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Tell Me About What's Supposed to Happen in the Nargan Desert


dumuzid

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The Nargan Desert lies in southern Pamaltela.  In the Gods age it was a sea, the home waters of the Artmali Empire's Aquamarine Armada, but the Firefall scoured it into a great desolate waste.  It is a sort of Pamaltelan mirror to the ruin of Genert's Garden in the north.

I have read passing references to the Nargan's importance during the Hero Wars in Pamaltela.  I don't know the details, but it involves Chaos monsters, which normally appear as one-off freaks in Pamaltela, emerging from the Nargan Desert in numbers not seen in Pamaltela since the Demon Wars of the Great Darkness.  Among the evils of this outpouring will, apparently, be hordes of broo, previously unknown in Pamaltela in such numbers.  I have also read that the source of these Choatic beings is Genertela, that by some strange interaction the horrors of Dorastor and the Wastes will be transplanted south to bedevil Pamaltela.

Does anyone known more about this?  Specifically, why, or at least by what agency, the Chaos creatures make such a long and unprecedented journey for their kind?

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The chaotic are pouring out from the Dinsender Ruins.  As for the source the only (brief) reference I know of mentions Zanch Mator attempting to become the Great God of Chaos through transplantation of chaos into places where the locals are unfamiliar.  Ie the Doraddi could handle the big broos but against the Genertelan hordes they are blindsided. Likewise the Ralians are having problems with Big Broos as opposed to the more familiar hordes. No idea if it is still canonical. 

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What you really want to look at is the Kraken Chapbook "Forgotten Secrets of Glorantha" by Sandy Petersen.  However, I don't see it available anymore on the Chaosium website.  (Original link was here: http://www.the-kraken.de/fundraiser.html with a pointer to the Chaosium site, but that link is now broken.)

It's not an exceptionally large section, but here's a couple bits: "So what’s happening is that in the Nargan Desert, the forces that are there are breeding Chaos to perfect it and get better Chaos. And the leftovers — the rejects — are what’s going north."

And "I think it might be a corrupt relic of the Six-Legged Empire from the Second Age, because they would be organized and they would have fled from the curses that destroyed their empire.... I know they have labs and breeding pens and stuff and they’re making bigger and bigger and better Chaos monsters."

 

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2 hours ago, dumuzid said:

Well, that all sounds mighty troubling!  The Bevilt Chaosfire mentioned in the Guide as the overlord of Dinsender, they're the master of this Chaos-breeding project?

We really don't know for certain, but there's some Chaos Nest within that seems to be at the heart of this.  Maybe it's like the Pits of Orthanc, but breeding monstrous Chaos beasts instead, inflicting them with as many Chaos Features as they can bear.

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

What you really want to look at is the Kraken Chapbook "Forgotten Secrets of Glorantha" by Sandy Petersen.  However, I don't see it available anymore on the Chaosium website. 

I popped to say the same thing, so I went searching for it. It's not on the Jonstown Compendium either, which is the logical place for it to be these days. The Kraken chapbooks are all excellent. 

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N.b. I don't believe there are actually broo there, broo are a Genertelan speciality, and any broo in Pamaltela aren't issuing forth from that place but rather arrived by boat somehow.

More importantly, the monsters in question are horrendous in size and scope, that's the issue. The Nargan beasts are monstrously powerful; no broo would be anything but low-level feeding chow for the kinds of beasts gestating there.

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8 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

N.b. I don't believe there are actually broo there, broo are a Genertelan speciality, and any broo in Pamaltela aren't issuing forth from that place but rather arrived by boat somehow.

More importantly, the monsters in question are horrendous in size and scope, that's the issue. The Nargan beasts are monstrously powerful; no broo would be anything but low-level feeding chow for the kinds of beasts gestating there.

Wasn't that the take-away from Sandy's comment about the general pattern of the difference between G.n and P.n chaos?  "We're going to need a bigger broo," to paraphrase someone else.  i.e. that rather than a hoard of broos, you'd get one really huge one?

To double-disclaim that, I might be recalling him wrong, and equally, he might just have been using "one really big broo" as a frinstance placeholder.

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

N.b. I don't believe there are actually broo there, broo are a Genertelan speciality, and any broo in Pamaltela aren't issuing forth from that place but rather arrived by boat somehow.

Another possibility for Broo arrival to Pamaltela is being spread by the God Learners.  One specific mechanism is the Broos of the Black Pus whose appearance was noticed by Valastos with Seven Pens (Guide p137).  The Broos could then manifest in Pamaltela through spirit world damage caused by the God Learners.

