Jump to content

Guide to Glorantha Group Read Week 15 - Pent


Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, metcalph said:

p372 - surprised that the Hot Lake is salty and contains dinosaurs.

The heat most probably comes from volcanism, which often means hot mineral springs.

Neither plesiosaurs nor ichthyosaurs are proper dinosaurs (but then pteranodons aren't either). Not sure whether ichthyosaurs would be recognized as even remotely dinosaurian or even draconic. Plesiosaurs on the other hand may be a weak form of water dragons or sea serpents.

It would be interesting to learn how these beasts came to be found here (and being unknown - ichthyosaurs - or rare - plesiosaurs) in the seas. Genert or one of his followers could have placed them there, now forgotten. Or they could have migrated there.

Genert's Garden remained mostly unaffected by the Flood, but those maps don't necessarily show the mythic detail of northeastern Pent if they extend that far at all, so a pre-glacier sea connection is possible. Another possibility could be that they entered the lake from below. Given the hot nature of the lake, the ice age will have left a cavern above the hot lake, or possibly even have melted through, so that the air breathers would have had enough access to air even below the glacier.

While this isn't quite the place to discuss the glacier, I would expect it to be riddled with breaks and rifts which allow air circulation all the way down to the bottom waters.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Joerg said:

The heat most probably comes from volcanism, which often means hot mineral springs.

Or perhaps a fragment of Lodril fell here to mingle with some child of Maran Gor (or other suitable cthonic goddess)?  Alternately, a dream dragon child of Oslira (or Arcos) may have writhed along and found this place to settle and burrow into.  And it has subsequently spawned its own children.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

The heat most probably comes from volcanism, which often means hot mineral springs.

The amount of salt produced by mineral springs isn't enough to make what should be a freshwater lake into a saltwater one (two big lakes exist in the North Island here, both are modestly heated yet are freshewater).  Moreover volcanic activity is a boring explanation.

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

Neither plesiosaurs nor ichthyosaurs are proper dinosaurs (but then pteranodons aren't either).

This is glorantha.  What definition of dinosaurs are you using?

16 hours ago, Joerg said:

It would be interesting to learn how these beasts came to be found here (and being unknown - ichthyosaurs - or rare - plesiosaurs) in the seas. Genert or one of his followers could have placed them there, now forgotten. Or they could have migrated there.

Or it could be a remnant of the Dareledon Sea (Book of Heortling Mythology p75)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

The amount of salt produced by mineral springs isn't enough to make what should be a freshwater lake into a saltwater one (two big lakes exist in the North Island here, both are modestly heated yet are freshewater).  Moreover volcanic activity is a boring explanation.

Less boring than a repeat of the "Dead Place is a salt lake due to the ashes of the burnt Praxian Forests washed into this basin" which could be transplanted there. My first idea about Hot Lake was something like the alkaline lakes of the Mexican highlands with their cyanobacteria-based ecology, clearly fed by volcanic minerals.

I thought that my "underground sea erupting to the daylight" model would be somewhat original.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

This is glorantha.  What definition of dinosaurs are you using?

Big hulking, egg-laying beasts with scales and/or fluffy downs, some related to dragonewts, other more closely related to the furred and smooth-skinned behemoths birthed by Maran. A fish-like, four-flippered air breathing scaled being presumably giving live births is a weird fish or whale rather than a dinosaur.

Plesiosaurs are within the definition space of small dinos, but their size makes them the equivalent of porpoises in the family of whales. Their long necks make them rather a flippered serpent. This could make them the offspring of sea dragons. We don't have any reports on sea dragonewts, though, and plesios appear to be viviparous as well.

Speaking of Sea Dragons, would those creatures be viviparous or oviparous?

The egg carries major symbolism in the life cycle of dragonkind, especially dragonewts. A non-oviparous reproduction might cast doubt on the draconic nature of a creature.

1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Or it could be a remnant of the Dareledon Sea (Book of Heortling Mythology p75)

Rather a southern bay of the Vanekauan Sea - the Dareledon remains too far west and south, whereas this lake is situated right below the Shan Shan.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Less boring than a repeat of the "Dead Place is a salt lake due to the ashes of the burnt Praxian Forests washed into this basin" which could be transplanted there. My first idea about Hot Lake was something like the alkaline lakes of the Mexican highlands with their cyanobacteria-based ecology, clearly fed by volcanic minerals.

I'm really not interested in parading one's knowledge of real world geology or chemistry.  This is Glorantha.  Simply stating that the heat is from vulcanism is boring.  Simply stating that the salt is from mineral baths is also boring.  The lack has three unusual features 1) heat 2) salt 3) dinosaurs.  You should focus on mythic and supernatural explanations rather than RW scientific ones.

 

42 minutes ago, Joerg said:

[Dinosaurs are - PHM] Big hulking, egg-laying beasts with scales and/or fluffy downs, some related to dragonewts, other more closely related to the furred and smooth-skinned behemoths birthed by Maran. A fish-like, four-flippered air breathing scaled being presumably giving live births is a weird fish or whale rather than a dinosaur.

