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Cult spirits, uses, and who has them


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  Breaking out from a "starter set" thread...

8 hours ago, David Scott said:

...For example Barntar has no associated cult spirits, and Daka Fal's spirits are all covered by specific summon spells. Neither has a use for summon cult spirit (Barntar has no use for Command Cult spirit either).

I'm surprised, I would have thought that pretty much all cults had cult spirits, even if they aren't particularly interesting with unique powers.

For example, in my game two adventurers out on the road both broke their swords, and nobody in the party had Repair, so the Issaries guy summoned a cult spirit and asked it to cast Repair on their swords. Does Issaries have cult spirits? The writeup neither says that he does nor does not.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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IMGU, ALL gods have cult spirits. It is one of the many things that separate the gods and mortals, ESPECIALLY since every 200 to 500 years seems to breed another ascendant Heroquester or other who succeeds in apotheosis.

Whether a given cult spirit is a devoted worshiper granted the right to serve their deity after Death, or is a spirit associated with a Rune or task or idea /concept, the gods attract those spirits most like themselves and those spirits become available to mortal worshipers through Rune spells.

Adventurers may not have a whole Hell of a lot of use for a cult spirit that embodies the Plough spell, but you can surely bet that a carl is HAPPY to make use of that Rune Point on the first day of Sea Season planting when he has to start cutting into a field that has lain fallow for a year and has been rained on and frozen and is damned near brick-hard.

 

Edited by svensson
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  • PhilHibbs changed the title to Cult spirits, uses, and who has them
20 minutes ago, svensson said:

Adventurers may not have a whole Hell of a lot of use for a cult spirit that embodies the Plough spell, but you can surely bet that a carl is HAPPY to make use of that Rune Point on the first day of Sea Season planting when he has to start cutting into a field that has lain fallow for a year and has been rained on and frozen and is damned near brick-hard.

 

Totally agree, I've always felt that earth goddesses/grain goddesses would have similiar cult spirits that protected crops from rodents and other pests, and given that in Glorantha disease is often considered to be caused  by spirits etc there would be some sort of cult spirit that might benignly possess the growing crop and protect it. I know there is Bless Crops as a rune spell but i was thinking in addition to that.

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20 minutes ago, Agentorange said:

Totally agree, I've always felt that earth goddesses/grain goddesses would have similiar cult spirits that protected crops from rodents and other pests, and given that in Glorantha disease is often considered to be caused  by spirits etc there would be some sort of cult spirit that might benignly possess the growing crop and protect it. I know there is Bless Crops as a rune spell but i was thinking in addition to that.

I would think the Grain Goddesses would have a 'Preserve' spell [using the KODP example] that prevents rodent infestation, but Earth generally implies 'the living or soils Earth' where Stasis implies 'the fixed or mineral Earth'. As such, Earth goddesses represent all living things, be they beast or plant. Rodents are part of the natural cycle and are thus entitled to a portion of the harvest... within reason. It's fine to lose a few carrots and lettuce to hares, but locusts are another thing entirely!

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16 minutes ago, svensson said:

I would think the Grain Goddesses would have a 'Preserve' spell [using the KODP example] that prevents rodent infestation, but Earth generally implies 'the living or soils Earth' where Stasis implies 'the fixed or mineral Earth'. As such, Earth goddesses represent all living things, be they beast or plant. Rodents are part of the natural cycle and are thus entitled to a portion of the harvest... within reason. It's fine to lose a few carrots and lettuce to hares, but locusts are another thing entirely!

It strikes me that frequently grain was stored in subterranean silos, so I think we might be looking for Asrelia, at least in a Heortling context, once it has been harvested.  ILH2 had some very nifty crop anti-pest magics IIRC

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2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

It strikes me that frequently grain was stored in subterranean silos, so I think we might be looking for Asrelia, at least in a Heortling context, once it has been harvested.  ILH2 had some very nifty crop anti-pest magics IIRC

ILH2 ?

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4 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

It strikes me that frequently grain was stored in subterranean silos, so I think we might be looking for Asrelia, at least in a Heortling context, once it has been harvested. 

That is correct.  And because Asrelia is the keeper of the granaries and treasuries, her priestesses wield a lot of influence even though her cult is relatively small.

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17 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I'm surprised, I would have thought that pretty much all cults had cult spirits, even if they aren't particularly interesting with unique powers.

To clarify, none listed in the Cult spirits section. You can of course add them for colour in your game.

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For example, in my game two adventurers out on the road both broke their swords, and nobody in the party had Repair, so the Issaries guy summoned a cult spirit and asked it to cast Repair on their swords.

That's great too, it's works under MGF.

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Does Issaries have cult spirits? The writeup neither says that he does nor does not.

