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EricW

Could a Thanatari steal Dragon Magic from captured Dragonewts?

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Thanatari have knowledge stealing magics, they can steal the skills of their victims, or remove the head of their victim and enslave the soul of the victim to their will.

What happens when a Thanatar worshipper attempts to use these chaos magics on a captured Dragonewt?

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Unless they had awakened their Draconic consciousness, no. They'd intellectually understand the parts of it comprehensible to humans, but lacking a dragon mind they are physically incapable of fully using it.

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I think a Thanatari could make a head from a captured dragonnewt, and it could still cast dragon magic. And doing so would stop the dragonnewt from reincarnating until the head dies, and would be regarded as a horrific insult. 

But I don't think they could simply steal the dragon magic via Atyari magic. They have not awakened their dragon consciousness. The dragon knowledge would make no sense to them. 

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It depends on how you see Dragonewt Magic.

In WF14 (RQ2), Dragonewts have Runespells that give them Breathe Fire, Summon Dream Dragon and so on. Thanatari magic would absolutely be able to use those spell.

In RQ3, Dragonewts still had the same abilities, but I don't think they were Divine Magic.

In Mongoose RQ, they had some Mystical magic that gave them the same effects, but it did not come as Runespells/Divine Magic.

In RQM, looking at the Bestiary, Dragon magic is definitely of the Mystical variety, so is personal to the Dragonewt. It explicitly says that they are not spells, so I would think that they are not usable through Thanatari magic.

You could still make a Thanatari head and use its knowledge, or Consume Mind to make a mindless Dragonewt, though.

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15 hours ago, EricW said:

Thanatari have knowledge stealing magics, they can steal the skills of their victims, or remove the head of their victim and enslave the soul of the victim to their will.

What happens when a Thanatar worshipper attempts to use these chaos magics on a captured Dragonewt?

They work, they are chaos magics. As David said with heads:

10 hours ago, davecake said:

And doing so would stop the dragonnewt from reincarnating until the head dies, and would be regarded as a horrific insult.

With the magic stealing magics, the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary says:

Quote

Dragon magic is different from Rune magic, spirit magic, or sorcery. When the dragonewt wills an effect, it takes place on SR 1. Effects are not spells—a dragonewt simply knows or does not know an effect.

These are still magics so can still be stolen. All can be used under MGF:

RuneQuest Glorantha page 6 : Maximum Game Fun

Quote

When writing, thinking, and gaming in Glorantha, always ask yourself, “Now, in this situation what is the most fun?” and then go with it. That’s Maximum Game Fun (MGF). Keep this principle in mind whenever you apply the rules of RuneQuest to any situation.

As for need dragon consciousness etc, these chaos worshippers may not need any of this, they are by definition mad.

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17 minutes ago, David Scott said:

They work, they are chaos magics. As David said with heads:

With the magic stealing magics, the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary says:

These are still magics so can still be stolen. All can be used under MGF:

RuneQuest Glorantha page 6 : Maximum Game Fun

As for need dragon consciousness etc, these chaos worshippers may not need any of this, they are by definition mad.

This is a decision for the GM - there are hopefully no Thanatari player characters, so this is a GM thing. You want your Thanatari villain to use dragonewt magic? Does that fit in your campaign, your view of how things fit together? Then do it.

In my Glorantha, the cult of Thanatar doesn't have the power to bind the Dragon in that manner. But then again, I find Thanatar to be over-powered and over-organised for what is most definitely a very minor cult outside the Tunneled Hills.

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We know that when someone skins a dragonewt corpse, the reincarnated dragonewt will pursue them because the re-use of their skin binds them to the physical world in a way that screws up their spiritual progress. So an interesting twist on this might be that the dragonewt either A) reincarnates and stalks them, but without part of their soul/magic (which is bound in the head) or B ) turns into a sort of headless zombie that homes in on them and attacks them. I love the macabre image of the PCs fighting a Thanatari villain and then a dragonewt corpse bursts into the fight and helps them out. 

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My immediate thought was that the head would be useless to the Thanatari because the Dragonewt reincarnated and "got away" - however, I don't really know the rules or precedence for this sort of thing. The opposite seems reasonable as well, I just liked the idea of evil cultists avoiding Dragonewts because not only are they hostile, they are also *weird* and useless.

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The no-head DN reincarnates as a "cripple" -- a Triceratops, a Magisaur, a T.rex, etc etc etc.

