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Third Eye Blue Headaches


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This is a spin-off thread from the Non-Book Grimoires, and Caste thread.

 

In short, the Third Eye Blue clan is a big, ugly knot.  I don't have my Stafford Library books open right now (and I'm not bothering to at the moment for reasons that shall become apparent).  So, I'm exclusively going off their presentation in the Sourcebook and Guide, the 2 "canonical" setting pieces for Glorantha right now.

 

According to the Guide, The Third Eye Blue...

  • Are sorcerous metal-workers
  • Stole metalworking secrets from the Mostali
  • Originally from the highlands of Tastolar in Fronela, which is still under the Ban
  • Claim to once have had a great empire in Fronela
  • Arguably the best bronze-workers in Genertela
  • In addition to stealing Dwarven secrets, they also have enslaved Dwarves in Kitor, who are bound by ancient oaths to a god called Three-Eyes Piku

 

 

And then, according to the the Glorantha Sourcebook, Syranthir "brought the Third Eye Blue cult of metal-smiths to Peloria" (P. 153).

 

There's a few headaches in all of this.  FIrst and foremost, I guess this means that the Stafford Library mentions of the Third Eye Blue. described as living in the Brass mountains since before the Dawn where they helped Daxdarius and fought both the Blue People and Bull People, no longer is considered factual history?  maybe the Third Eye Blue settled in the Brass mountains and hybridized with a pre-existing group there?

 

Also, the Guide also creates some headaches, because it isn't just about stealing knowledge from Mostali, but enslaving them.  So, either Mostali were in the Brass Mountains, and enslaved before time, or Syranthir brought a coterie of Mostali thralls to Pelanda with him.

 

And on the topic of stealing metal secrets, there is a town in Fronela according to the Guide there is a town called Enneserah where "The miners worship an underground god
called Ganestos, who stole the secrets of the dwarves."

 

...ok.  so.... um.... blargh.

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4 hours ago, Nevermet said:

According to the Guide, The Third Eye Blue...

  • Are sorcerous metal-workers
  • Stole metalworking secrets from the Mostali
  • Originally from the highlands of Tastolar in Fronela, which is still under the Ban
  • Claim to once have had a great empire in Fronela
  • Arguably the best bronze-workers in Genertela
  • In addition to stealing Dwarven secrets, they also have enslaved Dwarves in Kitor, who are bound by ancient oaths to a god called Three-Eyes Piku

There are no obvious inconsistencies there. Their history seems to be that before Time 'they' stole secrets from the dwarves, who later destroyed their 'empire' - which was probably fairly small - causing them to become nomadic smiths. Tastolar may be their long-lost homeland. Three-Eyes Piku was, perhaps a particularly powerful TEB sorcerer, sufficiently powerful to become a demigod and bind the dwarves of Kitor.

4 hours ago, Nevermet said:
  •  

And then, according to the the Glorantha Sourcebook, Syranthir "brought the Third Eye Blue cult of metal-smiths to Peloria" (P. 153).

There's a few headaches in all of this.  FIrst and foremost, I guess this means that the Stafford Library mentions of the Third Eye Blue. described as living in the Brass mountains since before the Dawn where they helped Daxdarius and fought both the Blue People and Bull People, no longer is considered factual history?  maybe the Third Eye Blue settled in the Brass mountains and hybridized with a pre-existing group there?

There are many groups of TEB, most nomadic, and it seems likely that some added themselves to the train of Syranthir's army of Ten Thousand, providing their skills to the soldiers. Another group may have lived before Time in the Brass Mountains and aided Daxdarius - I don't have my books with me, so I can't look in the Guide to see if they are still there. If they aren't, then they probably went extinct before Time like many other peoples; the dwarves, bound by their programming would still be bound by it.

4 hours ago, Nevermet said:

Also, the Guide also creates some headaches, because it isn't just about stealing knowledge from Mostali, but enslaving them.  So, either Mostali were in the Brass Mountains, and enslaved before time, or Syranthir brought a coterie of Mostali thralls to Pelanda with him.