Which would make velociraptors not dinosaurs in that they are neither big or hulking.  Yet they have been in Glorantha as far back as Borderlands.  I really don't buy your narrow definition considering that ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs are as recognizably saurian as pterodactyls.  Modern scientific classifications have no place in glorantha considering that it's all about the look and feel.

 

42 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Rather a southern bay of the Vanekauan Sea - the Dareledon remains too far west and south, whereas this lake is situated right below the Shan Shan.

The Vanekauan sea doesn't fit as all that is said about it is that there are troll fleets.  The Dereledon is not that far from the Shan Shan considering that the map on p74 has Suvaria well to the west of where it actually is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I'm really not interested in parading one's knowledge of real world geology or chemistry. 

I don't care whether you are interested in real world geography. The Dead Place description is by Sandy, not by myself.

Hot lakes with above average salinity are a thing in nature, and an exceptionally large hot lake in Glorantha surprises only by its size, not by its saline nature.

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

This is Glorantha.  Simply stating that the heat is from vulcanism is boring. 

Volcanism is the magical presence of Lodril or cognates. What's your problem with that? I have no idea whether the water entity of the lake stole the heat from the deeply buried lava flows, and I really want to avoid another water-filled caldera (Sog and Oronin are plenty).

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Simply stating that the salt is from mineral baths is also boring. 

I never said that. However, mineral geothermal springs are a common effect of volcanic activity, whether you look at Yellowstone, Japanese natural onsen,  or Iceland. Java will have some, too, but in the absence of winters they aren't half as prominent as the ones breaking the ice and snow further north.

True, every facet of nature has a myth or three in Glorantha. On the whole, the nature in Glorantha is similar to the nature of our planet, so natural phenomena around volcanism and geothermal activity (non-erupting Earthfire) will be similar.

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

The lack has three unusual features 1) heat 2) salt 3) dinosaurs.  You should focus on mythic and supernatural explanations rather than RW scientific ones.

I did suggest a subterranean water breaking through to the surface. That's in no way a scientific explanation - I am unaware of any subterranean lakes or seas forming lakes on our planet, and even less aware of any ichthyosaurs or plesiosaurs emerging from a system of deep grottos somehow providing them with breathable air. Without some oxygen-producing thermosynthesis such an environment is pure fantasy, and such a thermosynthesis is pure (scientific) fantasy, too (permissible in SF with a Mohs-hardness of 5 or less).

Having a sea with an underworld connection both to Earthfire and some demonic stuff would suit the origin of Sheng Seleris just fine, IMO. A leftover of the Arcos flood doesn't quite offer the same connotations.

But go ahead, write a boring mythlet how the Arcos sea goddess Dareledon rolled across Genert's Garden, only to be left here as a warm and salty remnant. If it is interesting enough, I might buy it. Avoiding the Hellcrack will be a good trick.

 

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Which would make velociraptors not dinosaurs in that they are neither big or hulking.  Yet they have been in Glorantha as far back as Borderlands. 

The Deinonychus is significantly larger than the non-Jurassic Park velociraptor. As far as I am concerned, they are another relative of the demibird, a form of primitive ratites. Should I ever employ them in a game situation, they will be feathered - the Borderlands description doesn't exclude that.

Deinonychus don't have any known connections to dragonewts. Their similarity to demibirds might lead to the assumption that they resulted from interbreeding between steed and rider.

(For Gloranthan terror, I'll take the ramphorynchus chase scenes from 10,000 BC over the raptor chase scenes from Jurassic Park any day...)

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I really don't buy your narrow definition considering that ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs are as recognizably saurian as pterodactyls.  Modern scientific classifications have no place in glorantha considering that it's all about the look and feel.

And the look and feel of an ichthyosaur is that of a whale with vertical fluke and fish-like scales, as cold to the touch as a whale's outer layer of skin. They probably dive down into warmer springs to store heat, and brave the cold only when surfacing for breath (especially in the inclement Pentan winters).

Are Gloranthan saurians scaled? Some are, others are feathered. The Slon saurians come across as mostly reptilian, and given the temperatures down there, any layer of downs would be detrimental rather than helpful. The Dara Happan gazzam just have to be feathered, that makes them sky creatures.

Dragonewts don't come with feather-like frills before reaching the tailed priest stage.

Plesiosaurs are about as much dinosaurs as are crocodilians or snapper turtles, and we know huge crocodilians from Gloranthan myth that have nothing at all to do with dinos. 

14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

The Vanekauan sea doesn't fit as all that is said about it is that there are troll fleets.  The Dereledon is not that far from the Shan Shan considering that the map on p74 has Suvaria well to the west of where it actually is.

Ancient Suvaria had its heart swamps in the Yolp range, and extended as far west as it extended east. The Yolp range may be covered by the same standing wave that also covered the western Rockwoods and much of Halikiv, the Mandadan Sea (whose ability to cover mountaintops may actually have been a restriction that kept its expansion to mountainous regions). Its western edge needn't resemble our idea of a shore, it could just as well have been a wall of water like Moses' passage through the Red Sea in various sandal flicks, if not due to an inherent property of Mandadan then held back by some Hykimi magic that kept most of the Greatwood dry. (Aldryami magic had not kept this very sea from flooding eastern Arstola - it took Orlanth to return those lands to the forest.)

