Minor Cults of Prax Revealed

From: Bryan J. Maloney (bjm10@cornell.edu)
Date: Sun 14 May 1995 - 16:51:14 EEST



The following has been submitted to RQ Adventures, but I figured that one of the benefits of this list is the ability to preview stuff before it's published, like the "Sons of the Bull" broadside that appeared in Dorastor. Anyway, since this is a mailing list, it doesn't count as "publication".

                            Lesser Faiths of Prax
                       Copyright 1995 Bryan J. Maloney
       Kal'Karrak Copyright 1995 J. Chris Wehman and Bryan J. Maloney

   In the Hero Wars age Pavis, the Zola Fel River Valley, Prax and the Wastes hosted a bewildering variety of worships. These spirits and minor deities do not fit neatly into the Godlearners' religious system.

   I have divided these cults among three groups: "Praxian Cults" were mainly worshipped by members of the Praxian Beastrider tribes. "Aboriginal Cults" were favored by River and Oasis peoples. Finally, "Outsider Cults" were usually found among Orlanthi or Yelmalions living along the Zola Fel.

                                Praxian Cults

Little Brother (Storm and Disorder)

   Little Brother was the youngest of Storm Bull's many brothers. Some farmers called him "Orlanth" and pay altogether too much attention to him. He tilted the sky dome to see what was under it and let Chaos in. He had a tantrum and made the sun leave for a while. He tried to fight the Devil and only managed to enrage it. Storm Bull was constantly having to clean up Little Brother's messes. Finally, he realized that Little Brother was so much trouble because he didn't have any jobs to do.

   After Storm Bull killed the Devil and pinned him under the Block, he went to find Little Brother. First, he cuffed Little Brother in the ears for letting the Devil into the world. Then he gave Little Brother a job so that he wouldn't make so much trouble anymore. Little Brother was put in charge of making it rain. Of course, Little Brother often shirks his duties to play with the farmers, so there is not as much rain in Prax or the Wastes as there should have been.

   Shamans can contact Little Brother at any Storm Bull holy site or during any rainstorm (roll POW X 5). The shaman can then establish a link (expend 1 POW).
   Little Brother teaches the divine spells of Cloud Call and Rain to shamans who know him. Little Brother's Rain spell will only work in Storm and Sea Seasons, since he's usually off shirking any other time of the year.

Sun Hawk (Fire and Beast)

   When Genert lived, Sun Hawk, the Sun of Prax was his scout and his skirmisher. Now that Genert is dead, Sun Hawk protects Genert's children. Some say that he now roosts upon the top of Yelmalio's dome.

   Shamans can contact Sun Hawk by performing the Sun Dance. This ritual requires the shaman to coat himself in gold dust and feathers (20 wheels worth of gold dust) and must be undertaken in Fire Season under a clear sky. The Shaman must dance until he collapses from heat and thirst. After he has lost consciousness, the shaman's spirit flies up to the Sun Hawk where he must make an attempt to impress the spirit (can be abstracted as an Orate roll with Ceremony as a complementary skill). Failure means that the shaman is sent back and cannot try again for a year. Success permits the shaman to establish a link (sacrifice 1 POW).

   Non-shamans must be initiated to Yelmalio or a Solar deity recognized by Yelmalio. They may only attempt the Sun Dance on Yelmalio's High Holy Day, which requires permission of the priests among civilized Sun Domers.

   Darkness creatures who attempt to contact Sun Hawk are spiritually burned
(they lose 1D3 POW) and are hurled back to their bodies, which demoralizes
them (as per the spell) for a full week.

   Sun Hawk requires a minor sacrifice (one MP) every Fireday at dawn.

Spirit Magic: Detect Enemy, Farsee, Firearrow

Divine Magic
Hawk's Wings 6 points
temporal, nonstackable, reusable

   This spell transforms the caster's arms into strong wings and doubles the caster's STR. It transforms the caster's feet into clawed talons that can be used to attack. at a normal kick percentage. Damage is 1d6 plus DB
(figured for the new STR). The talons are very clumsy and are not suitable
for manipulation. The caster can fly at twice his running speed. The wings are not able to hold any item. This spell will only work in Prax and the Wastes. This spell supersedes and is not compatible with any other STRenhancing  spells.

