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Gloranthan Martial Arts


ZedAlpha

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I'm pretty sure there is, but I think most of it tends to be associated with Kralorela, because it's a pastiche of a lot of "fantasy China" tropes, including kung fu. I seem to recall a specific mention of Morokanth martial arts somewhere, too, though for the life of me I couldn't tell you where.

There's also mentions of traditions of wrestling and such in many parts of Genertela - it's a traditional sport of Western nobles, for instance - but I'm not sure how codified it is anywhere. Realistically pretty much every culture should have some form of wrestling, and a lot of them will also have other martial games and sports to train for combat, like boxing or fighting while mounted.

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1 hour ago, ZedAlpha said:

Any literature on any named fighting styles in Glorantha particularly unarmed styles? 

Quote

Different schools of Martial Arts exist in the Lunar Heartland,
Loskalm, Seshnela, Teshnos, and Kralorela.

RuneQuest Glorantha p181

Of the listed countries, Seshnela is the most surprising.

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Of the listed countries, Seshnela is the most surprising.

Don't they have those competing warrior fraternities or something along those lines? That seems like pretty fertile ground for developing and codifying different approaches to combat to try to get an advantage over your rivals.

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hm. Seshnela.....Since a lot of people in Seshnela are Zzaburi, and God Forgot in the Holy Country are pretty much all descendants of Zzaburi colonists, do you think it'd be plausible if there were some unarmed warrior lodges there? Perhaps mixed in with sorcery or shamanism? 

Full disclosure, the reason why I started this thread is that one of my players is rolling up a replacement character for his Praxian archer/sorcerer from the Impala Tribe, and wants to know if he could play a "Wuxia dude" (his words) as his next character. I don't see any reason why not, but it'd be even cooler if there was a way to tie his character in to the Holy Country, since that's where the campaign is set. 

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2 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Don't they have those competing warrior fraternities or something along those lines? That seems like pretty fertile ground for developing and codifying different approaches to combat to try to get an advantage over your rivals.

It isn't "different approaches to combat" but unarmed fighting styles.  A society of Rationalist Malkioni and  halfwitted Hsunchen is the less likely society that one would expect to have formal unarmed fighting styles (where is Ralios and Fronela then?).  A possibility is that they imported it from Kralorela but it is still rather surprising.

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3 minutes ago, ZedAlpha said:

hm. Seshnela.....Since a lot of people in Seshnela are Zzaburi, and God Forgot in the Holy Country are pretty much all descendants of Zzaburi colonists, do you think it'd be plausible if there were some unarmed warrior lodges there? Perhaps mixed in with sorcery or shamanism? 

Not really - those people are Brithini who are so terrified of death they would surrender when other people would confidently expect victory.

3 minutes ago, ZedAlpha said:

Full disclosure, the reason why I started this thread is that one of my players is rolling up a replacement character for his Praxian archer/sorcerer from the Impala Tribe, and wants to know if he could play a "Wuxia dude" (his words) as his next character. I don't see any reason why not, but it'd be even cooler if there was a way to tie his character in to the Holy Country, since that's where the campaign is set. 

The best bet for a martial artists IMO is (of all places!) Sun County.  Since it was part of the Celestial Empire under the evil Sheng Seleris and has small populations of Kralori and Teshnans there (at least per the Sandheart books in the Jonstown Compendium), it's plausbible for there to be a martial artists there.

Bad news - he will worship Jolaty who would is an even more harsh version of Yelmalio.  Any Lunars that recognize him will be be terrified.

For the Holy Country specifically - there are Kralori and Teshnan emirge populations in Nochet but they are of the wrtehed hive of scum and villany inhabitants rather than refined martial artists.  Not that there could be some there, mind you but it would be surprising.

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An explanation for Seshnegi unarmed martial arts could be the noble caste's (talars, iiirc?) prohibition against carrying weapons. I know in some places they get around this by using "scepters" and "crowns" that have been modified over time into maces and chakrams respectively without ever "counting" as weapons. But in other place, or in parallel to this practice, the nobility could practice unarmed martial arts as a way of getting around this prohibition, or simply as a sport or meditation technique (to build discipline and self-control). I can see some nobles seeing the practice of using the aforementioned scepters and crowns as cheating, and against the spirit of the Abiding Book, thus training unarmed instead.

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5 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Not really - those people are Brithini who are so terrified of death they would surrender when other people would confidently expect victory.

