Jump to content
Qizilbashwoman

Favorite weird factoid or detail from Glorantha

Recommended Posts

What's your favorite weird factoid or detail from Glorantha?

Indulge me, because there's so much good stuff

I have two:

  • a priestess of Xiola is required to be present for every game of trollball "but the cult never sponsors teams". This just makes me laugh. (Trollpak)
  • if you do the math, Hon Eel introduced maize to Glorantha (and the attendant human sacrifice rituals) in approximately 1492 ST
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are so many.

Storm Voices are required to eat eggs once a week as a sign of contempt for Yelm. Not just eat them, but eat them contemptuously.

Waha initiates only are allowed to purchase the intoxicating mushroom drinks from the dark elves of Shadows Dance. 

On the coasts of Pamaltela, the Trickster is associated with Catsup sauce. Some Tricksters have spells to temporarily turn themselves into a dirty shirt or a literal pile of shit. 

There are east isles minor gods, like Comb and Braid whose cult ensures everyone on his tiny island has a magnificent hairstyle. 

Yelmalio’s very specific ruled against transvestism (and the many fan theories). 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not exactly my favorite facts, but the facts weirding me out the most have to do with celestial and water current patterns:

The Sunpath creates a tropical course of the sun, with the sun more or less directly overhead even in the middle of the winter. A low-hanging sun in the sky means that it has just risen (at most an hour ago) or will sink any moment now. The sun will be slightly in the north in the sommer, and noon is not associated with the south. This will affect the orientation of housing.

Day length varies at least as much as temperate zone day length, say 45-50° latitude, although Greg memorably said at Castle Stahleck that he thought we were at pretty high latitude, commenting on the long dusk we were enjoying (compared to say Mexico or the equatorial regions).

At the same time, you get a night sky resembling the sky near the north or south pole, with polar orbits for all planetary bodies (including the sun disk).

Water runs down the drain (Magasta's Pool, the Doom Currents) clockwise (as per the northern hemisphere of Earth), and so does the world wide cyclone (as per the southern hemisphere of Earth). Sramak's River runs around the Lozenge counter-clockwise, creating friction with the outer Orlanth storm.

Lunar tides rise extremely slow (minimum tidal cycle: 1 day, maximum tidal cycle: 6 days), leading to an average of two tidal cycles per week. There are tidal waves - sea bodies/deities allied to the Waertagi that re-create the in-rushing flood of our planet, but these obey sacrifice rather than any cycles other than those obeyed by the summoners.

 

Next to all of this, the occasional river running uphill is a minor curiosity.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there's always the point about how rivers used to run up. It's one of those things that are good to mention to newbies so that they can prepare for the more seriously weird stuff.

My favorite, however, which has less to do with how weird it is, and more to do with being a part of the discussion thread where someone finally put it in clear words, is this: in Glorantha, horses are taxonomically birds.*



(*Sort of, being descendants of mutilated Hippogriff which was a beaked, feathered, winged sky-animal. Not a bird in the strictest sense, but close enough for me to find it to be a bit of a mindblowing revelation, and pretty funny).

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My players gave me a funny look when I told them the Air rune is associated with bronze, swords, mammals except for horses, and the color orange...

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

What's your favorite weird factoid or detail from Glorantha?

My favorite tidbit from the Guide: "Hidden deep underneath the center of the bottom of the lowest Underworld is the Chaosium, the Fount of Chaos, which spews forth both monstrosities and raw unformed “stuff ” into the world."

I still find some wonderful bits in the Kingdom of Ignorance like this one: "a green-stone idol of a draconic antigod they call Bokrug the Prime Mover"

or: "The ghost of Sun Storm’s third eye reportedly still wanders here [the Jankley Bore] after dark."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beyond any possible doubt my fave oddity is Dorastor. I know it is more than one thing but... in it’s entirety it is truly bizarre, I mean,  here is a one of a kind gloranthan oddity. Grey skins farming, Werewolves, chaos elves, giant spiders, Unicorn Broo (this alone is enough to cause my mind to expand!), Gods born in time of time and possibly by time... that are both light personified and sheer chaotic darkness, goddesses of the land hiding in a cave... and this is all without using spoilers!  Poor, poor. beautiful and dark Dorastor. Truly  gloranthan!

The next is again a little macro but when Belintar the Stranger swam from the sea to win the 6 nations of the holy country, and become near immortal by the the using the Tournaments of the Masters of Luck and Death. A truly egregious munchkin, this god king. The bridges to all his capitols; one underwater..., his lands based on the elements, Casino Town... Yes, The Holy Country qualifes as my my 2nd fave oddity.

Than again, I think the nations of Glorantha and their tales might (if I was going for archetype here) be the one Big Real Oddity here. The two I have picked are just my personal faves but there are so many more candidates out there.

‘Kay if I pick two oddities of gloranthan scope on a a macro level, the two nations mentioned above will do quite nicely, Should I be forced to accept one oddity I again would have to expand that to include all of the many strange, wonderful gloranthan nations as a weird and whacky whole.

