Closing Remarks

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Tue 21 May 1996 - 23:43:00 EEST

Durupt Jean dares to disagree with Sandy (hey, that's my job!)

>In my opinion the Closing had two effects.
>The first was to sweep anything afloat from the seas of Glorantha,
>and the Waertagi like the Jrustreli fleet were affected.
>The second is to forbid the navigation.

The Closing originated as a wall of force (at first) gently pushing any
craft on its wave-front away from Brithos. Once it had touched a shore
(however gently or forcefully), it remained in a different way. Any craft
launched from a shore touched by the Closing at some point in its past will
be affected by the stationary effect of the Closing: Once it passes out of
the safe shore waters (what is safe may vary according to the tide,
attention of sea gods/monsters, and other whims of the spell), some malign
sea force will take care of it. If ship and crew are lucky, the craft will
be thrown onto a shore - still with considerable force, but some of the
debris may be salvagable. If less lucky, it will be drowned, crushed, or
devoured. (All of this unless Dormal's ritual is held on a ship built by the
rules of Dormal. I suspect that Dormal introduced some clever change to the
hull or the steering device which makes a difference to the sea-monsters
taking care of the Closing.)

>Because of the first effect, the Ozur (sp?) bay near Loskalm was
>clogged with debris. When Dormal came, it was a normal bay, where
>his ships could sail.
>If the first effect did still exist, the bay would have been
>impassable by boat because:
>- no initial debris could have left the bay,
>- three centuries of trash from Loskalm and debris carried away
>by the Janube river would have reinforced the phenomenon.

Nope. The initial effect was the border effect between sea affected by the
Closing and sea yet unaffected. Somehow the shore waters fail to register as
sea by Zzabur's (or whoever's) definition.

There are several inland seas which had been swept clean by the Closing, but
later opened for water travel again. Ozur's Bay, the Mournsea, the Mirrorsea
all suffered from the initial shockwave, but became navigable again soon

>That is why I say that the first effect ceased to exist when all the
>seas were affected by the Closing.

I agree that the force-wall front has disappeared. But it has left an effect.

>It allows me to describe gloranthan seas like RW ones.

Which is objectively wrong.

>Are the Waertagi affected by the second effect?

Yes. Dormal found a clever way to sidestep the attention of the forces
upholding the Closing, including such an enormous bunch of otherwise
free-willed sea denizens that I sometimes wonder whether Zzabur's spell was
anything more than a deep-going insult to the sea peoples. Only ships using
his alterations to pre-Closing designs are able to sidestep the remaining
effect, and then only when using the masking ritual behind his Open Seas ritual.

>We know that any ship is affected by the Closing, and I think that
>only the ships (or the boats) are affected.

Any artificial structure designed to carry people or freight across the seas
is affected. Ships, boats, rafts, air-filled bladders, and so on. Apparently
even the riding of sea-creatures figures as navigation, otherwise the
Waertagi would have been able to communicate through the Closing, at least
between their dry-docks.

>A ship (or a boat) is able to escape a sea current.

Unless there is a will behind that current.

>We know that mermen, sea animals, sea birds are not affected by the

We don't, really. Gloranthan ornithologists to the front: are there any
migrating birds crossing the Homeward Ocean?

I really doubt that there are any coast-dwelling mermen who ever made their
way around Magasta's pool. The Ludoch colonies before Pamaltela and
Genertela don't seem to be in constant contact.

This being said, I do think that vertical voyages through the oceans are
perfectly allowable, and may result in the quester's appearance before the
wrong continent after reascending. But consider the magical effort of the
air-breathing mer-people to enter Manthi's realm, and leave it again. That's
a major heroquest, IMO.

>A tree trunk is not affected either.

We can't say for sure.

And if this were so, boats hewn or burnt from a single trunk should be
exempted from the Closing, which they aren't.

Life elf ship-trees may or may not be an exception, but to my knowledge no
elf braved the sea between the fall of the house of Errinoru and the Yggling

There are two recorded incidents of people breaking the Closing previous to
Dormal's first voyage. The first was Jonat's (quite desasterous) ride of a
sea monster (which may have been a guardian of the Closing) to Seshnela, the
second was Belintar swimming from out of nowhere to Sindpaper Island (which
did not actually break the Closing; the strange thing about this feat was
his entry into the sea).

>The great difference between a Waertagi ship and a human one is
>the philosophy behind it.
>The Waertagi ride the waves, the humans try to ignore them.

I agree with this.

>If a tree can be uprooted by a flood and sail to Magasta's Pool
>thanks to the waves and the sea currents, then a dragonship can
>sail without being affected by the Closing, since she only follows
>the waves (controled by the Waertagi but that is another story).

No. A city-ship is an artificial structure, even though it only makes use of
sea dragons' parts.

As to their control of the waves: I believe that Zzabur's meddling has
seriously affected this.

>If a merman can drag a tree trunk and lose sight of the coast,
>then a waertagi fastship dragged by a sea creature is not affected

The question is: can a merman drag a tree trunk anywhere but along with the
Closing's force, i.e. down or to a (random?) unfriendly shore?

>The humans build ships because they don't raise sea creatures,
>and so they cannot breed draft sea creatures. And since they
>are not sea creatures themselves, they don't worship the oceans
>like the waertagi. They cannot bind a local sea current to their
>ships' hulls like the Waertagi do, Thus they are still affected
>by the second effect of the Curse.

Not true for the people of the Rightarm Isles. They are close allies of the
native Ludoch, and sea worshippers, and have been ever since the Dawn. They
do have access to sea creatures to drag their craft, yet they too suffer
from the Closing when entering its perimetre.

>Two interesting cases are the rafts and the moonboats.
I doubt a moonboat could survive two days on the Sweat Sea, let alone any
ocean - they are built for gliding, not to hold off the waves. Rafts will be
disintegrated by unfriendly sea forces just like any other boat.

>What did the Waertagi do during the Closing?

>Some had their ship totally destroyed and were stranded on the coast.

>Some had to beach their ship. They were stranded too but, if they
>can have their ship hauled to a drydock for repairs, they can come
>back on the seas.

>Some went down to Hell through Magasta's Pool, and sailed on
>Hell's ocean. Maybe the fact that Dormal opened the sea allowed
>them to find the ocean of eternal return and the world beyond.
>Eventually, they would have come back, even without Dormal opening.

I agree with all of these proposals. Note that I believe that only _moving_
craft will be affected by the Closing. A Waertagi city-ship sitting on an
undeep or on or within a reef out in the ocean will be considered as an
island by the Closing and its guardians.

>The Vadeli need Dormal'magic. The Waertagi don't (at least IMO).

The Waertagi did need Dormal's voyage to reenter the sea. Their version of
his ritual may be a lot shorter and more effective than Dormal's
landlubbers' version, but I believe that they must mask their sea-travel as
must anybody else.

>The Vadeli race

>The Brown are the crafter mainly.
>They may not captain a ship, they may not use an elemental weapon
>(ie swords are forbidden)

Actually, IMO the browns _may_ captain a ship, otherwise the Vadeli wouldn't
have been able to launch any ship. The reds were not the driving force for
the Vadeli expansion after the Opening, and most Vadeli ships won't have any
red on board.

Elemental weapons: swords (storm), axes (earth), spears and arrows (fire),
clubs (darkness), and tridents or similar for sea - what kind of weapon may
they use?

Frankly, I fail to see why any self-respecting, millennium-old Vadeli should
even consider this God Learner rubbish about weapons being elemental.


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #583

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