All with a homing-instinct on the head, and a passionate desire to inflict ALL THE DAMAGE POSSIBLE onto the Thanatari that killed them.

And the PC's "happen" to be there, because MGF.

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8 hours ago, Jeff said:

... But then again, I find Thanatar to be over-powered and over-organised for what is most definitely a very minor cult outside the Tunneled Hills.

I think of them as a few lingering remnants of a much-more-powerful group.  Like in the "Black Court" vamps in the Dresden Files novels (for those unfamiliar - there are MULTIPLE kinds of Vampires; the Black Court in particular was wiped out as an organization when a rival "arranged" for Stoker to publish _Dracula_:  it made all their secret strengths and weaknesses and relative rarity into common knowledge; only the powerful survived the purges (other kinds of vamps have different suites of strengths and weaknesses).)

Any remaining Thanatari tend to be among the most powerful and best organized, or they fell in prior assaults on Thanatari sites.

Edited by g33k

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My feeling is the Dragon Magic is still tied to the spirit, and the entire point of creating Heads is to stop the spirit passing on to its proper destination. That stops normal mortals from passing through to the underworld, and means they are not resurrectable - I think it makes sense that it would also stop a dragonnewt from reincarnation. And I think the dragonnewt head would still be capable of Dragon Magic. Whether or not this means that the Thanatari can force the dragonnewt to perform Dragon Magic on demand is a different story - and I'd leave it up to your game, as Jeff says Thanatar isn't a PC cult, so make it happen if you want. 

1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I just liked the idea of evil cultists avoiding Dragonewts because not only are they hostile, they are also *weird* and useless.

There is a group of undead dragonnewts in Delecti's marsh. Originally rebels from the EWF, they are dragonnewts that wearied of the cycle of life and death, and chose an alternative. 

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8 hours ago, Jeff said:

I find Thanatar to be over-powered and over-organised for what is most definitely a very minor cult outside the Tunneled Hills.

Yes, a Thanatar temple with the full, functioning triple hierarchy as described in Cult of Terror etc would be vanishing rare almost everywhere. 

More likely most of the places it occurs it will be a tiny conspiracy, usually dedicated to one of the three single aspects of the god. 

It is possible that in terrible times when Chaos strode the land more openly (eg during the Bright Empire, some cities in Fonrit) such temples were established, have now fallen into a ruin, and on occasion there will be a hidden Thanatar temple complex. But apart from ancient deranged head ghosts and similar, very few would have much of a population. There are ways for Thanatar to re-establish a foothold when nearly wiped out (summoning its powerful Spirits to re-establish temples, building up the numbers with Guardians, etc) so it persists, but most places I would assume it is quite small, a secretive community of sociopaths. 

The spirits of the Guardians may, however, help share knowledge between different groups, giving the cult a degree of organisation beyond what would normally be expected. 

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3 hours ago, davecake said:

Yes, a Thanatar temple with the full, functioning triple hierarchy as described in Cult of Terror etc would be vanishing rare almost everywhere. 

More likely most of the places it occurs it will be a tiny conspiracy, usually dedicated to one of the three single aspects of the god. 

The best the Thanatari can muster in the catacomb archives under the greatest LM library in the world is a solitary priest, his guardian and a few mad head spirits: 

http://rpgreview.net/mob/thegettingofwisdom.htm

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7 hours ago, davecake said:

Yes, a Thanatar temple with the full, functioning triple hierarchy as described in Cult of Terror etc would be vanishing rare almost everywhere. 

 More likely most of the places it occurs it will be a tiny conspiracy, usually dedicated to one of the three single aspects of the god. 

 

I can see them operating under the aegis of Irripi Ontor in the Lunar Empire. 

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6 minutes ago, The God Learner said:

I can see them operating under the aegis of Irripi Ontor in the Lunar Empire.

Not routinely, but I'm sure it happens. I'm quite sure the more morally compromised aspects of EG Lunar Intelligence, noble house Dart Warriors, etc find them a useful asset. Though I'm sure they also want to keep them away from (or very closely supervised) the core institutions of the Empire. 

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Since head-hunting communities have been quite common and well established over the millennia in the RW, I can easily see them in any environment that isn't readily accessible to anti-Chaos fanatics in significantly large numbers.

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7 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Since head-hunting communities have been quite common and well established over the millennia in the RW, I can easily see them in any environment that isn't readily accessible to anti-Chaos fanatics in significantly large numbers.