Dwarves can be subverted by magic that overrides their... um, programming, and a very powerful sorcerer could have Commanded and bound them.

4 hours ago, Nevermet said:

And on the topic of stealing metal secrets, there is a town in Fronela according to the Guide there is a town called Enneserah where "The miners worship an underground god
called Ganestos, who stole the secrets of the dwarves."

Either the same or a different sorcerer, possibly related to Yan-Gar...

The dwarves have a history of having their tech stolen - metal, working, crossbows etc. before and during Time. They are quite tetchy about it, which is why they have nilmergs and other constructs designed to hunt down and destroy their stolen tech. Probably a relatively late development.

Edited by M Helsdon
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TEB smiths equipped Daxdarius. The Nidan Mostali may have retaliated and genocided those. (Or some other Greater Darkness disaster wiped them out in Pelanda.)

Syranthir brings TEB to Peloria. These guys may have a score to even out, and they enslave the dwarves of the Brass Mountains with the aid of the Fronelans.

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As always with Pelanda at the end of the God Time, it's worth bearing in mind that other than the Spolites, they failed to establish mutually beneficial relationships with powers of Darkness.  Their nearest center of Darkness power was Alkoth, and the Shazodrings, as Shargash's hellspawn, had zero interest in the schemes of equal exchange and defense against Chaos set up by Ezkankekko in what's now the Holy Country and Dragon Pass.  Without Darkness+Harmony powers as intermediaries and protectors, most of Pelanda suffered terribly even by the standards of the age in the Greater Darkness.

Edited by dumuzid
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The Red-Line 

7 hours ago, Nevermet said:

This is a spin-off thread from the Non-Book Grimoires, and Caste thread.

 

In short, the Third Eye Blue clan is a big, ugly knot.  I don't have my Stafford Library books open right now (and I'm not bothering to at the moment for reasons that shall become apparent).  So, I'm exclusively going off their presentation in the Sourcebook and Guide, the 2 "canonical" setting pieces for Glorantha right now.

 

According to the Guide, The Third Eye Blue...

  • Are sorcerous metal-workers

The "Sorcerous metal-workers" is used in the Brass Mountain description of the Guide but not of the TEB elsewhere.

 

7 hours ago, Nevermet said:

And then, according to the the Glorantha Sourcebook, Syranthir "brought the Third Eye Blue cult of metal-smiths to Peloria" (P. 153).

Which is repeating text from the original Redline History from Wyrms Footnotes.

7 hours ago, Nevermet said:

 maybe the Third Eye Blue settled in the Brass mountains and hybridized with a pre-existing group there?

This is roughly my thinking.,

7 hours ago, Nevermet said:

Also, the Guide also creates some headaches, because it isn't just about stealing knowledge from Mostali, but enslaving them

Again that's the Brass Mountains TEB.

Other material on the TEB:

Piku of Apple Lane.  

Quote

RQ2 

Piku Gastapakis and his family are foreigners, from the wandering metal-working tribe known as Third Eye Blue. The name comes from the tribal habit of tattooing a blue iris (a blue circle) of the eye upon the foreheads of master metal-workers to “see the secrets of the metal.” Valeeda is Piku’s wife, and considered to be the ugliest woman in town, but her goat- meat patties make eaters laugh with joy for hours. A 12-year- old daughter, Yaku, never speaks to males of any age. Wakapo, the son, is 15, and has the tattooed eye upon his forehead.

A small, nameless animal without eyes is chained to the bellows, and vigorously pumps that tool until told to stop. At night Piku unchains it, feeds it a goat-meat patty, and leaves it to guard his forge. No one knows what it would do if it got loose. Piku can get and work iron, aluminum, and virgin metals if his price is met, and he can forge almost anything practical. He has little artistic skill, although he knows a song to sing sword pommels into the shape of animal heads. Piku makes weapons and armor as well as tools 

[...]

Piku’s house is a simple skin dome, a typical Third Eye Blue dwelling, surrounded by a fence which keeps the goats in. Around that are small crop gardens. No one ever has been invited inside.

