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What happened to the Rathori people's totem cult when Harrek slew the White Bear?

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Can the White Bear still grant magic to his worshippers? Did the cult function as a spirit cult that gave shapechanging spells like Odayla?

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46 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Can the White Bear still grant magic to his worshippers? Did the cult function as a spirit cult that gave shapechanging spells like Odayla?

No, since Harrek bound the White Bear spirit into his fur, the Rathori can no longer appeal to their common ancestor to grant them activity in hibernation time. While Harrek and the Bear share their presence, the White Bear Empire of Fronela cannot see a revival.

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I believe the Rathori people also worship lesser bear spirits, including Irgar (brown bear), Irdag (black bear) and Orenrar (blue bear). In the White Bear’s absence, these spirits may have taken on more importance. Or maybe Rathor was a more distant spirit in the first place, and the other bear spirits were closer to their worshippers. 

2 hours ago, Brootse said:

Can the White Bear still grant magic to his worshippers? Did the cult function as a spirit cult that gave shapechanging spells like Odayla?

Everything I’ve seen on beast spirit cults in previous editions makes me think this is the case. I’ve written up some sample cults for the Fronelan Hsunchen in RQG, and I used Odayla as a model. 

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4 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

I believe the Rathori people also worship lesser bear spirits, including Irgar (brown bear), Irdag (black bear) and Orenrar (blue bear). In the White Bear’s absence, these spirits may have taken on more importance. Or maybe Rathor was a more distant spirit in the first place, and the other bear spirits were closer to their worshippers. 

Everything I’ve seen on beast spirit cults in previous editions makes me think this is the case. I’ve written up some sample cults for the Fronelan Hsunchen in RQG, and I used Odayla as a model. 

Nice! Would you mind posting some?

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Sure, all I've done so far is lay out which Rune spells each totem spirit would grant. I think each of them probably would teach some unique spirit magic too, but I'm not there yet. 

All the totem spirits would grant the following common Rune spells: Divination, Extension 2, Multispell 2, Sanctify,  Soul Sight, Spirit Block 2. All totem spirits also grant Speak to (totem animal). So Rathori can speak to bears, Uncolings speak to reindeer, etc. Finally, each spirit has access to the spell Transform Self from Hykim and Mikyh. 

  • Bear Spirits (same spells as Odayla, plus the following)
    • Irgar (Beast) - Command Bear
    • Irdag (Beast, Darkness) - Dark Walk
    • Orenrar (Beast, Moon) - Madness
  • Uncoli (Reindeer - Beast)
    • Antlers (Provides a spirit block+countermagic effect, extra attack when stacked with Transform Self)
    • Reindeer Legs (Increased speed/agility skills)
    • Reindeer Hide (natural armor+resistance to cold)
  • Kloisar (Badger - Beast, Earth)
    • Badger Head (Bite attack)
    • Burrowing Claws (Claw attacks, allows rapid burrowing)
    • Badger Musk (Store use of 1 spirit magic spell in a location marked with scent glands or urine. This is why they cover themselves in piss :))
  • Zonat (Porcupine - Beast)
    • Identify Scent
    • Claws
    • Quills (Provides natural armor, successful parry with Grapple skill deals damage to attacker)
    • Shoot Quills (Must be stacked with Quills, grants a short ranged attack skill)
  • Sabadar (Wolverine - Beast)
    • Wolverine Head (Bite attack)
    • Claws
    • Wolverine Hide (Natural armor+cold resistance)
    • Berserker
  • Rinkon (Bobcat - Beast, Air)
    • Catseye
    • Charisma (Body)
    • Claws (Limbs)
    • Identify Scent (Head)
  • Lotara (Raccoon - Beast, Illusion, Disorder)
    • Invisibility (Body)
    • Catseye (Head)
    • Strike (Limbs)
    • Lie
  • Akkar (Skunk - Beast, Fertility)
    • Musk Spray (Short ranged attack, nauseate enemies with your stench!)
    • Identify Scent (Head)
    • Charisma (Body)
    • Claws (Limbs)
  • Flara (Black Owl - Beast, Darkness)
    • Wings (Body, grants a fly skill)
    • Catseye (Head)
    • Dark Walk
    • Talons (Limbs, similar to claws but it affects the feet, and uses Kick skill)
  • Hogar (Mammoth - Beast, Earth)
    • Mammoth Tusks (Head, extra attack)
    • Mammoth Hide (Natural armor+SIZ, resistance to cold)
    • Stomp (Limbs, similar to Shake Earth spell)
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39 minutes ago, Gallowglass said:

Lotara (Raccoon - Beast, Illusion, Disorder)

  • Invisibility (Body)
  • Catseye (Head)
  • Strike (Limbs)
  • Lie

 

For this one, I'd suggest some sort of Mask rather than Catseye. For the Limbs spell, consider how good Raccoons are at opening things rather than Strike (they aren't like carnivores in that way). They are quite efficient with bird feeders, garbage cans, fishing, etc. and very opportunistic. 

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How 'bout this? With the Mask effect, it feels like Invisibility and Lie are somewhat unnecessary. 

