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What does Gagarth offer?


Akhôrahil

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Posted (edited)

I also had the thought that many Gagarthi might be recruited in desperate straits. Let’s say you’ve just been outlawed, and you’re starving in the wild by being hunted by people bent on vengeance and possibly even Spirits of Reprisal. Now a Gagarthi shows up (might have Divined for you for just this kind of thing), and offer you food and a safe place to stay as long as you do what you’re goddamned told and initiate to Gagarth. You may or may not survive the spirits of reprisal, but what are you going to do?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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8 minutes ago, Darius West said:

A Gagarthi family...  Now that is something to contemplate. Eww.

Raiding for women and raising the kids as Gagarthi (or well, that’s probably how they end up anyway in a Gagarthi settlement - no active indoctrination necessary).

The squalor and thoughtless brutality of such a place could be a good horror encounter, especially if you feel the PCs are a bit too loose with their honor and you want to show them where this kind of thing might lead.

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11 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

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!

This is also a little like Urain - battle fury and berserking are time-honored traditions, but it’s also possible to go overboard with it. I like the notion that there’s a grey area where it’s still possible to come back.

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On 7/9/2021 at 4:58 AM, Akhôrahil said:

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). 

For the record there are write-ups of Gagarth in TORM #4 and Pavic Tales #6.  Gagarth rides an 8 legged steed with an eagle's beak, is accompanied by spirit wolves, and uses a barbed spear.  He also specializes in dragging people off Hero Quests and destroying their destinies.  Gagarth is a famous source of Whirlvishes (aka dust devils, whirlwinds).  Page 150 of the Book of Heortling Mythology has some write up as well. 

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8 minutes ago, Darius West said:

He also specializes in dragging people off Hero Quests and destroying their destinies. 

Wild Hunter sounding more and more like atavistic Bad Man trapped inside modern Orlanth now that priests and routine initiation ceremonies have mostly replaced the old shamanic system. Sometimes kids just break down in the adulthood rite . . . next year we try harder to give them the moral preparation they need to be good tribal citizens.

The horse sounds familiar and I like the wolves. Wonder how prevalent he's going to get in the northern hero wars as realms like Jonatela break down.

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1 minute ago, scott-martin said:

The horse sounds familiar and I like the wolves. Wonder how prevalent he's going to get in the northern hero wars as realms like Jonatela break down.

The whole Wild Hunt thing is straight out of Germanic mythology as well. And Gagarth strikes me as an excellent Kingdom of War or Charg deity (maybe even Brolia), as he's something of a poor man's Vadrus.

I could see even good people feeling forced to make propitiatory sacrifices to Gagarth if the pressure from local bandits or supernatural forces becomes too great - I'm sure the Wild Hunt will pass you by if you do the right sacrifices and obeisances... usually. Or that you could enter an uneven relationship with the outlaws. From there, it might be a slippery slope...

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54 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Wild Hunter sounding more and more like atavistic Bad Man trapped inside modern Orlanth now that priests and routine initiation ceremonies have mostly replaced the old shamanic system.

I read the Wild Hunt as a major reason why you need a psychopomp. Or, going back to the the thread title, one thing Gagarth will offer you is the opportunity to be a perpetrator rather than a victim in the Underworld.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

The whole Wild Hunt thing is straight out of Germanic mythology as well. And Gagarth strikes me as an excellent Kingdom of War or Charg deity (maybe even Brolia), as he's something of a poor man's Vadrus.

I could see even good people feeling forced to make propitiatory sacrifices to Gagarth if the pressure from local bandits or supernatural forces becomes too great - I'm sure the Wild Hunt will pass you by if you do the right sacrifices and obeisances... usually. Or that you could enter an uneven relationship with the outlaws. From there, it might be a slippery slope...

Paying bandits protection money seems like a Gagarthi "sacrifice" as it were.

 

And yeah, Gagarthi has some of the qualities of Wotan/Odin, within reason of course.

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Posted (edited)

Nuances of banditry is going to matter for some stuff I’m doing with the Skanthi. Might include Valindings as well (it’s cold up against the Rockwoods), that seem to be halfway to Gagarthi but still on the tolerable side for Orlanth-worshipers (Valind is considered dishonorable and cowardly, but he’s still one of the Thunder Brothers, and Valindings would probably say they’re smart and pragmatic instead and can’t afford that nonsense).