The Dareledon is Thunder Delta and the lowest part of the Arcos, then cutting northwest. Kahar's Sea is a lot closer than this. The Dareledon sea is characterized by its goddess, "three of her at once" (which I read as Oslira, Poralistor and Arcos - possibly with a hangover of the Three Worlds model with Oslira theist, Poralistor essence, and Arcos animist). While she rules over monsters, those should be kin of the Black Eel or the Water Wyrms known from the Rockwoods region, and whichever monster helpers the Waertagi introduced to the Poralistor and Janube. Moon island extends rather far west, too - presumably held dry by the tidal powers of the Blue Moon.

The Umath Mountains (as per p.63, better known as the Shan Shan range) are clearly marked far inland from either the Osliran or the Dareledon seas, and only the Vanekauan (or Vanekavan) comes closer.

The Guide map (p.684) shows a sea corresponding to the Vanekavan crossing the line of the Shan Shan (indicated only by the light and the dark mountain).

 

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Why is sea water salty while most lakes are not? Is this a reservoir of dissolved dry food that for whatever reason can't get back to Magasta or refused the call?

Not really a topic for Pent, but land-locked farmers would think of salty sea water as poisonous to their crops.

I am not convinced that the Oslira or Madadan flood seas would have been salty - the lands and river valleys they left behind are among the most fertile areas of Genertela.

Sea water could leave a piece of land inferior or less fertile for a century or two where I live and work - the second Mandrenke of 1634 left a huge area of wetlands unsuitable for anything but seasonal grazing (where the salt residue would have been seen as beneficial rather than detrimental). Opening the dikes to entrap an enemy army was a major sacrifice of arable land for generations. Reclaimed parts of the wadden sea would start out as salt pasture, only slowly being rinsed by (quite a lot of) regular rainfall.

 

One way to regard the Blue Age when the cube of the Earth emerged from the dark undersea as the formation of a pearl by a mollusc. I am pretty sure that the outer layers of the Earth Cube resembled a cubic pearl before the seas and other forces began attacking it.

At the same time, the earth cube was of course regarded as food, or as an anchor for sessile or benthic sea life (mostly vertical reef life...) The cube wasn't exactly regular. In the east, it had two or three adjuncts, with roots in the eastern flank of the earth cube supporting eastern Vithalash, Forng and Memb, and branches thereof supporting lesser outer isles like the Dendulag or the Deselenro chains.

 

We can always blame Chaos, or other forces drying up seas. Orlanth's re-conquest wouldn't have resulted in stagnant water evaporating, so his reclaimed lands would have suffered less from salty water than basins like Faralinthor's.

Faralinthor's waters of course became salty from the tears of Esrola, until even those tears dried away, but is that enough to explain the salty oceans? I doubt it.

Tears, or poisoned blood, are typical sources of salinity in myths. (Salinity may include hardness - dissolved chalk and dolomite, used by molluscs and corals to build their hard parts from. Rock gets eaten by water entities and secreted by others, nothing mundane or scientific about this. Chalk evidently comes from water, but is not salt, and vice versa - check the interior of copper kettles or lead brine pans.

I live on the baltic sea, a brackish sea with varying salt levels depending on your distance from the Kattegat, where it enters the (much saltier) North Sea. Where I live, the salt content is roughly isotonic - a shipwrecked party lost at sea could survive quite long by drinking that water, hygiene issues left aside.

It is possible that the original rivers had about the same salinity as blood or our cells. This isotonic quality could qualify as alive rather than brackish. This still doesn't completely explain how the seas became undrinkable, but might be a first step to establish a minimum salinity to start from.

 

If Chaos is to blame, how saline is the Devil's Marsh around the Block? Prior to the pollution the water must have been potable, as the dragonsnails are descended from pond snails.

The Breaking of the World may have released brine into the seas. That brine would have been held captive inside the cube, possibly as liquid, possibly as crystallized salt, one of the treasures hidden by Asrelia, and now made accessible. This wouldn't have mattered much in the immediate fight against the Chaos Rift that dominated much of the Surface conflict of the Greater Darkness, but could have been important after the pool sealed that worst rift. (On the other hand, we come to a situation where all that's remaining of Glorantha is in shards, permeated by the Void, and only the web of Arachne Solara manages to tie it together again, excluding the Void.)

 

I find it quite possible and plausible that only somewhat salty water can be an alive body of water, excepting manifestations of naiads and water elementals applying active magic to form a body out of fresh water. Thus, the Syphon needs to be brackish in order to keep running uphill into the Footprint, and tidal waves don't work in the non-saline lake Felster the way they work on the sea shores. Elementally pure water might well be isotonic rather than distilled.

