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  • #15602
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Just a fan, not Moon Design at all, but that outsider status might soothe potential conflicts of interest . . .

    I hate to say the books you’ve already absorbed barely scratch the surface of the Stafford Library, even in places where you might expect a fair amount of crossover as with the Sartar books and the History / Mythology of the Heortling Peoples. They are dense and they are beautiful.

    Also a good moment to shout out Wyrms Footnotes 15, which I was looking at again last night and is really an unsung star in the canon. I will say the heroquesting book is the probably the most esoteric and least canonical of all, so I might grab that one last.

    So . . . congratulations on the opportunity to convert that metric tonne into the long variety? (Your other post is awesome but trickier.)

    #14840
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Issaries seeks out the souls that are lost and guides them to the Hall of Judgement. I always imagined the blind soul of the departed holding onto the tail of the mule as it navigated the Path of Silence. As a mule is a horse and not a horse, it may also be in this world and not in this world.
    This is fantastic. Love it, love the Trees as funeral coins. Someone evidently minted them even if they’re not in wide use now. Thank you!

    #14837
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    the (pay the ferryman) psychopomp capacity of Issaries mules

    This is really a pregnant phrase, please say more.
    ……….

    I never thought Issaries paid the Ferryman in coin but rather that the coins themselves are a symbolic token of what we pay the Ferryman. That is, not every dead Lightbringer needs two clacks (or whatever) for a proper funeral — because as we know, specie is rare — but if you have two clacks (or whatever), you can trade them for passage. In the meantime, we trade these little reminders of death back and forth.
    This makes coins a little bit awesome within the Issaries economy beyond their rarity and buying power. The humble clacks are probably the holiest in this context because there’s a good chance they derive from the pre-Dawn Esrolian necropolitan rites . . . and the life of a beggar boils down to 2 c.p. in the end, a couple pounds of flesh.
    As for making change, tally probably does a lot of that. If multiple merchants support a marketplace they can settle “store credit” across each other in sub-clack increments when the dealing’s done. Otherwise you go on the ledger being owed the equivalent of two carrots or whatever. Give me a clack or a cow and I’ll tell you when you run out of cult credit.

    #13623
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    I’d start an investigation of LM in Esrolia with the use of false beards — what does the “bearded lady” trope actually signify in the land where grandmothers rule — and then work back to look at the kinds of families that produce LM priestesses in that part of the world. What makes a smart woman opt out of the Ernalda complex?

    As for canon, coming back to the greater deities sounds practical. Maybe some day soon we’ll discover that a particular divinity has a specialized local subcult or they pray to him or her a little differently there, use different names. At various specific points in Gloranthan history the Issaries may have been called Gilles or Ashara. In your characters’ futures, the same god may reveal new names in the course of play.

    #11952
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Fortunate autocorrect. I did not know the Triolini had the uh, Man rune — thankfully they don’t do a lot of writing or else their version would undoubtedly have different hit locations.

    Interestingly though, if the Triolini did use a tailed Man rune it would look like an ankh. Hail the Harshax!

    #11296
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Seshnela? Bah humbug! The mob is at the door demanding that Luther Arkwright game in the next week or vague hints about “reprisals.”

    Any way people can help out on that front, by the way?

    #11069
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Instead I’m wondering what “real” Glorantha is like – if there is such a thing. Does this low-powered (utility) magic exist? Do people use it on daily basis? Do mothers mend dishes broken by reckless children with magic? Do guards use magic to cool themselves a nice mug of ale after a hot day at the walls? Do Orlanthi Carls use magic to sharpen their swords before a battle?

    I tend to invert these questions a little when getting at the everyday magic that gets common people through their lives:

    Is it “magic” when mothers mend dishes broken by reckless children? Whistle up a silent prayer to Glue Gorilla or Gorilla Glue and yes, almost good as new!

    Is it “magic” when the mug of ale refreshes? Praise the barley-headed dead boy, I could go another patrol!

    Is it “magic” when our swords are sharper than the other side’s — or just sharp enough? Pass granddad’s holy whetstone, I need this to be so!

