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Who/what are the Kitori these days?

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And by "these days" I mean is there a RQG-canonical answer for play as the Hero Wars begin?

 

Googling 'round, I find various ideas.

Essentially Human, but with a deep racial affinity for Darkness

Mostly Trolls

Humans&Trolls, possibly hybrid, possibly able to be either/or as they want

Followers of Kitor -- virtually all races, who followed the teachings of Ezkankekko & Varzor Kitor ("humans, dragonewts, wind children, and anyone else who would learn")

All the above.

 

https://www.glorantha.com/docs/the-silver-age-and-the-dawn/

http://www.sartar.de/glorantha/kitori-history.html

 

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4 minutes ago, g33k said:

And by "these days" I mean is there a RQG-canonical answer for play as the Hero Wars begin?

 

...and do they live in Torkani* lands? Enquiring minds want to know!

* the tribe is also called the "Troll Friends".

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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1 hour ago, g33k said:

And by "these days" I mean is there a RQG-canonical answer for play as the Hero Wars begin?

 

Googling 'round, I find various ideas.

Essentially Human, but with a deep racial affinity for Darkness

Mostly Trolls

Humans&Trolls, possibly hybrid, possibly able to be either/or as they want

Followers of Kitor -- virtually all races, who followed the teachings of Ezkankekko & Varzor Kitor ("humans, dragonewts, wind children, and anyone else who would learn")

All the above.

 

https://www.glorantha.com/docs/the-silver-age-and-the-dawn/

http://www.sartar.de/glorantha/kitori-history.html

 

Well, the actual definition has changed over time, but in the modern day it seems to refer to a particular tribe of Darkness-worshiping humans in Kethaela.

1 hour ago, Bill the barbarian said:

...and do they live in Torkani* lands? Enquiring minds want to know!

* the tribe is also called the "Troll Friends".

The Torkani are said to belong to a cultural grouping called "Dark Orlanthi," are described as being "descended from" the Kitori but are not Kitori themselves in much the way that any Sartarite tribes or clans that originated in Hendrikiland wouldn't still be called Hendrikings.

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The Kitori as a species are the adopted descendants of the Only Old One. The Only Old One had a son who was the prototype of that species of darkness beings with the man rune.

Re-reading Esrolia, Land of 10,000 Goddesses I think that this son was Kimantor, the protector that came to the aid of Queen Norinel‘s Nochet in the Darkness.

Heortling Mythology p.117, during the Lightbringers‘ Quest descent:

 

Quote

When the Lightbringers were lulled into a sense of security in the Obsidian Castle of Only Old One, Eurmal struck. He seduced Only Old One’s son and killed Him, so that Only Old One would be the last of His line.

 

Kimantor had left Norinel with twins, a boy and a girl, but apparently these weren‘t (yet) of the Only Old One‘s demigod species.

Varzor Kitor was the first adoptee who became a Kitori. He came from a tribe of Darkness-worshiping Theyalans and found the favor of Ezkankekko, presumably for his services in the Greater Darkness or the Silver Age.

Once the species had been re-instated, adoptees included humans, but apparently also dark trolls and dehori were able to undergo the adoption and become a mortal version of Ezkankekko and/or Kimantor.

 

IMO they are creatures of the man rune and darkness, mortal though magically powerful. From Darkness they draw their form fluidity that allows them to take on human, dark troll or dehori shape with all the physical properties of the target species.

The adoption rites probably serve as the Kitori equivalent of initiation, too.

 

In RQ3 Gods of Glorantha Argan Argar has the Shadow Rune, a sub-rune of Darkness that indicates the absence of Cold. Unlike Moorgarki (mitress race ancestress who had Cold ripped out by Pamalt) Argan Argar, son of Night and thereby of celestial as well as Darkness origin, possibly gave it up in his encounter of the Three Curious Spirits (which is so out of sequence of Godtime events that it looks to be a Godtime heroquest of these three Darkness entities to the Creation Age). Argan Argar obtained enough of the secrets of Fire that he was able to chain Veskarthan and take up the spear from him.

I am making this detour to explain why I think that the Shadows that crowd the top of Shadow Plateau are a vital component in the Kitori adoption. The future Kitori enters the shadow in his unawakened state (comparable to the Ergeshy of Sun Dome County) and somehow makes part of it a portion of his self.