  • Like 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, metcalph said:

 You should focus on mythic and supernatural explanations rather than RW scientific ones.

^^^ This, because the below I find true only at the most superficial level.

22 hours ago, Joerg said:

On the whole, the nature in Glorantha is similar to the nature of our planet

Sure, it *looks* similar, but usually the underlying reasons for the existence of any part of nature are totally different from our own planet, and based on myth and magic rather than any science that we would recognise here on earth (Gloranthan "science" being totally different to our own).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Steve said:

This, because the below I find true only at the most superficial level.

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

On the whole, the nature in Glorantha is similar to the nature of our planet

Sure, it *looks* similar, but usually the underlying reasons for the existence of any part of nature are totally different from our own planet, and based on myth and magic rather than any science that we would recognise here on earth (Gloranthan "science" being totally different to our own).

All the myths explaining why nature is the way it is are taken from such explanations as they apply to our world's natural phenomena. Such myths are natural philosophy.

 

Gloranthan water behaved like an organism (the All Water) with semi-independent sub-organisms through most of Godtime, until Magasta called the living waters to his aid. This didn't affect any children of Seolinthor in Genert's Garden, though, because they had been slain in the slaughter of Earthfall or lost their connection to the All Water (remaining as the Serpents, seasonal rivers). Only Zola Fel escaped that fate.

I think that the Hot Lake appeared after Earthfall - an underground body of water burying out of the underground, bringing its own denizens with it. Isolated from the seas, so it could not provide a steady feed into Magasta's Pool.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surely the hot lake is just the salty tears of Shengs enemies. Or the warm urine of the Black Sun. Or that salt is just the taste of death that water has when it knows it is going to die. 

I'm imagining there must be a lot of mist and fog rolling off the lake, with glimpses of large dinosaurs, and dampened screeches of monster heard through the warm, damp clouds. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 04/10/2017 at 12:34 PM, Joerg said:

The Dead Place description is by Sandy, not by myself

Ah the Sandy trump card, what's the reference for this please. Please note that this is not the description of the Dead Place we are using. Although the River of Cradle's description does have a mention of alkali dust, I don't think it's important, bearing in mind that the Dead Place was created late in the Great Darkness. It's where Storm Bull's heart drew all the Earth's energy from it forever changing it.

-----

Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

This didn't affect any children of Seolinthor in Genert's Garden, though, because they had been slain in the slaughter of Earthfall or lost their connection to the All Water (remaining as the Serpents, seasonal rivers).

The serpent's have a different origin as they are ephemeral. They originate purely from rain (Heler) and don't have an existence prior to that. Those that are permanent such as those draining the krjalki bog are the remnants of Seolinthur. Praxians use the same name for both. Many rivers were unable to return for many different reasons. 

-----

Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, KeithN said:

Surely the hot lake is just the salty tears of Shengs enemies.

Sheng was born on its shores, within time, so there is no way he could have caused the lake to come into existence, even indirectly. He might be blamed for the salinity, but that's a story with less mythical truth than others. (More on this below in my reply to David.)

46 minutes ago, KeithN said:

Or the warm urine of the Black Sun.

Blood. The Black Sun is about rivers (and a lake) of blood. The clotted stuff may have been eaten away by its denizens, but the liquid remains.

46 minutes ago, KeithN said:

Or that salt is just the taste of death that water has when it knows it is going to die. 

IMO water naturally has about the salinity of blood - see the separate thread started by David. Higher salinity shows some over-satiation of the water, possibly making it less active, while lower salinity is a mark of separation from the All Water, and generates hunger in the water entities associated. Isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic translate into Gloranthan reality as "near optimum for drinking", "leaves you craving for salt" and "makes you thirstier than before".

But yes, salt is the dead body of a water overcome by some or all of the other elements. One form of corpse water. Ice and steam are other such forms of "corpse water".

46 minutes ago, KeithN said:

I'm imagining there must be a lot of mist and fog rolling off the lake, with glimpses of large dinosaurs, and dampened screeches of monster heard through the warm, damp clouds. 

Any open water will give birth to mist or clouds as long as the wind isn't too strong. Having Nessie's and her friends' heads peek out of that is a nice addition. Large dinos would have to be apatosaurus or similar land-dwellers taking hippo-style lunches - not exactly impossible, but might have been mentioned in the description.

Too much mist will be just a weak version of Kahar's Sea - and that effect is not desired. Just another water filled caldera isn't exciting, either.

A rift into the underworld filled by a water entity is my interpretation. Less deep than Hellcrack, but possibly caused by the same event shaking up the wasted remnants of the Garden.

 

1 minute ago, David Scott said:

Ah the Sandy trump card, what's the reference for this please.

Digest archives, 1994 or 1995 IIRC. I reread that about a month or two ago. Google is no great help.

1 minute ago, David Scott said:

Please note that this is not the description of the Dead Place we are using. 

