Jump to content

What does Gagarth offer?


Akhôrahil

Recommended Posts

I'm trying to understand what would cause people to turn to Gagarth. You're not booted from the Cult of Orlanth (or Storm Bull) just because you're made an outlaw, and they don't particularly oppose raiding and banditry either. Orlanth might prefer honorable behavior, but I don't think you get hit by Spirits of Retribution or anything just because you're lax in that regard? You have to be pretty bad before Orlanth intervenes directly against you. The difference between a War Clan and a bandit gang must surely be one merely of degree?

One explanation would be that Gagarth offers superior magic for outlaws, but while this might work under HeroQuest, I'd be hard-pressed to believe it happens under RQ (I'm sure Windwalking can be put to good use, but compared to the full battery of Orlanth spells?). 

Another might be for exceptionally bitter people who reject the Storm Tribe, or for psychopaths that want their god to approve of their awfulness, but can this really make up enough people?

So basically, why not stay in Orlanth/Storm Bull even after getting outlawed (Orlanth Adventurous in particular), and join up with other Orlanthi outlaws to form a bandit gang? There has to be some reason, whether it's push (Orlanth opposes you) or pull (Gagarth offers you something good enough). 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I'm trying to understand what would cause people to turn to Gagarth.

NO rules!  NO ONE can make you do ANYthing (especially not stupid priests).  Violence is ALWAYS an option, even preferred.  Might makes right - it's your might, so it's right. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

NO ONE can make you do ANYthing ...  Violence is ALWAYS an option

Doesn't seem like you would have to leave Orlanth for that. 🙂

(And unlike 7M, I doubt Gagarth protects you from Spirits of Reprisal, so you might need a stronger reason than precise intonation. 🙂 )

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Doesn't seem like you would have to leave Orlanth for that. 🙂

The average Praxian outlaw comes from a Waha or Daka Fal background.

Outside of Prax, the Wild Hunter may be a figure to be propitiated, but most Orlanthi rebels are fine remaining with Orlanth, finding some site that would allow them the necessary minimum of worship. During Lunar occupation, such sites would be frequented by non-outlawed Sartarites, too.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Joerg said:

The average Praxian outlaw comes from a Waha or Daka Fal background.

Outside of Prax, the Wild Hunter may be a figure to be propitiated, but most Orlanthi rebels are fine remaining with Orlanth, finding some site that would allow them the necessary minimum of worship. During Lunar occupation, such sites would be frequented by non-outlawed Sartarites, too.

True, but you run into Gagarthi in King of Dragon Pass, and they're enough of a force to be reckoned with in the Far Point for Harvar Ironfist to enlist them, and so on - they seem to be something of a small mainstay in Orlanthi lands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Doesn't seem like you would have to leave Orlanth for that. 🙂

But, Orlanth has HONOR.  Orlanth upholds JUSTICE.  If you take something from your kinfolk because you feel like it, Orlanth WILL send his spirits of retribution after you, he will exile or banish you, etc.  There are still "rules" to uphold - that's why Orlanth is King.

Gagarth could care less for honor or justice, could care less about community or kin.  You took something - well, you were stronger, so what. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

But, Orlanth has HONOR.  Orlanth upholds JUSTICE.  If you take something from your kinfolk because you feel like it, Orlanth WILL send his spirits of retribution after you, he will exile or banish you, etc.  There are still "rules" to uphold - that's why Orlanth is King.

Gagarth could care less for honor or justice, could care less about community or kin.  You took something - well, you were stronger, so what. 

If you want to rob your actual kinfolk (so your bloodline?), Orlanth is a bad idea, this is true, but the overwhelming majority of available victims aren't kin (and if you're outlawed, you're no longer in the old community). I don't think Orlanth sends spirit of retribution for general dishonorable combat and robbery though (he does for specific things like violation of hospitality and kinstrife). 

I'm absolutely positive there are plenty of Orlanthi robbers and bandits - Orlanth doesn't oppose taking other people's stuff as long as they're sufficiently "other" (and the bar for "sufficient" is pretty low). So the question is why (and who) Gagarth attracts. It's not that I can't see the possibility  for sufficiently sociopathic people - it's more how you can maintain whole outlaw communities, especially as you'll get slammed with Orlanth Spirits of Retribution just for the cult change. (I might make up some kind of rite to at least avoid this if you switch to Gagarth.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To start with, someone outlawed for a religious transgression might not really have the option to keep up his normal worship, if his god took offense to whatever he did. Or they might be bitter enough about their outlawing to cast aside the faith of Orlanth and embrace Gagarth to take it out on everyone else, former kin included. Alternatively, if you fall in with some Gagarthi for survival's sake, then your decision is kind of out of your hands.