Looking at the Ergeshi, the subdued former Kitori slave population of Sun Dome County, suggests that there are as many female Kitori as there are males. Unlike with the uz, the females aren’t obligatory dominant, although the Night Jumper story in King of Sartar tells us about the lovers of the Kitori Queen in a very uz-like set-up. At least when we encounter Kitori as Shadowlords, they appear to be predominantly male, or of unrevealed gender masked in the image of the (male) Only Old One.

 

Why would a troll or a dehori choose to become a Kitori?

It is common for uz worshipers of Argan Argar to be initiated to both Kyger Litor and Argan Argar, which means there is no principal exclusivity between those cults. But what about the under-privileged of troll society? Especially twin births of uzko (aka “superior trollkin”) are discriminated against. Leaving the uncaring umbrella of Kyger Litor for the brotherhood of Shadowlord equals sounds like an eminently reasonable step to me.

What motivation could an effectively immortal dehori have to join the Kitori?

The prize would be an existance as a physical being, and possibly the ability to escape the restrictions of the Other Side when it comes to owning the creative force of Free Will. This agency appears to be sufficient to entice spirits of all kinds to let themselves be bound to physical objects or beings.

Could run-of-the-mill trollkin be adopted as Kitori? The description of the Troll Rebirth rites that were undergone by Arkat and his companions tells us that a trollkin undergoing this rite will have a chance at being reborn as a Dark Troll in body and spirit, but it is a chance with a fairly high probability of failure. Still, there is a magical way to escape the wretched state of trollkinhood. The same goes for cave trolls. (Though what happens to their inherited Chaos trait that manifests as their regeneration power? I would think that they lose the regeneration, but do they lose the Chaos taint as well? Can the Black Eater devour this ancient wrong in rebirth?)

Any Kitori convert inherits shape fluidity. Other characteristics become somewhat fluid with the target species, too, so would a trollkin be able to join the Kitori, provided he or she found a sponsor?

The trollkin of Shadow Plateau enjoy comparatively high privileges if they make it as spear-kin, the bulk of the army of the plateau. As trollkin units go, these spearkin are pretty elite. They are a far cry from the demigod abilities of a full Kitor, though. But then, both cave trolls and trollkin are usually chattle property of uz clans or individuals, and being the very symbol of Equal Exchange, there is a high probability that any form of ownership needs to be shed or rather equalized before becoming eligible as a Kitori.

 

On 6/27/2019 at 6:09 AM, g33k said:

And by "these days" I mean is there a RQG-canonical answer for play as the Hero Wars begin?

Not yet, really. Broyan's demise is hidden in the back-story of the sample characters, who escaped Broyan's fate mainly due to absence from that event, having moved back to Sartar independently of the Hendriki king.

 

Quote

Googling 'round, I find various ideas.

There were numerous old ideas, but at some point Greg finally gave some details about the Kitori. Basically, with the publication of "Esrolia - Land of 10,000 Goddesses", and with this follow-up information in the World of Glorantha yahoogroup. The ensuing discussion expands on that source and pretty much defines what we know about the Kitori.

I am still very fond of my short mood pieces in the subsequent discussion.

 

Quote

Essentially Human, but with a deep racial affinity for Darkness

That's what the Ergeshi of Sun Dome County appear to be. But then, they don't appear to have mastered the Darkness that makes them full Kitori, the adoption/initiation rite.

 

Quote

Mostly Trolls

Humans&Trolls, possibly hybrid, possibly able to be either/or as they want

Followers of Kitor -- virtually all races, who followed the teachings of Ezkankekko & Varzor Kitor ("humans, dragonewts, wind children, and anyone else who would learn")

All the above.

Ok, Kitori in other meanings than species:

Citizens of the Kingdom of Night

Trolls of the Troll Wood and the Lead Hills

The darkness-worshiping human tribes of southeastern Dragon Pass, like the Torkani

Arkati (there is this bit about Daramhy defeating the Arkatings on p.40 and p.72 in HotHP)

Shadowlords collecting the tribute

Human armies serving the Kingdom of Night (also Kimantorings)

 

Quote

I think this is very similar to History of the Heortling People.p.106.