Noted. My point is that where there are conflicting myths pointing to the same result, there will be some rather unspectacular mundane story coming to the same result, too. Possibly conflicting ones, too. Possibly with some magical outcome each, useful for sorcerers and alchemist requiring this or that symbolic ingredient or category to hook their known spells into. A good (but historically false) theory for the origin of a feature still may lend a magical handle for dealing with it or its denizens, at least until countered. The entire Second Age of Glorantha circles around this effect, and just because the Jrusteli of Umathela have been systematically eliminated, this doesn't mean that there are no sorcerers left capable of projecting such a story or doctrine/dogma onto a feature.

11 minutes ago, David Scott said:

The serpent's have a different origin as they are ephemeral. They originate purely from rain (Heler) and don't have an existence prior to that.

Sp there is no river demon lying dormant in a wadi, providing the occasional humidity for a temporary well, and waiting to prey again on Heler's bounty to raise its hungry head again? Maybe just the seeds that the former serpent left, is hidden eggs, if you want them to be ephemeral.

11 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Those that are permanent such as those draining the krjalki bog are the remnants of Seolinthur. Praxians use the same name for both. Many rivers were unable to return for many different reasons. 

So we have ephemeral serpents, returning serpents, and dead or undead children of Seolinthur, all called Serpents.

The rivers of Pent are likely seasonal, too, but they get fed annually by snowfall and -melt which returns the water over a longer time than the (rarer) rain events further south in the Wastes. Still, in Earth and Dark Season the Pentan rivers will be weak.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

Quote

Ah the Sandy trump card, what's the reference for this please.

Digest archives, 1994 or 1995 IIRC. I reread that about a month or two ago. Google is no great help.

Quote

 

From: sandyp@idcube.idsoftware.com (Sandy Petersen)
Subject: stuff
Message-ID: <9404091824.AA15411@idcube.idsoftware.com>
Date: 9 Apr 94 05:08:53 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 3571

MOB asks:
>What do other people think about making direct comparisons between terrestrial and lozengial locations?
    I think it is a useful and highly adaptive gamemastering technique. It assists the players in envisioning the world around them and the cultures they are encountering. Looky here, even on Earth there are few truly unique sites. Telling someone in Glorantha that the Tunneled Hills look like the western Badlands is pretty helpful for an American. Or that the elf woods they're traveling through looks like the Northwest rain forest. I always tell my players that Prax looks a lot like Nevada. IMO the Great Basin is a fine representation of the Praxian lands -- it's poorly drained (when it rains, little bogs pop up all over), mostly  
dry, and the plant life alternates between brown and bleached gray. There's lots of little rock formations and low mountains, and the whole thing is just awful. For that matter, I compare the Dead Place to the Utah salt flats. Not only are both devoid of life, but both are supposedly the remains of a dead lake (this info on the Dead  Place I get from looking at a topographic map of Prax). Of course,  
the Dead Place also has dire magic effects.  

 

I use Google only as a last resort, I downloaded the entire list archive from the web so I could search it as text files, then I look at the Glorantha Wiki. Having a copy of the Bell Digest, Glorantha Digest, Henk's Dailies and Glorantha-board is a very handy research tool. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

-----

Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I should follow Davids suggestion, and download all those text archives locally, so I can turn two research phases into one. Thanks for the tip, David.

And now I know that the Dead Place is alkali flats, it makes me think particularly of the Black Rock Desert of NW Nevada. Perhaps the Winter Ruins are called that because in mid-summer, they have a temporary tent city festival there, at which they celebrate the sacrifice of the earth to sustain life amidst the harshest conditions, with art and hedonism. Perhaps they not only celebrate Ernaldas sacrifice to sustain Storm Bull, but also celebrate how the burning of the Redwoods by Oak-fed kept man alive in the Darkness, by burning a huge wooden man that they all dance around. 

(In case anyone misses the reference, the Black Rock Desert is where the Burning Man festival takes place. I've attended several times, and can attest that the conditions are extremely harsh and generally inimical to life.) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thoughts and reactions on Pent chapter.

"Herds of horses, northern bison, giant sable, and red sable" - we knew these existed in Balazar/Elder Wilds from old Griffin Mountain days. It makes sense to see these spread across Pent as well.  Could make for a good Praxian scenario to have a clan have a vision of a great bison or giant sable that they must find to save them from the Hero Wars.

"a new tribe, the Women Warriors, has provided a society for both men and women who find their traditional social roles unpalatable." - I like this and could either make a great tribe to have adventurers come from or traditional tribes to encounter. 

"Pent is dominated by ten tribes, called the Ten Arrows." - very useful to have these ten great tribes with names and brief annotation. 

"Storm tribes worship West King Wind (Orlanth), North War Wind (Humakt), South Rage Wind (Storm Bull), East Sting Wind (Gagarth)" - I've always liked these names for the Pentan storm gods.  Suggests that the cults may still be of these gods, yet considerably different in how they are approached.  I like the inclusion of Gagarth as one of the four as well.

