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Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 5 - Deep Discussion

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It was an invention of Erik Sieurin about Mostali who practice their tools for the purpose of better performance in service of the World Machine.  Other mostali consider them vile degenerates.

Erik originally called them Eroticists.  I suggested Closehandists for now obvious reasons.

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4 hours ago, jrutila said:

From the dwarf section: "p87 - list of heresies.  Weeps bitter tears that Closedhandists never made it into Canon" 

What is closedhandism and why it didn't make it? 


2 hours ago, metcalph said:

It was an invention of Erik Sieurin about Mostali who practice their tools for the purpose of better performance in service of the World Machine.  Other mostali consider them vile degenerates.

Erik originally called them Eroticists.  I suggested Closehandists for now obvious reasons.

A great start for the Deep discussions...

There is no reason not to have them as a group of apostates. They are clearly disfunctional even if they reduce these activities to their down-time.


Telling how it is excessive verbis


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Noticing that I'm drifting into deep theories, here's a carry-over from the Merfolk thread:

4 minutes ago, davecake said:

I have tended to assume that the Merfolk were almost exclusively theist - but this chapter, and elsewhere in the Guide, makes it clear that many are animist (and fairly potent ones, I assume). While the merfolk per se aren't sorcery users as far as I know, that's because the role of sorcerous Water culture is filled by the Waertagi. 

Among the Triolini, I agree with that assessment. The Zabdamar females are sorcery- and theism-users, much like the humans on the coasts of the Kahar Sea, while the males are powerful shamans.

I have seen speculations (in preparation for a never-to-be "Drastic: Sea") that there are 10 tritons (rare male-only sea deities, sons of Mirintha and Phargon), seven of which are the ancestors of the Seven Great Kindred of Triolini (five of which are known to us, a sixth of orca-like Cetoi has been mentioned to me as lost in Tanian's Victory), and three each as the patron of the three magical approaches. Waertag may be a (re-) incarnation of the sorcerer triton, according to that speculation.


7 minutes ago, davecake said:

I agree with Scott that there is a lot we don't know about sea mythology. I'd particularly expect the Ludoch to feature more in Genertelan and East Isles myth.

For some reason, river and coastal fisherman cultures don't figure prominently in most of Glorantha's big epics.


Lorion/Engizi, Oslir, Janube, Poralistor, Zola Fel, the Chaos-purifiers Syphon and Sounders River, Black Eel River - these are the only rivers with myths, and their river folk don't get much attention except for the Troubles Waters campaign in River of Cradles and a cameo appearance of the Nogatendings in a heroquest.

The humans with Ludoch allies are Pelaskites, presumably leftover Helering fisherfolk among the Manirian and Wenelian Isles, possibly the Sofali of Fethlon and Errinoru, plenty East Islanders and Masloi folk in the Marthino Sea. One might claim that it was this very alliance that kapt


7 minutes ago, davecake said:

And I'm also interested in how they relate to Pre-Dawn seagoing cultures like the Helerings. 

Heler and his tribe is a bit of a problem. They start as cloud people in southwestern Glorantha, coming into conflict with the Vadeli of Oabil and the Brithini of Zerendel, then moving into Maniria, where they prepare to face Orlanth and the Storm Tribe, only to find that battle canceled and themselves becoming the third Great Tribe next to the Durevings of Ernaldela and the Vingkotlings of greater Kerofinela. Somehow they disperse into general Orlanthi culture, just like the Durevings do.

Maniria outside of Kethaela gets hit badly by the Flood and the mountains-drowning sea to the west of Kethaela and Kerofinela. Coastal folk of Kethaela see their coasts become the battlefield between the thwarted sea invaders and the Vingkotling defenders. The Ludoch (if already present) would have been pressed into the forces of the seas.

After the Worcha gambit fails, the seas retreat, leaving only Faralinthor with an ever-shrinking perimeter. Ultimately, the sea gets destroyed by Vadrus, and only its earth-born son in hiding Choralinthor manages to survive. This doesn't bode well for any Storm Age merfolk presence in the region, unless they managed to find refuge with the Vingkotling-ruled coastal folks of Dureving and Helering descent.

The tides turn when Engizi and his brothers revive Choralinthor and Solkathi, and Magasta creates the Homeward Ocean. Sshorg, Sevasbos and Neliomi are the only seas present in the Inner World when the Spike implodes. Looking at the Ludoch distribution, I would expect them to hang out with Sshorg. Waertagi contact with Ludoch would suggest a western presence at least prior to Worcha's defeat, but nothing of that is recognizable in the Neliomi.

