Closing effects and Vadeli restrictions

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Tue 28 May 1996 - 23:28:00 EEST

Durupt Jean said
>After usurping his job, I'll dare to argue with Joerg.

Nothing daring there, except that you're risking to earn a yellow flag...

>closing effects

>Some closed bodies of water were cleaned by the Closing, some
>received debris. Sog's harbour was chocked by debris for

Yes, it was: the years following the initial shockwave of the Closing. Years
of fishing done by the Greens of the Sog City Waertagi will have cleared
paths into the Ozur Bay, as will the pressure of the Janube. Well before the
time the Ban was lifted from Sog (was it isolated from Loskalm? If so, did
its "cell" incorporate part of the Ozur Bay? Or how did the Waertagi
survive?) the debris washed away into the sea.

You see, the Closing does not stop the Seas to claim what has been on land
before, it only stops the landlubbers to claim the sea with their vessels.

>The second effect of the Closing (navigation is forbidden) takes
>place at around 2 km from the coast. (Glorantha: Genertela)

According to Sandy, this varies. 2 km is just the distance thought safe in
any case, IMO.

There is a strange bit in the history of the Holy Country in RuneQuest
Companion concerning the Fleet of Black Ships of the Only Old One: p.18-19]

: In 1042 the Empire of the Wyrm's Friends destroyed itself. The Only Old
: One supported the remaining peoples and gave particular aid to the
: liberated Beast Peoples. He extended his properties far into the lands
: of the north and west as well. He shortly launched a frightening armada
: of pitch-black ships crewed entirely by trolls.


: After the Dragonkill War of 1100 [*1], the Only Old One proved himself to
: be a troll in a magical contest with Kajak-ab Brain Eater and so shared rule
: of Dragon Pass with the leaders of Dagori Inkarth. This led eventually to
: the first troll civil war in Dragon Pass which weakened the Shadowland trolls
: greatly. Then, the terrible curse of the Closing swept upon the ocean and
: destroyed the black fleet [*2]. The Westerners called upon Lightbringer
: worship to free them from the Shadowlands and again the troll region
: declined in size [*3].

*1 this date marks the beginning of the Golden Horde's invasion, the actual
Dragonkill occurred in 1120

*2 according to more recent/exact sources, the Closing struck Kethaela
already in 950, not after 1120

*3 This could have been in what remained of Slontos.

While all of this may have been re-dated with the appearance of the
Genertela Book, I prefer to believe this was not so. WARNING: A LOT OF THE

IMO the Closing struck even into the Mirrorsea Bay when it reached the
Shadowlands. Maybe the riverports of Karse and Nochet were less affected,
maybe the tidal flats of the Rightarm Islands saved some seagoing craft, but
I like the thought that most Shadowland vessels were lost in this sweep.
However, the Mirrorsea Bay did not remain Closed. Inland-sea travel between
Nochet, Karse, Leskos, Vizel, Seapolis and Rhigos would have been taken up
again within a decade, simply because Esrolite grain had to go somewhere,
and the Creek-Stream-River (joining the Mirrorsea at Karse) still was the
best route to get it into the remainders of the EWF, which were heavily
urbanized and depended somewhat on the grain imports.

The Black Fleet of the Only Old One might have been a daring attempt to
reconquer the coastal waters and the inland waters of sunken Slontos. The
trolls may well have been eager to plunder the ruins of the former God
Learner country and feast upon its remainders.

If you look at the map of Maniria, you will find lots of islands providing
shelter from the effects of the Closing, except before the Poison Shore
(central Caladraland). Now, I wonder how this region earned that name?

My theory runs about like this:

The Only Old One understood that there still was the possibility of
shore-line sea travel, being the son of the trade-and-communication god
Argan Argar, and stepbrother of Choralinthor. He knew that Slontos had been
drowned to eradicate the God Learners, and he wanted to make sure that this
was done properly. As a side effect, he could extend his rule well into
Newcoast. (His fleet might have raided Ramalia, giving more reason for the
current xenophobia towards everything coming from the sea...)

The route to Slontos was sheltered by islands on most of the way, except
south of Caladraland. This part was really tricky, with volcanic reefs
jutting up almost all over the length of the shore, and covering all of the
"safe" 2 km belt away from land. However, the captains knew that they could
dare the less safe area beyond that (still keeping sight contact with the
land, or at least with the Vent), and sail along the shore. Only once in a
while the Closing would leap towards the 2 km "border" and crush a single
ship or two, but these losses were little more hazard than earlier high-sea
travel would have brought.