That's the problem. We don't actually have full cult write ups at the moment, The details are in the upcoming GoG (or older publications).

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CULT SPIRITS

Issaries is served by spirits of roads, pathways, and of commerce and communication.

 

Edited by David Scott
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18 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

  Breaking out from a "starter set" thread...

I'm surprised, I would have thought that pretty much all cults had cult spirits, even if they aren't particularly interesting with unique powers.

For example, in my game two adventurers out on the road both broke their swords, and nobody in the party had Repair, so the Issaries guy summoned a cult spirit and asked it to cast Repair on their swords. Does Issaries have cult spirits? The writeup neither says that he does nor does not.

Pretty much all cults have spirits imo.  They are the pool from which cults get their allied spirits for Rune level folk.  Most, if not all, are the spirits of dead worshippers, who are sworn to service after death in order to earn a better rebirth, or pay off sins, or gain better insight into their god, or because they volunteered, or somesuch.  As repair is a favored Issaries spirit magic, it is reasonable that a cult spirit of Issaries would know it.  Cult spirits spend their time flitting about their cult's temples, and may well serve as conduits for POW and prayers to be sent to one's deity.  For inspiration, take a peek at Peter Greenaway's film "Prospero's Books", where all the naked folk parading across the screen are various types of spirits summoned by Prospero the sorcerer, if you need some sort of visual reference as to what temples look like under Second Sight.  I use this as the justification for why Rune Lords get better Divine Intervention chances.  Their allied spirits have the best connection to their god. YGMV, of course, and the people of Glorantha who lack access to Second Sight can go their whole lives without seeing any spirit, cult or otherwise.

Edited by Darius West
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16 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Barntar would have great use for a plough spirit and for many earth, and possibly water, spirits.

Barntar already gives Plow (RBM 69) as a rune spell. Cults spirits are listed in addition to those who already perform a role and usually include a spirit of retribution and Allied spirits.

15 hours ago, svensson said:

Whether a given cult spirit is a devoted worshiper granted the right to serve their deity after Death

That's the kind of thing. They are tiny remainders, maybe in the temple forever woshipping.

15 hours ago, svensson said:

or is a spirit associated with a Rune or task or idea /concept, the gods attract those spirits most like themselves and those spirits become available to mortal worshipers through Rune spells.

These are Hero cults / subcults, they are much more than the usual cult spirits.

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35 minutes ago, David Scott said:

These are Hero cults / subcults, they are much more than the usual cult spirits.

So what do you see as the difference between a 'Hero cult /subcult' and a 'usual cult spirit'?

As I understand things, comparatively few gods have Hero cults and those that do are usually the martial or confrontational ones. For example, Aldrya doesn't list Hero cults so much as age bracket subcults, but Kyger Litor has several offshoot hero cults attached to her specific worship. I'm unaware of any Ernalda Heroine-cults, but Orlanth has a half-dozen that have been named. For that matter, it seems like every tribe seems to have their own native Orlanthi Hero that offers a unique spell or skill.  In addition, from everything I've read Hero cults are adjuncts to the worship a god and are rarely the sole focus of worship in and of themselves.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Barntar already gives Plow (RBM 69) as a rune spell. Cults spirits are listed in addition to those who already perform a role and usually include a spirit of retribution and Allied spirits.

Indeed, but I wasn't meaning as a spell.  Rather the cult spirit could inhabit the plough itself on a permanent basis, rather than being cast occasionally.  It might have powers not covered by the rune magic.

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21 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Indeed, but I wasn't meaning as a spell.  Rather the cult spirit could inhabit the plough itself on a permanent basis, rather than being cast occasionally.  It might have powers not covered by the rune magic.

I like it!

But it opens a whole can of worms (not the plough, but I suppose it could do that as well). It would mean a whole stack of spirits could add a whole stack of bonuses to a whole stack of items.... and players being what they are...

Edited by Shiningbrow
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1 hour ago, Ali the Helering said:

... Rather the cult spirit could inhabit the plough itself on a permanent basis, rather than being cast occasionally.  It might have powers not covered by the rune magic.

Sure, but this would be rare. Cult spirits are not infinite and renewable.

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1 hour ago, svensson said:

So what do you see as the difference between a 'Hero cult /subcult' and a 'usual cult spirit'?

Subcults are usually aspects of a god that are different enough to give different benefits, mostly in larger cults (eg Orlanth Thunderous, Orlanth Adventurous, Orlanth Vinga, Orlanth Rex). Hero Cults are usually specific individuals who have contributed to the cult in some way, usually teaching a specific skill, spirit magic or rune magic. Hero cults are usually local and have always been encouraged as a way of adding new magics / skills to your game as they don't alter anything big. There will be a point where some hero cults crosses over with ancestor worship and spirit cults.

