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Does Chaos Have an Answer to Storm Bull Beserkers?


EricW

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I've read several contradictory write-ups of Urain, is this a canon source of chaos berserkers? Or is there another chaotic god who gives followers the power to stand toe to toe with the likes of Zorak Zoran and Storm Bull? 

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For Lunars, Yanafal Tarnils does nicely...

I would expect most Chaos cults be more in the style of Spirit or Shamanic cults than fully theistic, so unless a shaman gathers several powerful chaos spirits, it will be difficult to face the chaos bashers openly. It also feels mythically correct. 

It may be what Hezel Darong is offering to the Chaos cultists in Karia, as otherwise I do not see them faring well against Delela. 

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4 hours ago, EricW said:

I've read several contradictory write-ups of Urain, is this a canon source of chaos berserkers?

Urain is not chaotic, see 2021-11 Jeff on Facebook, 5.The Bad Rain.

4 hours ago, EricW said:

Or is there another chaotic god who gives followers the power to stand toe to toe with the likes of Zorak Zoran and Storm Bull? 

It would be Ragnaglar, but he was killed by Storm Bull, that would leave his son the Devil to fill his shoes, But SB killed him too. So that would leave Cacodemon, the devil's son to fill their shoes. The Cacodemon is the embodiment of anarchy and destruction...

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5 hours ago, EricW said:

I've read several contradictory write-ups of Urain, is this a canon source of chaos berserkers?

I am not sure if Urain is Chaotic, it was in Drastic: Chaos but I never really agreed with that. I like it as Orlanth in a really bad mood with a splitting headache, nagging wife and things he doesn't want to do.

5 hours ago, EricW said:

Or is there another chaotic god who gives followers the power to stand toe to toe with the likes of Zorak Zoran and Storm Bull? 

Do you need to go Berserk to fight Berserkers?

 

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

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For my own campaign I've written up an "unreformed" version of the Blood Sun cult dedicated to the god as it was before being overcome by the Black Sun in the Gods War, and they function a bit like this.  Not berzerkers exactly, but driven by overwhelming hunger and the need to consume--either personally, or through dedicating mass sacrifices to the Blood Sun. 

Edited by dumuzid
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A Krarsht assassin can be a very effective weapon against a Storm Bull berzerker : stay far enough that you don't trigger his 'sense chaos' until he get spassed-out drunk, then just neatly slice his throat while he can't fight back. Problem solved...

Of course in an open confrontation, things won't look good - but if you feed some low-rank meat into the grinder, sneak around and hamstring/backstab/poison dart him, then rinse and repeat until he croaks off, you're golden.

Unles you run out of minion before he runs out of health...

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8 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

Krarsht is written up as an "anti-Storm Bull" in some ways, but I find those bits of the cult silly and wouldn't put any weight on them.

Only in the sense that Krarsht has the ability to sense "non-Chaos" (Sense Law). Which in a cosmos where almost everything is non-Chaos (by definition), it really only functions to be able to call out non-Chaotics trying to sneak into a Chaos event. Which might be of some use for Krarsht criminal organisations avoiding infiltration.

But otherwise there really is no Chaotic equivalent to Storm Bull and shouldn't be.

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9 hours ago, EricW said:

I've read several contradictory write-ups of Urain, is this a canon source of chaos berserkers? Or is there another chaotic god who gives followers the power to stand toe to toe with the likes of Zorak Zoran and Storm Bull? 

I think the way to oppose such figures is to out-think them, not try to go toe-to-toe.

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

Only in the sense that Krarsht has the ability to sense "non-Chaos" (Sense Law)

Remarkable.

"HOLY DAYS AND HIGH HOLY DAYS: The cult deliberately aligned its ceremonial days to conflict with those of the Storm Bull. Thus its holy days are during Stasis week of each season: on Freezeday in Sea-season, on Waterday in Fire-season, on Clayday in Earth-season, on Windsday in Dark-season, and Fireday in Storm-season. The cult high holy day for the year also is Wildday, Stasis week, Storm-season."

Rune spells: Defend Against Law; Face Law.

Face it, you're missing the obvious. The cult was written up as an "anti-Storm Bull," in ways that make bugger-all sense, and to which you are now turning a blind eye.

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27 minutes ago, Nick Brooke said:

Remarkable.

"HOLY DAYS AND HIGH HOLY DAYS: The cult deliberately aligned its ceremonial days to conflict with those of the Storm Bull. Thus its holy days are during Stasis week of each season: on Freezeday in Sea-season, on Waterday in Fire-season, on Clayday in Earth-season, on Windsday in Dark-season, and Fireday in Storm-season. The cult high holy day for the year also is Wildday, Stasis week, Storm-season."