Quote

Yes, that's an attempt to create a synthesis out of five years of debates on the digest, and given an editing another five years later. It does a good job summing up some of the old concepts that circulated the early years of the digest.

I guess I should collect the stuff from the World of Glorantha group for a more up-to-date page...

Edited by Joerg
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For purposes of game play, I'd treat Kitori as either human or Uz (their base species) who belong to a culture with a Darkness rune affinity (sub for Storm in standard Orlanthi creation, uz are standard). The ability to change shape would be rune magic available via a cult to be written, for simplicity sake a hero cult that could be worshiped as an associate of pretty much any (culturally) Kitori deity. AA, ZZ, Ernalda, KL etc.

DARK SHAPESHIFTING (3pt Temporal, self) The caster may change into an Uz, human, or dehori for the duration of the spell. Stats change appropriately. For example Humans gain +6 to their SIZ and STR when they become Uz, as well as gaining iron vulnerability, 1 pt skin, and darksense. Uz lose 6 SIZ and STR, lose 1 pt of skin and their dark sense, but are no longer vulnerable to iron. 

 

Edited by RHW
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13 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes, that's an attempt to create a synthesis out of five years of debates on the digest, and given an editing another five years later. It does a good job summing up some of the old concepts that circulated the early years of the digest.

 

That's pretty sweet man, danke schön!  And I am looking forward to reading your pieces.

cheers

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5 hours ago, RHW said:

For purposes of game play, I'd treat Kitori as either human or Uz (their base species) who belong to a culture with a Darkness rune affinity (sub for Storm in standard Orlanthi creation, uz are standard). The ability to change shape would be rune magic available via a cult to be written, for simplicity sake a hero cult that could be worshiped as an associate of pretty much any (culturally) Kitori deity. AA, ZZ, Ernalda, KL etc.

DARK SHAPESHIFTING (3pt Temporal, self) The caster may change into an Uz, human, or dehori for the duration of the spell. Stats change appropriately. For example Humans gain +6 to their SIZ and STR when they become Uz, as well as gaining iron vulnerability, 1 pt skin, and darksense. Uz lose 6 SIZ and STR, lose 1 pt of skin and their dark sense, but are no longer vulnerable to iron. 

 

The most important aspect of being in uz shape is that you can eat everything, I think, from a cultural standpoint. That means that the Kitori can survive under hostile conditions where humans cannot - worship of Argan Argar was about surviving the Great Darkness and the rise of Chaos, after all. And when a dehori, you can basically use the ability to ambush/hide in the forests very well. 

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Some of the Argan Argar subcults I worked up might be useful in a Kitori campaign, including Gultraz the Speaker, who provides SHAPECHANGE TO UZ.

 

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8 hours ago, RHW said:

For purposes of game play, I'd treat Kitori as either human or Uz (their base species) who belong to a culture with a Darkness rune affinity (sub for Storm in standard Orlanthi creation, uz are standard). The ability to change shape would be rune magic available via a cult to be written, for simplicity sake a hero cult that could be worshiped as an associate of pretty much any (culturally) Kitori deity. AA, ZZ, Ernalda, KL etc.

DARK SHAPESHIFTING (3pt Temporal, self) The caster may change into an Uz, human, or dehori for the duration of the spell. Stats change appropriately. For example Humans gain +6 to their SIZ and STR when they become Uz, as well as gaining iron vulnerability, 1 pt skin, and darksense. Uz lose 6 SIZ and STR, lose 1 pt of skin and their dark sense, but are no longer vulnerable to iron. 

 

That's not how I would do this. I think that they have these three states tha they can toggle, no limit to duration. The rules aspect for toggling their shape shift might well be using rune points, or some similar form of "prepaid" magical energy  collection (like taking in Shadow).

(The rules for Hsunchen taking beast shape are similarly broken, at least for those Hsunchen who spend weeks at time in beast shape like Uncoling reindeer folk or the Pamaltelan milk antelope guys. Yes, RQG has Extension, but it takes about 9 rune points to make such a long lasting change, and you are stuck in the spell unless you dispel it.)
 

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The Kitori in current canon seems to have changed from being a separate race of beings that could easily change between human and troll (as described by Greg in the thread Joerg references), to being mostly Darkness worshipping humans, or a mixed troll and human tribe. 

