Jump to content

Chaosium Interviews: 3 WEIRDEST things in Glorantha


MOB

Recommended Posts

This is a thread that really begs for others to add here their own "weirdest things".

I vote for the Sedrali, half-human half-greyhound people, whose females have dog bodies with human heads, and whose males have human bodies with dog heads. Quite how the Sedrali reproduce is a mystery, and it really should remain so, please.

The Siwafu Army Ant people of the Errinoru Jungle are also pretty weird, "who can transform themselves into hundreds of thousands of flesh-eating ants".

  • Like 5

--

The Silver best-selling The Children of Hykim offers over 150 pages on Glorantha's shape-changing totemic animal people, the Hsunchen. "Magisterial ... highly recommended" - Nick Brooke. "An amazing labor of love" - Evan Franke, Exploring Glorantha. "A deep dive" - Joerg Baumgartner. "Excellent sourcebook, well-written and well-researched" - Niall Sullivan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Celestial mechanics of Glorantha (including the tides) might be my main candidate for "plain weird", as in contradicting our real world experiences. More so than being on a flat world.

We have high latitude (55°, as it matches where I live) variations of day length with an equatorial sunpath (aside from a slight variation of a lot less than 30° to either side) which means the sun is NEVER significantly in the south or the north of the observer, and a starry night sky observed more or less from the axis of rotation, as you would get at or near one of our poles.

One moon is a stationary object in the sky, with its facing southward reflecting the swell and ebbing of the Chaos Void inside the whirlpool, causing a once a week tidal cycle with Wildday having the highest tide. Overlaying that is the cycle of the Blue Moon which takes 2 to 7 days for a cycle, and which pulls up quite a lot of water slowly, then suddenly releases all that as it plunges down Magasta's Pool, causing a rapid ebb after a glacially slow incoming flood. We have a planet which can be used as a clock on clear nights, Mastakos/Uleria, as it makes the journey across the sky within eight hours.

Dusk and Dawn have red stellar bodies which are not regular stars and not regular planets spreading red light before and after the Sun passes through the gates. There is a midnight body doing a similar thing, but only in winter. And there might be a noon body doing the same kind of stuff but completely unseen because the sun at noon's maximal power and elevation (more or less directly overhead) outshines almost all lesser bodies.

As a result, forget window fronts or doors oriented towards noon. At least on vertical surfaces.

I have played with experienced GMs who found all of this way too weird to even contemplate for their Gloranthan games. And yes, YGWV. But if you make use of the Gloranthan sky (such as looking up to the moon), you are definitely no longer in Kansas, Toto.

  • Like 6

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/3/2022 at 4:10 AM, Joerg said:

The Celestial mechanics of Glorantha (including the tides) might be my main candidate for "plain weird", as in contradicting our real world experiences. More so than being on a flat world.

We have high latitude (55°, as it matches where I live) variations of day length with an equatorial sunpath (aside from a slight variation of a lot less than 30° to either side) which means the sun is NEVER significantly in the south or the north of the observer, and a starry night sky observed more or less from the axis of rotation, as you would get at or near one of our poles.

One moon is a stationary object in the sky, with its facing southward reflecting the swell and ebbing of the Chaos Void inside the whirlpool, causing a once a week tidal cycle with Wildday having the highest tide. Overlaying that is the cycle of the Blue Moon which takes 2 to 7 days for a cycle, and which pulls up quite a lot of water slowly, then suddenly releases all that as it plunges down Magasta's Pool, causing a rapid ebb after a glacially slow incoming flood. We have a planet which can be used as a clock on clear nights, Mastakos/Uleria, as it makes the journey across the sky within eight hours.

Dusk and Dawn have red stellar bodies which are not regular stars and not regular planets spreading red light before and after the Sun passes through the gates. There is a midnight body doing a similar thing, but only in winter. And there might be a noon body doing the same kind of stuff but completely unseen because the sun at noon's maximal power and elevation (more or less directly overhead) outshines almost all lesser bodies.

As a result, forget window fronts or doors oriented towards noon. At least on vertical surfaces.

I have played with experienced GMs who found all of this way too weird to even contemplate for their Gloranthan games. And yes, YGWV. But if you make use of the Gloranthan sky (such as looking up to the moon), you are definitely no longer in Kansas, Toto.