Oddly Yours

Cheers 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That the Cult of the Black Sun is a homage to the schlock horror films of "Grandfather of Gore" Herschell Gordon Lewis:

Quote

Take the Cult of the Black Sun in Troll Gods (co-author Sandy Petersen). This religion has a beautifully detailed rationale, yet the main activity of the worshippers consists of capturing all manner of beings, chopping them up and cooking them in a great stew of mixed organs, then devouring it. To devotees of bad films, the derivation from the works of Herschell Gordon Lewis is obvious.

Lewis, also known as the "Grandfather of Gore", produced such appalling gruesome films as Blood Feast (1963) and Two Thousand Maniacs whose plots are not unlike what the Black Sun worshippers get up to. Is it a coincidence then, that one of the Black Sun divine magic spells is called "Blood Feast", and the spirits who serve the priests of the cult are called "The Two Thousand Maniacs"?

Another parallel may be found with the 1964 Herschell Gordon Lewis film The Wizard of Gore and the Black Sun spirit magic spell, "False Healing". In The Wizard of Gore, an evil magician performs magic tricks on people (such as cutting a woman open with a chainsaw) but they leave the stage unhurt. Sometimes later though, all the damage inflicted on them suddenly appears, causing them to die horribly. The Black sun spell "False Healing" produces a similar effect: the target is apparently healed, but when the spell expires, the damage reappears. Priests of the associated cult Blood Sun are known as "The Wizards of Gore".

Theory confirmed! http://rpgreview.net/mob/inspiration.htm

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I still find some wonderful bits in the Kingdom of Ignorance like this one: "a green-stone idol of a draconic antigod they call Bokrug the Prime Mover"

Nice, Bokrug, my favorite Great Old One!

For something else that's mythos-neighboring (it supposedly references Merritt's The Moon Pool as much as The Shadow Over Innsmouth or The Call of Cthulhu), see Nan Matal:

"Nan-Matal: Black basalt ruins of some
forgotten civilization cover this island. The
natives, a race of frog-like humanoids, claim
they were built by a people who fell from the
Blue Moon. They worship a giant walktapus
they call the Dweller in the Deep and sacrifice
outsiders to appease its terrible hunger."
 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I still find some wonderful bits in the Kingdom of Ignorance like this one: "a green-stone idol of a draconic antigod they call Bokrug the Prime Mover"

The high priest of the Prime Mover cult is called the Cobalt Stargazer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

Nice, Bokrug, my favorite Great Old One!

For something else that's mythos-neighboring (it supposedly references Merritt's The Moon Pool as much as The Shadow Over Innsmouth or The Call of Cthulhu), see Nan Matal:

Checking this up as a comparatively mythos-illiterate person, I couldn't help comparing the real-world Nan Madol with the city of Westel in Maslo.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nan_Madol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_FM-Nan_Madol.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Checking this up as a comparatively mythos-illiterate person, I couldn't help comparing the real-world Nan Madol with the city of Westel in Maslo.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nan_Madol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_FM-Nan_Madol.PNG

It's definitely a Nan Madol reference, and both Merritt and Lovecraft are assumed to have been inspired by Nan Madol (for The Moon Pool and The Call of Cthulhu respectively).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Kaarg's Sons have to eat a relative every season.

If I were a GM I would have absolutely denied that requirement/taboo. Uz eat enlo as a regular part of their lifestyle and female uz give birth to large litters all the time. It's a cheat! It's like a Waha Praxian (i.e. not a "false Praxian" like a Pol Joni) taking a vow not to ride a horse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

If I were a GM I would have absolutely denied that requirement/taboo. Uz eat enlo as a regular part of their lifestyle and female uz give birth to large litters all the time. It's a cheat! It's like a Waha Praxian (i.e. not a "false Praxian" like a Pol Joni) taking a vow not to ride a horse.

I think it’s meant to be a cheat. Not a geas so much as a landmark establishing the fact that one is not in Kansas, anymore and where the hell is Toto (Alright, quit eating Toto, spit him out, spit him out, damn enlo!)? And remember this was back in the 80s a less sophisticated time in gaming, I recall reminders such as this were required then (like the ritual eating of eggs or yelmalio/orlanthi riddling... window dressing important window dressing but window dressing non the less).

Edited by Bill the barbarian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think of this requirement before the (mitigation of) the Curse of Kin. What would that requirement have meant prior to the further corruption of the dark trolls?

In a way, it makes attendance to funerary meals essential to Karrg's Sons. The requirement doesn't specify how much of the body of a kinsperson the rune lord needs to eat, or how fresh that body needs to be, or how close the kinship needs to be.

Did a troll community that supported Karrg's Sons need to slaughter one of their number each season that saw no natural deaths? Or one of their number per Karrg's Son?

We know that the Shadow Tribute demanded a sacrivice of the chief's kin as penalty for substandard tribute. Was such a tribute of kinsfolk a normal thing in pre-Nysalorean troll society?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Think of this requirement before the (mitigation of) the Curse of Kin. What would that requirement have meant prior to the further corruption of the dark trolls?

Yes, I was going to make the same point. The Trollkin Curse made this a lot easier, especially with the multiple births. It might have meant that relatives of Karrg's Sons made themselves scarce at the end of every season.

It could also mean that the requirement came in after the Trollkin Curse, perhaps to get rid of Trollkin?

Edited by soltakss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...