The Darkness and the Grey Age is a great period for the merfolk - they get to feast on the detritus of the dryland wars, and to multiply into the outer edges of the Homeward Ocean, probably the biggest piece of Inner World Glorantha remaining intact during the Chaos Age. (Sramak's River doesn't appear to fracture, either, and would be the biggest piece. Heortling Mythology p.108 shows the true devastation of the Greater Darkness, much worse than the God Learner Mythical Maps ever hint at, and has the "Oerian Sea" "where there once were elves", i.e. the former foothills of the Spike.) Magasta's call to the rivers ties the universe together long enough to leave something to bind in Arachne Solara's web. Ludoch and Malasp arrive in the waters of the Homeward Sea.

Ludoch are present at Deeper after Choralinthor awakens again, and they are likely present when Erenplose sinks, forming a second nucleus for survival there. For almost two centuries they rule the Manirian coasts uncontested by humans, and quickly make their offer of a tributary alliance to the two centers of the Pelaskites in the Rightarms and Karse (the Pelaskites paying the tribute, in addition to the Kitori tribute they pay to Ezkankekko's Kingdom of Night). The Pelaskites profit from the alliance, and quickly spread all around the Mirrorsea Bay and into the river estuaries in the Dawn Age. Little is known about the Dawn Age in coastal Maniria prior to the arrival of Palangio.

The Waertagi are in league with the Ludoch, and probably help them establish tribute on the Manirian coasts. Pay the Ludoch tribute or get raided by the Waertag when they show up (or buy the Waertagi off with metals you would use yourself, rather than that weird sea-metal coveted by the Ludochi.

At some point, the Waertagi pick up a huge load of Olodo ancestors and drop them off at Jrustela. The Malasp presence there probably keeps them inland, but on the rivers. Coastal fisherfolk may have remained, or may have newly settled as other tribes migrated westwards into Slontos.

Elsewhere I speculated about Sofali-descended Diroti in eastern Nolos or around Korst and Alatan. Other Tarinwood/Pralorelan Hsunchen may lead a fisherfolk lifestyle, too. If so, they aren't listed as surviving Hsunchen in the Third Age, but we know that especially in Ralios lots of Hsunchen groups grew extinct (as Hsunchen) after contact with the Theyalans. In Tanisor the Seshnegi may have been a factor, too.

How much do the Ludoch frequent river estuaries? Would they be found at Old Karse, Jansholm, Vizel or Rhigos? Handra? What is their relation to the river deities? Lorion is a sibling of Togaro,whose child Sshorg presumably was caretaker of the Ludoch and other merfolk in the Darkness. Engizi may be a son or aspect of Lorion, and so are his brothers (Creek and Stream), unlike the rest of the rivers in the region which are branches (children and grandchildren) of Sshorg.

In the Imperial Age, the God Learners ruled Slontos. The Waertagi were defeated, but this didn't alter the Ludoch presence there, or in the Mirrorsea Bay where the Slontoli invaded Heortland in a naval and overland operation after annexing the Ingareens. History of the Heortling Peoples doesn't say anything about Ludoch obstruction, but the Iron Fort above Deeper may have been a factor in this. In the Machine Wars, the Ludoch played no role to be sung about. Neither did the Esvulari or the Pelaskites of Heortland and God Forgot - most will have fled before the ecological warfare devastating their homelands, probably bolstering the Nochet population.


Over here in Europe, fishing communities managed to remain apart from adjacent urban communities for a millennium and more. Given the Foreigner Laws of Aventus, we know that the Pelaskites were recognized as a distinct ethnicity in Heortland about a millennium before the Hero Wars. Fisherfolk tend to settle apart from farming communities, although fisherfolk villages will admit a few farmers to supplement their diet with field crops and herds. Those blood-lines will remain isolated from the rest, though, and vice versa in places where the fisherfolk form a (however sizeable) minority.

The Diroti islands of Nochet probably are the largest urban community of the Pelaskites, outnumbering the inhabitants of Seapolis, or the fisherfolk quarters of Karse. We know that Ludoch approach Nochet and swim through the air of the Harbor Market (thanks to the Fish Road). (A pity that the Harbor Market scene of Nochet on p.258 doesn't show a floating Ludoch... having a troll merchant of Argan Argar there is ok, but a Ludoch would have been special.)

While I agree that the Pelaskites outside of the Rightarm Isles probably have taken on many of the Heortling Adjustments, they still remain apart in their relationship to the Ludoch, their worship of sea deities, both those remaining in the farmer equivalent of fishermen and those providing crews, captains and shipyard folk to the merchant houses of the Esrolian and Heortland coastal cities.

For comparison, look at the fisherfolk bloodline in the Red Cow clan - these folks have managed to keep their fisherman identity and even skin coloration through all the marriages with neighboring clans, which makes me assume that there will be similar river-worshiping fisherfolk bloodlines in those other clans. Maybe some shepherder lines dedicated to Heler in his cloud aspect thrown into the mix.



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Telling how it is excessive verbis


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