The random variability of the Blue Moon effect means there can never be a long-term "ephemeris" sort of thing, as the substantial "Blue tide" resets every ebb to another 2-7 days' rise.

That said -- and with the realization that every single "astonomical/tidal canonical" campaign will have therefore different demicycles -- are there any websites/apps/etc that cover all of this, to help prompt the GM with "and this is going on, an the PC's will see/experience that, &c &c &c..."  ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

guys i know maybe it seems like old hat but honestly

  • there's a bat from a Chaos Hell the size of a 747 that eats people, even the lice on it are man-eating, and it has its own staff
  • the Red Moon was recently (in Old World terms) formed, which left a one-way portal to a (Lunar) Hell behind and there's a staircase from Glamour to said moon
  • Kero Fin touches the sky, and its peak is higher than that Moon's position
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:
  • there's a bat from a Chaos Hell the size of a 747 that eats people, even the lice on it are man-eating, and it has its own staff

The provinces should be thankful that the Crimson Bat isn’t intelligent, if it was it would likely become the imperial governor of particularly troubling provinces. Then again if it was intelligent it would probably set up a cattle based broo breeding facility to provide themselves with a soul supply that Doesn’t cut into the tax base.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

it would probably set up a cattle based broo breeding facility to provide themselves with a soul supply that Doesn’t cut into the tax base.

why hasnt the empire actually done this for when they dont need to terrorize anyone, or is the empire just always needing to send a message

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Ironwall said:

why hasnt the empire actually done this for when they dont need to terrorize anyone, or is the empire just always needing to send a message

They probably have no idea what the outcome of feeding it exclusively chaotic souls would be and fear it might cause them to permanently lose control of the bat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

The provinces should be thankful that the Crimson Bat isn’t intelligent, if it was it would likely become the imperial governor of particularly troubling provinces. Then again if it was intelligent it would probably set up a cattle based broo breeding facility to provide themselves with a soul supply that Doesn’t cut into the tax base.

Well, as it turns out, the Empire has been experimenting with stomach size to walktapus flesh research for feeding their troops.  Walktapi regenerate continuously, so wile they are subjected to stomach acid, they will never disappear completely, and the person consuming the walktapus flesh need never eat again thanks to chaotic regeneration, plus there is the added bonus that if they die, a walktapus will gradually spawn from their body, creating fresh headaches for the folk who killed them.

Your broo breeding program is inspired Flaming Cat of Death, and I would personally bump you up the ranks of the Imperial bureaucracy if it were ACTUALLY based on merit rather than nepotism and prostitution, but feasibly we might be able to draw upon existing research to march excess walktapi into the maw of the bat.  One hand washes the other...

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/3/2022 at 6:21 AM, Brian Duguid said:

This is a thread that really begs for others to add here their own "weirdest things".

I've always like that Glorantha "is not a planet, as is ours, but instead is a slightly bulging, squarish lozenge, like the Earth Rune’s shape" which "floats upon Sramak’s River, the Primal Ocean of mythology. The sky overhead is an off-center bowl rotating about the Pole Star..."  It's both weird and very appealing, and probably attracted me to Glorantha in a way that some other fantastic "planet" would not have.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few other weird favorites:

Cwim! How can you not enjoy a chaos creature with three giant bodies (Tom, Dick, and Harry) attached to a gigantic head that can pick off parts of its flesh and throw those parts as gorp at you!  Not to mention that it can travel by cartwheeling with its three bodies.

Slon.  When the illustrations in the Guide came out and it was suddenly clear that Slon was the cracked off corner of the earth lozenge, just dangling out in Sramak's River.  And that the dwarfs have a great plan/plot to pull it back into place with a massive cable.

The Eternal Battle.  Here's a giant tornado wandering around Prax and the Wastes that is the actual, ongoing battle between Storm Bull and Ragnaglar/Devil.  You can get sucked into this cataclysmic weather that exists both within and outside of Time, or have to deal with ancient warriors, skeletons, ghosts, etc. that get hurled out of it.

The Celestial River.  You can actually sail a river UP into the Sky Dome and then across it, and eventually follow it all the way DOWN into the Underworld.  (I like Sramak's River too forever circling all of Glorantha, but doesn't have quite the same level of weirdness.)

