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Manirian Scratchpad VI: Chaos in Maniria


Nevermet

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I haven't wrote one of these in a while.  So, I am returning with what I hope will be a fun discussion of Maniria: CHAOS!

 

Usually, I start with a general background post or two, and then go into some specifics.  I'm not going to do that this time for a few reasons.  First, there is almost no discussion of Manirian Chaos in the Guide, so it is harder for me to summarize the "canon" position.  I suppose that could mean Maniria is an extremely low Chaos region, but (1) where's the fun in that, and (2) that seems extraordinarily unlikely given its history.  So, instead, this post will start with a quote from Jeff, and then I'm going to babble about Manirian Ogres who I argue are distinct, because I'd imagine Ogre culture varies by region as much as human culture does.

 

So, over in the thread on the Holy Country, Jajagappa quoted Jeff:

On 3/13/2021 at 5:57 PM, jajagappa said:
And what's going on in Maniria, you might ask.
The early Third Age was spent stabilizing the lands from the disasters that ended the Second Age. As is common in such turmoil, Chaos found the opportunity to strike and grow. Mallia spread wide her maw, broo raped their way to strength, and a small ogre kingdom tried to gain ascendancy along the Vankthi River before being smashed by otters, newtlings, and an unusual collection of werebeast magicians summoned for the special occasion.

 

So, two things catch my eye in this quote:

  • As most would expect, a massive catastrophe like the Sinking of Slontos creates fertile ground for Chaos to flourish.  I'd also imagine the Devastation of the Vent created a similar Chaos bloom in eastern Maniria also.
  • Less expected, however, is the phrase, "a small ogre kingdom tried to gain ascendancy along the Vankthi River."  I want to make sense of that

Lets acknowledge that Ogres aren't "Chaotic Stupid": they aren't so blindly committed to Chaos that they aren't able to plan or coordinate action.  That said, they don't tend to take over or rule.  Partly, this is because of their magical resources: Cacodemon doesn't really give people the resources to become rulers.  Also, it's a matter of context: a small network of Ogres on the margins of human society will likely try to erode that society rather than foment revolution.  However, this second point is false in Maniria after the Sinking.  An Ogre in Highwater could be forgiven for looking at the destruction, shrugging and going, "Well.  Mission accomplished I guess?  ...Now what?"  

 

What comes next, it appears, is an interim state of affairs where Ogres create and rule a state-level society with the intent of collecting the resources necessary create a stable flow of humans to eat, and to conduct a large number of Cacodemon rituals.  Yes, the eventual goal is still complete ruin of everything (ALL HAIL THE CACODEMON), but compromises must be made in the meantime.

 

And now I get to the weird bit: to help build their Kingdom of Ogres, Manirian Ogres worship another Chaos deity that will help maintain & centralize political power.  This Chaos deity is rarely worshipped in Genertela by anyone, but the Ogres of Slontos would likely know about him: Ompalam, the God of Slavery and degenerate centralization.  Ompalam would be a perfect secondary deity to Ogres with dreams of creating a kingdom that would export Cacodemon cults into the rest of Genertela.  Manirian Ogres whisper dreams of centralization into the ears of the Trader Princes, Greymayne, and the Takers of Ramalia.  Order today for lawlessness and destruction tomorrow.

There will, of course, be purist Ogres who oppose Ompalam's worship by Ogres at any level, and there will be zealots who think Ogres should really give up on Cacodemon and prioritize worship of Ompalam in the name of tasty tasty humans.

 

....Does this work?

Edited by Nevermet
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On 7/19/2021 at 5:38 AM, Nevermet said:

Also, it's a matter of context: a small network of Ogres on the margins of human society will likely try to erode that society rather than foment revolution. 

I'll see you and raise you seven mothers.😜

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I'll see you and raise you seven mothers.😜

One of the interesting things about late 3rd Age history in Maniria is I am absolutely sure there are Lunars who see it as a land of opportunity.  "What's that?  Tons of natural resources and Godlearner ruins?  A local warlord who wants to build a dynasty by burning Esrolia?  Half-Forgotten blue moon magic?  Oh, I'm f#cking there!!!"  But, sadly for the Lunars, they don't get too far: We know they are trying to influence Greymayne, and they succeed at that halfway through the Battle of Pennel Ford, but ... it also doesn't go well.  With the Lunars pushed out of the Holy Country, Maniria's future is only related to the Lunar Empire in the most indirect ways.

 

Also, at no point am I claiming Ompalaman Ogres are uniquely good at corrupting political institutions and bending them to their goals in Genertela as a whole, just that "normal" Ogres generally don't do that.

Edited by Nevermet
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Also, more generally when it comes to Chaos in Maniria:

 

  • Lots of random Chaos monsters coming out of the scars of the Flood and the Devastation.  The Poison Shore likely is a horrible place to live.  There are likely pockets in the New Fens that nobody wants to touch, but as Handra grows they will need to figure out how to cleanse them.
  • The sorcery of Ramalia will clearly get Chaotic.  Most of the time, societies and polities in Glorantha are rather gray: There is something noble about them, and there is something unjust about them.  Given that Jeff has described Ramalia as a giant concentration camp... I think it is safe to say it is an exception.
    • (As an aside: PC mercenary heroes hired to help liberate Ramalia is definitely part of the hero wars.  Whether or not they win is another matter.)
  • Hero Wars prophecy of Maniria: An Army of Broos shall attempt to breach the Arstola.  They say that, high in the Mislari, there is an empty city, their lost homeland, and they have come to reclaim it.  They say to all who will listen that upon their arrival, Ragnaglar will live again, and madness shall flow like water.  ...But who believes a Broo?
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