Lotara (Raccoon - Beast, Illusion, Disorder)

  • Raccoon Tail (Body, doubles DEX for duration of spell)
  • Mask (Head, similar to Become [other shape], take the shape of any human, takes an hour to cast while studying a target)
  • Clever Hands (Limbs, doubles skill percentage in Search and Sleight)
  • Clever Tongue

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1 hour ago, Gallowglass said:

How 'bout this? With the Mask effect, it feels like Invisibility and Lie are somewhat unnecessary. 

Yes, that feels much better to me.  

The doubling of DEX fits (or perhaps double their Agility bonus?). They are quite adept - they climb trees (not to mention going up 20-30 feet of my house once to then walk across the roof and eventually go back down), but also swim.

Mask and Clever Hands both work. With Clever Hands you should include Devise.

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29 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Mask and Clever Hands both work. With Clever Hands you should include Devise.

I thought of including Devise, but it didn’t seem appropriate for a Stone Age people. In retrospect though, traps and snares are still Stone Age technology, so, sure. 

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23 hours ago, Gallowglass said:

I believe the Rathori people also worship lesser bear spirits, including Irgar (brown bear), Irdag (black bear) and Orenrar (blue bear). In the White Bear’s absence, these spirits may have taken on more importance. Or maybe Rathor was a more distant spirit in the first place, and the other bear spirits were closer to their worshippers.

Rathor is the White Bear? I always thought those were two distinct entities.

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Just agreeing that Rathor the White Bear no longer grants magic (well, not to anyone but Harrek), but the Rathori get magic from their direct ancestor bear spirits. There may once have been white bear hsu Chen who got their magic directly from Rathor, but if there were, Harrek would have killed the last of them. 

It is entirely possible that the Rathori could magically restore Rathor to life - but it would probably require killing Harrek, so don’t hold your breathe for it to happen soon. 

I personally don’t think the Irdag (black bears) are associated with Darkness, rather they are simply associated with the black bear species (who are crepuscular not nocturnal). Note that black bears (who are dominated by brown bears when they meet) are a definite majority on Earth (there are more black bears than all other bears put together), but with a much wider range - and while described as a minority in Rathorela, there are other bear cults outside this range that do not seem to be hsunchen (like Arakang and Odayla).

The blue bears are another story - the Tibetan blue bear is a subspecies of brown bears not a true separate species, so I think the Blue Bear is something else - a Lunar connection seems plausible, but more like the Orogeria connection than something more purely Elemental. 

Remember all the hsunchen are not restricted to only worshipping their totem god, but have a range of other spirit cults and animist magic available to them, including Ancestor worship

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5 hours ago, davecake said:

The blue bears are another story - the Tibetan blue bear is a subspecies of brown bears not a true separate species, so I think the Blue Bear is something else - a Lunar connection seems plausible, but more like the Orogeria connection than something more purely Elemental.

I assumed that the Black Bear subspecies from North America was meant rather Tibetan brown bear species.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

I assumed that the Black Bear subspecies from North America was meant rather Tibetan brown bear species.

Good point, but we are left again with them being a minor subspecies not a separate species, and so should not really be a whole separate type of hsunchen. Or Greg could have just got his biology mixed up. 

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Just now, davecake said:

Good point, but we are left again with them being a minor subspecies not a separate species, and so should not really be a whole separate type of hsunchen. Or Greg could have just got his biology mixed up. 

Both cases of blue bears are minor subspecies near glaciers. Another sub-species of the black bear unused in Glorantha is the fair-haired spirit bear of the west coast.

Their name in the guide is "Orenoar" while the old source text https://www.glorantha.com/docs/hsunchen-peoples-of-genertela names them as Orenrar.

Greg could have stumped us with a presence of the Cave Bear or the Short-nosed Bear rather than a blue (moon?) bear, too.

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53 minutes ago, Joerg said:

...

Greg could have stumped us with a presence of the Cave Bear or the Short-nosed Bear rather than a blue (moon?) bear, too.

Who knows... maybe be they are Sky Bears!

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So, I asked Jamie Revell, who worked on this with Greg (and is, of course, also a font of wisdom of the intersection of biology and Glorantha generally) and he said the Blue Bears are a Gloranthan only species. They are a sort of blueish grey and smaller than brown bears at least. But he got nothing more from Greg than that. 

14 hours ago, Joerg said:

Short-nosed Bear

Short nosed bears (arctodus) exist in Umathela, though they are referred to as 'running bears' in the Guide (which is now believed to be a misnomer, they probably were not good runners at all) 

The Andrewsarchus known in the Pamaltelan deep jungles are referred to as crocodile-bears, though they aren't really bears at all. 

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4 hours ago, davecake said:

So, I asked Jamie Revell, who worked on this with Greg (and is, of course, also a font of wisdom of the intersection of biology and Glorantha generally) and he said the Blue Bears are a Gloranthan only species. They are a sort of blueish grey and smaller than brown bears at least. But he got nothing more from Greg than that. 

Short nosed bears (arctodus) exist in Umathela, though they are referred to as 'running bears' in the Guide (which is now believed to be a misnomer, they probably were not good runners at all) 

The Andrewsarchus known in the Pamaltelan deep jungles are referred to as crocodile-bears, though they aren't really bears at all. 

Unbearable bears.

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