The Juggernaut.  There's a massive stone wheel that perpetually travels across Glorantha crushing everything that ends up in its path.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Darius West said:

Well, as it turns out, the Empire has been experimenting with stomach size to walktapus flesh research for feeding their troops.  Walktapi regenerate continuously, so wile they are subjected to stomach acid, they will never disappear completely, and the person consuming the walktapus flesh need never eat again thanks to chaotic regeneration, plus there is the added bonus that if they die, a walktapus will gradually spawn from their body, creating fresh headaches for the folk who killed them.

As much as Regenerating meals would assist logistics it seems like the random chaotic features would get out of hand. Those soldiers who end up exploding on death will kill their comrades and make their armor irrecoverable. The cost of replacing all that equipment and soldiers would quickly exceed the savings on food. Unfortunately Zorak Zorani secrets to safely eating Walktapus probably involve stopping its regeneration making such secrets useless to us. They should of course be investigated on the off chance that they do not.

A better solution to our logistical difficulties is to institute a soldiers cult that sanctifies cannibalism as non chaotic. It can’t be that hard given that many cults do it already (The Uz, the Gors, and the cannibal cult all have successfully done so) so it should be easy for a us to make a cult that allows the eating of the dead without the logistical difficulties of Chaos features, 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it has to be:

-The chapter in King of Sartar about that weird memory wiping event. I read it through and through and didn't understand a single thing. Now, more than a year after I read the book, it looms in my mind as a weird hazy thought that you don't really know if it was real or dreamed.

-The whole Nysalor/Gbaji/Arkat dynamic. That thing broke my brain when I first entered this community. Now I kinda make sense of it, or at least I have made up a sense.

-The Cult of Silence of Fonrit and Umathela. That thing is just straight-up bizarre. A cult of madmen who declared a crusade in order to make the whole world silenced led by monks who extirpated their vocal cords. 

Edited by Jape_Vicho
  • Like 1

:50-power-truth::50-sub-light:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Jape_Vicho said:

-The whole Nysalor/Gbaji/Arkat dynamic. That thing broke my brain when I first entered this community. Now I kinda make sense of it, or at least I have made up a sense.

My (poor) understanding of this dynamic is that neither Arket nor Nysalor are initially Gbaji but that Gbaji is the god representing the massive destruction that can result from Illuminates waring with each other. (And the destruction caused by asshole Illuminates like the one that destroyed twice blessed, or Sheng Seleris) Am I likely misunderstanding the situation?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, FlamingCatOfDeath said:

but that Gbaji is the god representing the massive destruction that can result from Illuminates waring with each other.

It's better, I think, to view Gbaji as the moral evil that any viewpoint can devolve to (perhaps you can think of it as "Power corrupts, and Absolute Power corrupts absolutely).  Nysalor is the bright, perfect Light, yet is also the illusion of that.  There's a great illustration of this in Nick Brooke's History of Malkionism where Nysalor is curing the diseased with one hand, but poisoning the well with disease with the other.  Arkat is the shadow of Nysalor - the good man, the man-of-all, who finds his path to stopping Nysalor blocked, and so turns to the powers of Darkness and violence and war (and perhaps even Chaos?) in order to defeat Nysalor.  Both ultimately descend into extremes in order to defeat the Other.  

In the end, who won?  That is the question (or perhaps I should say "riddle" 😉) of Gbaji.

Edited by jajagappa
  • Like 1
  • Helpful 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both were illuminates with good intentions, but willing to do whatever it took to get their objectives. I personally envision that first and last encounter in the Tower of Dreams, like those cheesy romances where they realize their enemy is their perfect love. Add timeless discussions, and the clear perception that they cannot both survive this, so either they both disappear from the Cosmos, or they will return and do it once again.

They could not end it, so one of them left the tower, claimed he was Arkat, created the Empire of Peace and everything seemed well for a few centuries.

The Hero Wars is a remake of their destructive romance, but this time Rashorana knows she needs to suicide forward, and Argrath is mastering the draconic Utuma, so we can hope it will go better. It also will take 400 rather than 75 years. Unfortunately, Rashorana is not the only piece of Nysalor, as Argrath is not the only piece of Arkat. Hijinks ensue.

Edited by JRE
Mistake in the count of years
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...