"ancestral homelands along the Arcos River" - based on this, we'd conclude first that the Arcos valley has far more significance than you'd initially suspect based on GRoY and other Pelorian/Oslir-centered works.  (Wonder what secrets we've yet to uncover about this region???)  And second, that Pent itself was not inhabited by humans in the Silver Age or perhaps even at the Dawn.  IIt was not under the Glacier, but was it largely troll land?  Or disrupted by the passage of Chaos?

"Pure Horse People eventually ceased to exist as a tribe, becoming a special priestly caste among many tribes."  Based on the Ten Arrows, it seems there remains one tribe that is Pure Horse People, otherwise each of the tribes likely has a clan of folk who make up this priestly caste.  I would guess that the Pure Horse people are more oriented towards ritual worship and rune magic than shamanism.  Then again, they may simply be like the current Grazelanders.

"the Bursts... They could ride across the land and into the stellar camp of Sheng Seleris. Aided by the supernatural weapons which they bore, they were demigods in their own right." - if one was developing a Pentan campaign, it would be cool to be able to ride right into the stellar camp. 

"At the same time as the birth of the Red Goddess (1220), the man named AgartuSay was born amid great omens. In 1247, he participated in the Great Contest." - 1220 was a year of notable births: not only the Red Goddess and AgartuSay, but also Jannisor in Imther, and the False Imarjarin in Esrolia. 

"Sheng Seleris returned to his people and taught them his secret: “all Life is Slavery”; and that the Pentan lifestyle is the foundation of that truth. He said that this knowledge was a gift given to him by his god, Jolaty" - wonder if Jolaty is just a personal deity or part of/aspect of something greater (like Ompalam)?

Useful to have more background on all of Sheng's exploits in one place.

"Dranz Goloi... succeeds in raising new planets in the Sky" - not sure if this should really be plural or not, but clearly references the Boat Planet.  The story/myth/reason must be similar to that of the High Llama's Lucky Star.  Or perhaps to the Pentans this is the River Horse???  And it's return provides the Pentans with new movement magics?

"The cult of the Blood Sun from the Kingdom of Ignorance has been adopted by some Solar tribes in recent years." - sounds ominous.

And then there are maps.  Maps, maps, maps.  Stretching across 3 pages for North Pent, then another 3 pages for South Pent.  Something about these really gives you the sense of the vastness of the land.  Having travelled across the Great Plains multiple times by car and train (not to mention more times flying over it), I can easily picture the flatness, the occasional roll of hills, sporadic badlands, the endless grasslands, and the lack of trees.

The long coast of the White Sea.  The Troll Marshes - those must be a dismal place filled with nasty blood-sucking insect swarms!.  The Haunted Lands.  The Hot Lake.  The Arcos Valley, and the proximity of Griffin Mountain - it seems more likely that some Pentan following the West King Wind will have the inspiration to quest for the legendary Wind Sword or the Windberry tree.  The Sky King Mountains - good place from which to reach the Sky World?  Gork's Hills - even if there is no longer a vampire here, somehow this seems like a place of Undeath from which foes opposing questers to either Griffin Mountain or the Sky King Mountains will come.  The Hellcrack - that's one big chasm!  Orathorn - its proximity to Gonn Orta's Pass (and the Hellcrack) is notable.  Celestial Eagle Hills - must be another important quest site. 

"Joloi Maskoss: Also called Always Awake Twice, she is the most powerful shaman of Pent. She can call stars down into her hand" - sounds like the type of power an adventurer would like to have.  Probably need to go to the Sky King Mountains and then into the Sky itself to gain something like that.

"Black Butte: This forested butte is a religious site for Pentan shamans" - Close Encounters of the Third Kind???

"Hellcrack... Anything which is thrown in falls down for weeks until it reaches the center of Glorantha, where is found a vast cavern collecting many lost things." - sounds like Asrelia's Cavern, so I'd guess this is somewhere along the border of the Third Hell.  I suspect that if one knew how, one could enter most of the different Hells from here. 

"Two doors lead from the cavern. One leads upward to the Surface World, the other leads upward to the Underworld. Both are of equal hardship; years of difficult effort, or at best several weeks of swift flying. To exit in the Underworld is to die; to exit in the Surface World brings you back to Pent." - I have the feeling that Ethilrist was on one of these paths when he emerged at the Night of Horrors.  Interesting that both paths lead up.  Makes sense in the confusing manner of Hell - plus makes it more challenging to determine which door to take!  (Contestant A, do you choose Door #1 or Door #2?)

"Lentasia: This vast expanse of stumps and dead trees is all that remains of a great Aldryami Forest that was killed in the First Age" - first, who killed it?  Trolls? Pentan shamans? Something else?  And second, do the plans of the Aldryami extend this far north?

"Orathorn: In this ancient castle live sorcerers who are immortal and are served by undead servants. They have ventured out of their lair only once" - suggests that despite their proximity to Gonn Orta's castle, they have no need to go there.  I wonder if the vampire of Gork's Hills was an escaped servant from here? 

"Senbar: This evil place first appeared in 1051, when it was revealed by a gigantic earthquake" - clearly this must have a roll in delivering up evil in the Hero Wars. 