2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

More importantly, the monsters in question are horrendous in size and scope, that's the issue. The Nargan beasts are monstrously powerful; no broo would be anything but low-level feeding chow for the kinds of beasts gestating there.

The relevant section from the RQ3 Glorantha Bestiary actually supports your vision

Quote

While a typical broo gang in Genertela might boast half a dozen half-goat horrors, a Pamaltelan broo encounter might be a single lurching monster with a dozen chaos features

RQ3 Glorantha Bestiary p2

 

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4 hours ago, Alex said:

Wasn't that the take-away from Sandy's comment about the general pattern of the difference between G.n and P.n chaos?  "We're going to need a bigger broo," to paraphrase someone else.  i.e. that rather than a hoard of broos, you'd get one really huge one?

To double-disclaim that, I might be recalling him wrong, and equally, he might just have been using "one really big broo" as a frinstance placeholder.

The bigger ones are Dinosaur Broo, among other monstrosities from Sandy's mind! 😆

SDLeary

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Broo are related to the Three, a specifically Genertelan Chaos bit. Pamaltela has their own kind of Chaos and any broo there are immigrants, as metcalph observed.

I don't find RQ3e to be the most accurate of settings for Glorantha, detail-wise, although they're no Mongoose; i think "broo" here is a stand-in for "chaos monster".

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Maybe the Broo found a way to consume the bodies and absorb / acquire the chaos features of other Broo. That would explain the reduced number of extremely powerful Broo. What a terrifying magical feat this would be - instead of chaos monsters taking their chances with a dip in the ooze, Broo hunt each other, with individuals with uniquely powerful features at the top of the kill list. The survivors would be fewer in number, but extremely dangerous.

Edited by EricW
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2 hours ago, EricW said:

Maybe the Broo found a way to consume the bodies and absorb / acquire the chaos features of other Broo. That would explain the reduced number of extremely powerful Broo. What a terrifying magical feat this would be - instead of chaos monsters taking their chances with a dip in the ooze, Broo hunt each other, with individuals with uniquely powerful features at the top of the kill list. The survivors would be fewer in number, but extremely dangerous.

Having pored over those manuscripts, Sandy's sense of "broo" stretches a little beyond the standard goat men of the north into metaphysical territory . . . God Learner explorers discovered specific rare "broo" forms at aberrant stations of the hero plane that seem to function as a kind of symptomatology or alert system for a world under great stress. In this vision of Glorantha, God Learner insights now lost elsewhere may be fueling the "broo" evolution of the south, whether as vestiges of recombinant colonial chaos (Six Legs, vadel, artmal, the noose, whatever) or some purely local project emanating from deep in the rotten Nargan. Much more work is required.

I think the general classification of Genert chaos being plural while Pamalt chaos is solitary is a good one to follow. Genertela is generally closer to the edge of corruption and so you tend to encounter chaos at an earlier irruption stage, where it gets to differentiating as fast as it can (chaos features gotta mutate) but there's only so much time before it's discovered and routinized in some way . . . preferably terminal. On the veldt, an aberrant form can fester unmolested for a long time, slowly becoming bigger and more gruesome as it were before encountering an organized community that can deal with it. 

"Western" chaos blurs with pure Genert forms early on (arguably the Gbaji war is an early version of the Great Chaos Mixing Metaplot that actually got some traction) when the two devils meet in mutual annihilation. The East, as we know, is a mystery.

If you were involved in the Great Chaos Mixing Metaplot development please get in touch. I'd love to talk.

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Sandy's sense of "broo" stretches a little beyond the standard goat men of the north into metaphysical territory

Sandy's recent Sandy of Cthulhu video about "satyrs" in Lovecraft mythos goes into a similar direction.

But then we are always told that committing a certain crime will turn people into broos. Regardless where in Glorantha, without the need of Ragnaglar as a physical ancestor.

The form social chaos exploding into an infestation takes might be influenced by the normal treatment of such chaos. Trolls, Orlanthi and Praxians externalize it, summon it to slay it in manageable portions, or hunt it down when it comes by. In Pamaltela, Chaos is externalized into the putrid mass that is Filth Which Walks. Externalized Chaos may be attracted by a greater concentration, and merge with that.

As a result, a Pamaltelan chaos entity that grows from social wrongdoing may very well feature twisted remains of perps it attracted as its skin. I have seen artwork doing this in a non-Gloranthan context, probably Warhammer.