Edited by Akhôrahil
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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

For the record there are write-ups of Gagarth in TORM #4 and Pavic Tales #6.  Gagarth rides an 8 legged steed with an eagle's beak, is accompanied by spirit wolves, and uses a barbed spear.  He also specializes in dragging people off Hero Quests and destroying their destinies.  Gagarth is a famous source of Whirlvishes (aka dust devils, whirlwinds).  Page 150 of the Book of Heortling Mythology has some write up as well. 

Here's @coffeemancer's interpretation of Gagarth along those lines:

 

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I think part of what’s scary about Gagarthi (besides a horse charging at you from the air), is the feeling of ”there but for the grace of Orlanth go I”. This isn’t dreadful alien concepts like The Red Goddess or Chaos horrors (but I repeat myself), but what’s just a couple of steps away from your own culture.

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In my IRL campaign right now there is a big thing going down in Tarkalor keep. The outlaws found an old runelord of Gagarth and now five big-shots vie for his tutelage to become initates of gagarth, thus making one of them the undisputed chief of all the local outlaws.

The players are trying to use this to their clan's advantage and the old runelord is playing everyone...

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I like the idea of cultists sometimes not realising they’ve switched allegiance, so Orlanthi degenerating into Gargarth, particularly brutal Storm Bulls degenerating into Uraini. Kind of one spirit of reprisal too many, then something else slides into the spiritual vacuum and the lost soul feels relief they have a new understanding with their god, who is no longer being so harsh on their transgressions. 
 

This could lead to all sorts of craziness, like Uraini who still think they worship Storm Bull, operating under the delusion their insane murderous impulses are because they “sensed chaos”. Or Gargarthi murdering kin because they believe the kin are all traitors to Orlanth, they’re hunting traitors.

Adds a glorious tinge of additional  insanity to people who are by most definitions already insane.

Even more fun, their sincere delusion might convince PCs to help them, all the while their murderous paranoia about strangers is a ticking bomb which could erupt any moment.

The Gargarthi could even say issue a lightbringer summons to the PCs - because the Gargarthi still thinks he is an Orlanthi.

How long does it take for the PCs to figure out something is terribly wrong?

Edited by EricW
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I was thinking about this while doing chores in the garden when it was to much sun and heat stroke was rearing up, so take it for what it is worth...

What if Gagarth is tolerated in the “Orlanthi family” for safety valve reasons? There will always be people who don’t really get this “being good honorable and nice” thing. The worst of that bunch would be heading into the embrace of Chaos before you could say Broo-poo, some you could probably divest to Humakt and Stormbull, but there will be those who are lying cowards with thoughts of grandeur.

That is the target audience for Gagarth, a kind of honey trap to catch the last dredge before it gets really bad.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Hteph said:

I was thinking about this while doing chores in the garden when it was to much sun and heat stroke was rearing up, so take it for what it is worth...

What if Gagarth is tolerated in the “Orlanthi family” for safety valve reasons? There will always be people who don’t really get this “being good honorable and nice” thing. 

Eurmal, especially in HW/HQ, is also a bit like this. HW heavily implied that the Eurmal cult is where you put mentally ill people, whose behavior can then be tolerated (and sometimes benefited from) now that it's cast in a mythical context.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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8 hours ago, Hteph said:

I was thinking about this while doing chores in the garden when it was to much sun and heat stroke was rearing up, so take it for what it is worth...

What if Gagarth is tolerated in the “Orlanthi family” for safety valve reasons? There will always be people who don’t really get this “being good honorable and nice” thing. The worst of that bunch would be heading into the embrace of Chaos before you could say Broo-poo, some you could probably divest to Humakt and Stormbull, but there will be those who are lying cowards with thoughts of grandeur.

That is the target audience for Gagarth, a kind of honey trap to catch the last dredge before it gets really bad.

Problem with that is Gagarth isn't tolerated. He's an "outlaw god" and his worship is forbidden among pretty much every clan and tribe - except for Harvar Ironfist's (though it's less that it isn't forbidden there and more that Harvar doesn't care and he's got the backing of the Lunars, who also don't care).

