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Yeah, I'm pretty mouthy today. I just cleared a month of PowerPoint and got four hours sleep.

So while trying to see how far down the coast noted Blue Moon expert (and possible knowledge saboteur) Thorloss the Scribe could've gotten in the early 850s I'm reminded of the 842 invasion of Esrolia, still a troll protectorate within the larger EWF complex. The annotation in MSE is interesting in a larger Malkionite mytho-historical context:

The dragons can muster the help of all the krjalki races. Some speculate that those are actually creations of the dragons . . . when pressed, the dragons can muster members of every nonhuman race to their armies, even Aldryami (who have an unbroken history of friendship with us in the West).

Now the children of Malkion have fought at least one dragon empire before, whether you consider the Hykimites and the Serpent Beasts as aspects of the same civilization or not. Back then the dragon people were the crown of "beast folk" creation, the kings of the forest keeping all the more profane totemic nations -- lion people, elk people, horse people, bull people, wolf people, bear people, elephant people, maybe eleven beasts in all and more -- in their proper shapes. You could speculate that all of the beast people are actually creations of the "dragons" and when pressed the "dragons" could probably muster members of every forest nation to their armies. 

This would be when the lore of dragon speaking and dragon slaying entered the Western way. Of course overt draconic influences are extremely rare there now. They've been largely exterminated and their orphaned children converted into today's horals and dronars according to their lot in life. 

As the frontier pushed east and eastern missionaries pushed back they met new dragons and more exotic krjalks. The pattern was set. By the time the West gets to the Shadowlands they know how to deal with monsters.

The question is how the Aldryami and the "dragons" diverged. Hrestol (there he is again) is busy with the children of likita and while there are elves in the forest also they're already aloof, almost as though they'd be happy if all the meat people could be manipulated into wiping each other out. Of course the "unbroken history" is a lie because the elves were some of the Bright Empire's strongest allies . . . along with the beast nations of course. Looking at the map Rist straddles Kartolin Pass in the dawn times, keeping the Hykimites and Serpent Beasts apart or at best managing their contacts. 

wild-rumpus.png.8b0b5b656d0651c6a829864c9010070e.png

I'm no conspiracy buff but it's a shame that Rist was one of the forests that had to die. Think of what they knew and what secrets they took with them when the survivors withdrew back to Dorastor to brood on the end of the world. And Peloria is interesting because there aren't a whole lot of atavistic hsunchen or draconic influences left there either. Not a lot of elves for that matter, some digijem nations and a dwarf or two but short on krjalk. Were there once elders here and they just got absorbed into the human mob or drawn out into other people's wars? Can we bring them back, or is that just what the Chaos/Monster Empire is all about?

 

Edited by scott-martin
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1 minute ago, Lord High Munchkin said:

I'm sure Ralzakark can - he's got skillz!!

And the forests will echo with something! Does anybody remember "something?"

forests.png.800fc25177ee12a4a1c8c0d9e767ac9c.png

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8 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I'm no conspiracy buff but it's a shame that Rist was one of the forests that had to die. Think of what they knew and what secrets they took with them when the survivors withdrew back to Dorastor to brood on the end of the world.

I'm bummed about that too - but then I'm one of those who'd like a bit of every race in every region to increase story hook potential.

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2 minutes ago, Lord High Munchkin said:

a lot of emphasis on the Beast rune

Could practically be a quiet moment at the Wild Temple. While I wouldn't plan any picnics with them either way (people drink too much and get crazy) a close look reveals at least four beasts present, including what might be one of the Damalite people who formerly ranged southern Peloria. He's probably a beast collector, has his own flesh zoo.

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Yeah, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be broos. Also, I'm not really sure if any of the deer-Hsunchen (Pralori, Uncolings, etc.) are known for shapeshifting, unlike the carnivorous Hsunchen (Pendali, Telmori, Rathori).

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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm definitely missing something here.

I think you've got all the facts. Where this has taken me at least is trying to figure out what the broos were like when they were just another tribe of beast and who would develop magic to interfere with Hykimite gifts. Once upon a time at least a few of the chaos array were Bright Empire gods who fell in the wars were revealed to have always already been evil. I usually consider broos as awful as far back as anyone can remember but now I'm wondering where and when a nation failed the sex pit.

EWF was interested in engineering the beast rune too . . . an innocent observer would see the Dorastor cover as another idyllic satyr picnic and yet the Wild Temple rite gets pretty bloody, just like the Serpent Beasts are noted for their "cruelty."

I also wonder at the Praxites as a multi-totemic society apparently bereft of draconic tutelage. Herbivore riders as opposed to carnivore lycanthropes. Is that the difference? But if anyone remembers the Serpent Beasts, it's the Elk Riders.

It's not hard to envision a scenario where the expanding Malkionite civilization pushed various sylvan neighbors to opt for "cruelty," effectively corrupting everyone around them. They have a whole technique for evoking the worst in everyone they meet. Solve et vincere. They got better and better at making monsters, eventually ensuring that every time they met dragons it was fearsome.
 

