 

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

plutonium is soft, so not really. but you're now in the Bronze Age and contaminated with plutonium with no idea that you even HAVE to decontaminate, never mind figure out how to.

Sounds like time for a heroquest...

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3 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

plutonium is soft, so not really. but you're now in the Bronze Age and contaminated with plutonium with no idea that you even HAVE to decontaminate, never mind figure out how to.

Unless Gloranthan Plutonium has weirdly different properties than in real life - kinda like how refined Gloranthan lead doesn't make any sounds.

Maybe Mostal was stocking weapons of mass destruction. :P

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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But to return to the OP's query -- YES:  expect both a close relation with "Primal Chaos," and extreme danger.

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Thank you for your answers. I told myself that maybe Chaos features sprout from something deeper than Pocharngo's mutations. It's difficult to tell Chaos horrors apart. Their cults too. In my opinion the general physical destruction caused by Pocharngo is far more primal than Chaos features. But this doesn't agree with the psychology of Chaos, where Primal Chaos is the basest form.

 

 

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Well Primal Chaos can't really exist. It, too, breaks the compact, which means the Gods just smite it. It oozes in.

Some Chaos corrupted divinities, and they work their Chaos through different ways: moral corruption, like Ogres, an existential threat present in Orlanthi clans that has to be constantly stamped out, or offers of magical power or eternal (un)life, or fertility, or Mallia's children (plagues), or what have you.

Pocharngo just gives you, like, cancer. Radioactive, Chaotic cancer. So in that sense it's a spectacularly dangerous monster. You can stab broo; they are an enemy we know how to fight. Fighting a Pocharngo attack? Who has the equivalent of the Storm Bull but White Ladies?

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47 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Well Primal Chaos can't really exist. It, too, breaks the compact, which means the Gods just smite it. It oozes in.

Yes it does. Chaos worshippers have access to it.

48 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

Pocharngo just gives you, like, cancer. Radioactive, Chaotic cancer. So in that sense it's a spectacularly dangerous monster. You can stab broo; they are an enemy we know how to fight. Fighting a Pocharngo attack? Who has the equivalent of the Storm Bull but White Ladies?

I agree. I mean it's a very basic form of chaos, unlike most others. So I graded it as much simpler-minded.

 

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Porcharngo worshippers are often spoken of as mutated beyond recognition.

What if they are all seeking the perfect set of chaos features?

Perhaps Porcharngo offers the spell “change chaos feature” - you get to re-roll a feature you don’t like. So for a little more power you have a shot at perfection. Or you could add new chaos features. 

Like plastic surgery addicts, worshippers  would keep going back for “procedures”, yet never be wholly satisfied with the result.

And if you run short of power, the temptation is to place one last bet - after all your next chaos feature might be more power.

 

Edited by EricW
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21 hours ago, EricW said:

What if they are all seeking the perfect set of chaos features?

I like Pocharngo's cult striving towards perfection. Maybe you mean like alchemists? I'm not sure it is consistent with the deity though.

On 7/31/2019 at 9:14 PM, Joerg said:

Pocharngo isn't the only chaos entity causing mutations - the Devil under the Block caused the drastic changes to the pond snails which now are feared as dragonsnails.

 

On 7/31/2019 at 9:14 PM, Joerg said:

Pocharngo isn't the only chaos entity causing mutations - the Devil under the Block caused the drastic changes to the pond snails which now are feared as dragonsnails.

Yes it is not clear how chaos may (randomly or not) manifest itself in places where it's building up. There is also Thed's Chaos Spawn spell.

I suppose that the buildup may be of Primal chaos, which is rather energetic than material. But then again, Wakboth being buried in the place had an effect.

It reminds me that Time was created by Arachne Solara's eating Kajabor. So Primal chaos is, in a way, ever flowing through the web of Glorantha in a domesticated form.

 

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Pocharngo's cultists (victims?) sound a bit like Chaos Cultists from Warhammer. The Gods gives you blessings in the form of mutations, and the goal is to ascend to daemon princehood (at which point you're essentially an immortal demigod), but they can just as easily leave you a broken, swollen lump of mutations in the form of a Chaos Spawn, who are mostly just used for frontal assault or keeping around as extremely powerful guard dogs.

Obviously, not all of this applies to Glorantha, but the aspirations and tragic fate sounds reminiscent. Then again, at some point the mind of the worshipper might be so gone that they would consider even the most horrible mutations another blessing.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Pocharngo's cultists (victims?) sound a bit like Chaos Cultists from Warhammer. The Gods gives you blessings in the form of mutations, and the goal is to ascend to daemon princehood (at which point you're essentially an immortal demigod), but they can just as easily leave you a broken, swollen lump of mutations in the form of a Chaos Spawn, who are mostly just used for frontal assault or keeping around as extremely powerful guard dogs.

Obviously, not all of this applies to Glorantha, but the aspirations and tragic fate sounds reminiscent. Then again, at some point the mind of the worshipper might be so gone that they would consider even the most horrible mutations another blessing.

By the power of Greyskull, surely you're not implying potential plagiarism within the gaming community????? 

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Perish the thought!

What I meant thought, was that Pocharngo's cultists might have a similar mentality with regards to mutations as noted above.

Hell, in some material even Chaos Spawn are regarded as "blessed" from the eyes of the ordinary Chaos Warriors, as they are free from mortal concerns and live only for destruction & carnage. *cough* Warhammer is... less subtle than Glorantha. :P

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21 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Perish the thought!

Too late for that!

Like many, I always assumed the ideas flowed from RuneQuest to Warhammer with things like goatmen but now that you've got me looking at it, I wonder if parts of Pocharngo came the other way. The earliest I can find him in print is the Gods box (1985) while when I consult the grogs I learn that Nurgle is extant by early 1983. The stray "old world" detail with Porcharngo is just idiosyncratic enough that it might be a comment on what Chaosium's former partners were doing with their more explicitly horror-comic-and-Moorcock material.

Someone with the drive to ponder a stack of White Dwarf could probably pinpoint the moment Pocharngo emerges. As for us, it's interesting how the Malkionite West as crapsack "medieval" game environment with "chaos" seeping through the cracks seems to emerge in response to that other one. I wonder if in some undocumented but tense Avalon Hill meeting someone demanded to "do it that way." We should ask Sandy. It would definitely clarify the arcane "two devils, one moral and one more cosmological" formula that emerges around this time. When Glorantha with its moral devil encountered Khorne and company, two visions of chaos contended.

Of course for us it's less interesting than where cosmic orphans like Pocharngo and Kajabor go once they arrive. Nowadays Kajabor sounds more like a dwarf concept (thermodynamic failure or for them, the ultimate evil) possibly attached to a word that looks like it could derive from Vithelan origin. Pocharngo, on the other hand, sometimes followed Jraktal The Tap onto the Pamaltelan mythological landscape. 

They make a good team, the ultimate failure of matter to remain organized and the force that drains energy from the cosmic system for personal gain. Makes me wonder if what we now call Porcharngo was originally a Vadelist invention for the exploitation of the south . . . they might have concocted an entire array of 4-5 "chaos gods" for that purpose, Seseine being an obvious idea. A Pamaltela occasionally troubled by slime, awful growths, mutation, charnjibbers and worse. The Chaos Feature Table is different, intellectual property of Chaosium. This is something more crude.

 

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