    So in “real Glorantha,” yes, people are probably always blending what we might call instrumental procedures with superstition and wishful thinking. Whatever works tends to get ritualized. Whatever fails gets abandoned in pursuit of something better, or else the people who cling to it don’t manage to pass it on as well.

    This practical ecology hasn’t always been the focus of the game materials, which obviously need to highlight the extraordinary and epic textures of the world. But as long as there are libations and blade prayers and humble kitchen magic, we can see the traces.

    In particular the mending spell opens a window toward what we often call earth magic because historically it’s been mother who had to do it. What else is there? A good project to add to the pile!

    #11009
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    And to be fair the two essays “A Look Inside Griffin Mountain” (designer notes) and “How To Run A Gloranthan Campaign” (general GM advice) at the back of the reprint aren’t in the original box. Not sure they’re worth buying the whole thing again, but the GM advice material in particular can be revelatory. It might be nice to see it brushed off as a separate pamphlet some day.

    #10618
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    . . . and how could I forget the Pithdarian Armada? However they evaded the long blockade, they grew up in the north close to the sea. How they must have thrilled to see it opened again.

    #10617
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    members of that caste captain them

    I like the aristocratic subtleties forming around the term merchant “prince” throughout this discussion. Highlighting the “master and commander” aspect in the League is great because it reveals all the layers of their history, from Dormal’s dangerous revelation in my grandfather’s day back through local professional traditions fostered in the Middle Sea era, Tanien’s Victory, earliest times when the open sea was a Waertagi monopoly.

    There is no safe caste for “sailor” unless you were born with gills, and I like that. Wayfarers all. And no wonder they hate them up in Leplain, where they smile as the king mints silver under the eye of the Invisible God.

    #10605
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Love Fenela. And there’s the timing right there! The text there is very interesting:

    Garzeen “once hoped to attract Fenela, a daughter of King Froalar in the west. She scorned such materialism, and even more distrusted the advances of a god, fearing infidelity after a time. She made him swear to fulfill a vow before she’d marry him, and then told him he must reassemble the body of the chaos-slain god Genert.”

    As far as I am aware, he has yet to succeed and so never quite married into the family, or if we dare read between the mythic lines, the ambitious merchant priests from the dawn countries had trouble assimilating into the talar system.

    But who tells this story? The people who seem to have the most to gain from reminding people of this terrible binding geas happen to be the Desert Trackers “of the Trader Princes,” who get plenty of hyena pelts for their own purposes. They were identified with Goldentongue back then. Maybe he’s the concocted character who ended up successfully marrying into the West after all.

    #10600
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Great points from all and thanks. In a reactive mode trying to get behind Issaries so that “talars do the ‘trading'” hit a nerve.

    This might not be the place for it, but the point at which the West absorbed, coopted or concocted Garzeen and his silver monetary system (not to mention his mercantile language) may be helpful to figuring out their forms of “trade.” The Silver Empire was Silver, so it may happen very early on.

    #10593
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Just quoting GTG 405 where their functions include management, “trade” and generally dealing with outsiders, it’s not necessarily a Cults of Prax-era mercantile affair, but then again neither is Issaries these days.

    #10588
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    At least among the Brithini it’s the Talars who handle trade and diplomacy, interestingly enough. If other schools emulate this, it puts a different spin on the “mercantile” struggle between Kingdom, Coast and League in modern Seshnela and just might explain the regular grandiose bankruptcy-collapses of royal power there if we squint hard enough. Plus since silver is such a popular dynastic attribute around those parts, a new light on the trade god they assassinated up north along with hereditary power.

    I wonder if they speak Trade, speaking of barbarous jabber.

    Do the Trader Princes and the Argan Argar caravans interact much? Seems funny that the chain gang route stops at Guhan now without continuing on toward Argan Argar’s country.

    #10527
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    Scott Martin
    Spectator

    Maybe it’s not so much the identity of the unicorn emperor that’s conjecture but what we should call him. “Oh him. He’s the other Ralzakark.”

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 150 total)

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