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5 hours ago, Leingod said:

Problem with that is Gagarth isn't tolerated. He's an "outlaw god" and his worship is forbidden among pretty much every clan and tribe - except for Harvar Ironfist's (though it's less that it isn't forbidden there and more that Harvar doesn't care and he's got the backing of the Lunars, who also don't care).

Tolerated is perhaps the wrong word, accepted existence as non-chaotic, like how Malia has a non-chaotic existence too.

 It is mostly a question on the semantics around pantheon and we are in need of a treatise in how to apply taxonomic science to the various parts of the mythology.  
 

addendum: Of course it is forbidden, suppressed and hunted, you want psychos to try any other venue (Humakt, Stormbull, frakking Vadrus) before ending up there. It is the end station. Beyond that awaits Thed ... 

Edited by Hteph
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On 7/17/2021 at 11:34 PM, Nevermet said:

IMG, Gagarth is popular among certain Haranding warbands.

Your Glorantha Will Vary, but it is worth pointing out that the description of Lonisiland and the Haradlaro in the Guide bears absolutely no resemblance to the fan "Haranding" description in Tradetalk. Lonisiland is the most traditional "Orlanthi" part of Esrolia and bears the most resemblance to the Ditali and Solanthi.

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On 7/18/2021 at 5:17 PM, Leingod said:

Problem with that is Gagarth isn't tolerated. He's an "outlaw god" and his worship is forbidden among pretty much every clan and tribe - except for Harvar Ironfist's (though it's less that it isn't forbidden there and more that Harvar doesn't care and he's got the backing of the Lunars, who also don't care).

Here's some information on the cult in the Cults Book. I am not sure his cult even exists in Dragon Pass - members flee to the Wastes to survive.

NATURE OF THE CULT

REASON FOR CONTINUED EXISTENCE

Gagarth is the deity of senseless violence, as opposed to the Storm Bull, whose brutal destruction is never without purpose. His worshipers are outlaws, cast from their own tribes.

SOCIAL/POLITICAL POSITION AND POWER

Gagarth’s cult has no real societal power. His raiders ravage nomad camps and settled villages, plunder herds, and steal valuables. They hunt down and brutally kill travelers. Such misfits have no standing in any Orlanthi or nomad council.

PARTICULAR LIKES/DISLIKES

Gagarth’s cult has no true friends. Most of his worshipers have been expelled from other cults. The sacred time rituals of both Waha and Eiritha include ritual curses designed to inhibit the Wild Hunter and keep the plains habitable for normal people.

When grievous calamity threatens the Wastes, however, alliances of convenience are formed with Gagarth’s outlaws or they may be hired to perform foul deeds that would sully the hands of a noble Waha khan or Orlanth chief.

THE CULT IN THE WORLD

 ORGANIZATION

The cult of Gagarth is found throughout the Wastes and they travel even more than other nomads. They generally tend to hide out in the wilder, more barren wastelands, to avoid retribution for their evil deeds. Thus, like their god, they have been driven into the hinterland, there to remain forever.

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5 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Your Glorantha Will Vary, but it is worth pointing out that the description of Lonisiland and the Haradlaro in the Guide bears absolutely no resemblance to the fan "Haranding" description in Tradetalk. Lonisiland is the most traditional "Orlanthi" part of Esrolia and bears the most resemblance to the Ditali and Solanthi.

Thanks for this.

My (limited) understanding of the Harandings come primarily from Stafford Library sources at this point, though the lines between "Entruling", "Manirian", and "Haranding" is a bit blurry.  This isn't a criticism, mind you; I'm just acknowledging the continuity issues are a bit tangled still on this (relatively peripheral) setting issue.

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11 minutes ago, Nevermet said:

Thanks for this.

My (limited) understanding of the Harandings come primarily from Stafford Library sources at this point, though the lines between "Entruling", "Manirian", and "Haranding" is a bit blurry.  This isn't a criticism, mind you; I'm just acknowledging the continuity issues are a bit tangled still on this (relatively peripheral) setting issue.

Keep in mind that those sources largely describe things at the Dawn or First Age. They are for the most part more than twelve centuries out of date.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

I am not sure his cult even exists in Dragon Pass

I'm sure it does, but only filled with PC adventurers who believe it has plenty to offer over everything else.

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