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Coders on the Cradle

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I wrote this in response to a comment on Facebook, so I figured I'd post here too (less ephemeral than FB if I ever want to come back to it): 

Here's how I imagine the Coders were part of the Cradle adventure:

The Coders were one of the Lunar teams that came on board to explore the Cradle when it beached at Pavis. On discovering the Giant Baby, her safety and welfare became their paramount concern. When the Cradle was refloated after the storm, Count Julan, Princess Anderida, Eslas and Maculus were the last Lunars to make their escape (but Nose Ring was nowhere to be seen).

Later, the Coders were part of the Wyvern assault at Corflu. Maculus remained on the sidelines, helping coordinate the magical team animating the Watchdog, but Count Julan and Princess Anderida landed on the deck and engaged the defenders directly. Meanwhile Eslas remained aloft deploying her devastatingly accurate skill with the bow.

Both Anderida and Julan fought duels with Argrath (Garrath Sharpsword). Anderida withdrew from the fight following a brief exchange of words*, but after a heroic fight Julan was bested by the Orlanthi wind lord. Only Nose Ring emerging from the hold to come to his friend's rescue saved Julan's life**. They jumped overboard together, just as Cradle's magic defeated the Watchdog. The Lunar assault failed and the Cradle passed into the Ocean. 

*what Argrath said to Anderida is unknown, but she immediately returned to Glamour and within a season had withdrawn to a sanctuary on the Red Moon itself.

**rather than flee, Nose Ring remained hidden on board the Cradle to safeguard the helpless Giant infant, swearing by Danfive Xaron to protect her against all danger. He would have remained on the Cradle, but broke his cover to save Count Julan's life in the final battle at Corflu. Having heard that the Cradle later disappeared into Magasta's Whirlpool, it is said Nose Ring later captained one of the Lunars' fabled Black Galleys to the Underworld, seeking her there.

Edited by MOB
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My take on the motives of the Coders in the Giant Cradle is altogether more nefarious.

Tatius the Bright would assign the Coders to take the Baby at all costs... for the specific purpose of sacrificing the Baby in some Lunar ritual [possibly empowering the Sartar Reaching Moon Temple].

Julan still harbors the noblesse ideals of his cult and upbringing. Yes, Lunar society can be harsh but it's for the greater good. It certainly isn't evil, right? His orders are discouraging, yes, but he's done worse in war and peace to make his way in a cruel world.

Anderida is a mother, and when Argrath tells her just what Tatius had planned for the Baby, she balked at her orders for the first time her life. This is especially true when Argrath tells her that he was sending his allied spirit to report Gonn Oorta on the Baby's fate. With troubles at court, the nobles infighting, and the stresses of trying to weave several societies into the fabric of the Empire, she was sure that the LAST thing the Moonson wants is for his Provincial Governor to start a war with the giant race.

Nose Ring and Maculus wouldn't give a fig in a wine vat about the fate of the Baby. Both are well familiar with the true nastiness in the Empire [up to an including watching the Crimson Bat], so their empathy is utterly shot. Maculus is an Illuminate after all; morals are just limitations to him. After the mission, Nose Ring checks himself back in to the Punishment Legions and is never seen again.

Eslas stay airborne and remained ignorant of the whole affair until the Cradle's escape, her naivete providing a shield to her soul. This was the mission wherein she lost her innocence [if not her virtue], but she has yet to fully sell her soul for the sake of the mission. [Which might provide some interesting post-Dragonrise adventures for a fully mature Eslas -- you know, in case you guys were thinking in that direction or something...]

Edited by svensson
typos
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5 hours ago, svensson said:

Tatius the Bright would assign the Coders to take the Baby at all costs... for the specific purpose of sacrificing the Baby in some Lunar ritual

Probably in my Glorantha, Tatius would assign the Coders to take the Magics of the Cradle at all costs.  Giants are a race of Disorder and possibly Darkness - the antithesis of Tatius' solar magics.  Her fate is immaterial to Tatius.  But the Red Goddess might well whisper words in Anderida's dreams to have her protect the baby, or offer her to Gerra - after all, the Moon is the balance of Light and Dark.  What Tatius takes to power the Light of the Reaching Moon must be balanced by the Dark of the Dying Moon.