Doraddi probably won't call such an entity a broo, but a Vovisibor. It could still inject victims with parasites from tentacles or dispatched organs (like facehuggers).

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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14 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Vovisibor

I just think we do a disservice to Pamalt to call them broo. When there's actual broo, they're broo. There are doubtless real broo just like there are... well, there are sort of trolls. Adjusted trolls. They're imports, explicitly.

Pamalt deserves its own unique cosmology. Maybe they are called nge-visibor and mechanically, their reproduction is broo-like, and they also stem from Primal Sins. But whatever happened to Genert's universe is an alternate reality. Pamalt lived. Vovisibor was not a patron of goat hsunchen, and his sin was not the same. The entire mythological economy of Pamalt is unique and deserves its own treatment.

There's no Red Moon, there's no Orlanthi ethnemes outside enslaved populations stranded by Waertagi for funsies. It's a different world with a different primal struggle.

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
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13 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I just think we do a disservice to Pamalt to call them broo. When there's actual broo, they're broo.

In Sandy's Forgotten Secrets, he refers to the main Chaos hordes as Grayskins.

"In these riverbeds in Pamaltela, part of the year there’s water and part of the year there’s not, but in the dry season hordes of Grayskins and other Chaos stuff that can’t survive anymore in the dry interior come pouring up the riverbeds and they have to be killed. They aren’t individually very dangerous. You know what Grayskins are? They are like a person with a Chaos feature, usually a bad Chaos feature that hurts them."

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One of the interesting high-level differences of cosmovision for Pamaltela and perhaps specifically the Doraddi is that the Great Spirit Trick presents cosmological restructuring, introducing motion into a "static" Sky Dome, bringing fire on high down to the ground and creating something like the Holy Country or Silver Shadow, where the levels of reality all collapse into one. 

So the preeminence of daikaiju Chaos monsters is, I think, a consequence of the filtering effects of the fall from the Pleroma-Void of Chaos through the various layers of the lozenge being weakened- Chaos emerges as a primarily physical rather than intangible phenomenon, and is thus able to be dealt with (and potentially integrated) on the level of person-to-monster rather than contending with egregores and their avatars. 

In this way, the Great Chaos Switcheroo crossover event is perhaps a means of forcing an expansion of social contexts and disrupting the existing means of incorporating and accommodating Chaos, which are of course clearly inadequate. 

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

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

There's no Red Moon, there's no Orlanthi ethnemes outside enslaved populations stranded by Waertagi for funsies. It's a different world with a different primal struggle.

There's no Glowline or Chaos-festering Lunar Empire, but I'm medium-confident the Red Moon is visible from Pamaltela.  Granted some RQ2 descriptions did make it sound more like a Temporary Local Phenomenon.  And of course, Your Sky Dome May Vary!  There's even Red Moon worshippers in Fonrit, according to the Guide.

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18 minutes ago, Eff said:

something like the Holy Country or Silver Shadow

Separately there's still a lot we don't know about the venn diagram describing the relationship between "agimor," "arbennan," "doraddi" and "pamalt." One might be a religion, another might be a race . . . or a cultural, political identity, or a spiritual technology. As a southern hero war erupts the intersection might indeed get clarified into something like a holy country. 

And as we know, lenses can magnify or reduce apparent scale so as you point out the dai in the kaiju may be a trick of the "light" in this particular corner of the world. The original inhabitants of Brithos are famously little. Here, almost 360 degrees away, the irruptions are big.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Doraddi probably won't call such an entity a broo, but a Vovisibor. It could still inject victims with parasites from tentacles or dispatched organs (like facehuggers).

The persistence of the "tentacle" as contagious organ in the Great Chaos Mix seems crucial to the southern contribution to the metaplot. Although I suspect that quite a few "exotic chaos monsters" like the headhanger are actually extremely degenerate forms of chaos cult/ists stranded in the imperial collapse so facehugger and charnjibber may once have been somebody.

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On 11/11/2021 at 12:43 AM, Qizilbashwoman said:

N.b. I don't believe there are actually broo there, broo are a Genertelan speciality, and any broo in Pamaltela aren't issuing forth from that place but rather arrived by boat somehow.

If there are Thanatari then there will be Broo, as becoming a Broo is a side-effect of some Thanatari magic.

From memory, and without checking whether the spells have changed, the effects of some other, non-Thanatari, spells include becoming Broo.

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