Rune spells: Defend Against Law; Face Law.

Face it, you're missing the obvious. The cult was written up as an "anti-Storm Bull," in ways that make bugger-all sense, and to which you are now turning a blind eye.

Probably because those spells aren't in the current version of the cult! The cult holy days are in conflict with Storm Bull, yes - but we removed Defend Against Law and Face Law from the cult writeup (hint - they aren't in the Red Book either). 

But I also dropped Sense Law from the cult back when I dropped those spells, so was misremembering it being in it (there was a draft version a few years back that had Sense Law but not those spells, but it would seem someone convinced me to drop that as well). It would seem that only the holy days remain linked with Storm Bull.

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Mate, you can't defend the crappy "Cults of Terror" cult write-up by talking about what you've deleted from your own private working draft. Because the "Cults of Terror" version is the only one we have. And it's full of "anti-Storm Bull" nonsense... including one bit that somehow got through your revisions.

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It's been a fairly consistent suggestion in official texts and fan interpretation that one of the ways in which Chaotic creatures experience the world is through a constant sense of pain. Now, let's take a look at the text in RQ:RiG for the skill "Sense Chaos", unique to Storm Bull's cultists:
 

Quote

Sense Chaos (00)
This special ability, available only to initiates and Rune Masters of the Storm Bull cult (see page 305), can only be increased by experience—not by training or research. It allows the user to sense the presence of Chaos in animate or inanimate form, including invisible spirits. The skill doesnot single out the source, but rather gives the Storm Bull cultist a sense of unease, or even pain, and the knowledge that Chaos is close at hand. The intensity of the feeling gives a rough estimate of the amount of Chaos present. It is effective within a 15-meter range.

(emphasis mine).

I think you could argue that the Chaotic equivalent to a Storm Bull berserk is... another Storm Bull.

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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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In our games, Krarsht has often been the most "anti-Storm Bull" of the Cults of Terror.  Not because of any of their special spells. Which are somewhat silly, as @Jeff and @Nick Brookerightly point out.  Because:

  1. Krarstkids are really tough
  2. They are really sneaky, and with a good GM this can lead Uroxi into trouble.   To be sure, a decent GM or good roleplaying player can always get Uroxi into trouble.  But Krarsht seems especially designed for this.

Our Storm Bull player has yet to cast his Berserker spell.  It looks like a dangerous spell to all sides.  Personally, my instinct is that Sword/Ax Trance may still be the most effective spell vs. chaos.  This should be tested in a couple of sessions, when we will fight chaotic forces trying to free the Devil from The Block. 

My PC will be very busy singing "Foul Slime..."  Hopefully our Sorala character will take good notes for the records.  🙂

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5 minutes ago, Eff said:

I think you could argue that the Chaotic equivalent to a Storm Bull berserk is... another Storm Bull.

Or perhaps a visionary Storm Bull cult leader who's (perhaps unknowingly) been corrupted by Chaos? (Just saying, Lord)

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1 hour ago, Nick Brooke said:

Mate, you can't defend the crappy "Cults of Terror" cult write-up by talking about what you've deleted from your own private working draft. Because the "Cults of Terror" version is the only one we have. And it's full of "anti-Storm Bull" nonsense... including one bit that somehow got through your revisions.

Given that my "private working draft" (also called the prepped for layout version) is the RQG version of the cult, it is probably the appropriate one for me to be talking about. 

The holy day stuff "made it through" because I felt no need to change that (especially because of the below). The "anti-Storm Bull" nonsense comes from one of the two main myths we have of Krarsht (the other is Larnst and the Footprint):

"In the Great Darkness, Krarsht reigned unchallenged prior to facing Storm Bull and his followers, who seriously wounded the Devourer in a number of violent battles. Each time Storm Bull managed to corner Krarsht, he was able to cut off another part of her being, most of which died, while Krarsht bit at and tore great wounds in the mighty sky-bull. The valiant god eventually drove Krarsht from the surface world, forcing her to eat holes in the world in which to hide. 

At first the, Storm Bull followed her into these caves, but the Devouring Mother was cleverer than the other Chaos gods, amputating parts of herself that grew into minor versions of their mother, called the Krarshtkids. Following her underground, they began eating other, diversionary tunnels, and soon it became impossible for the Storm Bull to follow her without being in danger of being lost, and so she escaped annihilation."

The cult hates Storm Bull because of the damage he did to the Devouring Mother during the Gods War, especially since she has never fully recovered from her grievous wounds. But I agree with you, she's not a reverse-Storm Bull - she's someone who hates Storm Bull because that god nearly destroyed her. 