"Troll Marshes: These vast peat marshes" - already commented on the insects.  But makes me think of mummified figures buried in the peat bogs.  Will a legion of mummified trolls rise from here?  Or some ancient Pentan tribe slain by the trolls?

"Gord-un (Gopher People)" - nothing like a whole colony of pygmy hsunchen guaranteed to make travel by horses and other herd beasts difficult.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Herds of horses, northern bison, giant sable, and red sable" - we knew these existed in Balazar/Elder Wilds from old Griffin Mountain days. It makes sense to see these spread across Pent as well.  Could make for a good Praxian scenario to have a clan have a vision of a great bison or giant sable that they must find to save them from the Hero Wars.

Or a quest to rescue the entire herd into the Wastes (and finding out that they miss the cold, and creating a need to invade the Land of False Plenty permanently with the newly created sept).

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Storm tribes worship West King Wind (Orlanth), North War Wind (Humakt), South Rage Wind (Storm Bull), East Sting Wind (Gagarth)" - I've always liked these names for the Pentan storm gods.  Suggests that the cults may still be of these gods, yet considerably different in how they are approached.  I like the inclusion of Gagarth as one of the four as well.

I wonder if it is worth noticing that the Pentans name their gods "wind" rather than "storm". Do they experience the element air more as a constant pushing force rather than unpredictable gusts of storm?

 

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"ancestral homelands along the Arcos River" - based on this, we'd conclude first that the Arcos valley has far more significance than you'd initially suspect based on GRoY and other Pelorian/Oslir-centered works.  (Wonder what secrets we've yet to uncover about this region???) 

I'm afraid that we won't find much new. Various forms of sky god worship with practical stuff like goat breeding and agriculture. The Starlight Wanderers are a group that leaves their home during the darkest period of the Gods War, and meets the horse way of life en route.

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

And second, that Pent itself was not inhabited by humans in the Silver Age or perhaps even at the Dawn.  IIt was not under the Glacier, but was it largely troll land?  Or disrupted by the passage of Chaos?

It doesn't look like Chaos left half as much damage to Pent as it did to Genert's Garden south of the Snowline, but then much of that damage was Genert drawing all the magic of the land unto him in order to save at least those who managed to flee from Earthfall.

Few if any humans seems to be correct for the Dawn Age before Argentium Thri'ile. But then, the same was true for the southern Wastes, with Prax harboring the vast majority of the Beast Riders. Neither nomadic group had the numbers to expand into unsettled lands, and the conquest of the sedentary sky worshipers of Peloria was way more rewarding than keeping on traipsing through the endless grass lands emerging from under the snow.

 

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Pure Horse People eventually ceased to exist as a tribe, becoming a special priestly caste among many tribes."  Based on the Ten Arrows, it seems there remains one tribe that is Pure Horse People, otherwise each of the tribes likely has a clan of folk who make up this priestly caste.  I would guess that the Pure Horse people are more oriented towards ritual worship and rune magic than shamanism.  Then again, they may simply be like the current Grazelanders.

I don't think that the priestly caste usually would form clans of their own. They would be part of the general population much like houses Levi and Cohen were distributed among the tribes of Israel. A separate, possibly endogamous caste which nonetheless had tribal affiliation.

 

 

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Sheng Seleris returned to his people and taught them his secret: “all Life is Slavery”; and that the Pentan lifestyle is the foundation of that truth. He said that this knowledge was a gift given to him by his god, Jolaty" - wonder if Jolaty is just a personal deity or part of/aspect of something greater (like Ompalam)?

Useful to have more background on all of Sheng's exploits in one place.

I tried to get all mentions of Sheng's empire into one collection, but trying to get a consistent history of this is hard, as the evidence is very fragmentary.

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Dranz Goloi... succeeds in raising new planets in the Sky" - not sure if this should really be plural or not, but clearly references the Boat Planet.  The story/myth/reason must be similar to that of the High Llama's Lucky Star.  Or perhaps to the Pentans this is the River Horse???  And it's return provides the Pentans with new movement magics?

Or Dranz Goloi did a quest parallel to the Eleven Lights, and gets responsible for the new elements of Orlanth's Ring. There are often multiple activities involved in creating a world-wide change in Glorantha. This might mean that other efforts besides the dancers of the Dragonrise may have contributed to that event elsewhere - e.g. some rite externalizing a great internal evil to somewhere else, which then manifests as the Brown Dragon.

Perhaps this is the real lesson of the God Learner experimenting - that all of their great changes did not only reflect their actions and intentions, but also those of distant and unrelated questers and quests, whose meaning will make itself known to the other questers at some later point.

There might even be some ritual inside the Lunar Empire or possibly in the Arrolian territories which contributes to the Dragonrise rather than the dedication of the new temple. It might even involve Jar-eel.

 

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"The cult of the Blood Sun from the Kingdom of Ignorance has been adopted by some Solar tribes in recent years." - sounds ominous.