Apple Lane p8

Goatmeat?  In Apple Lane?!?  

Piku's magic is pretty unremarkable and is repeated in the RQ3 edition which had sorcery in the main rules.

The next source is the Sartar Companion

image.png.62b049b25c155f8b8308f4e7d2ad58ff.png

 

Quote

 

Piku Gastapakis [Darkness, Law, Movement - PHM]

A strange, secretive foreigner of the Third Eye Blue people, Piku is an extremely skilled metal-smith and a sorcerer. His magic all pertains to the arts of metal-working, and knows secrets of metal beyond the ken of the local Gustbran redsmiths. Piku is a small man but extremely strong and very secretive with those outside his family. He fears and hates Dwarves; the feeling is reciprocated by any dwarf who learns of him. Piku will not offer sacrifices to the Orlanthi gods or participate in their worship; instead he worships strange sorcerous demons of which he will not speak.

Third Eye Blue [Law, Movement - PHM]

The Third Eye Blue people are a small tribe of talented metal smiths. Their homeland is in the far north, but over the ages families have migrated
throughout the northern continent, always keeping to their ancient traditions. They are a race of sorcerers who sing their wizardry spells and offer sacrifices
to no gods. The Third Eye Blue once ruled a great empire in the north, and stole the secret of working iron from the Mostali. In retaliation, the Mostali destroyed
their empire and scattered them.

Sartar Companion p173

 

How much of this is still correct is up for debate.  Sartar Companion was published in 2010 before Chaosium went to back to basics on Sorcery..  There is a shift from Piku being a lay member of Ernalda in the RQ2/3 material to not offering any sacrifices in the HQ material.  I doubt that Piku was ever qualified as a sorceror but I do believe that singing animal heads onto pommels is a sorcery spell in action although it is the only one that he knows. 

Piku is not around in 1625 in the RQG material.

So Piku doesn't need sorcery to work metal - which is to be expected as the mostali don't either.  He does know one sorcery spell of limited utlility.  Based on this, I'd say he or his forebears come from the Brass Mountain TEB (in addition, he bears the name of the God there).

Now the Entekosiad:

Quote

The people were so successful that all of their children lived. Four tribes went off from Grandfather's Mountain. One tribe still lives in the Brass Mountains, you know. They are so ancient that they can draw metal out of rocks, and still renew their Grandfather's paintings each cycle.

Entekosiad p14

Quote

The peoples of Vernastger and Urverger wandered their land, spreading the seeds and animals as they went. Then one day they met a new folk, who were called the Vakaruvians because they lived by a hole in the ground which was full of pure, cool water. They gave this to anyone who asked, and never held back from anyone. Most of the people were tired of traveling around so much, and they were so moved that they wished to stay with the women there. The women said they were welcome, but they had to give up their old ways of life and adopt those of the women instead. Many of the people wanted this, but others were not satisfied. They found some women who also wanted to live in the highlands, and they took them back to their ancestral hills. The traditional mountain men were called the Vernastsons, and their daughters are all very good with creek magic.

Entekosiad p42

Quote

He struck a bargain with some magicians in the mountains who supplied bronze armor and helmets to Daxdarius, and the first swords. In return, Daxdarius slew a city of sorcerers who were foes of the three-eyes.

Fortunate Succession p82

There's a fight with the Bull People on the Entekosiad p45 but that's fought using earth magics.  This looks like TEB magic.

Quote

The Golden Bull of Tawenos

This golden statue is larger than life size. It is now guarding the Bisos temple in Tawenos, though it originated as a menace sent from the Tarakolos Mountains to menace Pelanda after Ekus, the Wild Man, died. Nothing could harm it, and it was tamed only by a virgin priestess of Esus who was flawless, sacrificial, and brave. It has occasionally revived to help the bisosae, but was lost when the tribes went south. It was found again after the tribes returned.

Entekosiad p68

So my thinking is as follows.