                              Aboriginal Cults

Gorakiki (Beast, Darkness, and Harmony)

   Gorakiki is propitiated by the Oasis and river peoples and by Sun Domers and Orlanthi farmers along the Zola Fel. This form of worship is apparently not related to Trollish cults. Anyone can contact Gorakiki by finding a large swarm of insects and entering its center (taking the appropriate amount of sting damage). If the subject is worthy (abstracted as a POW X 3 roll with Insect Lore as a complement), a bit of the caster's soul (1 point of POW) is then sacrificed to establish a link.

   This version of her worship teaches the following spells:

Divine Magic:
Speak With Insects 1 point
voice range, temporal, non-stackable, reusable

   This spell permits the caster to talk to any type of insect for the duration of the spell. It does not alter the basic disposition or intelligence of the insect.

Insect Fence 2 points
ritual ceremony, nonstackable, reusable

   This spell must be boosted with MP when cast. The number of MP used is divided by the area of land protected in hectares to determine the strength of the spell. Any insect that attempts to walk into, burrow into, or light on areas protected by this spell must overcome the MP protecting the location with its POW or be unable to do so. The area protected must be contiguous and a relatively simple geometric shape (the caster has to walk the perimeter of the area while performing the rite). The spell lasts for one year and must be cast on Gorakiki's High Holy Day
(Freeze/Fertility/Dark).

   If the caster sacrifices a point of POW upon casting the spell, he may specify one type of insect that can cross the fence unhindered. Most people prefer to contact a Beekeeper (see Gorakiki Honey-Mother below) to cast Bee Gate for them instead. This spell does not work upon worms (children of Swems) or spiders (children of Aranea), only upon the proper children of Gorakiki.

Mistress Clam (Beast, Darkness, Water, and Stasis)

   Also known as Monalli, this is a grumpy spirit who taught people how to protect themselves during the Greater Darkness.

   Shamans and any initiates to a River cult may contact Mistress Clam by going to a riverbank and settling into the mud, submerged under the water for an entire day and night. It is recommended that the applicant figure out a way to breathe for that time since drowning entails immediate disqualification.

   Mistress Clam will come to the applicant after a full day and a full night underwater. The applicant may then establish a link (by sacrificing 1 POW). The applicant must engage Mistress Clam in conversation for at least one hour. If the applicant offends her (best if roleplayed, but could be abstracted as a fumble on an Orate or Fast Talk roll), she will snap her jaws shut, severing and devouring a random appendage. Any magical attempts to Regrow the severed limb must first get Mistress Clam's permission to work. Worshippers are required to immerse themselves completely in water and make a minor sacrifice (1 MP) at least twice a season.

   She teaches her worshippers the divine spell Breathe Water plus her own special spell:

Monalli's Shell 1 pt
caster, temporal, nonstackable, reusable

   The caster must boost this spell with MP when it is cast. Every MP spent gives the caster 2 AP in all locations. However, every MP spent also reduces the caster's movement rate by 1 and all perception and agility skills by 10%. This spell is incompatible with Mobility, Flight, Teleport, and all other movement-enhancing spells.

Trout Dancer (Spirit, Beast, Water, Fertility, and Movement)

   Trout Dancer was a shaman of the River People in the Dawn Age. He could call forth bounty from the river when the people were hungry. Fishermen along the Zola Fel still call upon him. Anyone who has mastered fishing
(skill of 90% or more) may call upon Trout Dancer while fishing. He will
appear as a talking fish. The worshipper may establish a link (sacrifice a point of POW). Members of the Zola Fel cult may worship Trout Dancer without needing to make a sacrifice upon contact.

   Trout Dancer teaches the following spells, which will only work on the Zola Fel or its tributaries:

Divine Magic
Fish Dance 1 point
ritual ceremony, temporal, nonstackable, reusable

   This spell is cast upon fishing equipment. It guarantees that the fishermen will have at least an average haul from the river. This spell is cumulative to Fish Song: Every MP expended on a Fish Song cast with Fish Dance adds 10% to the "average" take for an individual fisherman, so those who know Fish Song can have quite a catch. Fish Dance can only be cast on Waterday of every week and lasts for three days. (The three-day duration of the spell plus its limited day of casting is part of what leads non Riverfolk to believe that River-dwellers are "lazy", since it's only worth their while to fish three days a week.)

Fish Song 1 point
ritual ceremony, instant, nonstackable, reusable

   This spell must be boosted with personal MP. It calls fish to come and listen to the caster, 1 ENC of fish per MP expended. The caster may then begin fishing. It does not guarantee that the caster will catch anything, but it does make sure that there are fish around to catch.

End of Glorantha Digest V1 #282


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