Jump to content

Spirits in Spirit World


Recommended Posts

Travel in the Spirit World

Leaving a shamanic circle is an extraordinary and extremely dangerous act. Doing so means entering the phantasmagorical Spirit World, a vast region without direct connections to the physical world and with ever-changing features. At first the Spirit World seems gray, vague, and indeterminate—as if floating in a dream. There is no sense no order or arrangements. Vast, amorphous things float about seemingly at random, occasionally coalescing or splitting. Some landmarks can be discerned, but the landscape shifts and changes; flowing and melting like ice under the hot sun. The Spirit World is like a fever dream or hallucinogenic experience; a place of ever-changing manifested possibilities. It is almost as if every dream anyone ever had would become tangible—at the same time. The Spirit World is semi-consistent in places, insanity inducing, or inspiring in others.

Journeys in the Spirit World can be very confusing, but at the same time revealing. The Spirit World is especially dangerous because it does not have any firm or easily recognizable boundaries that separate regions where incredibly powerful and dangerous entities dwell. The spirit landscape is formed from embodied spirits—embodied life forms and spirits of nature, but their distribution seems random and irregular. For instance, sometimes a single tree is an entity, while sometimes an entity takes care of a whole grove or forest. Sometimes an entity is of a little pebble, sometimes of a huge mountain.

Spirits are visible everywhere and they are often frightening to see. It is common to see wispy, snarling illness spirits, smell the unburied dead, hear the wail of ghosts, and sense large, formless things that feel like curses. Time passes in the Spirit World at a highly variable rate and distances are also highly variable. While there are eddies and back-currents of time in the Spirit World, one cannot reliably use them to return to a specific time or place. Shamans avoid such time streams, as they are exceedingly dangerous and unpredictable.

Moving through the Spirit World is a very dangerous navigation of the demesnes of spirits. Some of these are hostile to each other, causing waves of danger and devouring pain; some are cooperative, moving like schools of fish inside larger fish.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Caras said:

What are the most common spirits to face, when traveling in Spirit World? Is it most likely to meet animal spirits, passion spirits, spell spirits or what?

If you are using the rules in the Spirits & the Spirit World chapter, a shaman gets one encounter roll unless using extended discorporation. It's implied that the shaman is skilled at travelling in the spirit world and generally avoids all encounters on the way to a spirit vortex (page 374). Think of it like a shopping trip, you may pass many things on the way to the shop, you may see them but don't usually interact with them. Once at the vortex you have the chance to encounter the spirit you are looking for, or if you need to roll your spirit travel, you can fail and encounter another possibly malevolent spirit.

In answer to you question, there are none that you will face unless you choose to. If you have just entered the Axis Mundi and are outside a vortex in the Inner Region, it depends on your culture. Praxians and Pentans find themselves inside the Great Herd (page 372) so animal spirits and ancestors tending the herds. Sartarites find themselves on their Sacred Hill overlooking their local lands, with the spirits of their crops, fields, animals and some ancestors with the Great mountains visible in the distance.

If you are not a shaman or assistant shaman and you discorporate, you will find yourself in the Inner Region of where you are, so you better have chosen somewhere nice and friendly, far from danger. You will likely have a basic spirit travel skill (10% + magic bonus) so you ability to avoid spirits is greatly diminished, your Spirit Dance will be 0%, so you have no chance to escape encounters. If in your cultural home you will likely experience the Great Herd or Sacred Hill. You will commonly experience plants and animal spirits who will be neutral to you. The further you venture away, the more dangerous it becomes. Wild animal spirits and unusual plants will start to hunt you, nearing unknown vortices will polarise what's around. Vortices near the Upland Marsh may contain undead spirits wishing to possess you, near the block chaos vortices become common, near the sacred mountains, air spirits start to cluster. 

The picture on page 364 is excellent inspiration (although with less spirits). The picture on 373 is when you encounter an expect vortex or go looking for something special and it is guarded by angry spirits.

I have a written a couple of examples that may give you some ideas:

This is an example of travelling in the spirit world:


This is an example of a shaman gaining a new shamanic ability:


  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1


Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

Link to comment
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.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

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...