The TEB has a metal-working kingdom in Fronela - maybe late Golden Age/Early Storm.  They are related to the Blue People/Waertagi in that they have adapted the later's Blue Skin for the ability to see the metal.  Their Fronelan Kingdom was destroyed by Nida in the Middle Storm Age and thyey have been wandering smiths ever since.

The Brass Mountain TEB aquired sorcery with Daxdarius's help (Early Storm Age).  They used it to enslave the mostali and became largely isolated.  This changed when Syranthir brought in a fresh influx of Fronelan TEB smiths into Peloria.  They contacted the Brass Mountain TEB and disseminated their metal working to the rest of Peloria.

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12 hours ago, metcalph said:

I doubt that Piku was ever qualified as a sorceror but I do believe that singing animal heads onto pommels is a sorcery spell in action although it is the only one that he knows

I'll have to partially recant on this.  It's occurred to me that the singing of animal heads onto the pommels of swords is not sorcery but similar to the singing of animals  in Wendarian cave art that forms much of the Entekosdiad.  So what Piku has is not sorcery but ancient magic of limited use.  

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27 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I'll have to partially recant on this.  It's occurred to me that the singing of animal heads onto the pommels of swords is not sorcery but similar to the singing of animals  in Wendarian cave art that forms much of the Entekosdiad.  So what Piku has is not sorcery but ancient magic of limited use.  

When I asked how do the Merfolk manufacture metal items, Jeff answered that they use songs, so maybe the TBE people have similar methods.

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So why do Orlanthi in Apple Lane adore Valeeda's goat patties?

That's a good question.

Note that they not only like them, but their taste brings a smile to everyone's face. 

Couldn't be sorcery, could it? Sorcery performed by the town's ugliest woman who is married to a weird blacksmith whose forge bellows is operated by an unearthly creature that looks like it should be a walking spear and arrow target among the Orlanthi? Nah. It's probably just the blend of eleven special herbs and spices she uses to prepare the patties. ;)

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latest.png.be7baf23ffa819e59ed44498d1782a3b.png

Here's an image of the Third Eye Blue group that you can encounter in Six Ages.

"Explorer and company, exploring in the north, meet unfamiliar outlanders wearing much heavier armor than you've seen on any human. They call themselves the Third Eye Blue—an odd name for a people! This must refer to the blue eyes tattooed in the middle of their foreheads. They ask if you know anything about dwarves and their hideouts. "The minions of the dread god Mostal hide the secrets of metal-working from humankind. We have come from the west to pry this lore from their hidden vaults." -Six Ages

From this encounter I'd say that the Third Eye Blue have yet to steal the secret of Iron from the Mostali (They're still working on that), and that their Empire is still extant in what will become Fronela, and North West Peloria at this point (Late Storm Age).

From here on is some speculation.

The Brass Mountain Third Eye Blue are the eastern most outpost of the Third Eye Blue, and is probably the region where the Six Ages Third Eye Blue hail from. Their outlying nature, away from Nida is perhaps what allowed them to survive the destruction of the Third Eye Blue Empire by the Mostali. I presume that the theft of Iron was accomplished before the onset of the Great Darkness, perhaps within the generation of the encounter, or perhaps within a century or two, followed relatively quickly with the destruction of the Third Eye Blue Empire once it becomes known to the Mostali.

Valind's Glacier is baring down on central Peloria, but I can accept that it doesn't actually expand evenly, so Dara Happa got the Glacier before Charg or somewhere further to the West (I also presume that Valind hates the Sun just as much as the other Air Gods, so he wants to wreck up Yelm's old haunt.) As a quick thought, perhaps the expansion of Valind's Glacier into the Third Eye Blue Empire is precisely what prompted the theft of Iron from the Mostali.

I'm aware that I'm not necessarily including Vadrudi, Ragnaglari, and Hykimi interactions with the Third Eye Blue there, or any sort of speculation on Kachisti and Third Eye Blue relations, but I presume there were interactions between them. (Third Eye Blue as Kachisti remnants? or as escaped Kachisti from Mostali enslavement? or just the Crafting People of Law?)

