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Cragspider the Firewitch?


g33k

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Or more specifically (now that we're down in the body, where I can play with the font-tools:
Cragspider the Firewitch?

Trolls, we know, aren't particularly pro-fire.  In fact, they are particularly ANTI-fire.
(except for everyone's favorite, the Zorak Zorani).

So:  was ol' Craggie a ZZ before she became... who she is now?
If not, what does the lore say about when/where/how this Uz got Prometheized?

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I think Cragspider is beyond the "normal" scope of cults.  She heroquested to a point where she has powers well above what cults offer.  
 

She has been around before time began (and was already powerful then), she has a true dragon as a pet, she clearly has some relationship to Arachne Solara.  Last I heard, people weren't even sure if she was originally a troll or a darkness spirit.  One of the sources of illumination is speaking to a true dragon, so I'd imagine that someone who has a true dragon under her control is well and truly illuminated.

Who knows where she got fire powers from - most people are too afraid to ask and she won't tell anyone.

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

Or more specifically (now that we're down in the body, where I can play with the font-tools:
Cragspider the Firewitch?

Trolls, we know, aren't particularly pro-fire.  In fact, they are particularly ANTI-fire.
(except for everyone's favorite, the Zorak Zorani).

So:  was ol' Craggie a ZZ before she became... who she is now?
If not, what does the lore say about when/where/how this Uz got Prometheized?

By the Guide, she began as a follower of Aranea, and by the Sourcebook, she ascended by and as Arachne Solara. Arachne Solara, by the Guide, is depicted with a halo of white fire when depicted as a spider-woman. But apart from that, I'm not sure there's much else elaborating on it. So I think we can assume that Cragspider's ability to reconcile Fire and Darkness is because she's gotten a look at Infinity up close and personal, and any details beyond that are left as an exercise for the interested reader. 

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

Eight Arms and the Mask

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59 minutes ago, Eff said:

So I think we can assume that Cragspider's ability to reconcile Fire and Darkness is because she's gotten a look at Infinity up close and personal, and any details beyond that are left as an exercise for the interested reader. 

Good point. 

Thinking about it, in game terms, I'd simply run Cragspider as "more powerful than you, using magic in a way that you don't understand".   Unless your players are spectacularly powerful, you really don't need to worry.

As a GM, this is underpinned by a connection to true dragons and Arachne Solara so that, for example, she can use both Darkness and Fire.

Edited by Harry the Dirty Dog
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3 hours ago, g33k said:

Trolls, we know, aren't particularly pro-fire.  In fact, they are particularly ANTI-fire.
(except for everyone's favorite, the Zorak Zorani).

Don't forget that Argan Argar also conquers Fire.  He defeats Lodril and forces him to build the Palace of Black Glass. 

Also, ZZ at the Hill of Gold is not ZZ's only interaction with Fire.  There is the "earlier" case where ZZ, Argan Argar, and Xiola Umbar all encounter Fire - it's where ZZ is burned.

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Cragspider is very old.  She was first recorded as being a powerful Darkness Spirit (shade?) used by Gor and Gash to help the trolls escape the Underworld.  She is a powerful enough Hero Quester that she made an actual race of Trolls (Great Trolls obviously).  She is described as an incarnation (avatar?) of Aranea, and a direct worshipper of Arachne Solara (one of the few). 

She is also the double-value WMD of the boardgame, as she controls the Black Dragon (nuke) and the Pillar of Fire (nuke).  While the Earth Shaker and Sir Ethilrist can create some truly impressive line destroying effects, they aren't able to do what Cragspider does, and neither can the Lunars or Sartarites.  While her troops are adequate, the magic WMD she brings to the faction that allies her is what makes her a must-have, and any Sartar player who doesn't have multiple units ready to traverse the mountains to Cliffhome to ally her is being foolish.  I advise using the Wasps.

While she is unequivocally known as the Fire Witch, nobody quite understands how she conjures the Pillar of Flame except her.  The notion of an ex-shade controlling fire in that quantity obviously isn't without precedent, but Cragspider's power over fire emerged as a result of her being caught in the Web of Arachne Solara (which are made of myth and power, not silk), where she was forced to make the Dragon's Choice.  This is when she meets the Black Dragon for the first time, and it offered to ally itself to her then, but it seems she didn't perhaps take the offer at that time, as she is also recorded as allying with the Black Dragon during the Dragonkill War.  Perhaps she merely renewed their acquaintance after centuries?

Whatever the case, the implication is that Cragspider is best described as a semi-demi-god (not a superhero), and is almost certainly illuminated (after the Draconic or the Arachne Solara mystical traditions, as she was hostile to Nysalor even before he inflicted the Trollkin Curse).  This has allowed her to survive some cosmic unions and events that would likely have slain lesser entities, and her power, coming out the other side, is to deliver death by fire despite being a thing of darkness.  (At least that is my take on the evidence).

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Related: Personalities of Glorantha – Cragspider the Firewitch (1999)

Quote

She learned the secrets and mysteries of the Great Web, and the art of patience, and returned to the surface to take her place in the Web of the World. She revealed her powers of fire and light at this time, a terrible power much feared by her uz. She protected them from it.

 

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I like that there are individuals out there that just straight out disregard the "rules" of the setting (ie. are just exceptional in the sense that the come off as exceptions). It adds a sense of wonder even after you start grokking what typically goes and doesn't go in a setting. Plus, it kinda displays a lofty goal for long-term RPers: "Something like this could be you, down the line." Not so much for the brute power, but more for putting your mark and impact on the setting.

Iunno, she's cool.

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On 12/14/2021 at 9:56 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

I like that there are individuals out there that just straight out disregard the "rules" of the setting (ie. are just exceptional in the sense that the come off as exceptions). It adds a sense of wonder even after you start grokking what typically goes and doesn't go in a setting. Plus, it kinda displays a lofty goal for long-term RPers: "Something like this could be you, down the line." Not so much for the brute power, but more for putting your mark and impact on the setting.

Iunno, she's cool.

And, I mean, there is an underlying consistency to that disregard of the rules.  The game systems don't specifically define how you worship Arachne Solara directly, or what happens when you talk to a True Dragon but they all acknowledge that there are ways and means.

Someone talking about great basketball players said "Great players make their own statistics", and I think that concept applies to the truly powerful in Glorantha.  Each of the genuinely powerful in Glorantha found their own way that doesn't really match with anyone else's.  They play the same game as everyone else, but they play it so well that they make their own stats, so to speak.

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The Great web has power over fire. The spider ended the sun stop by dragging the sun back on course. Arkat's darkness defeated Gbaji. Zorak Zoran stole fire. So it makes sense that an extremely powerful darkness entity has power over light and fire.

Edited by EricW
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