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2 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

Rune spells: Defend Against Law; Face Law.

The cult was written up as an "anti-Storm Bull

I must admit, I went "uh, whot?!" but then read this:

1 hour ago, Nick Brooke said:

Because the "Cults of Terror" version is the only one we have.

Which explains me not remembering any of this since my primary source for chaos gods is Lords of Terror.

But you are right, these things are in Cults...

Thanks, it's fascinating..

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6 hours ago, Jeff said:

But otherwise there really is no Chaotic equivalent to Storm Bull and shouldn't be.

Why not? Most write-ups I've read about chaotics suggest negative emotions like anger and hatred are paths to chaos, and are associated with the state of being chaotic, so a chaos god who provides nihilistic berserker spells surely fits with the overall ethos?

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1 hour ago, EricW said:

Why not? Most write-ups I've read about chaotics suggest negative emotions like anger and hatred are paths to chaos, and are associated with the state of being chaotic, so a chaos god who provides nihilistic berserker spells surely fits with the overall ethos?

Storm Bull is most definitely not nihilistic. He is loved because of his willingness to sacrifice everything to defend Life and existence - his mindless savagery was what made it possible for him to stand against the Devil in what was obviously going to be a futile gesture. He stood against the Devil when everything was lost and fought on after any other god would have accepted defeat. And in the end it was Eiritha's love that kept him going. It was Chalana Arroy that healed him. Love and mercy. 

There's no Chaotic equivalent to this. 

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44 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Storm Bull is most definitely not nihilistic. He is loved because of his willingness to sacrifice everything to defend Life and existence - his mindless savagery was what made it possible for him to stand against the Devil in what was obviously going to be a futile gesture. He stood against the Devil when everything was lost and fought on after any other god would have accepted defeat. And in the end it was Eiritha's love that kept him going. It was Chalana Arroy that healed him. Love and mercy. 

There's no Chaotic equivalent to this. 

But as lust is a perversion of love, etc; it seems (in principle at least) that there "could be" a Chaotic battle-frenzy spell that gave boosts similar to "Berserker" spells...

 

Edited by g33k
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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, g33k said:

But as lust is a perversion of love, etc; it seems (in principle at least) that there "could be" a Chaotic battle-frenzy spell that gave boosts similar to "Berserker" spells...

 

Exactly - hatred of life, willingness in some cases to sacrifice self in the cause of ruin, seems like a good fit for a battle frenzy spell. I'm not dissing Storm Bull, all I'm suggesting is there should be a chaotic mockery of Storm Bull's vigour. 

Edited by EricW
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Me thinks to counter Storm Bull cultists Chaos most of the time has only two ressolution to beat them: 

Chaos Features / Chaos Gifts
and 
(more importantly) numbers!

A dozen Scorpionman or two dozen Broo will get a Storm Bull Initiate down. 

The chaotic answer to being wiped out is: nasty special abilities, and breeding/multiplying fast (hmmmm... sounds like Covid to me...). 

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Where do you get that lust is a perversion of love? Lust is quite separate from love, and for most Gloranthan cultures, an expression of life, to be enjoyed and shared. Forcing your lust on others is perverse, and it may open the way to chaos, but it is the forcing, not the lust, which is to blame.

After all, Uleria is probably the only member of the Celestial Court that survived.

That has nothing to do with berserk chaotics, but Glorantha is quite explicit in enjoying shared lust. 

You can create your chaotic spirit cult with berserk, but it will be impossible to get the powerful Storm Bull package (Berserk, Shield, Face Chaos, Impede Chaos, and if at need Earthpower and Cure Chaos Wound). Half of these comes from associates, and that is not a chaotic thing.

I think that is why Ralzakark goes with humakti broos. They do not need to be illuminated, and with enough of them, you can get powerful magic. And Sword Trance more that compensates for Impede chaos and berserk.

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I think there are two things :

1) should a chaotic god have a berserk spell ? --> why not

2) if this god exists, will it be the Storm Bull major opponent ? --> of course not ! (from my perspective)

Storm Bull is the one who win with savagery. No chaotic gods succeeds to "remove" him. If any chaotic berserker god fought him, well  it was destroyed during the myths,like the others,  right ?

But somewhere, who is able to mock a rabid berserker ?

The one who is thoughtfull enough to prefer fly when the berserker is too powerful

The one who is able to lead in a mortal death trap the berserker, blinded by his legendary chaotic hate

The one who will attack once the berserker is exhausted by his too powerful rage

the one who is able to wait, hidden in the shadows.

 

 

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