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17 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Probably in my Glorantha, Tatius would assign the Coders to take the Magics of the Cradle at all costs.  Giants are a race of Disorder and possibly Darkness - the antithesis of Tatius' solar magics.  Her fate is immaterial to Tatius.  But the Red Goddess might well whisper words in Anderida's dreams to have her protect the baby, or offer her to Gerra - after all, the Moon is the balance of Light and Dark.  What Tatius takes to power the Light of the Reaching Moon must be balanced by the Dark of the Dying Moon.

Fair points. Your knowledge of Lunar ritual is deeper than mine; I have no idea who Gerra is in Lunar mythology.

Also, wouldn't the Giants also be affiliated with runic Earth somehow?

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27 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Giants are a race of Disorder and possibly Darkness...

Isn't that just the stupid 'small' ones that adventurers might be expected to run into terrorising a locality? I thought the Giants who made Cradles and put their babes in 'em were a bit less 'stereotypical grind-your-bones'...

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21 minutes ago, svensson said:

I have no idea who Gerra is in Lunar mythology.

A dark goddess of sacrifice, suffering and rebirth, she has an inverted pyramid that goes into the Underworld. Relatively new, by which she has only been around for 20 or 30 years, so I don;t know much about her.

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1 hour ago, svensson said:

I have no idea who Gerra is in Lunar mythology

Goddess of Suffering and Sorrow. From the Guide p.678: She is banished to the Underworld but escapes to plague us anyway.

and p.679: The Lunars revere Gerra as one of the seven ancient Moon goddesses. She was once a great and powerful goddess, but through her own haughtiness brought terrible punishments upon herself. She insisted upon unspeakable things, and so was reproved with increasingly severe methods until she was subdued. She has several holy places in Old Carmania. They are all gruesome, sacrificial pyramids where initiates mutilate themselves.

52 minutes ago, womble said:

Isn't that just the stupid 'small' ones that adventurers might be expected to run into terrorising a locality? I thought the Giants who made Cradles and put their babes in 'em were a bit less 'stereotypical grind-your-bones'...

Certainly the small ones (and the question is what the origin of the small ones is?). As for the great ones like Gonn Orta, well possibly associated with Earth/Genert, but they seem to have Underworld associations too. 

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21 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Certainly the small ones (and the question is what the origin of the small ones is?). As for the great ones like Gonn Orta, well possibly associated with Earth/Genert, but they seem to have Underworld associations too. 

Aye, the Underworld associations match with "sending their youngsters down Magasta's Pool to the Underworld in a Cradle" thing.

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The giant baby is an incarnation of the Blue Moon Goddess. AFAIK she is the first female giant reported in a cradle.

Killing or obstructing this Blue Moon mission might have weakened the Lunar Way. On the other hand, raising the baby in Glamour might have been something to the greater glory of both moons.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The giant baby is an incarnation of the Blue Moon Goddess. AFAIK she is the first female giant reported in a cradle.

Killing or obstructing this Blue Moon mission might have weakened the Lunar Way. On the other hand, raising the baby in Glamour might have been something to the greater glory of both moons.

Baby Blue Moon? Wow. Where'd you find that nugget?

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2 hours ago, womble said:

Baby Blue Moon? Wow. Where'd you find that nugget?

Not one I've heard of. However, while there is nothing to indicate the return of a Blue Moon, we do know about the rise of the little White Moon, aka the White Orbiter.  Perhaps this is who our baby giant grows up to be?

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7 hours ago, womble said:

Baby Blue Moon? Wow. Where'd you find that nugget?

Basically, I made it up.

Annilla cult, RQ3 Troll Gods. All of the Elder Giants have a Blue Moon connection. The reason the Cradles are sent down the Pool is to meet the Ancestress.

The Storm Age was an age of blue planets (and/or moons) populating the sky, and three years into the Cradle's journey, there is a new blue planet in the sky. While not Annilla's Blue Moon, this event will be significant to any blue moon worshipper, and might bring other restitution projects onto the agenda.

She might very well be a preparation for the appearance of the White Moon, or even more appropriate, the Invisible Moon talked about in King of Sartar, possibly providing a body for that incarnation of Lunar power.

At least, that could be the insight that Argrath passed on to Anderida. "The Pass Giant said that his daughter would be the Moon to Come. Do not hinder her passage."

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I s'pose it's an obvious progression from 'terrain feature' to 'celestial feature'... :)

Thanks for being creative, Joerg, and explaining the evolution of your idea!

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