It is hard to tell whether this is a conceptual change, or a historical one (eg the Kitori were a separate magical race in the First Age, but are two separate races with common magic now), or a popular misconception (they were always two separate races, whose common use of a transformative magic confused people). 

In any case, currently the Kitori ancestral religion (no longer strictly confined to the Kitori) is the Nightcult, a sub-cult or variant of Argan Argar that has a spell to transform a human into a troll for a day or night. Trollmouth is a hero cult that appears to grant even more substantial shapeshifting powers (in HQ it is a Feat), including gender changes. I suspect in RQG it would be a heroquest power? 

There is also a separate sub-cult of the Only Old One/Ezkankekko, but its ability to cure wounds caused by Iron is presumably of limited value to human worshippers. 

Though the Torkani are descendants of the Kitori, I don't think they worship the Nightcult? Though they do worship Argan Argar. Perhaps they are post-Belintar refugees who abandoned the Nightcult after the OOOs defeat? 

Joerg, I had forgotten just how much effort we spent on trying to work out the details of the Kitori! 

On 6/27/2019 at 5:37 PM, Joerg said:

the Ergeshi of Sun Dome County appear to be. But then, they don't appear to have mastered the Darkness that makes them full Kitori, the adoption/initiation rite.

It is mentioned in WF15 "The rest were became the Ergeshi slaves of the Templars and forced to renounce the Trollmouth and their Kitori magic." - so the Ergeshi are simply Kitori humans forced not to initiate. 

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40 minutes ago, davecake said:

The Kitori in current canon seems to have changed from being a separate race of beings that could easily change between human and troll (as described by Greg in the thread Joerg references), to being mostly Darkness worshipping humans, or a mixed troll and human tribe. 

There is a fair amount of cut and paste going on in the new books, or rather a moderate editing approach to older text that is reworked for putting things long out of print, so there is a certain possibility that older formulations that pointed us in the direction of our discussion in 1998 are re-surfacing without the insights of the Kitori statements in the wake of the Esrolia - Land of 10k Goddesses relevations having been revoked.

At least that's where my stance is coming from. WF15 p.37 seems to support that stance.

40 minutes ago, davecake said:

It is hard to tell whether this is a conceptual change, or a historical one (eg the Kitori were a separate magical race in the First Age, but are two separate races with common magic now), or a popular misconception (they were always two separate races, whose common use of a transformative magic confused people).

There are two things I'd like to keep apart - the Kitori race, which is a magical race of shapechangers, but one that has to be awakened through the special rites taught to Varzor Kitor, and the Kitori tribe, which contains all of their offspring that may not have undergone these (probably challenging) rites.

And yes, there may be different groups within the tribe originating from the troll side and originating from the human side, which might result in Kitori troll clans and Kitori human clans in a joint tribe, with a requirement for tribal leaders to have undergone the full Kitori initiation.

40 minutes ago, davecake said:

In any case, currently the Kitori ancestral religion (no longer strictly confined to the Kitori) is the Nightcult, a sub-cult or variant of Argan Argar that has a spell to transform a human into a troll for a day or night. Trollmouth is a hero cult that appears to grant even more substantial shapeshifting powers (in HQ it is a Feat), including gender changes. I suspect in RQG it would be a heroquest power? 

I would put it this way: Kitori religious practice is a subset of the Argan Argar cult, but there are plenty expressions of the Argan Argar cult that aren't Kitori - most prominently in Ralios, where we have Arkati troll sorcerers without any human shape-shifting in Guhan, and a strong Argan Argar cult in the troll lands of Halikiv and between those lands.

So yes, we have the Nightcult as a special form of Argan Argar worship, and all "full Kitori" worship this, and probably all Kitori tribe members have it as their default tribal cult, too.

40 minutes ago, davecake said:

There is also a separate sub-cult of the Only Old One/Ezkankekko, but its ability to cure wounds caused by Iron is presumably of limited value to human worshippers. 

I think that this sub-cult is probably as important outside of the Nightcult (i.e. in Halikiv and Guhan) as it is in the Kingdom of Night.

40 minutes ago, davecake said:

Though the Torkani are descendants of the Kitori, I don't think they worship the Nightcult? Though they do worship Argan Argar. Perhaps they are post-Belintar refugees who abandoned the Nightcult after the OOOs defeat? 