Usual Cult spirits are those that aren't any that fit into Spirit of Vengence, Allied spirit, specifically detailed cult spirits. Examples include (from upcoming GoG):

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ERNALDA: As the Earth Mother, Ernalda is the Queen of the Earth and served by earth elementals of every size and form*. Nymphs of every variety*, nature spirits, plant spirits, animal spirits, agricultural spirits, landscape spirits, snake daughters*, other snake spirits, pig spirits, household guardians*, and all those spirits that dwell beneath the earth serve her as well. Many great queens and priestesses continue to serve her after death. The Earth Mother is also served by unusual cult spirits such as the Jolly Fat Man or the Big Man.

I starred the ones that have specific summons, the others just use Summon Cult spirit.

Ernalda has a large scope. 

1 hour ago, svensson said:

As I understand things, comparatively few gods have Hero cults and those that do are usually the martial or confrontational ones. For example, Aldrya doesn't list Hero cults so much as age bracket subcults,

I would imagine there are local elf hero cults. These would likely be detailed only in an appropriate elf book. Shannon Appelcline detailed a number in his elf book, which while for the Second Age, would transfer easily to Third Age locales. 

1 hour ago, svensson said:

but Kyger Litor has several offshoot hero cults attached to her specific worship. I'm unaware of any Ernalda Heroine-cults,

Ernalda hero cults are detailed in The Book of Heortling Mythology, Appendix C, Orlanthi Heroes and Hero Cults (pages 174-185):

Benevalda, Darasra, Deleen, Demelasra, Derreva, Deserlanda, etc.

1 hour ago, svensson said:

but Orlanth has a half-dozen that have been named. For that matter, it seems like every tribe seems to have their own native Orlanthi Hero that offers a unique spell or skill.  In addition, from everything I've read Hero cults are adjuncts to the worship a god and are rarely the sole focus of worship in and of themselves.

There are more Orlanth heroes and those for other cults, in the reference above.

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1 hour ago, Ali the Helering said:

Rather the cult spirit could inhabit the plough itself on a permanent basis, rather than being cast occasionally.  It might have powers not covered by the rune magic.

This sounds to me like a plough with a spirit binding and a cult spirit that knows repair, or ploughsharp or whatever. Or a plough with a spirit magic focus of the aforementioned spells.

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2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Indeed, but I wasn't meaning as a spell.  Rather the cult spirit could inhabit the plough itself on a permanent basis, rather than being cast occasionally.  It might have powers not covered by the rune magic.

This would essentially be an Allied Spirit, housed in the plow?

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

This sounds to me like a plough with a spirit binding and a cult spirit that knows repair, or ploughsharp or whatever. Or a plough with a spirit magic focus of the aforementioned spells.

 

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

This would essentially be an Allied Spirit, housed in the plow?

 

1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

Good option for a retired rune master.

Yup, that's the general idea, although it needn't be an Allied Spirit, 'just' a Cult Spirit.  Something to inspire the undecided to join the cult, perhaps, when they see the 'Speed the Plough' power giving our Barntari the afternoon off after he deals with the job before lunch.  Perhaps a Landscape Spirit to empower the ploughing at a particular site, or one to evict any stones in the plough's path, to continuously sharpen the blade etc etc etc .

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6 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Yup, that's the general idea, although it needn't be an Allied Spirit, 'just' a Cult Spirit.  Something to inspire the undecided to join the cult, perhaps, when they see the 'Speed the Plough' power giving our Barntari the afternoon off after he deals with the job before lunch.  Perhaps a Landscape Spirit to empower the ploughing at a particular site, or one to evict any stones in the plough's path, to continuously sharpen the blade etc etc etc .

Seems a bit over-powered, like a permanent rune spell. Maybe one of the more powerful clan treasures, but certainly not something easy to do, like "summon cult spirit, bind it, auto-plough!".

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8 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Seems a bit over-powered, like a permanent rune spell. Maybe one of the more powerful clan treasures, but certainly not something easy to do, like "summon cult spirit, bind it, auto-plough!".

There could be a lot of fun stories here - "Vargast was so dedicated to his plowing that after he died at his favorite plough before the season's plowing was complete, his spirit took up residence in the plough so that he could finish the job and then do it forever. Remember to paint the eyes on it every season, so that it can see where it's going. You have to be of his kin in order to use it, though - Ashart the Orlkarling tried to anyway, and it turned on him and almost cut his foot off!"

Edited by Akhôrahil
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22 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Seems a bit over-powered, like a permanent rune spell. Maybe one of the more powerful clan treasures, but certainly not something easy to do, like "summon cult spirit, bind it, auto-plough!".

I meant only the one power.  Simply giving suggestions for a choice!

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