The best bet for a martial artists IMO is (of all places!) Sun County.  Since it was part of the Celestial Empire under the evil Sheng Seleris and has small populations of Kralori and Teshnans there (at least per the Sandheart books in the Jonstown Compendium), it's plausbible for there to be a martial artists there.

Bad news - he will worship Jolaty who would is an even more harsh version of Yelmalio.  Any Lunars that recognize him will be be terrified.

For the Holy Country specifically - there are Kralori and Teshnan emirge populations in Nochet but they are of the wrtehed hive of scum and villany inhabitants rather than refined martial artists.  Not that there could be some there, mind you but it would be surprising.

that sounds cool, but I need to look up almost all of that, hang on. 

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3 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Not really - those people are Brithini who are so terrified of death they would surrender when other people would confidently expect victory.

All the more reason to have a discipline of non-lethal combat, focused on avoiding damage and taking opponents down quickly. Something similar to judo, where you use your opponent's weight to pin them to the ground.

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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Shouldn’t that be Quack-Fu?

Yes it should! I was going to post to that effect but got busy. Howard the duck (being a master of quack fu) would approve that post!

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Shouldn’t that be Quack-Fu?

Two different regions... Quack Fu is from the south east... Quackwondo is from the areas in Dragon Pass near the marsh.

There are other styles in the region such as Quack Jit Zu (also in the marshes) and Quackjutsu (mostly practised by Humakti ducks in the region)

Edited by FungusColombicus
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4 minutes ago, FungusColombicus said:

Two different regions... Quack Fu is from the south east... Quackwondo is from the areas in Dragon Pass near the marsh.

There are other styles in the region such as Quack Jit Zu (also in the marshes) and Quackjutsu (mostly practised by Humakti ducks in the region)

Fine, and where would Quackoeira fit into this quacked (er, sorry) cracked up theory, eh?

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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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2 hours ago, ZedAlpha said:

hm. Seshnela.....Since a lot of people in Seshnela are Zzaburi, and God Forgot in the Holy Country are pretty much all descendants of Zzaburi colonists, do you think it'd be plausible if there were some unarmed warrior lodges there? Perhaps mixed in with sorcery or shamanism? 

Full disclosure, the reason why I started this thread is that one of my players is rolling up a replacement character for his Praxian archer/sorcerer from the Impala Tribe, and wants to know if he could play a "Wuxia dude" (his words) as his next character. I don't see any reason why not, but it'd be even cooler if there was a way to tie his character in to the Holy Country, since that's where the campaign is set. 

Caladraland unfortunately doesn't have a whole lot of support. But, Veskarthan/Lodril, one of the most prominent gods there, has in the north of the continent a tradition of peasant revolutionaries in the "Brotherhood of the Invisible Spear", which to me sounds an awful lot like there's some 36th Chamber of Shaolin stuff going on. Caladralanders are, of course, stereotypically prone to being shirtless and (probably) oiled up in any case, sounds like a wuxia protagonist to me!

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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While there isn't much in the way of official canon material on Caladraland, @RHW wrote up cult descriptions for the chief volcano god Veskarthen (who may or may not be Caladralander Lodril) and Caladra and Aurelion, twin deities of Earth And Fire In Harmony here on the forum. I'll link them below, maybe you or your player might find them useful.

EDIT: Please don't ask me to explain the Palpatine

Edited by Ladygolem
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I introduced a martial artist NPC to my player group a few sessions ago, or at least the ghost of one.  Dian Shu was a brother in a sun-contemplating Kralorelan monastic order when Sheng Seleris usurped the empire.  His order refused to fight for or against Sheng, who took a tithe of the brethren anyway and kept them in iron cages hauled in the baggage train of his armies.  Dian Shu died when Shen Seleris bartered his soul to Judge Dahak of Pavis, in exchange for Second Age lore possibly possessed only by Dahak at that point in history.  Dian Shu was burned alive as a sacrifice to Dahak, and his spirit was imprisoned in a shard of yellow glass.  Dahak learned a great deal about Kralorelan culture from the ghost monk, but Dian Shu's attempts to cure the ogre sorcerer's occlusion through contemplation of the infinite failed, and he spent much of the following decades resting on a shelf in the ogre's sanctum.  Dian Shu is an expert martial artist, but without a body his skills apply to his Spirit Combat, rather than an Unarmed.  He can still train the living in the art, and likely shall now that he's been won from Dahak in a wager, freed from his glass prison, and joined to a Tarshite philosopher as an allied spirit for the next year.

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