Vampires, Serrapu, Knights and Purgatory

From: Peter Metcalfe (
Date: Wed 14 Jun 1995 - 03:37:41 EEST

Joerg Baumgartner:

I had written (obliquely!) about Vampires and somehow manage to mention Sfaelster in the same passage which leaves Joerg to wonder:

>What is the faith of the rulers in Daran? Just another Stygian sect?

and presents his hypothesis in a set of questions:

>However, during the expansion phase of the Second Council the people
>who later conquered Tanisor came from here. Remember what Arkat fought
>in Tanisor? Did he really root them out? Or do they still exist and
>practice a somewhat different kind of ancestor worship?

hmm. So you wonder if the Daran rulers were actually vampires who warped their rituals with chaos so they could resist Arkat creating the Cult of Vivamort. Interesting theory. I see nothing against it.

I had hypothesized that there was a 'archaic custom' in Ralios of bloodletting so that your ancestors could feed and gain intelligence and I can of course see where this comes from. (The Broken Council Guidebook may contradict me but I have not see a copy of it yet). Given that Humakt of course was originally Humath and he came from Ralios, we can see why Vivamort has a thing with him and why he carries around a Swordbreaker. Natuarlly of old, the status of Vampire would have been to die (in a religious ceremony) and become one of the walking dead feeding on your worshippers blood in return for protecting them.

The Cult would have been heavily suppressed since the Dawn given that it was the Proud Domain of the Seshnelan Basmoli. (These people were also capable of Kicking the Seshnegi Shitless so nothing implausible here). The Silver Empire would have been no less tolerant but of course we can see where the Vampires got their sorcery from. Then comes the Bright Empire of Nysalor and the Vampires prosper under the New Philosophy of Tolerance. (The reaction of a typical nysalor preacher on seeing a town ravaged by the Scarlet Bat - 'The thing who did this is in need of serious help!'. They become so useful that they achieve dominant power in Tannisor against the fanatic Seshnegi under King Gerlant.

Then Arkat comes and they start taking heavy losses. They turn to Chaos related in a garbled fashion in the Notes from Nochet in ToTRM, warping it so they take other peoples souls as well. And so the legends of the Vampire Kings is born. Given that it was a local cult around Safelster, I would presume the Cult was entirely warped and no pure vampires from the Good Old Nights survive. Perhaps some civilised vampires in Daran may try to undo their mistake?

I do of course wonder if this theory is true that the Dark Empire of Stygia spread the legend that they were trolls to cover up the fact they were they were bloodsucking vampires. can we rehabilitate the Thanatari? <g>

John R. Snead:

>>I dunno how the Surarru Lake Veldang (described by Sandy previously) see

>Surarru Lake Veldang? I couldn't find this in the archives, if it's on
>the net could someone send me a copy.

Whoops! I mispelled Serrapu. They have a big thing with Knives...

Andrew Behan:

>My big problem is n't with the serfs or burghers but with the Lord
>caste. If the West is going to be treated as a direct translation of
>medieval Europe to Glorantha there is absolutely no need for them. The
>terms "knight" and "noble" were synonomous. The gentry (including
>nuns and monks) represented 2% of the population of 15th century England.
>Lords represent the same in Carmania and the Carmania gentry represent
>15% of the population. There were never more than 5000 knights in England.

This is confusing the actual status of a Knight and those who are relatives. Of your average Western Knightly Family only the Family Head and the Eldest Son are normally males (cf What my father told me - the Western Soldiers World View in G:CotHW Players Book). Given that half of family are woman who Bismark captures nicely the Western view that all they are good for is 'Church, Kitchen and Children'. A sizable portion of the non-knighted males helps out the lord during the farm, whereas a number of others are brigands^H^H^H^H^H^H^H soldiers seeking a vassal so they can be knighted. In Seshnela, I presume an opening occurs when a Knight needs extra hands to drive away the brigands.

Sandy Petersen:

>(Note: I believe that the Lunar Purgatory
>opens both ways, and that sometimes folks are purged in order to
>enable them to drop into Hell afterwards.)

What? You send good people that you don't like to Purgatory so they can be dumped in the Pits of Perdition?!? A nice way of dealing with political dissent but somwhat corrupting on the Empire (why be pious? You're going to hell anyway).

End of Glorantha Digest V1 #311

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