Justifying it from a "what magic does this get me?" standpoint for someone whose occupation is Bandit would probably be akin to that of a Warrior. Orlanth is a good choice for that, but there are more specialized deities for it, like Humakt. In the same way, Orlanth works fine for a bandit, but we might guess that Gagarth is more specialized for it. You could give Gagarth any kind of magic that would make sense for a god of outlaws and bandits: Maybe he can help you sneak around or set an ambush, or he has magic to intimidate your victims so they're too scared to put up a fight. He might also have magic for getting food out in the wilderness, since even the best bandit can't probably get enoughfood just from the people he robs. And since he's the master of the Wild Hunt, maybe a powerful Rune Lord of Gagarth could make his own Wild Hunt out of those he slays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I'm absolutely positive there are plenty of Orlanthi robbers and bandits - Orlanth doesn't oppose taking other people's stuff as long as they're sufficiently "other" (and the bar for "sufficient" is pretty low). So the question is why (and who) Gagarth attracts.

two options :

you are outlawed by your clan and rejected by Orlanth too because what you did was wrong enough to no be welcomed by your god any more

you are victim of an injustice (or you believe you are) and Orlanth did not help you. You lost your devotion to him and now you need a god to seek revenge (and not justice)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

But, Orlanth has HONOR.  Orlanth upholds JUSTICE.  If you take something from your kinfolk because you feel like it, Orlanth WILL send his spirits of retribution after you, he will exile or banish you, etc.  There are still "rules" to uphold - that's why Orlanth is King.

Gagarth could care less for honor or justice, could care less about community or kin.  You took something - well, you were stronger, so what. 

That's pretty much it. There's always those who want to kill, rob and take without any code of honour or justice. Gagarth is for those who think Orlanth, Storm Bull, and Humakt are suckers. It is a small cult, barely a blip. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Gagarth gets a dishonor passion instead of honor, and can invoke it when doing bad things.  

On 7/9/2021 at 6:07 PM, French Desperate WindChild said:

two options :

you are outlawed by your clan and rejected by Orlanth too because what you did was wrong enough to no be welcomed by your god any more

you are victim of an injustice (or you believe you are) and Orlanth did not help you. You lost your devotion to him and now you need a god to seek revenge (and not justice)

Your comment above (to me) seems more like a Humakti "severance from clan ties" issue, than a descent into Gagarthi behavior.

On 7/9/2021 at 5:43 AM, Akhôrahil said:

Doesn't seem like you would have to leave Orlanth for that. 🙂

(And unlike 7M, I doubt Gagarth protects you from Spirits of Reprisal, so you might need a stronger reason than precise intonation. 🙂 )

I agree Akhorahil.  Gagarth won't protect anyone from spirits of reprisal, except perhaps with standard Spirit Block.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Darius West said:

Your comment above (to me) seems more like a Humakti "severance from clan ties" issue, than a descent into Gagarthi behavior.

you are right I see  Gargath as one choice for severed (?) people, but not the only choice

I think that when a character is excluded he may choose an honorable (Humakt) or acceptable (Bab's, Stormbull, and friends...) or despicable (Gargath) way and of course still Orlanth

It depends on "what" is the character (perverse, selfish, violent, courageous, etc...)  and what were the opportunities : if he met gargarthi first, he may become gargathi, maybe an humakti mentor could show him a "new" path etc...

 

There may exist other reasons to choose Gargath (or be called by him) like family, etc... but following Gargath is following a path of difficulties and pain so rarely without a crisis as origin

 

That's my view of course, Our Glorantha May Vary

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my games I've treated Gagarth as a subcult of Orlanth, so that Gagarth is just another name for Orlanth the Outlaw. It's clear from the lore that initiates have the movement rune so it stands to reason that they would have the standard Orlanth power suite, perhaps complemented that with some limited disorder magic from the Gagarth subcult.

If Gagarth is a different cult altogether, is there also an outlaw subcult of Orlanth? If so, then based on what Jeff said above it would seem that most of the outlaws roaming the hills are decent Orlanth laymen or even initiates who cling to their previous notions of honor and clan kinship. And then there are the "bad boys" of the deep hills, who'll rob their own grandmother if the opportunity arises.

 

 

Edited by Shimozakura
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Shimozakura said:

In my games I've treated Gagarth as a subcult of Orlanth, so that Gagarth is just another name for Orlanth the Outlaw. It's clear from the lore that initiates have the movement rune so it stands to reason that they would have the standard Orlanth power suite, perhaps complemented that with some limited disorder magic from the Gagarth subcult.

If Gagarth is a different cult altogether, is there also an outlaw subcult of Orlanth? If so, then based on what Jeff said above it would seem that most of the outlaws roaming the hills are decent Orlanth laymen or even initiates who cling to their previous notions of honor and clan kinship. And then there are the "bad boys" of the deep hills, who'll rob their own grandmother if the opportunity arises.

 

 

Why would there need to be an outlaw subcult? You just need to find a community that will accept you.

Gagarth has no need for community.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't Gagarth just the Glorantha version of the Wild West / Mexican Bandit / Outlaw bands trope, that terrorise the locals and the main protagonists have to cleverly defeat them?

On 7/9/2021 at 9:27 AM, Jeff said:

It is a small cult, barely a blip. 

Once defeated, another gang fills the power vacuum.

  • 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

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David Scott said:

Isn't Gagarth just the Glorantha version of the Wild West / Mexican Bandit / Outlaw bands trope, that terrorise the locals and the main protagonists have to cleverly defeat them?