That the Torkani are direct descendants of the Kitori follows only by inference from the statement that the Dark Orlanthi are descended from the Kitori, and then the Torkani being the one clear example of Dark Orlanthi clans, even forming their own tribe.

Colymar's Black Spear clan left in 1315 while the Creekstream River still flowed unhindered on the east of the Shadow Plateau. The displacement of the Torkani might have been caused by the summoning of the Lead Serpent (whose giant body had to form somewhere, bad luck to you if that somewhere happened to be your pasture or fields) or by the aftermath of its destruction forming the Lead Hills. I would put their entry date into Dragon Pass in 1318, either way, with the Balmyr on their heels.

They were in place for the Dundealos immigration, and left their first settlement area empty for the second wave tribe of the Sambari to take over and name the pass.

Their loss against the Dundealos might have resulted in the complete loss of their Nightcult initiates and priests (more so if that worship was primarily propitiatory), cutting off their ability to access the full Kitori experience. Unlike the wretched suppression of the Ergeshi, they still were able to worship Argan Argar in the same way the humans of Ralios did.

Then why didn't they try to contact their kin to regain knowledge about the Kitori initiation? Survival, further conflict, then displacement by the Telmori. The possibility that their Nightcult worship was without the full benefit of Kitori initiation.

40 minutes ago, davecake said:

Joerg, I had forgotten just how much effort we spent on trying to work out the details of the Kitori! 

It was quite irksome to have this quite influential force left vaguer than the dragonewts while they have the potential to make great player characters.

 

40 minutes ago, davecake said:

It is mentioned in WF15 "The rest were became the Ergeshi slaves of the Templars and forced to renounce the Trollmouth and their Kitori magic." - so the Ergeshi are simply Kitori humans forced not to initiate. 

Human-shaped Kitori forcibly kept from initiation that might awaken their shape-shifting powers.
I have already declared my dissatisfaction with the rune magic approach for Hsunchen and other part-time humans above - these folk ought to be able to toggle the change between their various shapes rather than just create a temporal (and fixed time) change.

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36 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Kitori religious practice is a subset of the Argan Argar cult, but there are plenty expressions of the Argan Argar cult that aren't Kitori

Absolutely. The Kitori religious practices don't even extend across all of Kethaela, most Esrolian Argan Argar worshippers are neither Kitori nor part of the Nightcult. There is also Argar Argar as husband protector of Ernalda, but who have never acknowledged the OOO as ruler, for example.

And the OOO, Kitori and Nightcult have nothing at all to do with Argan Argar in Ralios (the covert Argan Argar Chain, controlled from Halikiv), or the pockets of worship in Peloria and Fronela.  

I also don't think the Torkani are part of the Nightcult, though I don't know the history of why. 

 

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Enjoying (& being educated by) the discussion above!  Thanks one & all !   Very evocative, helping me get some clarity & form some Glorantha for my table.

I am noting with interest the lack of anyone "official" in the discussion.  Not sure if this means they are "still evolving" the canon, or deprecating Kitori entirely, or holding this content for later reveal (e.g. in the new TrollPack), or if it's just a matter of "only human, can't hit EVERY thread because that new RQ content ain't gonna write itself, izzit?"

In lieu of an official answer, I'm currently inclined towards an "all of the above" answer.  There is a Kitori species, descended from the OOO.  There is a Kitori religion, as taught by Kitor the founder; it offers similar abilities as the bloodline Kitori possess.  There is an ArganArgar subcult.  There are active Kitori not affiliated with AA.  There are Kitori whose religion has been suppressed, or have chosen to pursue other gods; some traces of their Old Ways (or even the full tradition, in hiding) may still survive.  Etc etc etc.  From the non-Kitori perspective, none of these differences are visible or even realized, except for some of the "strayed" Kitori, e.g. the "Dark Orlanthi."

But that's a preliminary stance, and may get entirely overturned by later material in this thread or others, or by "official" content (when and if it comes).

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If they're indistinguishable from a regular human or troll when in either shape, there may be a few (or quite a few) hiding in plain sight. Eliminating a cult entirely is much harder than merely driving it underground/to-the-margins.

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