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Cataclysms and their impact on Gloranthan beasts


Joerg

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Usually, we look at what happens to the cultures involved when the big bad things happen in Gloranthan history. (Godtime cataclysms are covered by the beast gods and spirits, but the Compromise limits the beast spirits too.)

One known effect that required a hero to set right was the Salmon migration into the Stream after Belintars struggle with the Lead Serpent blocked the course of the Creekstream River, leaving the salmons without a route to their breeding grounds. Enjossi found a way to set this thing right through the New River/Runnel River/Lyksos River system.

When touching on the turtle shell armor of the Hiia cult, I started to wonder about what happened to their beaches when Old Seshnela, Jrustela and Old Slontos sunk in the cataclysms ending the Second Age.

Big sea turtles like the four species (yet) inhabiting our world's oceans would have relied on dry sandy beaches with good access to the "open" sea. For purposes of supplying the Hiia cult during the Closing, some spawning beaches may exist in the Isles, but they are hardly a major breeding ground. The Mournsea might offer better open seas access, but wouldn't qualify as a major breeding ground either unless the turtles adapted well to the sinkings of the God Learner lands (Jrustela, Old Seshnela, Slontos) within the last 600 years. With the Closing in place, I don't see how one of the two extant Sofali populations could have sent a hero to lead the beasts to replacements of the lost breeding grounds, but why not have one since the Opening?

There appear to have been four populations of Sofali people (and associated great turtles) at some point in Godtime, but that assumes that there were seas where there are seas now, or otherwise a migration of the turtles and the associated Hsunchen towards the new beaches after the Implosion of the Spike. (And it isn't just sea turtles, all manner of sea life and coastal life forms would have had to colonize the newly created shores. Usually this would involve demigod entities, possibly beasts rather than sapient beings. Amphobos the Wanderer did something like this for the Newtlings and presumably other amphibians plus their habitat flora and fauna on the re-awakening of Choralinthor after the Breaking of the World established an approximation of the modern coast lines. IMG that's also when the Choralinthor ludoch reclaimed the caves of Diendimos at Deepest, immigrating from the Neliomi Sea. (Otherwise they would have come up the Sshorg river, with Vithelan ancestry and appearance rather than Wareran appearance.)

Re-establishing a breeding ground could be done by a divine beast (effectively a demigod entity) whenever required. Sea turtles in particular would have been unaffected by the Closing, otherwise there would be no Sofali populations on the eastern corners of the Homeward Ocean, and that would include demigod beasts, too.

 

The Syndics' Ban in Fronela brought similar problems to all manner of seasonally migratory beasts. Would these beasts have marched off into the mists of the borders, to re-appear out of these when the season was right? Or do all migratory species require questing to re-establish them after the Thaw? That would explain a demigod like Corostis Jumps-Like-Salmon, otherwise an almost Tom Bombadil-like entity.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Bringing back a lost beast seems to be a very standard heroic challenge. King Moirades for instance had to bring back a blue-colored bird back for the fourth FHQ, and we all know about the Aurochs challenge that Inkarne is going to put towards a certain king of Pavis.

Enjossi's quest is famous, too. Would people be interested in adventures using this concept?

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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39 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Syndics' Ban in Fronela brought similar problems to all manner of seasonally migratory beasts. Would these beasts have marched off into the mists of the borders, to re-appear out of these when the season was right?

(As ever, what follows is not based on close reading of lore, but on what seems fun. Caveat emptor.)

Well, one could play it as an ecological disaster — all the migrating animals are lost forever. This might be a bit grim. The Age-ending events are likely ecological catastrophes, anyway, without adding more.

For a lighter tone, play it that beast migrations carry on as usual despite the Syndics’ Ban — as presumably marine migrations do despite the Closing — and only people are affected. Of course, one would add that animals are unable to carry messages (or any other cultural item, like money, or trade goods) through the mists: the carrier pigeon arrives, but the message attached to its leg is lost in the mists.

Then one has to decide what to do with the Hsunchen: seems OK to let them pass through in animal form, but either (a) when they arrive at the next non-misted place, they are without cultural items and unable to speak about where they have come from, or (b) they alone can bypass the Syndics Ban completely, but they have kept this a closely guarded secret.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Bringing back a lost beast seems to be a very standard heroic challenge … Would people be interested in adventures using this concept?

In a there was an old woman who swallowed a fly fashion, with each entity returned to the landscape creating a fresh ecological problem which “requires” another entity to be quested for?

(Trickster is betting that the last in the chain will make the first go extinct again. They’ve put serious money on it.)

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What would be some other lost/extinct animals? The Lopers are a Big Deal, there are the animals of the Lost Tribes of Prax like the Long-Noses (and if the HeroWars aren’t the time for one of them to return, I don’t know what is), the Imperial Gazellet (I never understood that myth), the Ordeeds, most of the 40 Ancient Beasts of Danmalastan…

Edited by Akhôrahil
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22 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

What would be some other lost/extinct animals? The Lopers are a Big Deal, there are the animals of the Lost Tribes of Prax like the Long-Noses (and if the HeroWars aren’t the time for one of them to return, I don’t know what is), the Imperial Gazellet (I never understood that myth), the Ordeeds, most of the 40 Ancient Beasts of Danmalastan…

two of these species are antelopes! the gazellets and the ordeeds.

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