If said bandits had also become devil worshipers or something. I mean, they don’t usually have their own religion?

Edited by Akhôrahil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Shimozakura said:

If Gagarth is a different cult altogether, is there also an outlaw subcult of Orlanth?

Not sure that you need anything beyond Orlanth Adventurous? Being an outlaw, a bandit, and a thief is fine by Orlanth as long as you’re not being egregiously awful about it.

Edited by Akhôrahil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Not sure that you need anything beyond Orlanth Adventurous? Being an outlaw, a bandit, and a thief is fine by Orlanth as long as you’re not being egregiously awful about it.

But there are always going to be some who want to be egregiously awful about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Leingod said:

But there are always going to be some who want to be egregiously awful about it.

Sure, but then an Orlanth subcult won’t be much help? If you’re beyond the pale for Orlanth, that’s when you go to another god.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

If said bandits had also become devil worshipers or something. I mean, they don’t usually have their own religion?

I mean, gods in Glorantha within the context of a culture should be seen more like patron saints in Christianity. Becoming a Gagarthi isn't a religious conversion so much as it's joining The Lord Humungus or Immortan Joe's armies, or possibly Peckinpah's Wild Bunch. (Or in an especially grim lozenge, the Glanton Gang.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/8/2021 at 2:58 PM, Akhôrahil said:

I'm trying to understand what would cause people to turn to Gagarth.

IMG most Gagarth groups don't choose the lifestyle so much as get left behind when Orlanth goes away. Sometimes local expressions of a cult simply degenerate either under external pressure or because internal resources that once maintained "normal" community are no longer available. Gagarth is a thing that we see when local Orlanth breaks down. Some people say it was what Orlanth looked like in the raw state before a process of refinement and "civilizing" but I don't know about that.

So when Orlanth is banned, people who don't find something to replace him (i.e., they don't convert to the Invisible God or the Moon or whatever) tend to preserve a cruder form of what they had. The nuances get lost as initiates with specialty knowledge are lost and not replaced. Because these people tend to get pushed out to the social fringes, social graces like honor atrophy. People make tougher choices and by definition the ones we meet selected for survival. This is where bandits come from. Make enough wrong choices and this is where the line separating disorder from chaos blurs.

Orlanth is an interesting cult because we see it pushed beyond that moral pale again and again within time and so far they've always found a way to come back. They start reaching again for the more rarefied passions, building institutions. The ones who don't are lost unless they can be convinced to respect authority.

And of course there are always born assholes.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could perhaps draw analogies with hsunchen. Some people are able to think/live like animals, and so can exist on the fringes of 'civilization', but for people who aren't able to make that leap, discover that familiar relationship with good ol' Hykim and Mykih, there's always Gagarth the Wild Hunter.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

IMG most Gagarth groups don't choose the lifestyle so much as get left behind when Orlanth goes away. 

Oh, I like this! At some point, your worship starts to go to Gagarth instead, and then maybe someone realizes this and the people find they’re alright with it (and also low on options).

It sometimes seems like the Storm Gods were originally mostly like Vadrus, but then (apart from him) found some niche and behaviour that made them more palatable.

Edited by Akhôrahil
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

you are right I see  Gargath as one choice for severed (?) people, but not the only choice

I think that when a character is excluded he may choose an honorable (Humakt) or acceptable (Bab's, Stormbull, and friends...) or despicable (Gargath) way and of course still Orlanth

We are on the same page I think.

6 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

It depends on "what" is the character (perverse, selfish, violent, courageous, etc...)  and what were the opportunities : if he met gargarthi first, he may become gargathi, maybe an humakti mentor could show him a "new" path etc...

I agree, and would add that much depends on the company a character keeps, as you suggest here.  I suspect people wind up Gagarthi after a series of pretty reprehensible life choices. They might start off leaving their clan over a matter of honor and principle, but if they choose expedient and/or despicable acts due to peer pressure, but stop short of actual chaos, they will come to rest with the Gagarthi.  

6 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

There may exist other reasons to choose Gargath (or be called by him) like family, etc... but following Gargath is following a path of difficulties and pain so rarely without a crisis as origin

That's my view of course, Our Glorantha May Vary

A Gagarthi family...  Now that is something to contemplate. Eww.  I wonder how many women would find such a lifestyle desirable enough to join Gagarth at any time in their life?  Imagine raising kids in that environment.  Remember that Bandits get no income, so they will be on the edge of starvation all the time.  Gagarthi are only better than broos because they are not cannibals and are infrequent rapists.

As you say OGMV

Edited by Darius West
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Akhôrahil said:

Oh, I like this! At some point, your worship starts to go to Gagarth instead, and then maybe someone realizes this and the people find they’re alright with it (and also low on options).

I love this part back. There's probably a moment where you look at your people and either scoff "we're cool. what did that pansy Orlanth ever do for us?" or wince "yikes, we need tough love because this Adventure has gone a little too far."

Probably a whole tradition of culture heroes in places we don't know about yet (Aggar?) who go around forcefully wrestling recidivists down. For all I know this is how we get things like Storm Bull in the first place!

  • Like 2
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.

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...