Edited by Mirza
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20 hours ago, metcalph said:

I'll have to partially recant on this.  It's occurred to me that the singing of animal heads onto the pommels of swords is not sorcery but similar to the singing of animals  in Wendarian cave art that forms much of the Entekosdiad.  So what Piku has is not sorcery but ancient magic of limited use.  

It's also possible that it is sorcery (in RQ3 terms, Form/Set), but he's only willing to use it very sparingly. Animal heads on pommels is incredibly specific...

The Form/Set is relevant, because under those rules, you'd have to name the metal. The description of "pommels" is somewhat broad (unless it just assumed bronze). If using RQ3 rules, that'd mean multiple spells. And from a description above, Piku can work any metal... 

Sure, there could be a very specific spellsong "shape animal head in metal", possibly with a size limitation... But, would that be something TEB pass down and have access to across the lands? If so, Piku isn't the only one. And that, in itself, would be an identitifying characteristic... (So if the dwarves want them dead, that's not a call-sign they'd be leaving regularly).  (Sure, neither is having a huge blue tattoo in the middle of your forehead...).

(Just thinking along those lines, mostly for PCs - perhaps the act.of tattooing the eye allows them to create a "signature" of their choosing... Remembering that the tattoo is supposed to be a sign of mastery)

What I think I'm trying to say is - much hasn't been said (intentional or oversight??) about him, and thus them. The limited information really isn't enough to draw a full conclusion.

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49 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

It's also possible that it is sorcery (in RQ3 terms, Form/Set), but he's only willing to use it very sparingly. Animal heads on pommels is incredibly specific...

It's too specific if you ask me and it implies the other magic in the Entekosiad was also sorcery which doesn't sound right to me.

 

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22 hours ago, Brootse said:

When I asked how do the Merfolk manufacture metal items, Jeff answered that they use songs, so maybe the TBE people have similar methods.

I'd say that there is definitely cold metal working done by magic. This likely makes them easier to use underwater but not so on land - aerofoil blades, fluting that reduces cavitation and/or provides directional stabilisation, etc but just looks like decoration.

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Here are my thoughts on whether or not Piku's use of some mysterious branch of magic is supported by this rule or that: Story always trumps rules. 

When I agreed to let Piku create an artificial arm for Koltic's nephew (also named Koltic) who lost his due to some poor prioritization on Koltic's part, I didn't worry about whether the HQ rules supported something so fantastic. I asked my self these questions instead:

1. Would it be cool? A minor NPC (later to become a PC, due to the troupe style of play we use for our house campaign) gets a magical arm. I think that's pretty darned cool!

2. Does it add to the story? Heck yeah, it does. Not only does it show a regretful Koltic the elder resorting to foreign magic to correct an injury that is indirectly his fault, it also gave me the excuse to pile some extra scenarios on the group and demand that Koltic surrender some very special iron and a valuable spirit crystal to Piku. It also expanded on Piku's mysterious nature and got the PCs to wondering just exactly what this strange foreigner is. In other words, Koltic the younger's magic arm and Piku's part in it was MGF for my group.

3. Does it break or detract from the tone and character of the setting or campaign? Nope, not in my opinion. Weird stuff occurring in an otherwise grounded setting is the bread and butter of Glorantha for me. YGWV.

If I'd have answered no to any of those, and particularly to #2, I wouldn't have allowed Piku to create the arm. I might still have had him claim that he could do it and send the PCs off on wild goose chases for exotic materials that he'd use for his own mysterious projects, of course. ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Shawn Carpenter said:

3. Does it break or detract from the tone and character of the setting or campaign? Nope, not in my opinion. Weird stuff occurring in an otherwise grounded setting is the bread and butter of Glorantha for me. YGWV.

Excellent. I'd have done the same. I also like that you've accidentally (maybe not) made links to the past.

1194823233_Screenshot2020-05-31at18_47_46.png.5bfeaccb254b7b96c88a8a0491a81535.png nothing could go wrong with having mechamagics as part of your body. Could it now.

 

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