Unpleasant demons have always been part of the worship of the horse folk - Argoom the Shadow Rider probably was an acceptable spirit or deity of one of the other horse warlord tribes when confronted by Vuranoste (to use a more Grazer-sounding version of that name, with the first two syllables possibly a single one in the native Hyaloring language - compare "Oralanatum". It shouldn't have been a Vr, though, since that sound is well established in Dara Happa through Rinliddi's Vrimak).

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

And then there are maps.  Maps, maps, maps.  Stretching across 3 pages for North Pent, then another 3 pages for South Pent.  Something about these really gives you the sense of the vastness of the land.  Having travelled across the Great Plains multiple times by car and train (not to mention more times flying over it), I can easily picture the flatness, the occasional roll of hills, sporadic badlands, the endless grasslands, and the lack of trees.

And still the nourishment the Pentans can draw from the land is limited once the plenty of the snowmelt has been used up. I don't think that the northern part of the wastes could support a major addition to the tribes roaming it, even if it was a Beast Rider group taking possession of a native Sable or Bison (herd beast) population. 

 

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Lentasia: This vast expanse of stumps and dead trees is all that remains of a great Aldryami Forest that was killed in the First Age" - first, who killed it?  Trolls? Pentan shamans? Something else?  And second, do the plans of the Aldryami extend this far north?

Lentasia is located in the former region of the Tallseed Forest, as per the historical map on p.126. The disappearance of Tallseed and of the Greenwood of Jolar are blamed on intra-Aldryami strife, but aldryami warfare doesn't leave treetrunks behind.

A dead forest suffering storm damage usually has lots of uprooted trees rather than treestumps, so there must have been some axe-wielding agency here (or lots of huge bibers). There are of course uz in the neighborhood who would eat timber, whether from living trees (with fresh sap) or from dead trees (nicely pre-matured by lesser agents of darkness, like maggots or fungi).

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Orathorn: In this ancient castle live sorcerers who are immortal and are served by undead servants. They have ventured out of their lair only once" - suggests that despite their proximity to Gonn Orta's castle, they have no need to go there.  I wonder if the vampire of Gork's Hills was an escaped servant from here? 

Vampirism generally is the "mixed-success" escape from Death into some existence between life and death. While there is a myth of Vivamort being made a vampire through his encounter with the Devil and his loss of soul, 

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Senbar: This evil place first appeared in 1051, when it was revealed by a gigantic earthquake" - clearly this must have a roll in delivering up evil in the Hero Wars. 

It may already have been a part of the history of the Seleric Empire, and/or it may be a goal for Ignorance. Its appearance reminds me of the appearance of Sortum in Eastern myth.

Possibly this was created by Godunya or the Exarchs as an externalisation of some of the evil going on in the False Dragon Ring's Kralorela.

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

"Troll Marshes: These vast peat marshes" - already commented on the insects.  But makes me think of mummified figures buried in the peat bogs.  Will a legion of mummified trolls rise from here?  Or some ancient Pentan tribe slain by the trolls?

For some reasons, when I hear of bog mummies in connection with trolls, the first thing that comes to my mind is "pickles".

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Or Dranz Goloi did a quest parallel to the Eleven Lights, and gets responsible for the new elements of Orlanth's Ring. There are often multiple activities involved in creating a world-wide change in Glorantha.

Ah, yes, forgot about the Eleven Lights due to the 'planets' reference.  But I think that makes a lot of sense - these might be new "Wind" stars/planets as part of Orlanth's Ring.

8 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There might even be some ritual inside the Lunar Empire or possibly in the Arrolian territories which contributes to the Dragonrise rather than the dedication of the new temple. It might even involve Jar-eel.

Or Ralzakark! (All the figures are conveniently brought into the 'web' of the 'Red Goddess', then devoured by [Wakboth, Blood Sun, some other choice deity]) 

11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

but aldryami warfare doesn't leave treetrunks behind.

Nor do trolls.  And given that the stumps remain despite the presence of trolls in this land, that suggests some other hand such as dwarfs (not noted for being this far north) or demons.

13 minutes ago, Joerg said:

It may already have been a part of the history of the Seleric Empire, and/or it may be a goal for Ignorance. Its appearance reminds me of the appearance of Sortum in Eastern myth.

I'd suspect something more associated with Can Shu/Ignorance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Nor do trolls.  And given that the stumps remain despite the presence of trolls in this land, that suggests some other hand such as dwarfs (not noted for being this far north) or demons.

I thought about Tree Chopper for the use of an axe. While there are more recent heroes taking that title, already Zorak Zoran used Death in the shape of an axe to cut down Flamal.

6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I'd suspect something more associated with Can Shu/Ignorance.

The Exarchs were collectively ruling over Ignorance in 1051, with the rest of Kralorela still under the False Dragons Ring.

I remember Can Shu as the former Exarch of Lur Nop, who got polluted when the outsiders sailed into Kralorela. Before the Guide, I had assumed that it was his friendly contact with the Holy Country fleet (which was sunk soon afterwards) and his treatment of them which got him re-assigned to Ignorance, but that story doesn't work quite as well with the description in the Guide.

  • Like 1

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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...