IMO the loss of the Black Fleet was a similar stroke of bad luck as was the
death of Orios, fifth King of Tarsh, in Tork. When the troll civil war had
broken out, the Only Old One sent for his marines and other troops in his
western holdings, and all the fleet was at sea at once when there was
another of the expansions of the Closings towards Poison Shore. The ships
lost maneuverability when the border of the Closing passed them by, freak
currents tugging them onto the reefs I mentioned above, gaping monsters
delecting themselves on troll meat once again (think of Eristi the Doubter's
lucky escape), or the ships just running out into the vast wilderness of the
closing to have their crews starving before the heavily-gnawed hulls would
crash against other shores or wash down Magasta's Pool. The Only Old One
lost his entire fleet (minus perhaps three or four vessels in drydock below
Shadow Plateau) and all of his able sailors at once, plus a good-sized part
of his land army, and decided this wasn't worth it any more.

>What is the effect on the fauna?

Good question. Were there any birds but sea birds on the Threestep Isles
before Dormal reached them? I like to think not. IMO any being not
specifically tied towards the Sea can cross any portion of the Oceans except
following a Dormal cloaked craft.

>There is a species of sea turtle
You said it: SEA-turtle. These are beings of the Sea, and at home in the
oceans, even if they visit the land now and then.

>I think that the gloranthan species (a) exist and (b) has the same
>life than the earth one (minus the plastic bags).

I agree. They live for instance on the eastern coasts of Teshnos, there
along with their Hsunchen friends, the Sofali. However, they are just sea
creatures occasionally beaching, not land creatures braving the sea.

>Something born on the coast can go to the high seas, without being
>affected by the closing.

Being born on the coast doesn't make you a non-Sea-creature, IMO. Seals,
walruses, and probably also Ouori spend part of their life on the beaches,
but qualify as sea-creatures. They are considered _of_ the sea by the
guardians of the Closing, at least most of the time.

>We can say that any swimming creature is immune to the Closing.

Not sure about strictly freshwater types, but generally I agree.

>I'd say that any flying creature is immune too.

Including Wind Children, awakened Yelmalio Vrok Hawks, or the Crimson Bat?
I'd say no...

>Mermen empires.
... and lacking contact because of natural obstacles: good reasons. If you
say that the mermen who crossed the Homeward Ocean are comparable in stature
to Ethilrist's White Horse Troop or Alakoring (the only major crossings of
the Rockwoods by humans I recall after Arkat's ("excuse my swearing in the
company of ladies") curse on Dorastor), I have no problems with that.

Good idea about the Slowings (or maybe fords?).

>Floating debris

>On earth oceans, debris can be carried away by the sea farther
>than 2 km.

Definitely true for Glorantha as well. The oceans have always been hungry
for things from the land, and more so ever since the Closing struck. That's
one of the main reasons why no ships return, IMO.

The key word is "debris", as opposed to "intact structures made to defeat
the sea".


>Any Vadeli species can survive on its own, that means that each
>Vadeli can take a decision, can fight, can craft and can deal.

Especially since we know that the Vadeli use foul magic to insure their
continued existance, and thereby bypass the more rigid strictures of the
Brithini. Another slot the Brithini would love to beat up the Vadeli for...

>But not all the Vadeli colours are equally proficients in these
>Sandy's tabboos for them work fine for me.

A good solution.

>The God Learners found the correspondance between the elements
>and some weapons. It is not because it was them who said it, that
>it is false.

I just dislike the inclusion of a term developed by the god learners long
after the culture (or however you call the society of vile people) of the
Vadeli originated. Give me a reason why the brown Vadeli shun certain types
of weapons, and I'll be happy to accept it (well, probably I will). Just
don't say elemental weapons, unless already the Kingdom of Logic grouped
them so. But that grouping seems illogical to me...

>Why do the brown Vadeli not use elemental weapons?
>For the same reason that a Dromali does not fight. All of those
>who did so aged and died. It is equally unfortunate for a Brithini
>and a Vadeli to die.

Why do they use other weapons than elemental ones, and which ones do they use?

To sum up: IMO a Vadeli "farmer" (i.e. Brown Vadeli) is a lot more free to
act than his Brithini counterpart, simply because his "geasa" to remain
immortal are tied to already very strict practices including their own
offspring. The Brithini Dromal gets his immortality for a lot less intense
(and a lot duller) practices.


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