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8 hours ago, scott-martin said:

Could practically be a quiet moment at the Wild Temple. While I wouldn't plan any picnics with them either way 

 

And neither with the broo party of the unicorn guy...

(Couldn't resist)

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Yeah, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't be broos. Also, I'm not really sure if any of the deer-Hsunchen (Pralori, Uncolings, etc.) are known for shapeshifting, unlike the carnivorous Hsunchen (Pendali, Telmori, Rathori).

I think that the Uncolings spend most of their time in beast shape, and only take on their human shape on occasions of the great Porent meet-up. Their habitat in Porent is way too small to nourish that amount of humans from reindeer herds - look at the population densities in reindeer herder cultures.

Likewise, the less militant herbivore beast Hsunchen like the Damali are likely to switch to their beast form to escape foes. Pralori, Alekki and the Yak hsunchen that hold out against their Pentan neighbors are hardly different from (pre-Compact) Praxian beast riders, however.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

I think you've got all the facts. Where this has taken me at least is trying to figure out what the broos were like when they were just another tribe of beast and who would develop magic to interfere with Hykimite gifts.

I beg to differ. There a number of single sex races about - unicorns, satyrs, minotaurs, broo on the male side, nymphs and elurae on the female side. This is a magical nature unknown by any Hsunchen. Broo used to be the goat equivalent of minotaurs. No idea whether there ever was a ram equivalent, too, and if there used to be, what became of it (a mating victim of the broo?).

 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

Once upon a time at least a few of the chaos array were Bright Empire gods who fell in the wars were revealed to have always already been evil. I usually consider broos as awful as far back as anyone can remember but now I'm wondering where and when a nation failed the sex pit.

The "Chaos Array" is a weird collective of clearly chaotic entities and a number of cases which are evil but outside of any Storm Bull detection, like Gark the Calm and Nontraya.

The sex pit initiation challenge is a weird one, especially coming from Greg who has lived through the Summer of Love.

Speaking of initiation trials in general, in modern terms they are a PTSD-inducing experience that shapes the future career of the subject. That goes for fraternity rites and military boot camp, too - a form of inoculation, a confrontation with a (barely) controlled amount of fear and helplessness that is meant to prepare for future situations of similar nature, but able to break people the bad way.

 

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

EWF was interested in engineering the beast rune too . . . an innocent observer would see the Dorastor cover as another idyllic satyr picnic and yet the Wild Temple rite gets pretty bloody,

That weird "the beast rune resembles a dragon's scale" bit. The EWF researched all manner of ways to sidestep the dragonewt way to reach at dragonhood, including a research in the wyrms that appear to have been created in a similar manner as the ancestry of Seri-phy-Ranor, at the same time. (Really makes you wonder what went on in second century Dorastor even before they chanced on the Pseudo-Cosmic Egg, but maybe the presence of that egg already made itself felt.)

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

just like the Serpent Beasts are noted for their "cruelty."

Malkioni reports are notoriously one-sided in this regard. The worst Chaos curses within Time were created by Malkioni (who had been returned from Hell).

Cruelty is a fact of life in Glorantha, each and every culture practices it.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

I also wonder at the Praxites as a multi-totemic society apparently bereft of draconic tutelage. Herbivore riders as opposed to carnivore lycanthropes. Is that the difference? But if anyone remembers the Serpent Beasts, it's the Elk Riders.

IMO the Hykimi of the West have a Malkioni admixture (culturally, at least) caused by the Vadeli uprising that ended the Kachisti empire which covered their lands. The Serpent Beast Society might be a result of such Malkioni influences.

Look at the 15th century White Bear Empire and its reliance on the God of the Silver Feet, the Speaking God. Snodal and his syndics basically killed the communication which enabled the cooperation between the various Hykimi types. The Serpent Beast Brotherhood would have required a similar unifying common language.

1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

It's not hard to envision a scenario where the expanding Malkionite civilization pushed various sylvan neighbors to opt for "cruelty," effectively corrupting everyone around them. They have a whole technique for evoking the worst in everyone they meet. Solve et vincere. They got better and better at making monsters, eventually ensuring that every time they met dragons it was fearsome.

It is interesting that the civilized neighbors of the Malkioni in Pelanda were unable to discern between Kachisti, Waertagi and Vadeli blue meanies other than by the time of their appearance and slight changes in hue.

There is also the phenomenon of the "not quite Hykimi any more" civilizations of the west - Pendali, Enerali and Enjoreli. While they share their ancestral deities with Hykimi (Enerali with Galanini, Pendali with Basmoli, Enjoreli with lost bull Hykimi that got Theyalanized at latest under the Bright Empire), they are already something different, supporting urban populations of Earth Folk beyond the mere temple cities the Serpent Beast Brotherhood had (like the city of werewolves destroyed in the Gbaji Wars).

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