And possibly even in places where there are anti-Chaos fanatics. The Sartar battalia long having a group known as Headhunters.

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I don't think every group that takes heads as trophies are Thanatari, or Chaotic. 

There are several good reasons to take heads as trophies that don't involve potentially eternal psychic enslavement and torture.

For one, removal of the head would seem to prevent easy resurrection. Heal Body isn't going to grow a whole new head, so anyone that wants to resurrect your hated enemy is going to have to chase you down and retrieve the head pretty quick. 

It enables you to verify who you have killed, so you can boast with confidence. Historically this was occasionally done so soldiers could verify the numbers they had killed for payment purposes. 

It has the potential value of insulting the victim and their family, by preventing the burial of their remains. Or asking for a ransom as part of making a peace making process (force your defeated enemies to agree to peace terms in order to properly bury their family). 

It may be used in sympathetic magic to summon the spirit of the deceased - eg via Ty Kora Tek magic. This may allow you to perform all sorts of unfinished business with the deceased, including serving your community in some way, or even concluding legal business. 

You are part of the Cannibal Cult, and you wish to become smarter. 

And I'm sure that there are a few more I haven't thought of. 

 

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

I don't think every group that takes heads as trophies are Thanatari, or Chaotic. 

There are several good reasons to take heads as trophies that don't involve potentially eternal psychic enslavement and torture.

For one, removal of the head would seem to prevent easy resurrection. Heal Body isn't going to grow a whole new head, so anyone that wants to resurrect your hated enemy is going to have to chase you down and retrieve the head pretty quick. 

It enables you to verify who you have killed, so you can boast with confidence. Historically this was occasionally done so soldiers could verify the numbers they had killed for payment purposes. 

It has the potential value of insulting the victim and their family, by preventing the burial of their remains. Or asking for a ransom as part of making a peace making process (force your defeated enemies to agree to peace terms in order to properly bury their family). 

It may be used in sympathetic magic to summon the spirit of the deceased - eg via Ty Kora Tek magic. This may allow you to perform all sorts of unfinished business with the deceased, including serving your community in some way, or even concluding legal business. 

You are part of the Cannibal Cult, and you wish to become smarter. 

And I'm sure that there are a few more I haven't thought of. 

 

Absolutely.  My thought was that there is no need for such a group to NOT be Thanatari!😈  

 

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I think the key to the issue for Thanatari wanting Dragon Magic would be to use Consume Mind on the dragonewt.  Of course they should probably know the sorcery spell Tap POW, and have 19HP before even attempting the spell.  There is no reason why they couldn't learn Dragon Mysticism this way. 

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11 hours ago, Tindalos said:

And possibly even in places where there are anti-Chaos fanatics. The Sartar battalia long having a group known as Headhunters.

If broos could fight alongside Praxians at Moonbroth, maybe we shouldn't impose such a hard division between Chaos and others.

Are we adopting an Orlanthi prejudice without a proper critique?

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7 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I think the key to the issue for Thanatari wanting Dragon Magic would be to use Consume Mind on the dragonewt.  Of course they should probably know the sorcery spell Tap POW, and have 19HP before even attempting the spell.  There is no reason why they couldn't learn Dragon Mysticism this way. 

Plenty of reasons why that won't work. As I said above, in my Glorantha, dragon magic can't get captured by Thanatar's methods. But it does interrupt the rebirth cycle of the dragonewts, which likely means that if a dragonewt does get captured this way, pretty soon the Thanatari are going to have a LOT of problems with dragonewts.

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5 minutes ago, Jeff said:

Plenty of reasons why that won't work. As I said above, in my Glorantha, dragon magic can't get captured by Thanatar's methods. But it does interrupt the rebirth cycle of the dragonewts, which likely means that if a dragonewt does get captured this way, pretty soon the Thanatari are going to have a LOT of problems with dragonewts.

If you read the process of Consume Mind, it is a ritual that allows the rapid learning of magic and knolwedge skills (as well as spells).  As Dragon mysticism is effectively a magical skill, and is learned via experience, why is there a problem?  It would just be like the rapid experience of a series of Nysalor Riddles until you fail one improvement check. I would call it Sudden Illumination.  Of course this would be devastating to the dragonewt's rebirth, and would probably nuke them back to a crested dragonewt.  This would be even more effective if the Thanatari were already illuminated.  I would need to hear some pretty cogent reasons why this shouldn't be the case.

Edited by Darius West
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